Clinical Behavioural Sciences Program

Welcome Message from Program Director, Elizabeth Pawluk

The Clinical Behavioural Sciences Program was established in 1968 and since this time has evolved to meet the changing needs of our students. Our courses are designed to foster an understanding of mental health models of practice and to provide enhanced psychotherapy training to practitioners in the mental health field. The emphasis of the program is to enhance our students’ clinical skills and their understanding of mental health models rather than on new credentials. Courses are multidisciplinary, interactive, and learning is based on clinical problems from students’ own settings.  Students can choose to enroll in the Graduate Diploma Program or may choose to take selected courses.

Through enrolment in the CBS program, students will learn comprehensive strategies for formulating client problems and choosing treatment interventions, increase their contacts with other professionals, and improve their skills in identifying problems and generating solutions in their personal work settings.

The CBS Program is designed for professionals who are working within the health services field.  Courses are developed for adult learners and have an inter-professional small group approach.

Students represent a wide variety of health-related disciplines and include nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, family practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, and clergy.  Despite their diverse training backgrounds, all learners have a common connection by holding positions that require them to provide assistance and treatment to individuals distressed by social, psychological and biological factors.

The CBS Program provides clinical training to health care professionals.  This allows them to return to their organizations with current knowledge and skills that they can use and apply to their professions and work settings.  The CBS Program has been recognized in Southern Ontario as a premier training opportunity for mental health.


Dr. Elizabeth Pawluk, CBS Director
Dr. Elizabeth Pawluk, CBS Director

Clinical Behavioural Sciences – Graduate Diploma- Courses will be offered online! 

The Clinical Behavioural Sciences (CBS) Program offers Graduate Diploma Degree that is designed to provide registered healthcare professionals working in the mental health field (e.g., nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, physicians) an opportunity to enhance their mental health knowledge and clinical skills. This program is not designed to provide individuals with new credentials. The courses were developed for adult learners and have an inter-professional small group approach.  

The courses instructors are faculty members of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and include experienced clinicians with expertise in providing advanced training to healthcare professionals looking to enhance their clinical skills. 

Mission Statement

To enhance expertise of health professionals providing health-related services to individuals, community organizations and the community.

To provide an innovative, collaborative, specialized and shared educational experience in a supportive atmosphere for our learners.

To offer to learners a distinctive, diverse and interdisciplinary curriculum that enriches and benefits their professional, personal and career goals.

We are currently accepting students for January 2022 start.

Application opens: October 1, 2021

Application closes for Graduate Diploma: December 1, 2021

Application closes for Post Degree: December 1, 2021

 

Admission Criteria 

All applicants (Diploma and Post Degree) must meet the following criteria:  

  1. Applicants must have completed an Honours Bachelor’s degree with at least a B+ average in the final year in all courses in the discipline in which the applicant proposes graduate work.   
  2. Applicants must be currently occupying positions, either full-time or part-time, in counselling, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social services, counselling-related medical and para-medical services, and/or other related clinical health services fields.  
  3. If English is not your native language, an official copy of your TOEFL score, or other evidence of competency in English.  

All applicants (Diploma and Post Degree) must meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicants must have completed an Honours Bachelor’s degree with at least a B+ average in the final year in all courses in the discipline in which the applicant proposes graduate work.
  2. Applicants must be currently occupying positions, either full-time or part-time, in counselling, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social services, counselling-related medical and para-medical services, and/or other related clinical health services fields. 
  3. If English is not your native language, an official copy of your TOEFL score, or other evidence of competency in English.

Graduate Diploma is a part-time program that must be completed within 2 years. Students must successfully complete 12 course units (half course = 3 units; full course = 6 units) from any of our course offerings. Successful completion of a course is a minimum grade of B-.

Students must also complete two mandatory training courses offered by the School of Graduate Studies in their first month of study to be eligible to graduate:

  • SGS 101- Academic Research Integrity and Ethics
  • SGS 201- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities ACT

Examples of Graduate Diploma Students’ timeline and courses completed:

Specific focus in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:

Year 1 Fall semester: CBS 720 - Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (3 units)
Year 1 Winter semester: CBS 721- Advanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (3–units)
Year 2 Summer/Fall Semester: CBS 722-Consultation in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (6-Units)

Example – General Interest:

Year 1 Fall semester: CBS 708 - Mindfulness Applications for Health Care (3 units)
Year 1 Winter semester: CBS 751 - Introduction to Group Facilitation (3 units;)
Year 2 Fall semester: CBS 760 - Introduction to Motivational Interviewing (3 units)
Year 2 Winter semester: CBS 761 - Advanced Motivational Interviewing (3 units)

Tuition fees for the program are paid per course. Please refer to the Office of the Registrar webpage for current fees, Graduate Programs – Course based or Professional Programs.

 

Courses - Please note that not all courses are offered each year, please contact cbs@mcmaster.ca for current course offerings

 

All Diploma students are required to take two online courses in their first month of study:

  • SGS 101-- Academic Research Integrity and Ethics
  • SGS 201—Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
708/Mindfulness Applications for Health Care (3 units)
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Mindfulness is a non-judgmental way of paying attention in the present moment. It may reduce emotional reactivity and negative thinking, increasing resilience and enhancing the ability to choose how to respond to difficult situations. This course will focus on developing an understanding of the application of mindfulness interventions for health care populations. The emphasis will be on developing familiarity with leading and facilitating mindfulness practices. Based on mindfulness based cognitive therapy traditions, participants will first participate in the mindfulness intervention, followed by discussion of the practice and the methodology for teaching the practice

*715/Introduction to Applied Behavioural Analysis and Therapy
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An introduction to the learning and conditioning principles of respondent conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning theory and cognitive psychology upon which behavioural and cognitive behavioural assessment, formulation and therapy is based . Students will be introduced to basic assessment and formulation skills.

*718/Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
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This course is designed to teach the basic philosophy, behaviour change procedures and techniques of ACT with a focus on the core therapeutic processes of ACT. Upon successful completion of the course students will acquire a working knowledge and the skills of ACT as applied to individuals, couples and families

720/Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (3 units)
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The student will acquire the basic knowledge and skill that will prepare them to train as an independent Cognitive Behavioural therapist. In addition, the student will be exposed to basic learning and behavioural change principles in order to develop case formulations and develop a treatment plan.

Students must receive a grade of B on all evaluation components to pass the course.

*721/Advanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
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The student will participate in a cognitive behavioural therapy group for 12-16 weeks. The student will participate as a co-therapist. They will both observe as well as demonstrate cognitive behavioural therapy strategies.

Prerequisite*720 and assessment of eligibility.

722/Consultation in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (6 units)
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Individually tutored application of 720 Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, 721 Advanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy knowledge and skills, plus introduction of more specialized concepts and methods for the disorder that the student has chosen to focus. This course will focus on only one disorder for which the treatment will be repeated. Clinical case consultation is offered for Depression (adolescent and adult population) and Anxiety Disorders (adolescents and adult population social phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, only).

Prerequisite *721 and assessment of eligibility (Students must have their own clients, two cases, 10 weeks each (consecutively), and bring their own course material

730/Introduction to Family Concepts
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This course serves as an introduction to understanding family systems and learning the relevant concepts to assess family functioning. The development of the family and models of understanding the family system (culture, structure, communication, intergenerational issues) will be reviewed. Students will learn the patterns to look for in family assessment and through role-plays and case examples will develop their perceptual and conceptual skills.

760/Introduction to Motivational Interviewing (3 units)
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This course will focus on understanding the theoretical underpinnings and evidence supporting the use of this integrated set of interviewing skills for clients who are ambivalent about change. Students will participate in pairs and small inter-professional groups to develop and practice beginning and advanced motivational interviewing skills through discussion, case studies and practice in class.

Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA)

 

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