Debbie Nifakis, EdD, Chair, CBS Program, Assistant Professor (PT), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University
Established in 1968, the Clinical Behavioural Sciences Program, offered through the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, has grown and changed over the years to meet the needs of our students. What started as five basic studies areas grew to include a variety of courses tailored to foster an understanding of mental health models of practice and to provide enhanced psychotherapy training to practitioners in the mental health field. Teaching emphasis is on the development of skills and the 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, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, family practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, clergy, child care workers and clinical managers. Despite these diverse backgrounds, all learners have a common bond 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 professionals.