McMaster University

McMaster University

Clinical Behavioural Sciences Program

Course Offerings

The Curriculum has been designed to provide training for students at various levels of expertise in each of the course areas. Progress from one level to the next is contingent on the student having satisfied the academic and clinical objectives of the previous level. Classes run part time, normally, once per week.


The FHS Safety Office has provided the following information regarding WHMIS training for graduate students:

The schedule for Core WHIMS is posted on our web page, the link is here.

There is an online Core WHMIS.

EOHSS also puts on Core WHMIS training and their schedule is posted here.  It will be updated as new sessions are available.


Course Schedule 2017-2018


* Courses are half (3-unit) courses.

Note: Not all courses are offered in a given year. Please consult the department for current offerings.

*704/Selected Studies in Acquired Brain Injury

This course is for Health care professionals working the hospital and/or community based Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) programs.   This inter-professional course exposes students to selected topics in ABI.

*706/Clinical Supervision

This course provides participants with an introduction to the basic principles and techniques of clinical supervision, including theories, models of supervision, legal, ethical and professional issues.  Theory and skills are geared to individuals who provide therapy supervision in a clinical setting and want to further their development as supervisors.

*708/Mindfulness Applications for Health Care

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

*709/Understanding Organizations, Building Leadership from Within

This introductory course in Understanding Organizations will provide students with a model and tools to assess organizations and will introduce them to major concepts in the field of organization behaviour. Students will discover and apply concepts of how organizations function.

*710/Understanding Organizations, Leading Change & Transition

Building on the concepts, theories and themes introduced in 709, students will research and apply a change management methodology to formulate a planned change project that is relevant and applicable to their organization.

Prerequisite *709

711/ Understanding Organizations, Knowledge Translation & Application through Research

This level provides an integration of understanding by applying the breadth of knowledge obtained in 709 & 710. Students will choose a specific area of disruptive innovation in their organizational setting

Prerequisite *710

*715/Introduction to Applied Behavioural Analysis and Therapy

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.


*716/Advanced Applied Behavioural Analysis and Therapy

An introduction to the basic principles and techniques of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Behaviour Therapy as applied to various clinical populations, including, for example, autism spectrum disorder, developmental disability and acquired brain injury. Its application to major diagnostic categories such as anxiety and depression as well as problems of everyday life such as stress, anger and social skills will be explored.

Prerequisite *715

717/Supervision in Applied Behavioural Analysis and Therapy

This course content is negotiated based on faculty and student interest. Content areas may include but are not limited to, Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) in autism spectrum disorder, developmental disability and brain injury rehabilitation.

Supervision of clinical work will be done on an individual regularly scheduled basis and evaluations of supervised work will constitute the final grade.

Prerequisite *716

*718/Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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

Prerequisite *715

Students who do not meet the above requirements may be nrolled in the course with the Director's permission


*720/Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

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.

*721/Advanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

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.


722/Supervision in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Individually tutored application of 720, 721 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. Supervision offered for: depression – adolescent and adult population and Anxiety Disorders – adolescents and adult population (e.g., 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, and bring their own course material)

*723/Introduction to CBT for Chronic Pain

Understanding the experience and impact of chronic pain through use of the cognitive behavioural model in addition to other empirically supported theoretical models (e.g., biopsychosocial model, gate-control theoretical model). In-depth learning/understanding of assessment techniques and cognitive and behavioural treatment strategies for the management of chronic pain as well as mood disturbances (e.g., depression, anxiety, anger) that often result from pain conditions, in both adults and seniors.

Prerequisite *720

*724/Advanced CBT for Chronic Pain

Application of *723 knowledge and skills in the implementation of chronic pain management. Students will provide treatment both in the form of a group and individual therapy to patients who have chronic pain conditions that are interfering with their functioning (e.g., pain from an injury, arthritis, chronic regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc.). The student will participate in one CBT group for pain management (lasting 6 sessions/weeks in duration) and be supervised on one individual case lasting 6 sessions/weeks, consecutively.

Prerequisite *723. This course is designed for students who are experienced clinical therapists. Pre-screening by the course coordinator will be conducted.

725/Supervision of CBT for Chronic Pain

Acquire advanced skill in treating chronic pain with an individual over a longer period of time (12 sessions).

Prerequisite *724. This course is designed for students who are experienced clinical therapists. Pre-screening by the course coordinator will be conducted.

*726/Introduction to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Review of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy formulations of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  In-depth learning of key Cognitive Behavioural treatment techniques for single-incident traumas.

Prerequisite *720 & *721

*727/Advanced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Review differences in the cognitive behavioural formulations of single-incident versus complex posttraumatic stress disorder. Learn how to supplement Prolonged Exposure (PE) strategies with other techniques tailored to the specific needs of those individuals who have experienced multiple/ chronic traumatic stressors.  Contrast PE with other empirically validated treatment protocols, including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR).  Acquire skill in the effective response to the unique challenges faced by treatment providers of complex trauma, including responding to Axis-II comorbidity, managing suicidality, appropriate goal setting, etc.

Prerequisite *726  Pre-screening by the course coordinator will be conducted. This course is designed or students who are skilled in the treatment of single-incident traumas and who wish to pursue more in depth knowledge of complex traumas.

728/Supervision of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

 Individually tutored application of 726, 727 knowledge and skills in the implementation of Prolonged Exposure.  Students will provide treatment to an individual who has experienced a single-incident traumatic stressor (e.g., rape, traumatic injury within the workplace, motor vehicle accident, etc.). This level may be repeated so that skills in applying Prolonged Exposure can be consolidated. The student will be tutored on two cases.

Prerequisite *727and/or equivalent experience.  This course is designed for students who are experienced therapists.  Pre-screening by the course coordinator will be conducted.

*730/Introduction to Family Assessment Concepts

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.

Prerequisite — an asset to have *770, or to have some exposure to developmental theories

*731/Advanced Family Therapy Formulation

This course extends the knowledge and skills of the Family Concepts course.  Students will learn to integrate the concepts learned in the previous course to formulating functioning and problems in families.  Students will identify the processes and transactional patterns within a family system to complete a full family assessment and formulation using a systems perspective.  Students will consider the impact of various factors on the family system (the family's strengths, changes in the family system, illness, violence), recognize when family therapy is needed, and begin to identify family therapy treatment goals.

Prerequisite *730

732/Supervision in Family Therapy Treatment

Building on the foundations of assessing family systems, this course will help students to improve their skills in recognizing and describing patterns in the family and facilitating family interventions.  Under individual and group supervision, students will consider family member interactions and transactions, the impact of the family on the therapist, the experience of being drawn into the family system.  Readings on special topics in working with families will be integrated into the didactic portions of the course concurrent with the practical experiences of working with families.

Prerequisite *731

*740/Introduction to Seniors Mental Health

This course is designed to enhance the students’ skills to communicate with and support Seniors with mental health issues including emotional distress and behavioural challenges. Students will gain knowledge and the application of this knowledge, including the limits of it as it related to areas of Seniors Mental Health. The student will increase and enhance their assessment skills related to Seniors mental health conditions including symptoms, risk and treatment options. Students will enhance communication skills with clients and other health care providers. Students will gain knowledge and skills related to interpersonal communication including self-awareness, therapeutic relationships, and the essential of skilled helping

This course is recognized as an elective in the Geriatric Certificate Program,


*741/Seniors Mental Health Level II

This course is designed to teach students the basic principles of supportive psychotherapy as specifically applied to the problems of the older adult. The course will use analysis of case transcripts/case studies, role-playing, critical reflective practices and assignments.

Prerequisite *740

*750/Introduction to Group Facilitation

Group work has been demonstrated to be an effective way of providing service to clients. This course examines group work practice by exploring a range of theoretical concept, frameworks and skills.

*751/Advanced Group Facilitation

The course will focus on the development and practice of group leadership skills through lectures and the provision of opportunities for in-class, experiential learning.  Students will participate in small groups to develop specific skills for effective group leadership.

Prerequisite *750

*760/Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

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.

*761/Advanced Motivational Interviewing

This course will expect that learners understand the theoretical underpinnings and evidence supporting the use of this therapeutic approach for clients who are ambivalent about change.  Students will further develop advanced practice and motivational interviewing skills through discussion, case studies and practice in class.

Prerequisite *760

770/Introduction to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Understanding and Using the Therapeutic Relationship

This is an introductory course to key concepts in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and the Psychotherapeutic relationship.  The overall objective is for students to gain a basic understanding of key concepts and clinical techniques of psychodynamic psychotherapy.  This includes the examination of the effects that early experience has in shaping who we are and impacting our interpersonal relationships.    Students will become familiar with the features of conducting a psychodynamic assessment with an emphasis on the centrality of the therapeutic relationship

*771/Advanced Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Understanding and Using the Therapeutic Relationship

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Level 2 focuses on assessment and psychodynamic formulation. Clinical material is provided by the tutor.  The material is drawn from movies and TV shows. The group jointly forms their understanding about the client, based on the psychodynamic concepts learned in 770.

Prerequisite *770

772/Supervision in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy-Understanding and Using the Therapeutic Relationship

The objective is for the student to enhance their clinical skills.  Weekly supervision is provided.  Attention is paid to assessment, formulation, therapeutic relationship, transference, counter-transference and use of self.

Prerequisite *771. Student must have at least one long-term clinical case where there is ongoing weekly counselling for the twenty-week duration.

773/Supervision of Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depression

IPT is a short term contractual "here and now" focused psychotherapy that focuses on two main goals: 1) the relief of depressive symptoms; and 2) the individual's adaptation to the social and interpersonal circumstances associated with the onset of the depression.  The emphasis of IPT is to facilitate restoration of the client's previous level of functioning

Prerequisite *771. Students must have their own clients, 2 cases for 16 weeks of supervision.

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