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Trainees’ experience of cognitive behavioural therapy training: a mixed methods systematic review

  • Hannah Jenkins (a1), Louise Waddington (a1), Nicola Thomas (a2) and Dougal Julian Hare (a1)

Research in the field of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has primarily focused on the acquisition and development of skills and competence. Little is known regarding the experience of training from trainees’ perspectives. This systematic review aimed to review and critique the research conducted on the experience of CBT training. Four electronic databases were searched for published studies reporting on the experience of CBT training. Thirteen articles were selected based on pre-determined inclusion and exclusion criteria and were assessed for quality using the Quality Assessment Tool for Studies with Diverse Designs (QATSDD; Sirriyeh et al., 2012). Due to the lack of consistency in the study designs and outcome measures used, a narrative synthesis of the findings was conducted. Findings were categorized within three themes for synthesis: ‘experience of benefit’, ‘internal processes of engagement’ and ‘external influences on engagement’. Overall, this review was able to draw conclusions regarding the experiences of aspects of CBT training from relatively good quality research. However, the review also highlights the lack of studies exploring specific hypotheses regarding the experience of training.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Hannah Jenkins, Swn-y-Gwynt Resource Centre, Tirydail Lane, Ammanford SA18 3AS (email:
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the Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
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