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Course Title

Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Foundations

Previously named:

Counseling Theory: Cognitive Behavior Therapy Foundations

Course Number

ISCA 801

Course Overview

The aim of this course is to deepen the theoretical knowledge and familiarity of school counselors in evidence based counseling practices and learn age-appropriate practical skills to use with youth in a school setting – specifically related to the interchange of emotions, behaviors, and cognitions. This experiential course is designed to provide a foundational understanding of CBT and how to implement the cognitive behavioral approach in an educational setting. Counselors will leave with new skills to target emotion regulation, behavioral management, stress and anxiety, and cognitive flexibility that can be used immediately in their school counseling program.

Social Emotional Domain

SE:A1:1: Students will Identify personal values, attitudes, and beliefs

SE:A1:2 Students will Identify and express feelings and emotions

SE:A1:3 Students will develop self-awareness and self-management skills essential for mental health

SE:A1:4 Students will take action (individually or with support) to positively impact one’s own mental health

SE:A1:5 Students will describe the relationship between feelings and behavior

SE:A1:6 Students will develop healthy ways to identify, express, and respond to one’s emotions

B-PF 1. Apply developmental, learning, counseling and education theories:

c. Use established and emerging evidence-based counseling theories and techniques that are effective in a school setting to promote academic, career and social/emotional development, including but not limited to rational emotive behavior therapy, reality therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, Adlerian, solution-focused brief counseling, person-centered counseling and family systems

d. Use counseling theories and techniques in individual, small-group, classroom and large-group settings to promote academic, career and social/emotional development (ASCA Professional Standards & Competencies 2019)

Intended Audience

This course is suitable for counselors new to international school counseling as well as for those who have years of experience and want to learn more about CBT. *To note for counselors in early learning school settings: CBT is helpful for all ages, but it’s especially effective for kids 10 and up.

Essential Questions

  • How are thought patterns connected to student behavior and emotions?
  • How might I apply Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tools to my current school setting/caseload?
  • What does cognitive behavioral intervention look like in a classroom setting?
  • What students would benefit from these skills and what cultural considerations are needed?
  • How can I explain the CBT approach to teachers and parents?



Participants will have knowledge about:

Participants will be able to:

  • The CBT theoretical model.
  • What types of social emotional problems is CBT effective for?
  • Evidence for the effectiveness of CBT with children and teens.
  • Core principles and concepts in CBT
  • Explaining CBT concepts to children using books, guided exercises and worksheets, videos and role play activities
  • Managing common obstacles when implementing CBT intervention
  • Implement emotional, behavioral and cognitive strategies in their tired interventions
  • Integrate other modalities, such as mindfulness into sessions.
  • utilize strategies to make CBT tools culturally responsive.
  • Provide psychoeducation to parents about CBT and its benefits to young people’s adaptive adjustment.
  • Sharpen their ability to collaborate with external therapists and develop referral pathways
  • Problem solve when obstacles arise when implementing a CBT intervention with young people

About the Facilitator

Sarah Petrou

Sarah Petrou is a Social Worker and psychological counselor from Australia, currently residing in Berlin. For the past 5 years, Sarah has been providing psychological support in tertiary mental health settings, universities, schools, and private practice.

Sarah holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychological Science and a Master's degree in Social Work from Australia. Sarah works from a strengths-based perspective and uses a blended approach in sessions, drawing upon a range of therapies and frameworks.

Dates and times of offerings

January 30, February 6 and 13, 2025 - 9:00AM to 12:00PM UTC

Contact hours

9 hours

Time commitment between sessions

It is highly recommended that you practice the skills you will be utilizing, so a logical time commitment is 1-2 hours between sessions. We will dedicate time to reviewing your interventions for learning and problem solving.

Required Resource(s)

There will be recommended readings via Canvas.


American School Counselor Association (2019). ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies. Alexandria, VA: Author.

Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders / Aaron Beck

Reflection in CBT / Beverley Haarhoff

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