Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) is an individualized, first-line intervention for adults with schizophrenia and other serious mental illness (Kingdon & Turkington, 2005Wood et al., 2013). Despite an evidence base that spans more than 20 years, CBT for psychosis is not widely available in community mental health settings in the United States. Nationally, it’s estimated that only 0.1% of all licensed clinicians in the United States are trained in CBTp (Mueser & Noordsy, 2015), and no national standards exist by which to gauge use and proficiency.

A recent analysis by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy found that Washington has one of the highest prevalence rates for adults with mental health disorders in the country, with nearly 7% (or roughly 478,102 Washingtonians) meeting criteria for a serious mental illness (SMI; Burley & Scott, 2015). There are nearly 60,000 Washingtonians who are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Prior to 2015, CBT for psychosis was unavailable among the state’s 375 community mental health agencies and, if resources did exist, few people knew where to access it. Recognizing this unmet need within the State, in 2014 Dr. Monroe-DeVita secured funding from the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) and an anonymous donor to begin to train the Washington State mental health workforce in CBTp. In 2015, Dr. Kopelovich joined the UW implementation team and successfully renewed the public-private funding that has permitted for a rapid expansion of CBTp dissemination and implementation. 

Presently, more than 130 clinicians across 20 agencies in Washington State have been trained in CBTp. Thirty-four providers have successfully completed certificate requirements, which includes a required number of consultation sessions and CBTp session fidelity review. Currently, 53 additional Washington State mental health providers are enroute to receiving their certificates of completion. The UW CBTp implementation team recognizes that, in order to effectively address the science-to-practice gap, we must exponentially increase the number of trained  CBTp providers while maintaining high standards for competence and adherence. Two recent implementation enhancements permit the expansion of dissemination and implementation efforts: introducing CBTp Stepped Care and the CBTp ECHO Clinic.

For more information, please visit