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Open group cognitive behaviour therapy on acute in-patient units

Boynton, Victoria; Sanderson, Christopher


Victoria Boynton

Christopher Sanderson


Background: Adult mental health in-patient units primarily provide a service for people deemed to be at significant risk to themselves or others, where treatment cannot be provided safely in the community. Whilst psychological interventions are indicated during episodes of acute mental distress, they are often psychoeducational and skills-based in nature. A common complaint amongst those admitted is the lack of psychological provision at a time of crisis when they most need to make sense of their difficulties Aims: This article reports on service users' experiences of open group cognitive behavioural therapy where participants choose the therapeutic targets. Method: A total of 75 patients admitted to acute in-patient wards over a 6-month period accessed open group cognitive therapy as part of routine care. Participants completed an evaluation questionnaire that measured their experiences of the group and the usefulness of them within an in-patient setting. Results: A total of 27 participants completed anonymous questionnaires (36%) and the results indicated that participants felt understood, respected and accepted within the group and felt that the group setting was helpful for sharing experiences. In addition, all participants reported that following the group they would be more likely to access psychological therapies in the future. Conclusions: Open group therapy where participants define the therapeutic targets each session is feasible and achievable on acute in-patient units and patients report finding this useful.


Boynton, V., & Sanderson, C. (2021). Open group cognitive behaviour therapy on acute in-patient units. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 16, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 20, 2021
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Feb 15, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 21, 2022
Journal Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Print ISSN 1352-4658
Electronic ISSN 1469-1833
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords CBT; Group psychotherapy; In-patient CBT
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