Case Study - Andrew Beck
Although traditionally our staff volunteering abroad fall into
the physical health category, Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr
Andrew Beck has bucked the trend by training staff in Chennai,
South India to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to treat
mental health patients.
Having worked at the organisation for eight years, Andrew who is
based at Salford CAMHS at Pendleton Gateway has helped establish a
training programme in India.
Andrew said: "There is wide recognition that the nature of the
relationship between thought and suffering within CBT can be traced
to Buddhist traditions developed in India 2,500 years ago. Yet
there has been little CBT development within Indian mental health
services. A recent review identified only 40 papers on Behaviour
Therapy or CBT in Indian journals since the 1940s. The majority of
these were single case reports and although the topic is covered on
some mental health training programmes there are no specialist CBT
courses running in India."
He added: "There have been several prominent academics and
practitioners in the field of mental health in India calling
for greater investment in training in CBT over the past few years.
Although pockets of expertise do exist amongst therapists generally
trained in the UK or USA, there is no structure of accreditation,
supervision or training for therapists."
Staff from our
organisation and the Salford Cognitive Therapy Training Centre have
been working with Dr Virudhagirinathan and colleagues at the CARE
Institute of Behaviour Science in Chennai to develop a modular
training programme, using UK trainers to develop Indian expertise
with a view towards making the country self-sufficient in CBT
within five years.
In one of five visits by our staff, Andrew ran two introductory
days on CBT for over 40 mental health staff in Chennai in
collaboration with the CARE. He said: "Initial feedback was very
good and there was a consensus amongst participants of a clear need
for further training and that the model suited the Indian mental
A five day workshop was also run in Chennai, which is the first
part of a modular programme of training based on the curriculum
developed by Salford and guided by the BABCP Core Curriculum
Reference Document. This was so successful that a five day follow
on course was also organised. Over the next five years, the plan is
for several staff from Salford and our organisation will volunteer
their time to provide training modules to Indian mental health
staff working with children and adults towards international
standards of training and qualification.
It is hoped that the formation of an Indian Association of
Cognitive Behaviour Therapists will be a platform for developing
strong links with British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive
Therapists. The programme will also be an opportunity for CBT
therapists from the UK to develop skills in using the therapy in
cross-cultural contexts, enhancing their own therapeutic work with
diverse ethnic communities here.
Andrew said: "The quality of trainees on the courses so far and
their thoughtful approach to using these therapy ideas in an Indian
context have been extremely stimulating, as well as improving my
own practice as a therapist and trainer. The scale of developing
CBT in such a vast country poses considerable challenges and I am
very exited about the prospect of developing online resources using
the expertise already developed within the Trust as a way of
meeting some of the training needs there"
programme has attracted considerable support from both the British
High Commission and the British Council who appreciate that the UK
is a world centre of excellence in CBT training. There has also
been significant media interest including coverage on state
television and in all major newspapers in India. An academic paper
evaluating the training programme is currently in preparation.
There are high hopes for the future of this programme which is
currently looking for funding and partners to develop RCT in India.
Although many staff are willing to volunteer, the team are looking
for new partners in India to increase capacity for training. They
are also organising a 'Training CBT in Low and Middle Income
countries' Special Interest Group of the BABCP with a launch
conference in Manchester for 2014.