Centre for Continuing Education

Changing Your Thinking Course

Psychology. Explore the human mind.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses both online and in-person. Please check the delivery format for each class before you enrol.

Please note that course materials for all classes (excluding prescribed textbooks) are shared electronically within 48 hours of a course starting. Printing is not available.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is based on the idea that feelings such as anxiety, depression, anger, guilt and frustration are largely caused by our own thoughts and beliefs, and that changing the way we think enables us to change the way we feel. Learn to identify the patterns of thinking that contribute to upsetting emotions, and learn strategies to help you challenge and change negative thoughts and self-defeating behaviours.

This interactive program will describe the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy model of psychology and invite you to reflect on your own experiences in relation to the presented material. Topics covered will be expanded upon by a variety of group and class discussions, which in conjunction with some homework exercises, aim to reinforce the strategies taught in the program.

A student manual provided at the start of the program provides summary notes and exercises for each session.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the basic principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as an approach to dealing with upsetting emotions
  • apply a number of strategies based upon this approach to deal with the challenges that arise in your own life.


Introduction to CBT

  • The A-B-C model of thoughts and feelings
  • Basic principles of CBT
  • Learning to monitor thoughts
  • Common irrational beliefs

Disputing negative thoughts

  • Tyranny of the 'shoulds'
  • Common faulty thinking patterns
  • Introduction to logical disputing
  • Introduction to persuasive disputing

Managing anger

  • Logical disputing (continued)
  • Persuasive disputing (continued)
  • Managing acute anger episodes
  • Managing short-term and long-term anger

Behavioural strategies | Mindfulness

  • Behavioural disputing for changing beliefs
  • Review of strategies learned to date
  • Introduction to mindfulness techniques
  • Combining CBT with mindfulness

Managing anxiety

  • Anxiety as a personality trait versus temporary state
  • The role of behaviours in maintaining anxiety
  • Mental hygiene strategies for managing anxiety
  • Behavioural strategies for managing anxiety

Beating the blues

  • The nature of depression versus depressed mood
  • The role of rumination and depressive thinking
  • Strategies for resolving depression: behavioural, cognitive, mindfulness
  • Relapse prevention

Maintaining healthy self-esteem

  • Factors that affect self-esteem – historic, internal and external
  • Cognitive and behavioural habits that maintain low self-esteem
  • Cognitive strategies for enhancing self-esteem
  • Behavioural and experiential strategies for enhancing self-esteem

Building resilience

  • Resilience – the effects of lifestyle habits
  • Taking charge – setting and achieving goals for positive change
  • Review of key messages of this course: maintaining the gains
  • Conclusions

Delivery style

This course is delivered over eight weekly sessions of 2 hours.

Recommended reading

The following text is recommended (optional):

Edelman, S. 2013, Change Your Thinking, 3rd ed, ABC Books, Sydney.


Summary notes and exercises are provided in class.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Free, expert advice
  • Course notes – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • I loved this course. Each week I took away something different, which I am now using in my everyday life and it has been life-changing for me. I have already recommended the course to a handful of people. The presenter was engaging, relatable and very approachable.

  • The course was very informative and well-planned with each of the 8 weekly sessions complimenting the preceding session. The theory was extended to practical applications and participants were given the opportunity to engage in the discussions. Self disclosure was optional. In my view, completion of the weekly homework tasks is essential to optimally learning and practicing CBT. The tutor was an extremely competent and approachable facilitator.

  • This excellent course changed my way of thinking, and I now feel I have more control over the quality of my life. The presenter makes each class very stimulating. The exercises and homework, plus reading the book, helped to reinforce what I learnt each week. I highly recommend this course.

  • I have applied some of the information learned during this course to my own circumstances, and with very positive results.

  • A fantastic facilitator. I would highly recommend this course to anyone. It’s the first course I have done whereby I was excited to go to the course the following week as it was such fun learning. I really enjoyed the style of teaching, this presenter is an absolute credit to your establishment.

  • The course was well structured and gave me a great introduction and insight into my own thought process and resulting behaviors.

  • The course content and teaching was absolutely fantastic. I got so much out of the course which was also really enjoyable. The other attendees were from a wide range of professions and stages of life, which just goes to show that this topic is pertinent and useful for anybody. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the course to anyone at any age who is interested in improving their quality of life through better management of their own thoughts and mind. I would gladly enrol in further courses with this tutor.

  • Change Your Thinking was a fantastic course and the presenter has so much knowledge and experience to share. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learnt a great deal through the content, the resource materials, the opportunity to talk with others and mostly listening to the presenter!

  • Such a fantastic teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learnt many critical life skills. I didn’t want it to end!

  • The presenter is an extremely knowledgeable and inspiring tutor who is able to make often difficult topics easy to grasp and relate to. I learnt a lot along the way, and I looked forward to each class. The time went so quickly and I am very happy that I signed up for these classes.

  • A fantastic teacher, so knowledgeable and experienced on the course content. It was actually sad when the course finished! Skills I have gained from the course certainly will help me moving ahead in life!

  • Very good course. The tutor is excellent. The course is prepared and presented very well with comprehensive notes.

  • This course has a fantastic teacher, I only regret not having done the course sooner. Highly recommended.

  • This course had the perfect balance of tutor input, whole group discussion and small group exercises. The presenter was excellent!

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the well planned and presented course. The facilitator is a wonderfully clear communicator and generous in sharing knowledge and answering questions.

  • My thanks to the presenter – the group work with our community is fantastic!

  • This was my first time attending a course at the Uni and I was extremely impressed with all aspects of the course. An excellent tutor who really involved the whole group in the discussions. The atmosphere was relaxed and the group was very friendly, making it easy for even the more self-conscious of us to contribute to the class. I am keen to find another course to attend very soon!

  • Great course – very knowledgeable tutor. They managed to create very friendly and comfortable atmosphere in the class. Most importantly, this course is very practical and Im already applying a number of things in daily life.

  • The tutor is brilliant. They run a worthy course that is delivered in an expert yet friendly manner. A must for anybody who is interested in enhancing their perspective on life.

  • An amazing lecturer that had the ability to provide me with useful coping tools in my life.

What others say.

  • The course was well structured and gave me a great introduction and insight into my own thought process and resulting behaviors.
  • An excellent teacher whose expertise in this field of interest shined through with engaging teaching and classes.
  • The tutor is brilliant. They run a worthy course that is delivered in an expert yet friendly manner. A must for anybody who is interested in enhancing their perspective on life.
We acknowledge the tradition of custodianship and law of the Country on which the University of Sydney campuses stand. We pay our respects to those who have cared and continue to care for the Country.