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Enhancing Cognition and Function in Older Patients with Schizophrenia: A Focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Social Skills Training

Description and Learning Objectives

Improving social, behavioral, and vocational functioning has become an important target of treatment for people with serious mental illness. Building upon two strong and previously validated evidence-based practices, Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training (CBSST) combines cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), social skills training (SST) and problem solving skills to target functional impairments
CBSST is a manualized, but flexible, intervention that teaches cognitive thought challenging skills, behavioral coping strategies, social functioning skills, problem-solving, and compensatory aids for neurocognitive impairments. Consisting of 24 to 36 weeks of weekly 2-hour group or individual psychotherapy sessions, CBSST targets the range of multidimensional deficits that can lead to functional disability in people with serious mental illness.CBSST is guided by a treatment manual that describes each skill and includes at-home practice assignments to facilitate the learning and daily implementation of the skills.
Recent advances in Cognitive Remediation (CR) demonstrate that this treatment improves neurocognitive abilities and enhances the capacity to acquire new functional skills. Computer software delivers exercises that are titrated to adapt to the patient’s cognitive gains while therapists support the development of flexible thinking strategies and mechanisms for transferring the cognitive gains to everyday functioning.
Assuming basic CBT knowledge, the afternoon workshop will focus on the application of CBT with individuals with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders in both group and individual format.
The primary goal of this workshop is to train clinicians to deliver newly developed psychosocial interventions, with a focus on CBSST, to systematically help people with serious mental illness achieve their personal recovery goals. It will also provide an opportunity to be exposed to CR and CBT and their application to patients with serious mental illness.

Target Audience

Clinicians dealing with clients with serious mental illness.



Thursday October 9 and Friday October 10, 2014.

Registration starts at 8:30 am and the course begins at 9:00 am. Finishing each day at 5:00 pm.

College Street United Church

454 College Street, Toronto, ON
Corner of Bathurst Street and College Street

Delivery Method​

In Class


Professional Participant Rate: $275.00

Student Participant Rate: $200.00

Cancellations and Refunds

A $100.00 handling fee will be deducted upon cancellation. Refund requests by fax or email must be received 2 weeks before start date. In addition, The fees are non transferable.

Cancellation of Courses

Should this course be cancelled for any reason CAMH is not responsible for lost monies for accommodations, flights or other incidentals.​


Dr. Eric Granholm

Dr. Granholm is Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1991 at UCLA and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. At UCLA, he conducted research on neuropsychology, social skills training and family therapy for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Since joining the faculty at UCSD, Dr. Granholm has been an active basic and clinical researcher in the areas of social skills training, cognitive behavioral therapy for psychosis, and cognitive neuropsychology in people with schizophrenia. He developed and has conducted NIMH-funded and VA-funded clinical trials of Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training (CBSST) for schizophrenia. He has over 100 publications and has been an investigator on 16 federal and private foundation grants to study psychosocial interventions and neurocognition in schizophrenia.

Dr. Jason Holden

Jason L. Holden, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and clinical trials researcher with Dr. Granholm at the University of California, San Diego. He received a Master’s Degree in Clinical Health Psychology and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology and completed pre- doctoral internships at Naval Medical Center – San Diego and Rady’s Children Hospital. Dr. Holden has been providing clinical services to individuals with psychosis for over eight years and has received extensive training in cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills training, and other evidence-based practices. Dr. Holden’s research experience has included the development and implementation of treatment interventions for psychosis and the assessment of functioning. He was a co-investigator on two CBSST clinical trials, a CBSST therapist in these trials, and a supervisor and trainer of CBSST therapists.

Dr. Chris Bowie

Christopher R. Bowie, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, and a member of the Centre for Neuroscience Studies, at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He is the Head Consulting Psychologist for the Head’s Up Early Psychosis Intervention Program in Kingston and a Clinician Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. His research interests focus on the determining the causes and correlates, and developing treatments for, cognitive deficits in chronic mental disorders such as schizophrenia and major affective disorders. He completed his Ph.D. at Hofstra University with Drs. Mark Serper and Philip Harvey and was awarded the Association for Psychological Science’s award for Top Ranked Thesis. After his doctoral internship at the Clinical Neuroscience Center of Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, he did post-doctoral training with Dr. Barbara Cornblatt where he supervised neuropsychological testing and studied cognitive treatment outcomes in adolescents at risk for psychosis, earning a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD). Dr. Bowie then took an academic appointment at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and continued to study the functional consequences of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia before moving to Queen’s in 2008. He has been awarded two additional NARSAD Awards to study of cognitive remediation in schizophrenia and recently received the Top-Ranked Young Investigator Fellow at the annual Winter Brain Conference. He is the author of over 100 peer reviewed scientific publications and several books and book chapters on cognition in chronic mental illness. Currently he is leading multiple trials of cognitive remediation for chronic mental disorders and studying early intervention for psychosis.

Dr. Petal Abdool

Dr. Abdool is a Staff Psychiatrist in the Geriatric Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and a clinical lecturer at the University of  Toronto. She is also the lead psychiatrist at the Stepping Stones Project which offers transitional housing to Geriatric Patients with chronic mental illness. She has a great interest in psychosocial interventions for those with chronic mental illness and educational research. She graduated from the University of the West Indies and completed her residency training at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Tarek K. Rajji

Dr. Rajji was appointed Chief in Geriatric Psychiatry at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in September 2012. Dr. Rajji is also a clinician scientist and Medical Head of Geriatric Outpatient Clinics and Services at CAMH, and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto

Dr. Rajji obtained his M.D. from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He completed residency in general psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and clinical training in geriatric psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh. In 2006, he joined CAMH and the University of Toronto as a research fellow in geriatric psychiatry and then as a clinician scientist and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in December 2009. He was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2013. Dr. Rajji is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with subspecialty in Geriatric Psychiatry.

Dr. Rajji was the lead geriatric psychiatrist on several clinical initiatives at CAMH prior to assuming the roles of Chief and Medical Head. He also received numerous research awards and honors. His research is supported by private, provincial, federal, national, and international agencies.

Dr. Rajji focuses on restoring brain function in older patients with severe mental illness and Alzheimer’s disease. Towards this goal, he combines brain stimulation, cognitive, functional, and pharmacological methods to study and enhance neuroplasticity across the lifespan with a special focus on late life.

Dr. Yarissa Herman

Dr. Yarissa Herman is a Psychologist in the Schizophrenia Division of the Complex Mental Illness Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The focus of her clinical and research work is the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based interventions for individuals with severe mental illness and concurrent substance use disorders. Dr. Herman provides training and supervision across a number of therapeutic modalities including cognitive behaviour therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.   
Dr. Faye Doell

Dr. Faye Doell is clinical lead of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Service in the Complex Mental Illness Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from York University in 2010. Dr. Doell’s clinical experience includes work and training with a wide range of treatment approaches and client populations, with an emphasis on treating adults suffering with severe and persistent mental illness. In her role as clinical lead of the CBT Service in the Complex Mental Illness Program at CAMH, she has been responsible for the development and implementation of group-based and individual treatment interventions for individuals with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and for the supervision and training of clinicians in the provision of CBT for psychosis.


  • Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada – 12.0 Section 1 credits
  • The College of Family Physicians of Canada -12.0  Mainpro-M1 credits


University of Toronto​


Registration Closed

Cancellations and Refunds
 A $100.00 handling fee will be deducted upon cancellation. Refund requests by fax or email must be received 2 weeks before start date.
Cancellation of Courses
CAMH reserves the right to cancel any program due to under-enrolment, or any course due to work stoppages, instructor illness or inclement weather. If a course is cancelled CAMH is responsible for refunding only the course fee.



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