ONLINE COURSE: Exploring Depression Training in a CBT Programme for Autistic Adolescents and Adults with Depression



  • 5 hours 18 mins
  • 60 days to complete course (from date of purchase) – Extend anytime
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Certificate of completion
  • Suitable for professionals

Goals of this Workshop:

  • For clinicians: To be able to successfully deliver the Exploring Depression programme with an autistic adolescent or adult, in an individual and group format.
  • For autistic adolescents and adults; their parents and/or partners: To deepen understanding of the specific strategies within the Exploring Depression programme and how to apply these in the autistic person’s life successfully.
  • Participants will also increase their understanding about why autistic adolescents and adults are likely to develop signs of depression, how to recognize depression in autism, and how to modify therapy to accommodate the characteristics of autism.

Who will benefit?

  • Clinicians who are trained to deliver therapy, such as psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors, therapists and educators; older adolescents
  • Autistic adults who have depression; family members and carers who support them


Participants will be trained in how to administer the Exploring Depression and Beating the Blues programme, which is a ten-stage programme to treat depression in autistic adolescents and adults. The programme was designed and evaluated by Tony and Michelle. Exploring Depression is based on current research, mindfulness, cognitive and behavioural principles, and a deep understanding of autistic individuals and how they learn and change. Exploring Depression can be delivered as an individual or group therapy programme, or can be utilized as a self-help guide at home, with the assistance of a carer or family member. Whilst this course was designed to train clinicians, it would be beneficial for carers, family members and people with autism to attend. Participants are trained in each of the therapeutic activities that comprise the ten stage programme. Issues that can impede therapy are discussed, and recommended strategies to overcome these barriers are presented.


About the speakers

Prof Tony Attwood PhD With a career spanning five decades, Professor Tony Attwood is considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has an Honour’s degree in Psychology from the University of Hull, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Surrey and a PhD from the University of London. He is currently an adjunct Professor at Griffith University in Queensland. Tony has written many publications on Asperger’s Syndrome. His original book, titled Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals was published in 1998 and has been translated into over 25 languages.

Tony operates a diagnostic and psychological support clinic two days a week for children and adults. He also spends considerable time travelling nationally and internationally to present workshops and seminars.


Dr Michelle Garnett PhD is a clinical psychologist who has specialised in autism for nearly three decades. Her peer-reviewed research has informed understanding of early detection, the female profile and the importance of good mental health for autistic individuals. She has co-authored six highly regarded books on autism, five with Prof Tony Attwood. Her 2018 book with Barb Cook is a seminal work on the female presentation, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism. Her most recent books Having Fun with Feelings on the Autism Spectrum and Ten Steps to Reducing Your Child Anxiety on the Autism Spectrum provide guidance to parents of young children on the autism spectrum.  She regularly provides training to four Australian Universities.


Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of the latest research on autism and depression including studies on the prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation in autistic individuals, treatments including pharmacotherapy, and assessment tools.
  • How to recognize and assess both the conventional signs of depression and the signs of depression specific to autistic adolescents and adults.
  • Increased awareness of aspects of autism that will affect the planning and delivery of therapy such as alexithymia, empathic attunement, camouflaging and concept of self.
  • Understands the reasons an autistic person may develop depression.
  • Knowledge of available resources to facilitate emotion education, communication, and self-regulation relevant to depression, and how to source them.

Who Will Benefit

For clinicians: To be able to successfully deliver the Exploring Depression programme with an autistic adolescent or adult, in an individual and group format.

For autistic individuals and their carers: To deepen understanding of the specific strategies within the Exploring Depression programme and how to apply these in the autistic person’s life successfully.