Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is an approach that has been found to be helpful in treating depression and other mental health difficulties.

Are you interested in receiving free online cognitive-behavioural therapy for depression? Then find out more about the IMPROVE (Implementing Multifactorial Psychotherapy Research in an Online Virtual Environment) trial which is now live.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a group-based course for people with a history of recurring depression.

Find out which treatments the National Institutes of Clinical Excellence currently recommend for depression.

AccEPT Clinic

The AccEPT (Accessing Evidenced Based Psychological Therapies) Clinic is part of Psychology in the College of Life and Environmental Science. It provides evidence based psychological therapies as part of our Centre's mission to develop, test and make accessible effective treatments for depression and other mood disorders. It is based in the Sir Henry Wellcome Mood Disorders Research Centre, a building designed and maintained to provide a state of the art clinical facility.

 AccEPT is has been commissioned by the NHS June 2008 in Exeter, East and Mid Devon. Commissioning for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for North Devon commenced in June 2011. AccEPT is in its sixth year of operation.

 Since being commissioned we have offered two types of treatment:

 a)     Evidence-based and NICE recommended treatments not normally available to patients from other NHS service providers in which the AccEPT Clinic has specialist expertise. These currently include Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and in the past have included group treatments for depression, perinatal and behavioural couples therapy.

b)    Treatments which have been developed as part of our Centre’s clinical research programme, which in the past have included rumination-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (RFCBT), trauma focussed treatments and those for patients with bipolar disorder. Our current research includes examining how MBCT works (projects led by Barney Dunn and Hans Kirschner), peri-natal therapy (project led by Heather O'Mahen), and stepped care (project led by Dave Richards and Jacqueline Hill).

Therapy within the clinic is offered by a number of trained psychological therapy practitioners who are from a variety of professional backgrounds. Our practitioners all have specialist skills in the development, training and delivery of their approach.

You can find out which treatments the National Institute for Clinical Excellence currently recommends for depression here. There are separate guidelines for depression, depression that co-occurs with chronic physical health problems, bipolar disorder and post-partum depression.

Assessment in the AccEPT Clinic

After an initial referral has been made to the clinic by a GP or other Mental Health Professional, if it is appropriate patients will be invited in for an individual assessment/orientation to discuss their main difficulties and any relevant history in order to decide if the treatments we offer may be of benefit.

Current Treatments Available in the AccEPT Clinic

The clinic is continuously developing and evaluating innovative treatments. As a result of this, the specific therapies offered by the clinic may change over time. Currently, we are offering the following therapies:

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Recurrent Depression

MBCT has evolved from MBSR.  It includes information about depression as well as cognitive therapy-based exercises linking thinking and its resulting impact on feeling.  The group-based course is suitable for people with a history of recurrent depression (3 or more previous episodes of depression), who are currently well, wishing to learn tools and techniques focusing on prevention and learning how to take care of themselves.  People who have gone through an MBCT course say it can halt the downward spiral into depression.  They also describe how the course helped them to develop a more accepting relationship to bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts.  Finally, people say they value meeting other people in the group with whom they have a lot in common.

The course consists of an individual orientation session followed by eight weekly two and a ¼ hour sessions and follow-up sessions several months later. 

Participating in the mindfulness courses requires an on-going commitment.  Clients will be asked to attend all classes, and to practice daily home assignments for approximately 40 minutes per day.

You can find out more about MBCT and mindfulness approaches via these websites and resources:

For further information visit

Perinatal Therapy within the BABY project – Online Supported CBT for postnatal depression

We offer a cognitive behavioural therapy programme for women experiencing depression postnatally (up to one year post birth). This is an online CBT programme developed in conjunction with Netmums and running as part of the BABY project.

We understand how difficult accessing therapy can be for mothers with the demands of childcare and busy lives, therefore an online programme can offer flexibility and be completed at a mother’s own pace.

Following a face to face assessment, women are provided with log in details to a secure website whereby they can complete a therapy programme. To assist women in overcoming their feeling of depression we offer weekly telephone therapy support sessions for 12 sessions over a 17 week period, to ensure women get the most from the programme.

We have tested this programme in research previously and the results suggest it helps postnatal mums improve their depression symptoms. 

Some quotes from people who have taken part in the course:

“The programme really helped me on the road out of depression. I particularly liked it that it was always made clear that there was no pressure to complete the exercise and that if you are not able to complete the exercises, then that’s OK”

“The programme provided me with skills for life. It gave me a tool kit to think about and use. It was a huge change for me, becoming a mum. I had worked for so many years and then suddenly I became a mum and my whole world completely changed. The techniques I learnt in the programme were ones I could use myself to help if I was having a bad day. Tools you can use yourself are very powerful; I think most people could benefit from the techniques used in the programme, not only those who are depressed or anxious.”

“The programme was a lifeline for me. Actually I was sorry when it finished because I was just starting to enjoy it because it is nice to have something that I was doing just for myself.”

“I found the programme really useful being online. I mean I was up all day times of the day and the night, so it gave me something to do while I was feeding and when I was sat at home, alone, with no one interrupting me. It was also great to be able to work through everything with at my own pace.”

“When I signed up for the programme I decided that at the end of the day it was me that had to make the changes and do the things I needed to do to get my head around my postnatal depression. This programme gave me the strategies I needed to do that.”


The AccEPT Clinic takes referrals from within the Exeter, Mid Devon and East Devon regions. Referrals from North Devon can also be made for the MBCT group.  Referrals are made via Depression and Anxiety Services, GPs and the local Well-Being and Access Services.

If you are a potential referrer to the AccEPT Clinic (i.e. a GP or Mental Health Professional) and would like more information or a copy of our referral form you can email us at or telephone 01392 723493.  Please find below copies of our referral forms for you to print, complete and post with any further information.