Counselling and Agenda-Setting

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the agenda-setting process in a CBT session.
  • Evaluate different styles of agenda-setting.
  • Develop an agenda-setting style relative to personality and practice preference.


Agenda-setting is a core CBT skill used in every session. Agenda-setting is an elaborate skill involving 6 steps that require significant skill on the part of the therapist. The reading, viewing, and writing about this core CBT skill will prepare students for a CBT practicum or as a future CBT practitioner.


Include a title page, reference page and your group contract as an Appendix. Organize the answers using APA style. Review the grading rubric to see where the emphasis should be as you organize your responses. Watch the following videos:

  • Grande, T. (2015, August 18). CBT Role-Play – Setting an Agenda for a Counseling Session [Video]. YouTube.
  • Qualia Counselling Services (2017, September). CBT Demo Agenda-Setting [Video].
  • Kennerley, H., Kirk, J., & Westbrook, D. (2017). An introduction to cognitive behaviour therapy – Skills and applications (3rd ed.). Sage Publications.

Submit a maximum of four pages (1,000 words) addressing the following:

  1. Starting on page 255 in your textbook, review the items typically included on an agenda. For each video, describe how each counselor addressed or did not address each item.
  2. Discuss which counselling style you preferred and why?
  3. Describe three common difficulties new counsellors might face in agenda-setting that you need to identify for your own work. What are some strategies to help you out of these difficulties?


  • Required components: Title page, Reference page, and Appendix
  • Length of Assignment: The text body of paper (i.e., not including references, title page or abstract) should consist of approximately 3 double-spaced typed pages, Times New Roman font size: 12).
  • Format: Please, format your assignment in Word (files with extension .doc or .docx), or Rich Text Format (files with extension .rtf).
  • References: Reference both videos and material

Resources: Any other sources used to support your written narrative should be cited using correct APA format. Although Wikipedia can be a useful starting place to gather very general information no Wikipedia references will be accepted as scholarly citations.

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