CBASP Advanced Training and Certification for Gateway Therapists – Update

Peter ForsterAbout GPS, Best Practices, Major Depression, Treatments of Depression Leave a Comment

Gateway Psychiatric was established with the belief that in order to give our patients the best care possible, it is necessary to invest heavily in training for the clinical staff. We particularly focus on evidence based practices that have been shown to address significant problems facing our patients. Since chronic depression is one of the most common problems seen in the clinic, we have a long history of supporting clinicians in learning techniques that can address the unique problems faced by people with chronic depression.

Advanced Training

In October of 2019 two of our psychotherapists (Alana Kivowitz, LCSW and Chris Restivo, MFT) flew to Richmond, Virginia to study with Jim McCullough, PhD and his team of trainers in a unique form of psychotherapy called CBASP (Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy). Alana and Chris spent the entire week in this intensive training participating in both didactic and role play sessions with clinicians from the United States and Europe, with the special privilege of direct feedback from “Big Jim” (as he jokingly refers to himself). 


In addition to the week long program, we committed to additional training. Shortly after arriving back in California, Alana and Chris began an ongoing supervision process with J. Kim Penberthy, MA, PhD, ABPP, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, a longtime trainer and practitioner of CBASP and key-figure in propagating the model and demonstrating it’s value in group settings and in instances of co-occurring disorders.

In March 2020, Chris and Alana were certified and are now among a handful of certified CBASP clinicians on the West Coast, and the only certified clinicians in the Bay Area. 


After years of living with persistent depression, Dr. McCullough fused his life experience with his clinical insights to develop CBASP and has since been providing trainings and conducting research on this model, demonstrating along the way that this system of psychotherapy offers a potential for recovery and healing for those living with PDD (Persistent Depressive Disorder) that many other forms of therapy may not. You can read more about some of the unique qualities of this form of therapy here, or watch this video of Dr. Forster explaining it.

Uses of CBASP

We are currently exploring the applicability of this model with other mental health disorders that sometimes present with similar characteristics, and finding it a very useful approach where depressive symptoms are the most prominent feature of one’s condition, regardless of the diagnosis. For example, for many people with bipolar disorder, the most disabling symptoms are a chronic depression.

For More Information

If you find yourself curious about what this unique form of treatment might have to offer you, please reach out to us through our web portal so we can help answer any questions you might have and discuss current openings for new patients.

Clinicians who might be interested in referring a patient for a consultation can get information about our practice and request information from us here.