Nanaimo Division of Family Practice

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Skills Group

CBT Skills Group Merged to Province-wide Service 

The Nanaimo Division of Family Practice, in collaboration with Shared Care, had offered an eight-week Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Skills Group for adult patients (17.5-75 years old) in Nanaimo from 2018 until 2021.

The success of the program on Vancouver Island has led to the CBT Skills Group Society of Victoria expanding the program BC-wide. 
To support this growth, the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice merged the program with the CBT Skills Group Society of Victoria on May 1st, 2021. 

What are the benefits to the Nanaimo Community from this merger? 

  • Nanaimo patients referred to the CBT Skills Group program will have access to more class offerings with a variety of times. 
  • CBT Skills Group Society of Victoria offers a level 2 group for those who have completed the initial skills program 
  • CBT Skills Group Society of Victoria is looking to develop tailored classes for particular groups 
  • Since 2018, 5 Nanaimo Family Physicians have undergone training to become CBT Skills facilitators. These Physicians will benefit from the merger as they will be able to conduct more frequent groups by accessing a larger pool of referrals

Who is the program for and how do Primary Care Providers refer patients?

The CBT Skills program is for patients experiencing mild to moderate depression and anxiety. The program requires a referral from a Family Physician or a Nurse Practitioner. 
Here are the steps to refer to the program:

STEP 1: Determine if your patient is a good fit for the program by using our inclusion and exclusion criteria.

STEP 2: Ask your patient about their comfort with participating in an online classroom-like group and inform them of the $100 initial deposit, $65 of which is returned if they attend at least 7 of the 8 groups, and $35 of which is the workbook fee. Note that the fee can be reduced in situations of financial necessity, please email admin ( to inquire. If your patient is interested, have them fill out the PHQ9 form. 

STEP 3: If your patient scores 18 or lower on the PHQ9 (i.e. mild-moderate depression) and is not suicidal, then fill out the referral form. When submitting the referral form please ensure you have filled out all portions of the form, otherwise, it cannot be accepted and will be returned to you. 

STEP 4: Fax the referral form to 778.265.0298. This number is also on the top right-hand corner of the referral form. 

Referral forms have been embedded in MOIS, Oscar, and Med Access (type CBT in the search window) and are expected to be embedded in Intrahealth and Wolf (April). Updates about EMR forms are available here. The program is also listed in Pathways (type CBT in the search window and scroll down to “Clinics”).

The CBT Skills Groups Society will be tracking the referrals in every region and as they increase, will likely be able to provide opportunities to up-skill interested physicians in the program.The virtual program will remain available for patients across the province, even after in-person groups resume.