This website (previously ASDinfoWales) belongs to and is run by the National Autism Team, which is funded by Welsh Government. It is one of the resources which helps the Team achieve their aim to improve the lives of autistic people in Wales.

The use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to improve the wellbeing of an autistic person

Actions and outcomes

One of the Cardiff & Vale IAS’ Specialist Autism Practitioners completed their CBT training this quarter. Client X has given consent to share a brief summary of their experience of CBT interventions:

Client X has a long history of severe depression and anxiety. CAV IAS were contacted by professionals working with client X because there were concerns for their risk and wellbeing. Medication and other interventions had not been successful for client X.

Client X engaged in 20 sessions of CBT for depression. Each session involved work during the appointment and work to be completed at home. They fully engaged in the CBT interventions. A qualitative evaluation tool was used at the end of the intervention and a number of outcome measures were used pre and post intervention and at 12 week follow up.

The outcome measures showed a reduction in the experiences of anxiety and an improvement in low mood. This improvement continued in the 12 weeks after the intervention was completed as demonstrated by the outcomes at the 12 week review. This is reflected in the table below:



Score at Start Score at End 12 Weeks Follow Up
Beck’s Depression 29 Moderate depression 14 Mild mood disturbances 20 Borderline depression
PHQ-9 (depression) 21 Severe depression 14 Moderate depression 12 Moderate depression
Beck’s Anxiety 31 Moderate anxiety 17 Very low anxiety 17 Very low mood
GAD-7 (anxiety) 15 Severe Anxiety 11 Moderate Anxiety 9 Mild anxiety
Work and Social Adjustment Scale 24 Severe functional impairment 13 Moderately severe functional impairment 13 Moderately severe functional impairment


Some comments from the evaluation are:

‘I can live again. I’m not just existing’

‘I’ve seen old friends who I haven’t seen for 20+ years’

‘It’s shown me that I can do difficult things’

Lessons Learned


Health Board:
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Local Authority:
Integrated Autism Service:
Cardiff and the Vale IAS