Background: This study examined characteristics of members of the public who self-referred and the effectiveness of psycho-educational CBT self-confidence workshops when run in routine practice. Method: Repeated measures were employed at pre- and post-workshop stages. Results: Of the 56 members of the general public who self-referred to the workshops, 70% were above the clinical cut-offs for Global Distress (CORE OM) and 86% were above the clinical cut offs for depression symptomatology (CES-D). Follow up data (n = 31) showed significant reduction in self-reported distress and depression at 4-week follow-up. A further analysis showed that those whose scores were above the clinical threshold at initial presentation benefited most but those with scores below the threshold did not seem to benefit. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that psycho-educational CBT workshops attract those with high levels of distress and depression, and have potential as a cost effective means of disseminating psychological interventions.