Counselling and Psychology

How to Become a CBT Therapist?

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As we grow older, we gain experiences, both good and bad. Sometimes bad experiences result in trauma, which later into mental illnesses (anxiety, depression, PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder etc.). When left untreated, mental illnesses can hinder our daily lives. Sometimes result in physical and emotional pain. This is when we need Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

CBT is aimed to help children, young adults and older adults with mental health issues. CBT is a talking therapy, mainly focusing on making people look at things from a different perspective. People seeking mental health treatment are increasing daily, and CBT is the most common therapy used in the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programme.

If you are the one who wants to know “How to Become a CBT Therapist?” then this blog is just what you have been searching for. 

Give it a read to resolve all your concerns!

A woman fighting with anxiety and depression alone in a black background

Who is a CBT therapist?

A CBT therapist usually talks with patients to understand their mindset and thinking. They are responsible for helping people who have seen trauma or are currently going through a traumatic phase or those who are suffering from various mental illnesses. CBT therapists help such people identify their emotions, feelings and behaviours following their relationships, environment, and lives.
The job of a CBT therapist is to change the harmful thought pattern of the patients by making them see their situation from a different point of view. Listening to patients, understanding their trauma, and then working to fix them is also the responsibility of a CBT therapist.

At this stage, some people may confuse Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Counselling due to their overlapping elements in the field of mental health support. Explore the blog on the key differences between Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Counselling to understand their distinct approaches, techniques, and applications.

Types of CBT therapists

There are two types of CBT therapists; Adult CBT Therapists and Child and Adolescent CBT Therapists. However, there is not much difference between the requirements of an adult CBT therapist and a child and adolescent CBT therapist.

Adult CBT Therapist

Adults that grow up experiencing trauma have severe symptoms of mental illnesses. Some adults have shared traumatic childhood experiences and grew up without dealing with them, which has led them to experience anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Unfortunately, many of them do not know or understand the severity of their mental health problems.
The responsibility of an Adult CBT Therapist is to introduce adults with mental health issues and help them with CBT. Talking to them through and out of all the traumatising experiences, understanding their emotions may require a lot of patience and hard work. If you are good at dealing with people like that, then being an Adult CBT therapist is your destiny.

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Child and Adolescent CBT Therapist

Children who have experienced trauma may not behave the same way other children do. That’s why they should be dealt with with extra care and affection. To become a Child and Adolescent CBT therapist, you must be skilled in handling children through their tantrums.
If you enjoy being around children and want to help those who have experienced trauma, then you can choose to become a child and adolescent CBT therapist. You can also rely on childcare diploma courses online to gain a comprehensive understanding of childcare.

If you enjoy being around children and want to help those who have experienced trauma, then you can choose to become a child and adolescent CBT therapist. You can also rely on childcare diploma courses online to gain a comprehensive understanding of childcare.

A group of people having a discussion on mental health

How to become a CBT therapist?

If you want to become a CBT therapist, you must have the ability to look into problems without being judgemental and positive. People who have experienced traumas and dealt with them silently will not easily open up. That is why building a relationship with the client is vital. It becomes easier for a therapist to help clients with problems they do not want to share.

The responsibilities of a CBT therapist include-

  • Assessing a client’s need for CBT therapy
  • Building trust
  • Encouraging them to open up and share their feelings
  • Implementing and evaluating therapy programmes
  • Providing help and guidance to make sure that there are changes, and
  • Writing reports to track the client’s progress.

Entry requirements of CBT therapist:

A standard four-year degree or a bachelor’s degree is considered the primary step to becoming a CBT therapist. You do not need psychology or mental health field-related degrees to start training as a CBT therapist. But psychology can give you a basic understanding and strong foundation about how the brains work.

If you have a background in social work, mental health nursing, or occupational therapy, you already have the necessary qualifications to become a CBT therapist. However, to understand the clients and bring out the best results, the therapists need to gain experience through voluntary or paid work.

A psychologist having a friendly conversation with a kid

Required Training and development for CBT therapists:

Many universities across the country offer a post-graduate diploma in CBT. Universities like Birmingham and Bucks New University allow applications directly. There are two nationally-funded training options to become a qualified cognitive behavioural therapist. To become a certified CBT practitioner, you can also take a CPD Accredited online course and start learning at your own pace.

Being accredited guarantees that the training standard is achieved (after completing the course). This means someone who is an accredited CBT Therapist can practice CBT and see patients. The accreditation process takes typically 18 weeks, and the training courses take up to 12 months.

Dealing with Anxiety Disorder is a key aspect of the CBT field. That’s why enrolling in the CBT for Anxiety Disorder course is highly recommended. This training will not only help you overcome anxiety symptoms but also enhance your patients’ mental health and contribute to an improved overall quality of life.

What background do I need to train in CBT?

It is good if you have psychological background and want to start your career in CBT, as psychology plays a significant part in understanding people. However, those who do not have experience in psychology or mental health-related field can also participate in CBT training. In addition, people who have professional experience working in an environment where counselling skills are practised can also undergo CBT training.

How do I become qualified in CBT?

To become qualified in CBT, you will need to have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology or a related field. You will need a licence to practise CBT in the UK or USA, and to get that, you will have to practise for 450 hours.
After getting your licence, you will have to undergo specialised CBT training to get accredited. The training should be done under the supervision of experienced and certified CBT therapists. It is a must before you get the CBT certification.

A woman therapist taking notes of a patient while counselling


How to choose a CBT training course?

You need experience in mental health to get into CBT training courses. Firstly, you need to know if you want to get officially authorised as a CBT practitioner. If yes, you must find out if you meet the minimum training standard. And if you meet the minimum training standard, you will be ready to take a post-graduate diploma.

If anyone does not want to get officially authorized, you can still learn some CBT skills, which include active listening, knowledge of psychology, counselling skills, patience, and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

The costs of online CBT training courses vary from platform to platform. To gain extensive knowledge of CBT at a discounted price, visit StudyPlex.

Being a CBT therapist means you sometimes use role-playing with patients of all ages, from kids to adults. That’s why taking the CBT for Children and Adults with Role Playing course is so important. In this course, you’ll get a solid grasp of cognitive behavioural therapy and gain the key skills to handle mental health issues. Once you apply these skills, you’ll become a self-assured and capable CBT therapist, truly making a positive difference in people’s lives.

Average Salary of a CBT Therapist

The average salary of a CBT therapist depends on qualification and experience. According to, “Cognitive Behavioural Therapists working within the NHS can expect to receive a salary of between £26,500 and £41,500 per annum. A similar rate of pay is usually paid when working as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist in a private organisation. Cognitive Behavioural Therapists who practice privately typically charge clients anything between £30 and £80 per hour.”

Opportunities as a CBT Therapist

From children to adults, many suffer from mental health problems. As a result, the number of people suffering from mental health issues increases. The elderly are often overlooked, but statistics show that depression affects around 22% of men and 28% of women over 65. In addition, many children suffer from behavioural and mental disorders as well.

If you think you can give back to society by helping those in need of mental health advocacy, you should pursue your career as a CBT therapist. People need mental health help now more than ever as more people get diagnosed with mental illnesses as each day passes. Understanding and helping those suffering from mental health issues would benefit society and upcoming generations.

Psychological counselling going on in a friendly environment


If you want to become a CBT therapist, you do not have to belong from a psychological background. Before enrolling in a CBT course, you need to have a background in using basic counseling methods. Because it will help you understand how human psychology works.

You can become an accredited CBT practitioner and practise CBT legally or take a CBT course to learn about psychology and do volunteer work. But if you want to practise CBT and help people deal with mental health problems, you must meet some basic requirements. You can check the ‘Entry requirements of CBT therapist’ section to learn about that.

CBT helps patients learn by understanding their thought processes. It helps moderate a patient’s thinking and deal rationally with behaviours. As a CBT therapist, you can operate well with patients from all cultures and ethnicities because human nature and behaviour are the same everywhere. Helping people from different backgrounds won’t be an issue, and more people will be able to take therapy and live a life without dealing with mental illnesses.

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