Cognitive behavioural therapist

Alternative titles for this job include CBT, talking therapist, behavioural therapist

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) practitioners use talking therapy to help patients change negative patterns of thinking or behaviour.

Average salary (a year)

£26,500 Starter

to

£41,500 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become a Cognitive behavioural therapist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university degree

University

You'll usually need an accredited postgraduate qualification in cognitive behavioural therapy and experience of working in mental health.

You'll need a degree in a subject related to health and social care to get onto a postgraduate course in cognitive behavioural therapy.

Relevant subjects include:

  • mental health nursing
  • social work
  • counselling
  • art therapy
  • psychology

You may still be able to get onto postgraduate training without a related degree. To do this, you'll need to show that you meet the knowledge, skills and attitude requirements of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.

You'll also need experience of working with people who have mental health issues through your job or from volunteering.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Volunteering and experience

You'll find it useful to get experience of working in mental health, for example with charities like Mind, Rethink and Turning Point.

Do-it also has information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies for professional accreditation and training opportunites.

Further information

You'll find more details about routes to qualifying through the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • the ability to understand people‚Äôs reactions
  • customer service skills
  • active listening skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • assessing clients to see if they'll benefit from CBT
  • discussing therapy plans with clients, focusing on what they want to change
  • encouraging clients to talk about feelings and behaviour
  • setting 'homework' for clients to do
  • helping clients practise the changes you've discussed
  • providing group sessions
  • checking clients' progress
  • providing advice to other health professionals
  • talking to family members
  • keeping accurate records
  • following data protection and confidentiality rules

Working environment

You could work at a health centre, in an NHS or private hospital, in the community, in a prison or in a therapy clinic.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could supervise other CBT practitioners.

You could also set up your own practice, working as an independent practitioner and seeing patients privately.

You could also specialise in teaching or research for a college or university.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Cognitive behavioural therapist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Certificate in Counselling: Approaches to Couples Counselling Level 4

  • Provider: SHREWSBURY COLLEGES GROUP
  • Start date: 01 April 2019
  • Location: Shrewsbury

Counselling Skills Introduction Award CPCAB Level 2

  • Provider: COMMUNITY LEARNING AND SKILLS
  • Start date: 26 April 2019
  • Location: Sittingbourne

Get help using this service

Call 08000 150 950

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