How to Become a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist
Are you keen to help others with their mental health? Do you have a keen interest or background in Psychology? A career as Cognitive Behavioural Therapist could be the ideal role for you.
What Does a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist do?
First things first, let’s talk about what a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT) does. This profession uses a wide variety of therapeutic approaches to help people who are struggling with their mental health. As the name suggests, a CBT therapist mainly uses cognitive behavioural therapy when working with their clients. Their takes may include:
If you think that you have what it takes to become a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, the first step is getting the professional training that you need. You will need to have the right certification and accreditation to start working in this fast-paced and interesting sector.
How Much Does a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Earn?
Next up, you may be wondering how much a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist earns. According to the National Careers Service, you can expect to take home between £33,70 and £47,672 per year. Of course, you should keep in mind that the amount you get paid will largely depend on your professional training and level. Generally, though, the longer you have worked in the sector, whether in the NHS or private practice, the more money you will make.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapists tend to work between 37 and 39 per week. These hours usually take place Monday to Friday between 8 AM and 6 PM. However, if you are working with patients who need to see you outside of those hours, your general working week may look a little different. You may also find that your manager dictates your hours and, if you are self-employed, you need to be available.
What Qualifications Are Needed to Become a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist?
Now that you understand how much a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist earns, let’s delve into how you can become one.
As you might imagine, you need a robust set of qualifications if you choose to go down this particular career path. Typically, being qualified in psychology at degree level is the most typical starting point for most therapists. However, qualifications in criminal psychology, art therapy, counselling, or occupational therapy degree can also be used as an initial qualification.
Once you have that under your belt, you can move on to specialising in cognitive behavioural therapy. The truth of the matter is that you will need a wealth of professional training before you can get started in this career. You can take a course that is accredited by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), for example. Of course, it’s important to choose a course that suits your skills and schedule.
If you are interested in becoming a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, it’s worth looking into some counselling courses online. There is a broad selection out there, both specialising in CBT practices and looking at a broader range of counselling approaches. Should you wish to expand your knowledge, you may also choose to look at some courses in health as well. Adding this professional training to your undergraduate degree is a solid move.
In addition, there are many CBT schemes and PGDip programs to which you can apply. When you are certain that this is the way forward, you may want to look at your options. Some of the programs are publicly funded, which means that the NHS will pay for them. Of course, postgraduate diploma places are limited, and the competition is highly competitive.
What Skills Are Needed to Become a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist?
It’s not simply about having the right professional training. If you want to excel in the world of cognitive behavioural therapy, you need a solid skill set. It takes a certain type of person to help the general public with their mental health complaints. As such, you will need:
While the entry requirements for each position may differ, having the above skills will put you in a good position. The world of healthcare is vast, and there are many different openings. Decide whether you want full-time or part-time work before you start looking. Aside from the NHS, there are many different mental health providers out there too.
Does Becoming a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Need Any Work Experience?
The more experience you have in the sector, the better. Before you undertake a postgraduate diploma, it may be worth volunteering to get the experience you need. You can work at a mental health institution or even a charity that offers interventions. Take a look at the available opportunities in your area before you start out.
Career prospects for a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist
In this guide, we have taken a look at how you can become a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. However, you may be interested to learn what the next step of this career path is. When you have got the certificates you need to work in CBT therapy, you can start doing so. After some years, you may decide to add more bows to your arrow.
While CBT will still be your core profession, you could learn more about the other areas of psychotherapy. That may mean working in a face-to-face private practice, moving into mental health nursing, or dealing with clinical supervision. As you work your way up the career ladder, there are plenty of opportunities for your ongoing learning and development.