Cognitive behavioural therapist | Selby College
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Cognitive behavioural therapist

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

Potential salary

£31,365 to £44,503

Employment by 2024


Working hours

37 to 39 a week

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • 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
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

You might work on a one-to one basis or in groups to:

  • assess clients to see if they'll benefit from CBT
  • build trust, discuss therapy plans and focus on what clients want to change
  • encourage clients to talk about feelings and behaviour
  • teach skills and techniques that build positive ways to think and act
  • help clients practise the changes you've discussed
  • check clients' progress
  • provide advice to other health professionals
  • talk to family members
  • keep accurate records
  • follow data protection and confidentiality rules

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.

With experience, you could supervise other CBT practitioners.

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

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

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

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