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How to Choose a CBT Therapist

Wondering how to choose a CBT therapist? It’s an important, personal decision. Here are some helpful tips…

Set a Budget

CBT is a real investment in yourself. To get the most out of your experience, it’s worth setting a budget beforehand.

On average, people require between 6-12 sessions of CBT. Prices range from £60-£120 per session. It’s more expensive than standard counselling therapy due to the amount of supervision, professional development, and training a CBT therapist must complete in order to maintain BABCP accreditation. More on this below.

CBT is available on the NHS and there are some charities such as Anxiety UK who can provide means tested CBT. Establishing a clear budget will help you decide where to access treatment.

Look for a BABCP Accredited Therapist

BABCP stands for The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies. This is the professional body that governs the standards, ethics, and conduct of CBT therapists. To maintain accreditation as a CBT therapist, there are a number of standards, supervision, and training needs each CBT therapist must ensure they maintain every year.

Accredited CBT therapists have a good foundation in psychology, they have a core profession in a related area, and they’ve completed a diploma in CBT. They’ll also be complying with professional requirements for ongoing training and supervision. This means they’ll be familiar with the latest research and learning in all the anxiety, mood, and psychological difficulties people experience, so you can be sure the therapy you receive is the most up-to-date and effective.

You can check to see if your CBT therapist is accredited and how long they’ve been accredited for on the BABCP.com website. IPSIG is a website dedicated to BABCP accredited therapists who work in private practice.

Do your Online Research

We know the effectiveness of therapy is heavily influenced by the therapeutic relationship. In simple terms, you need to like your therapist and trust they can help you reach your goals.

A Google search of CBT therapists can be very confusing. The key thing to remember is they need to have the BABCP accreditation. Most therapists have their own websites and social media platforms, so you can get a feel for them before your first session. They’ll also be getting feedback from existing clients, so check their website, business Facebook page, and Google page for testimonials and reviews.

Make Some Calls

Call a few therapists and have a quick chat. How quickly they respond and how they answer your questions will tell you a lot about how they operate.

Ask for Personal Recommendations

Getting a therapist recommendation from someone you know and trust is very reassuring. People often keep their experience of CBT quiet for privacy reasons, but I’ve found that once you start asking around, you’ll be surprised by how many people have been through therapy themselves or know someone close to them who has.

Check Their Background

Finally, it’s a good idea to consider a therapist’s background. How have they come to be a CBT therapist? It’s often beneficial to have someone who has a good history of working within the field of mental health.

What If I Make the Wrong Choice?

It’s important you’re comfortable with your therapist and feel they can help you. No one therapist can be right for everyone – it’s a very personal choice.

Your therapist won’t be offended if you feel they’re not a good fit. They’re in the caring profession because they want the best for people. Let them know how you’re feeling, explore the issue together, or ask to have some time to think before booking another session.

I’m always happy to answer any questions you may have about CBT, so do get in touch if you’d like more guidance or advice.

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Sarah Rees

Sarah is a fully accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and mental health writer delivering Modern Mental Health for you and with you in Mind. Sarah is the author of ‘The CBT Journal’ which helps you write for your wellbeing incorporating CBT techniques. For more information and to keep in touch have a look at sarahdrees.co.uk.