The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

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The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by Dickvandyke » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:43 pm

I am a mature student changing career as my desire now is to become a therapist in CBT.

I have 2 major options:

1. I go to Uni to do a Psychology degree then go on to complete a post-grad BABCP accredited course. At least 5 years full-time.
2. Have a pop at the the below:

I've heard that you can become a qualified CBT therapist in 3 years by doing a 1 year part-time counselling course (which is CBT based) and then go on to complete a 2 year part-time Diploma which enables you as a therapist. There's a place in Scotland where it claims it is COSCA & BABCP accredited (apparently they work with closely with them). But there are no guarantees that after the 1 year course that you will gain entry to the diploma course, you just have more chance.

A few silly questions (forgive me...):

A psychologist with a post-grad in cbt is obviously at an academic advantage and has more options at the end, but is it worth all the extra years at Uni? If my sole aim is to become a therapist. Are there other routes in? Should I just dive into the part-time courses and just get as much experience as possible, volunteering and such?

Appreciate you reading, thanks.

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Re: The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by bicycleclips » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:05 pm

Apologies for the assumption but I'm guessing that since you haven't yet done the counselling course you haven't had much experience of delivering CBT? On that assumption I would warn against planning a lengthy training without dipping your toe in the water first and maybe do a short counselling course to find out more about what being a counsellor (CBT or otherwise) actually entails.
I only say this because I was in your position six years ago and after doing a counselling course and getting some experience with clients I realised how different my perception of the profession was then from now. Do see if you can get (voluntary?) experience with your intended client group before committing yourself to expensive and lengthy training.
Good luck!
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Re: The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by miriam » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:12 pm

You do realise that someone with a psychology degree is not a psychologist? That would take another 5 years after you complete your bachelors degree, in order to gain experience and then a professional doctorate. A psychology degree is an academic qualification, not an applied one. It leads more people into business, HR and general graduate work than it does into therapy. I suggest you start by reading the wiki. But the fastest way to gain the chance to deliver CBT is to join IAPT as a trainee PWP and do the PG Dip.

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Re: The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by russ » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:15 pm

But the original poster's option 2 is possible, if he doesn't want to go down the psychology route. If he just wants to give CBT as a counsellor, it'd work.
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Re: The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by Alex » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:49 pm

Training as a clinical psychologist to be a CBT therapist is a long way around!! If you definitely want to be a CBT therapist then be as direct as you can. Clinical Psychologist is trained in at least two models of therapy, across the life span and in research. Plus the years it takes to get on training. If you don't have a psychology degree or any degree it will take 7 years plus if your lucky.

Good luck on your dream! :D

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Re: The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by Pink » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:01 pm

Hi Dickvandyke,

you don't say what your previous career has been, or if it is mental health related. The reason i am querying this is if you are already an accredited MH practitioner (eg a mental health nurse, social worker, OT etc) then you have what the BABCP (the accrediting body for CBT in the UK-I'd suggest looking on their career guidance pages if you are unfamiliar with them) refers to as a 'core profession', which would allow you to apply for hi-intensity IAPT training posts (NHS funded post-graduate CBT training which qualifies you as an accreditable Cognitive Behaviour Therapist). If you're unsure about what IAPT is the wikis on this site are very helpful.

If you have not got a core profession then you have three options to work as a full CBT therapist (which is different from the low intensity role suggested by Miriam: this uses CBT based guided self help, although some PWPs have progressed on to full HI training, but I understand this route is uncertain now.) You could:

1) do some kind of core profession training (eg mental health nursing-I think this is funded/has a bursary) and then follow this up with a PGDip in CBT (again possibly funded by IAPT as discussed above). This could be a shorter route to what you are looking for that gives you an accredited professional registration and may be funded.

2) as you have suggested, try to qualify as a counsellor and then side step into BABCP accreditation. Personally, I'd be wary of this route, for two reasons. i) please check the courses are BABCP accreditable-many courses now are jumping on the CBT bandwagon without really offering (or indeed having) a solid grounding in good CBT, and not being accredited by the BABCP will make job applications very difficult. ii) this relates to the first point-in my experience (and others may well have more accurate information)-counselling in the UK tends to indicate a person-centred/humanistic ideology, or else a psychodynamic orientation. Accredited CBT therapists would use the title 'Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist' and would argue that the theoretical underpinnings and ideology of CBT are very different from counselling: a 'CBT counsellor' suggests a confusion of models. CBT is not counselling, it is an evidence based therapy in it's own right.

3) you could, as you have suggested, do an undergraduate psychology degree. The 'ideal' route there would be-BSc Psych (2:i or above) followed by Assistant Psychologist posts in a couple of different specialities followed by 3 years of Doctoral Clinical psychology training, following which you could apply for BABCP accreditation (although you may then have to do a PGDip in CBT). However, Miriam is right, this path is not as straightforward as it looks, is very competitive, and is probably not the quickest route to where you want to go. In addition, the roles of a Clinical Psychologist and CBT Therapist are very different. Again, there is much useful advice on this forum if you want to pursue this route.

All told though, if you are happy to re-train and do not currently have a core profession then I'd think the quickest and most financially viable route would probably be to do a MH nursing degree and then do the CBT PGDip (You might well be able to get this funded by your future employing trust). Have a look on the BABCP webpages and do check that any courses you apply for are at least delivered by BABCP accredited trainers.

good luck with it,


edit: apologues-just seen that your COSCA course is BABCP accredited, and that therefore my pet rant about CBT counselling is null and void *bows head in shame* too tired to edit though as still have to make bed grr.
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Re: The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by Dickvandyke » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:23 pm

Very quick excellent responses, thank you everyone for your insights.
I'll take this on board, make further inquiries and make a plan. Much appreciated!

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Re: The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by Dickvandyke » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:03 am

I have looked at loads of websites including the following: UKCP/BACP/BABCP

OK, so I already realise that I love CBT. And I love the scientific approach of it, very practical and hands on. Now, I have delved from CBT into the psychotherapy side of things. I don't really know the difference between them even after reading. There are so many different models, I kind of need to get my head around where I feel I would excel.

It appears like I could do an undergrad in psychotherapy and then branch off into CBT anyway so this may be a very handy route in.


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Re: The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by Peter1978 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:31 am

"It appears like I could do an undergrad in psychotherapy and then branch off into CBT anyway so this may be a very handy route in."

So its 2018 and nearly 6 years since your last entry. What did you end up doing? Did you end up going down the psychotherapy route??? Are you now a CBT specialist? I'm very interested about your outcome based on your quote mentioned above?

I've near enough completed a grueling 16 month intense fulltime course which I self funded which added even more pressure, but somehow its all paid off!!!

I plan to work as a CBT specialist within the NHS and plan to do a doctorate in CBT later this year as appose to a doctorate in clinical psychology.

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Re: The Dream: Therapist (CBT) / Psychologist?

Post by jason712 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:38 am

Just realised how old this post is. Ignore my comment.

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