Difference between clinical psychologist and high intensity cbt therapist?

Your chance to ask for advice on any aspect of career development that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
Post Reply
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2023 1:10 am

Difference between clinical psychologist and high intensity cbt therapist?

Post by sophieex »


I have read the document identifying the different competencies: https://www.hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/fi ... ogists.pdf ,read job descriptions, asked on Facebook groups, but I am still not completely sure of the actual differences in the role. What I have got from it is that clinical psychologists are not just therapists; that is just one part of their role, and they are also massively involved in research, and then they’re involved in service development. They tend to go on to managerial positions? Whereas high intensity cbt therapists tend to do therapy and that is the scope of their role? I am not sure if my understanding is correct but I can’t find much information on the fundamental differences in day to day scope of the roles. Would someone be able to explain the fundamental differences please?

Thank you.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 8430
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:20 pm
Location: Bucks

Re: Difference between clinical psychologist and high intensity cbt therapist?

Post by miriam »

The difference is clear in the name. CBT therapists do CBT. Clinical Psychologists learn a multitude of models and how to select and combine them. CBT therapists are therapists. Clinical psychologist have a whole range of ways of working that are nothing to do with direct one-to-one therapy in their repertoire (for example, I do no therapy, and I wrote a blog about this). So yes, we do research and service development, management and systems work, and there is a career structure that is more likely to reach higher bandings at the top. But there are much more fundamental differences.

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
This forum is free to use. If you find the site useful, you are welcome to contribute the cost of a cup of coffee to our running costs.
User avatar
Posts: 1522
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: The other side of paradise

Re: Difference between clinical psychologist and high intensity cbt therapist?

Post by Spatch »

Probably the best answer to this is for you to read "What is Clinical Psychology?" by Llewllyn and Murphy. It outlines the discipline's fundamental orientation, but also gives many examples of clinical psychologists in non-therapy roles. NHS service oriented documents aren't usually the best representation of any discipline as they tend to focus on specific duties in a specific area rather than the broader scope of the discipline.

The areas of difference you have raised are fairly surface level (e.g. there are social workers and nurses also involved in research and senior management, so not a unique differentiator of CP) and go far deeper. You are also asking about the difference between a discipline (clinical psychology) and a specfic NHS job role (HI CBT Therapist in IAPT), which is a bit like asking what is the difference between 'a vehicle' and 'a 2018 Ford Focus RS' -they are kind of the same thing, right?

Bear in mind, clinical psychologists do work as Hi Intensity IAPT CBT therapy roles, and for that tiny group they are often going to be doing pretty much the same duties as non-CP CBT therapists. What you are missing is the training requirements, competencies and all of the other roles and areas that CPs work in too, which is the vast majority of us.
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/
Post Reply