Understanding Accreditation of CBT Therapists

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Before choosing a therapist, you should understand the difference between accredited CBT therapists and accredited therapists who offer CBT.

A Note About ‘Accredited CBT Practitioner’ vs. ‘Accredited Practitioner Offering CBT’

As noted on our About page, CBTtherapist.com is designed specifically to list practitioners who are accredited by the UK’s leading CBT bodies, BABCP and AREBT. These practitioners are accredited specifically in CBT by one or both CBT organisations. However, accredited CBT therapists actually represent only a minority of UK mental health practitioners who are accredited and who offer CBT. Most UK mental health practitioners offering CBT and who are accredited are not accredited by BABCP or AREBT, but by some other organisation, such as BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) or a UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) constituent organisation.

What’s the difference?

It turns out to be a pretty big one. It is entirely possible for practitioners who work primarily with other types of counselling or psychotherapy (e.g., transactional analysis, psychoanalysis, person-centred counselling, etc.), and who have undertaken little or no training in CBT, to become accredited under schemes run by BACP or UKCP constituent organisations — and then to begin offering CBT. In other words, they become accredited as counsellors or psychotherapists rather than becoming accredited specifically as CBT practitioners. This does not in any way mean that BACP accreditation or UKCP accreditation is somehow inferior; what it does mean, however, is that accreditation by other than BABCP or AREBT in CBT does not serve to guarantee the same level of CBT training or professional development as accreditation by the two CBT organisations. A practitioner accredited by another body may be a fantastic therapist! But it may also be the case that their level of training specifically in CBT is lower than what would be required for accreditation by BABCP or AREBT. It does not, of course, mean that it is a lower level of training; only that it may be. By contrast, accreditation by BABCP and/or AREBT guarantees that a practitioner’s training meets or exceeds the standards set by BABCP and/or AREBT.

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