How to choose a CBT Therapist

When you’re new to the world of counselling and psychotherapy it can feel a daunting task to find a therapist. Unfortunately, protecting the public from unqualified therapists is a challenge because ‘CBT Therapist’ is not a protected title; anyone can call themselves a CBT Therapist, and anyone can say they provide CBT. Hopefully, this checklist will help you to find the right therapist who has the qualities, skills and experience to provide you with evidence-based therapy that can make a difference to your life:

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  • When searching online, pay close attention to the therapist’s biography, how did they become a CBT therapist and what is their wider experience in the mental health field?
  • Check that they are accredited by the BABCP. This is the lead organisation for cognitive and behavioural psychotherapies in the UK and Ireland. This is the professional body that governs the standards, ethics and conduct of CBT therapists. To become accredited the therapist must demonstrate high standards of post-graduate training in CBT and significant experience in a core profession related to mental health. You can check the accreditation status of CBT Therapists here:
  • Talk to trusted friends, family or co-workers to see if they can recommend a therapist to you.
  • Speak with your GP or other health professionals in case they can make a referral on your behalf.
  • Think about accessibility.  Do you prefer to meet the therapist face to face or does remote therapy suit you better? Do their working hours fit with your lifestyle and family commitments.
  • Call a few therapists and have a quick chat. How quickly they respond and how they answer your questions will tell you a lot. Do they listen without judgement and put you at ease? Do they sound friendly and professional.
  • Finally, if you start therapy and discover that the therapist isn’t a good fit for you, they won’t be offended if you want to discuss this before deciding whether you want to book further sessions.     

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