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CBT vs. counselling!

There was a recent BBC article about whether anyone can call themselves a therapist nowadays. The short answer is unfortunately a yes, as CBT therapist or counsellor are still not protected titles. Which is what inspired this post, to tell you a little bit more about how this works and how to find someone who is actually trained and qualified to an acceptable level.


Finding the right professional is not an easy task, unless you are trained who knows exactly what you need. In this day an age it's even harder as even if you ask for recommendations, it might be that the person who helped your friend won't be able to help you.

You will come across these two job titles: CBT therapist and counsellor.


At the same time, counselling is becoming more of a blanket category when it comes to therapy, however, this doesn't mean every type of treatment is counselling - told you, this can be a bit of a minefield.


Every counsellor's and therapist's journey is different. As a CBT therapist my foundation degrees were a bachelors and masters degree in psychology - counselling and CBT was included in my masters programme but this doesn't make me a counsellor or a CBT therapist. I also completed a postgraduate diploma in high intensity therapies - cognitive behavioural therapy. And this is the reason I offer CBT therapy and not anything else. What makes me accountable is my accreditation with the BABCP (https://www.babcp.com/Default.aspx).

This also means that I am committed to ongoing professional development, supervision and code of ethics.


CBT tends to be the right choice of treatment if you struggle with ongoing depression, anxiety disorders (including OCD, social anxiety, generalised anxiety {chronic worry}, PTSD) or low self-esteem.

CBT is more structured and focused, and very much collaborative. In therapy this means that both you and your therapist will have an understanding of what you expect from the session and you both contribute to how the session/treatment goes. You often have home tasks to complete, strategies to experiment with and situations to enter to challenge yourself.


Counselling often uses a slightly different perspective (depending on what modality your counsellor is trained in). Counsellors are accredited by the BACP (note there is only one letter difference between the two bodies, so it's still confusing) and they follow the same strict code of conduct as CBT therapists.

Counselling can be beneficial if you would like to process something either short or long term, this can include grief, loss, childhood traumas etc. Conscientious counsellors and CBT therapists both are aware of their skill set and expertise, which means that if following an assessment or treatment session I find I am not the best person to support you to reach your goals then I will signpost you to other professionals in my network.


All in all, what matters is that you find a therapist who you feel comfortable talking to and who has the right knowledge and experience to help you feel better.


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