BABCP | British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies > Careers > Training in CBT > What background do I need to train in CBT?

What background do I need to train in CBT?

To train in CBT, your background should include working in health or social care, and a degree or equivalent level of academic achievement. People training in CBT will already have an understanding of research, theories of human development, human problems and distress, as well as social context, for example.

We recognise some specific mental health and care professional backgrounds as a good basis for training in CBT, and call these ‘core professions’.

If you don’t have a core profession, we also have an equivalence route. This means that people from a broader range of relevant backgrounds can train in CBT and work towards accreditation with us. This is known as the 'Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes’ or KSA portfolio. Some health and social care backgrounds are not part of our ‘core professions’ list, but do cover some of the KSA requirements. You will find all the details here.

Length of Training 

To eventually apply for accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, your total training must be at least four years.  This will be the length of your core professional or KSA equivalent training, plus the duration of your CBT course.  If you did a degree in an unrelated subject, this cannot be counted in this calculation.

No mental health experience yet?

We suggest you explore training and working in this area to check if it suits you. Many mental health roles are respected and satisfying careers in their own right and we recommend you engage wholeheartedly in them – not just as a stepping-stone to CBT.

We can’t recommend a specific route for you to take, but if you are working towards CBT training and accreditation, you should work towards gaining a Core Profession or meeting the KSA requirements.

What if I trained abroad? 

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