Whether you already have a background in counselling, therapy or mental health, or are starting on a completely new career path, making the journey to fully qualified and accredited cognitive behavioural therapist can seem daunting. It can look like there is a whole new language and way of working to learn, and new responsibilities in client care to take on.
But don’t worry. Here at the College of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CCBT), our series of courses provide a rigorous, but fully supported pathway to success.
As we often say to our clients if they feel overwhelmed when faced with a big task, how do you eat an elephant? Simple, one bite at a time. Below, we share a quick run through of our various course levels, what they include, and what you can expect.
Counselling Skills and Ethics
If, like me, you came to REBT / CBT as a complete novice, this is where you start. This course focusses on learning the basics of being a counsellor. This means learning about and practicing the art of active listening, getting a person to open up and share through open questions, summarising, reflecting, body language and more.
Whilst your actual introduction to the philosophy of REBT is limited to general notions of emotional responsibility and how what we believe influences how we feel, wider issues such as how to manage counselling sessions, the ethics of counselling and how to respond to various issues are all explored.
With lots of role-play and lively discussions, at the end of this short course you will feel much better equipped to handle the responsibility and privilege of working as a therapist.
Diploma in CBT / REBT
This is where the real REBT work begins. On this course, guided by a team of experienced and knowledgeable practicing therapists, you learn the structure and foundation of Rational Emotional Behavioural Therapy (the type of CBT practiced at CCBT).
Over a period of six months (one training weekend a month with assignments in between), you will learn:
- The origins and structure of CBT and in particular, REBT
- How unhealthy beliefs can impact on emotions and behaviours
- How to change unhelpful emotions and behaviours using the ABC process
- How to teach clients a structure they can integrate into their everyday lives enabling them to make long lasting and fundamental changes
The course again features lots of role-play and interactive discussions, allowing you to really explore the ideas and get a feel for what it’s like to work with a client. Whilst learning a whole new philosophical way of working may seem a challenge, things quickly fall into place and you are soon thinking and talking like an REBT counsellor!
Advanced Diploma in CBT / REBT
Now you know the ABCs of REBT, the Advanced Diploma goes into greater detail about its philosophy and application in the real world and in the context of specific issues.
The course looks at a range of symptoms and concerns that you will meet as a therapist, and explores how CBT / REBT can be used to treat them. These include:
- Panic Disorder
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Eating Disorders
You are virtually guaranteed to meet most if not all of these issues in your professional career, so the insights gained are invaluable.
This is also when you start seeing clients of your own – the course requires a minimum number of client hours to pass (50 hours at time of writing). You will wail and gnash your teeth (or at least I did), but then jump in and start putting everything you’ve learned to good use. You are once again supported and advised by the team at CCBT, and nothing will ever be the same again!
Advanced Diploma in Integrative CBT/REBT I
By now, you will be feeling a lot more confident with the theory and practice of REBT in client sessions. So it’s time to add some new ingredients into the mix…
The Advanced Diploma in Integrative CBT/REBT I introduces you to various other therapeutic disciplines, their applications and how they relate to or differ from REBT, which will always be your core ‘therapeutic bias’ (you can read up on its core elements here). You will learn about, amongst others:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
- Schema Therapy
- Borderline Personality Disorders
Each of these therapeutic approaches will be explored in detail and you will practice them in role-play situations. All will be important to know about, and some will go on to become core elements of your regular sessions. Learning different ideas gives you lots more tools in your toolbox to lean on when clients present their often-complex issues in the real world.
When you have successfully completed this course, you can then apply to become a fully accredited member of the National Counselling Society. Congratulations!
Advanced Diploma in Integrative CBT/REBT II
By now you will have achieved accreditation and be seeing regular clients on your own, but there is still much to learn, and this course helps you on your way.
This course introduces you to Psychodynamic Theories and protocols, and how they can be integrated with or complement the REBT model, where appropriate.
This is also an opportunity to learn and practice hypnotherapy, and discover what conditions and issues it can help with, such as smoking, weight loss, presentation / performance anxiety etc.
Areas covered on the course include:
- Psychodynamic Theories
- Hypnotic theories and phenomena
- Psycho-education and practice in the use of hypnotic skills and techniques
- Inner Child Therapy
- How to clinically integrate hypnosis into the CBT/REBT model
- Stopping Smoking
- Performance Anxiety
- Weight control
All of the above will deepen your understanding of CBT and the wider therapeutic field, and enable you to help and support more clients dealing with more complex issues.
If you’ve read this far, well done! Hopefully this makes the pathway to becoming a therapist clear. You can read about the personal benefits of the training here, and if you have any questions or a ready to begin your journey now, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CBT / REBT Counsellor