There may be many of you who are curious about the role of a cognitive behavioral therapist. Cognitive behavioral therapists work one-on-one with clients although the therapy occasionally calls for a group, family or couples to identify underlying behavior and how it affects their behaviors, thoughts and outlook.
A cognitive behavioral therapist’s job is to talk with clients, that is why it is popularly known as a ‘talking therapy’. However, CBT therapists’ role is to not just talk to their clients that is why the roles and responsibilities of a cognitive behavioral therapists may also include:
- Understand modern psychotherapeutic thought and approaches
In order to be a competent and highly commended CBT therapist they must know that there are numerous ways to think about human thought and behavior. The different perspectives in modern psychology give therapists ideas to approach the client’s problems and come up with a solution or treatment plan.
- The ability to work with people in a calm and nonjudgmental manner
Cognitive Behavioral Therapists should strive to be calm and nonjudgmental when treating their clients. Being calm and nonjudgmental, helps implement well-being and may improve the client’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. It also helps with the dignity of your clients and helps them have a genuine and trusting relationship with you.
- Strict adherence to client confidentiality
The importance of strict adherence of client confidentiality is to build a strong foundation of trust with the client. Failure to do so may lead to the loss of clients and company image. The disadvantage of breaking client confidentiality is the danger of the abuse of the client’s personal information and other illegal activities.
- Clear and effective communication with the client
When the CBT therapist is having clear and effective communication with clients it leaves no room for error and misunderstanding. Clear communication will answer all the client’s questions and concerns. Also communicating in a professional and appropriate manner at all times shows respect and professionalism to the client, it also shows that the therapist is equipped with the correct knowledge and is well-versed about what they do.
- Strength in identifying the underlying causes of negative thoughts and behaviors
The role of CBT is to identify the underlying negative thoughts and behavior and modify if not completely change them as there is a link to behavior-attitude relationship within a person. Negative thoughts can wholly consume a person, in which it can lead to mental health problems like depression anxiety. A CBT therapist can help identify these negative thoughts and come up with the appropriate solution and CBT technique.
- Create treatment plans
Creating the appropriate treatment plans are important because they are unique and personalized to the needs of the client. Treatment plans act as a guide for you and the client to follow for their CBT process. Following a plan the client and therapist can keep track of the progress of the therapy for the client.
- Keeping track of data and paperwork
Proper record keeping of the data and paperwork helps protect the client and the cognitive behavioral therapist in legal and ethical situations. An organized record-keeping system helps the CBT therapist to keep track with client information and progress with their therapy, it also helps with quick and efficient action when needed.
- Assigning journaling or reading assignments
Assigning journaling or reading assignments to a client is an important strategy that teaches the client to assess their own thoughts, and feelings. It also helps the CBT therapist to monitor the client’s thought process and behavior as well as keep track of their progress.
How Can You Become a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist?
Generally, a master’s degree in Psychology is needed. Psychologists can either obtain a master’s or doctoral degree, however Psychiatrists need to achieve a medical degree because their role needs them to prescribe medication to their patients.
However, if you have achieved another degree you may obtain a certificate on “Certified Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist” and may practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In order to practice being a mental health counselor you must need to be licensed in the area or region you plan to practice and obtain the appropriate clinical hours and approval from the governing medical health board.