Become A Cognitive Behavioral Therapist | Banyan Mental Health
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What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Cognitive behavioral therapy is a widely accepted and evidence-based practice used to treat mental health disorders, as well as substance abuse disorders. The idea behind this therapy approach is that our thoughts and behaviors influence each other. Our residential mental health program in Boca Raton actively utilizes CBT for patients who are suffering from a mental health disorder, substance abuse problem, or a dual diagnosis. We share with you how this treatment approach works and how to become a cognitive behavioral therapist who can help people with addiction and mental illness recover. 

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of talk therapy (psychotherapy) that’s used to treat multiple conditions, such as:  

  • Anxiety disorders 

  • Bipolar disorders 

  • Depression 

  • Eating disorders 

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 

  • Phobias 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

  • Schizophrenia 

  • Sexual disorders 

  • Sleep disorders 

  • Substance use disorders 

CBT examines learned behaviors like habits and negative thought patterns with the view of adjusting them to offer the individual a more positive outlook on life.  

In CBT, the individual works with a certified cognitive behavioral therapist in a structured environment for a limited number of sessions. The goal of CBT is to help the individual become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so they can view challenging situations more clearly, respond more effectively, and abandon unhealthy coping techniques, such as substance abuse.  

This therapy is a useful tool for addressing emotional challenges that might prevent individuals with addictions and/or mental health disorders from recovering. For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy addresses:  

  • Coping with a medical illness 

  • Coping with grief or loss 

  • Managing chronic physical symptoms 

  • Managing cravings and temptations to drink or use drugs in recovery  

  • Mental illness when medications aren't a good option 

  • Overcoming emotional trauma related to abuse or violence 

  • Relapse of mental illness symptoms 

  • Resolving relationship conflicts and learning better ways to communicate 

  • Symptoms of mental illness 

  • Techniques for coping with stressful life situations 

  • Techniques for managing emotions 

As a center for cognitive behavioral therapy, we strongly believe in the power of this tool in treating our patients and have seen firsthand the positive impact it’s had on many patients’ recovery journeys.  

How to Become a CBT Therapist

Considering the popularity of CBT in the addiction and mental health fields alone, looking into how to become a cognitive behavioral therapist is worth the effort. CBT therapists have the honor of aiding people in their recovery from drug abuse, alcoholism, mental illness, and more. With competitive salaries and a predicted increase in job availability in the future, we encourage you to consider becoming a cognitive behavioral specialist.  

Below is a guide to help you get started that explains how to be a CBT therapist.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Education Requirements 

Earning a standard four-year degree or a bachelor’s degree is the first step in becoming a cognitive behavioral therapist. While this degree doesn’t necessarily have to relate to the mental health field, majoring in a degree related to social work and/or psychology can provide you with a strong foundation and a basic understanding of how the mind works. It also looks good on your resume.  

Individuals who want to become cognitive behavioral therapists should consider taking classes in behavioral and cognitive psychology. Continued education is also recommended, specifically a minimum of a master’s degree in mental health or any other medical-related field. Students are encouraged to obtain a doctoral degree or master’s degree in fields like behavior science, counseling, psychology, or social work from a school that has regional accreditation.  

Training and Certification Requirements

CBT training is required before you will be permitted to apply for certification. Many established courses have been approved by the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists (NACBT). One of the more notable certifications is in rational-emotive therapy as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, which is provided by The Albert Ellis Institute.  

The Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT), which supports continuing education and research for this therapy type, requires that candidates complete a minimum of 40 hours of certification in CBT. Training programs offered by recognized and reputable CBT institutes are generally very intensive and focus on advanced training in this field. Keep in mind that the majority of these institutes will require that you have a specific amount of supervised cognitive therapy time under your belt. 

The exact requirements will vary from institution to institution. For instance, the NACBT requires that students have at least 6 years of experience in cognitive therapy after receiving their master’s degrees. However, the Academy of Cognitive Therapy requires practitioners to have a minimum of 10 years of experience in CBT to qualify for the Diplomate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Salary  

Salaries for cognitive behavioral therapists will differ depending on experience, location, and education. In October 2022, the average salary for cognitive behavioral therapists was $61,183, while more experienced therapists earned well over $90,000 per year. CBT therapists earned the most in Nebraska, California, Wyoming, and Texas, with the highest average salaries of $77,268, $76,482, $71,171, and $70,971, respectively. 

Finding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Near Me

People who suffer from depression, anxiety, and PTSD can greatly benefit from CBT. This therapy approach can help individuals properly manage the symptoms of their mental health illness. CBT also helps people learn the skills needed to cope with stressful situations and how to positively change them. You will be able to communicate your emotions properly and strengthen healthy relationships during CBT therapy. You will also be able to change any self-destructive behaviors that may be enabling your addiction. 

This therapy approach is very practical, rather than insight-based, and looks at solving the current issue. Combined with other therapy methods and sometimes medication, CBT is an effective and vital component of Banyan’s mental illness treatment in Boca. With our care, you will be able to grow through recovery and learn how to overcome negative challenges that come your way after completing CBT therapy. 

For more information about our mental health care in Boca Ratoncontact Banyan Mental Health. Call us today at 888-280-4763. We can help! 


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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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