In the UK, there are several differences between a counsellor and a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) therapist in terms of their training, approach, and the types of issues they typically work with:

  • Training: Counsellors typically have more general training in counselling skills and may have completed a diploma or degree in counselling. In contrast, CBT therapists have specific training in CBT techniques and may have completed a postgraduate course in CBT or a related field.
  • Approach: Counsellors use a more general approach to therapy, focusing on helping clients explore their feelings and emotions, gain insight into their behaviours, and develop coping strategies. CBT therapists use a more structured and goal-oriented approach to therapy, focusing on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours that are causing the client’s problems.
  • Issues: Counsellors work with clients on various issues, including relationship problems, bereavement, anxiety, and depression. CBT therapists primarily work with clients who have anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health conditions.
  • Techniques: Counsellors use a range of counselling techniques, such as active listening, empathy, and reflection. CBT therapists use specific techniques, such as Socratic questioning, behavioural experiments, and cognitive restructuring, to help clients change their negative thought patterns and behaviours.
  • Duration of therapy: Counselling is often a longer-term process, with clients attending regular sessions over a period of several months or years. CBT is typically a shorter-term therapy, with clients attending a specific number of sessions, usually between 6 to 20, depending on the severity of their condition and individual needs.

Please note that there is some overlap between the roles of a counsellor and a CBT therapist, and some counsellors may use CBT techniques in their practice. Ultimately, the differences between the two professions come down to their training, approach, and the types of issues they typically work with.

You can apply for in-house and online Counsellor & CBT Therapy Courses here