What are Cognitive Behavioral Therapists?

What are Cognitive Behavioral Therapists?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of talk therapy (psychotherapy) that has been demonstrated effective for a range of mental health struggles including anxiety disorders, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, marital problems, and severe mental illness. 

CBT is based on scientific research methods forming several core principles, to include the following premises:

  • Psychological problems are based, to a certain degree, on unhelpful or negative ways of thinking.
  • Psychological problems are based, to a certain degree, on learned patterns of negative or unhelpful behaviours.
  • People experiencing psychological problems can learn healthier ways of coping with their problems, thereby reducing their symptoms to live healthier and more productive lives.

Educational Requirements for Cognitive Therapists

Depending on their specific geographical location, cognitive behavioral therapists are required to hold both an undergraduate degree and a graduate-level degree. Cognitive behavioral therapists complete their bachelor’s degree, followed by their master’s program in clinical or mental health counseling (such as a master’s degree in psychology or social work). 

Upon completing their educational requirements, cognitive behavioral therapists must be licensed in the area where they plan on treating patients. Licensing typically requires several hours of supervised clinical experience (ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 hours), as well as passing both local and national examinations before licensing is approved. 

Who Can Be Treated with Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective method of therapy used to treat a wide range of mental health concerns. CBT is often a preferred method of psychotherapy, as this form of talk therapy can quickly help a patient identify and cope with specific challenges. Depending on the severity, CBT generally requires fewer sessions than other types of therapy, and it’s a valuable tool to address emotional difficulties. For example, CBT can be used to help individuals:

  • Develop techniques for identifying and dealing with stressful life circumstances
  • Identify ways to regulate their emotions
  • Enhance communication skills to work through relationship problems  
  • Come to terms with a recent loss or death
  • Move past emotional trauma related to violence or abuse
  • And much more

Cognitive behavioral therapist often treat patients mental health disorders, to include:

  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Sleep disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorders

Types of Cognitive Behavior Therapy 

According to the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), “Cognitive and behavioral psychotherapies are a range of therapies based on concepts and principles derived from psychological models of human emotion and behavior. They include a wide range of treatment approaches for emotional disorders, along with a continuum from structured individual psychotherapy to self-help material.”

CBT is an essential aspect of several types of therapeutic approaches applied by mental health professionals, to include:

  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a short-term form of CBT that helps patients identify negative feelings and thoughts, challenging those self-defeating ideas and replacing them with healthier ones. REBT primarily focuses on the present to help patients recognize how their unhealthy feelings create emotional distress, leading to harmful behaviors and actions that interfere with living a healthy and happy life.  
  • Cognitive Therapy is a type of CBT focused on helping individuals learn efficient skills that are used to help them change the way they feel, think, and behave in the present. Cognitive behavioral therapy is practical, action-oriented, rational, and helps patients gain independence and effectiveness in dealing with real-life issues.

While each type of cognitive behavioral therapy offers its own specific approach, each focuses on approaching the underlying thought patterns that contribute to psychological distress.


Do you ever feel anxious or depressed? Do you ever wish your life was more fulfilling? If so, you are not alone. Given the challenges of these uncertain times, struggling to achieve and maintain mental health is a common problem. At ClearMinds, we believe that with the right support, we all have the potential to live happy and fulfilling lives. Located in Dubai, our psychology practice is dedicated to helping individuals and families achieve their collective mental health goals. 

Contact a member of our team to learn more about how cognitive behavioural therapy can help you and your loved ones.