Unfortunately, until such times as talking therapies are effectively regulated, any person can set themselves up as being a CBT therapist. A consequence of this is a number of people within the locality are claiming to offer CBT, who if you look closely at their ‘qualifications’ are untrained or poorly trained, likely to be unsupervised in their practice and probably without a code of professional standards to adhere to.
Putting to one side the ethical implications of this, consider the practical issues: You wouldn’t want to be operated on for a hernia repair by someone who had read a book about it or have your car brakes serviced by someone who been on a weekend course would you?
In the past charlatans claimed to offer help through snakeoil skin, now it would appear they are jumping on the CBT bandwagon! Therefore, if you are contemplating Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, please ascertain whether the therapist has the appropriate level of skill, experience, supervision, continuing professional development and qualifications. In the past, I have had people ask how much my professional charges are, and then say they know someone on the net who is £40 per hour cheaper. I guess that they could probably use them. After all, my mate ‘Dave’ will service your car for £50 cash in his back pocket, cut your hair for a fiver, and re-wire your house for a few quid! I wouldn’t recommend you use him though!!
One way of having the assurance that someone offering CBT has the requisite skills is to check their accreditation status. The gold standard and the lead organisation in the United Kingdom for the accreditation of cognitive behavioural psychotherapists is the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). The following link takes you to a register of accredited CBT therapists practising within the United Kingdom.
An article in the Guardian in 2015 suggested that CBT was falling out of favour, and that it’s effectiveness for depression was declining. However, when you look at the journal article by Johnsen and Friborg (2015) that the Guardian piece was based on then the above comments take on a differing perspective. They state,
proper training, considerable practice, and competent supervision are very important to provide CBT in an efficacious manner.
So, when you are parting with your hard earned money for CBT, ask yourself whether your ‘therapist’ does have the above. After all, you might not be getting CBT at all, but a ‘painting by numbers’, ineffective and waste of time, money and effort service instead.