What is Cognitive Behavioral Psychology?

cognitive-behavioral psychology

The specialty area of Cognitive Behavioral Psychology emphasizes both an empirical and clinical approach to the application of behavioral and cognitive sciences. The goal is to better understand human behavior and develop interventions that assist the human condition. Cognitive Behavioral Psychologists participate in research, education, training, and clinical practice including a range of issues and populations.

What are the Primary Responsibilities of a Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist?

Cognitive Behavioral Psychologists have a variety of professional responsibilities, include:

  • Assessment – This includes identifying, diagnosing, and conceptualizing problems experienced by individuals or groups.
  • Intervention – This includes creating, implementing and evaluating interventions designed to induce positive change.
  • Consultation – Many Cognitive Behavioral Psychologists offer professional guidance or assistance to meet the needs of their clients.

In modern day, the clinical practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is said to have six individual phases.

  1. Assessment or psychological assessment
  2. Reconceptualization
  3. Skills acquisition
  4. Skills consolidation and application training
  5. Generalization and maintenance
  6. Post-treatment assessment follow-up

Where do Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist Typically Work?

Cognitive Behavioral Psychologists can be found employed in a range of settings. Many choose to begin work in a private practice. Others can be found in hospitals, mental health facilities, rehabilitation hospitals and similar settings. Some psychologists trained in CBT will become active participants in ongoing research studies.

What training is needed to become a Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist?

A Master’s Degree in psychology is the minimum requirement to become a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Typically students will earn a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology before entering a graduate program. The most opportunities for employment are offered to those individuals who have earned their doctoral degree and completed a relevant internship or fellowship. It is also important to note that CBT practitioners must be fully licensed in their state of employment. The majority of states require between 2,000 and 4,000 supervised hours of clinical experience and successful completion of a state or national examination before a license is granted.

How Much Money Can I Earn As a Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist?

As of May 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national median annual salary was around $72,000 for Cognitive behavioral therapists.

Are There Any Professional Organizations for Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist?

The board that oversees CBT certification is the American Board of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology (ABCBP). The ABCBP is a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The ABPP is responsible for overseeing and authorizes the credentialing activities of thirteen specialty boards in psychology. The ABCBP is responsible for setting the guidelines related to the definition and requirements for education, training, competencies, and the examination, which leads to Board Certification in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology.

CBT is among the most popular forms of modern psychological practice. More and more students are seeking a training program that offers training in this specialty area of psychology. A degree in Cognitive Behavioral Psychology from a board certified degree program allows graduates to begin a career in CBT.