Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

cognitive behavioral therapist job description 1

In the realm of mental health, the role of cognitive behavioral therapists has never been more crucial.

As the understanding of mental health issues advances, so does the demand for skilled professionals who can understand, guide, and improve our cognitive and emotional well-being.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from a cognitive behavioral therapist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker wanting to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager outlining the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the intricacies of cognitive behavioral therapy,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a customizable cognitive behavioral therapist job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Duties and Responsibilities

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists help their clients to understand and manage mental health issues and emotional problems by changing their thought patterns.

They use scientifically tested strategies to help their patients overcome their challenges.

The duties and responsibilities of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist may include:

  • Conducting initial assessments to understand the mental health needs of the client
  • Developing individualized treatment plans based on the needs of the client
  • Utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help clients challenge negative thought patterns and behaviors
  • Guiding clients through exercises that challenge their thoughts and change their behaviors
  • Providing education and resources to clients and their families about cognitive behavioral therapy and mental health
  • Regularly reviewing and updating treatment plans based on the progress and needs of the client
  • Collaborating with other mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists and social workers, to provide comprehensive care to the client
  • Documenting sessions and treatment progress in a confidential manner
  • Continuing professional development and staying informed about latest developments in cognitive behavioral therapy


Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a highly capable Cognitive Behavioral Therapist to provide in-depth therapeutic assistance to our clients.

In this role, you will be responsible for creating treatment plans, conducting individual and group therapy sessions, and maintaining progress notes.

Our ideal candidate is someone who has a deep understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy and its application in treating various mental health disorders.

Ultimately, the Cognitive Behavioral Therapist should be able to help clients develop coping mechanisms and tools to improve their mental health and wellbeing.



  • Conduct initial assessments to determine the client’s needs and treatment goals
  • Develop and implement individualized treatment plans based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles
  • Conduct regular therapy sessions and adjust treatment plans as necessary
  • Provide crisis intervention when necessary
  • Document and maintain comprehensive client records
  • Communicate with other healthcare professionals to provide holistic care
  • Attend regular professional development and training sessions
  • Adhere to ethical and professional standards as outlined by relevant regulatory bodies



  • Master’s degree in Psychology, Social Work, Counseling or related field
  • Valid state license to practice as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
  • Proven experience as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Strong understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy principles and techniques
  • Ability to work with diverse populations and age groups
  • Proficiency with electronic health records software



  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development assistance
  • Mental health resources


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
  • Work Environment: Clinical setting. May require evenings or weekend sessions to accommodate clients’ schedules.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Head of the Therapy Department or Clinical Director.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $68,000 minimum to $108,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Do?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, or CBT therapists, are specialized mental health professionals who work with individuals suffering from mental health disorders.

These therapists can work in various settings, including hospitals, mental health clinics, schools, or as self-employed practitioners.

Their primary role involves helping their clients deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and substance abuse, among others, by teaching them cognitive behavioral techniques to manage their symptoms and improve their emotional well-being.

CBT therapists work closely with their clients to identify harmful thought patterns and behaviors.

They provide strategies to replace these with healthier, more constructive ones.

They conduct individual or group therapy sessions, assess their clients’ mental health, and develop personalized treatment plans.

These therapists also monitor the progress of their clients and adjust treatment strategies as necessary.

In addition to the direct client work, CBT therapists often liaise with other healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists and social workers, to provide comprehensive care for their clients.

They may also conduct research, offer training to other mental health professionals, or contribute to the development of CBT techniques and strategies.

CBT therapists also need to keep up to date with the latest research and advancements in the field, as well as comply with ethical and professional standards set by the relevant regulatory bodies.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Qualifications and Skills

A competent Cognitive Behavioral Therapist should possess a variety of professional qualifications, interpersonal skills, and technical knowledge, including:

  • Extensive knowledge in psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy, with the ability to apply this knowledge to various patient situations.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills to establish rapport and trust with patients, fostering a safe environment for open communication.
  • Strong listening and communication skills to understand patient concerns, convey therapy procedures and explain treatment plans in a clear and compassionate manner.
  • Problem-solving skills to assess patient issues, devise effective treatment strategies and adjust therapy plans as necessary.
  • Patience and empathy to support patients through their therapeutic journey, understanding the struggles they might face and offering consistent, compassionate care.
  • Ability to maintain professionalism and confidentiality, respecting patients’ privacy rights and ensuring ethical practice.
  • Strong documentation skills to accurately record patient sessions, progress, treatment plans, and other relevant information.
  • Critical thinking skills to analyze patient conditions and apply appropriate therapeutic interventions.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Experience Requirements

To become a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, individuals typically begin by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field.

This is followed by a master’s degree in counseling or psychology, where they may gain some initial exposure to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) through coursework and supervised clinical experience.

Prior to becoming fully licensed, therapists usually complete several thousand hours of supervised clinical experience, often over a period of two to three years.

This may be done through a variety of settings such as mental health clinics, hospitals, or private practices.

During this time, therapists refine their knowledge and skills in CBT, as well as gain experience working with a range of mental health disorders.

In addition to this, some Cognitive Behavioral Therapists may choose to undertake additional training and certification specifically in CBT.

This can involve further coursework, supervised practice, and examinations.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists with more than 5 years of experience often have a strong foundation in CBT and have extensive experience applying these methods to a range of psychological issues.

They may be qualified to supervise and train less experienced therapists, or take on more complex cases.

Those with a doctoral degree and several years of experience might be eligible for leadership roles within mental health organizations, or may choose to establish their own private practice.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Education and Training Requirements

A Cognitive Behavioral Therapist typically needs a master’s degree in psychology, counseling, social work, or a related field.

However, many practitioners opt to earn a doctoral degree in psychology or related field.

In-depth understanding of human behavior, psychopathology, and evidence-based treatments, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy, are core elements of the curriculum.

Most states require Cognitive Behavioral Therapists to be licensed.

Licensing requirements vary by state but generally require a master’s degree, a certain number of supervised clinical hours, and passing a state-approved exam.

Some Cognitive Behavioral Therapists may also complete additional training to specialize in treating specific populations (like children or veterans) or issues (like substance abuse or eating disorders).

Beyond education and licensing, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist should be compassionate, patient, and have excellent communication skills, as they will be working directly with individuals who may be dealing with significant mental health challenges.

Continuing education is also important, as it keeps therapists updated with the latest research and techniques in cognitive behavioral therapy.

Some professionals may also choose to become certified by a professional organization, which can help demonstrate expertise in the field.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Salary Expectations

The average salary for a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist is $76,520 (USD) per year.

However, the actual income can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, location, and the specific organization they work for.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Job Description FAQs

What qualifications does a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist need?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists need to have a Master’s degree in psychology, counseling, social work or a similar field.

They also need to have a state license to practice therapy.

Some states may require therapists to have a specific license in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.


What are the daily duties of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists work with clients to identify and change dysfunctional behavior patterns.

They will conduct initial assessments to determine the nature of the client’s problems and then develop a treatment plan.

Their day may include individual therapy sessions, group sessions, record keeping and attending professional development trainings.

They may also consult with other healthcare professionals as part of a treatment team.


What qualities make a good Cognitive Behavioral Therapist?

A good Cognitive Behavioral Therapist has excellent interpersonal skills and is able to create a safe and trusting environment for their clients.

They must be empathetic, patient, and have a strong ability to listen and communicate effectively.

They also need to be analytical to assess patient issues and implement the most effective treatment plan.

Finally, they must be committed to continuing education to stay updated on new theories and techniques in therapy.


Is it difficult to hire Cognitive Behavioral Therapists?

Hiring a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist can be challenging because it requires finding candidates with the right combination of education, licensing, and personal qualities.

It may also require offering competitive compensation and benefits to attract and retain the best therapists.

However, with the increasing awareness and acceptance of mental health treatment, the demand for therapists is growing, leading to more professionals choosing this career path.


What should you look for in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist resume?

When reviewing a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist’s resume, look for relevant education and licensure.

Confirm they have a Master’s degree in a relevant field and a state license to practice therapy.

Also, look for experience in working with the specific population your organization serves.

Additional credentials in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be a plus.

Soft skills such as empathy, patience, and communication skills, while harder to quantify, can often be inferred from the way candidates describe their work experience and approach to therapy.



There you have it.

Today, we’ve delved into the intricate world of cognitive behavioral therapy.


It’s not just about understanding behavior.

It’s about shaping human resilience, one therapy session at a time.

With our comprehensive cognitive behavioral therapist job description template and real-world examples, you’re equipped to stride forward.

But why draw the line there?

Explore further with our job description generator. It’s your next step to crafting precision-based listings or refining your resume to excellence.


Every therapy session forms an integral part of the broader healing journey.

Let’s navigate that path. Together.

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