5 CBT Programs To Learn Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

cbt program

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques can be incredibly useful and versatile tools to add to your professional repertoire if you want to help a wide range of patients with different mental health conditions.

If you’re looking to increase your impact or upgrade your therapeutic skill set, we’ve reviewed some of the best CBT programs on offer in this article.

What Can You Learn In a CBT Program?

Like any other training courses, CBT programs vary from introductory level training to more advanced certifications for practitioners who already have an understanding of CBT theory and frameworks.

Like any other training courses, CBT programs vary from introductory level training to more advanced certifications for practitioners who already have an understanding of CBT theory and frameworks.

Depending on what you’d like to take away from your program, you’ll need to check out different options to see what suits your professional goals or interests.

While this list is nowhere near comprehensive, here are a few examples of what you might learn in a CBT course:[1]

  • CBT theory: What Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is, its defining characteristics, and a brief look at its history
  • Case formulation: Creating “an ideographic theory of a specific client’s symptoms that provides a guide for assessment, treatment, and the therapy process.”[2]
  • Structuring CBT: How to plan a therapy session, create a treatment plan, and implement your programs successfully
  • Behavioral interventions, e.g., journaling, behavioral activation, and scheduling
  • Interventions based on cognitions, e.g., challenging core beliefs and negative automatic thoughts, guided discovery, and hypothesis testing
  • Applying CBT in the treatment of mental health challenges, such as treating depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD
  • How to deliver online CBT: How to adapt traditional interventions and programs to deliver a successful iCBT program.

In addition to core topics on CBT, its practical techniques, and its implementation, a good number of courses focus on specific approaches such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R).

We can take a look at some CBT lessons from some well-established programs for a few more concrete examples.

Example Lessons and Workshops

The best way to know what to expect from a course or program is by digging into its curriculum.

The Beck Institute, one of the world’s best-known mental health training providers, offers a CBT for Depression program with eight modules:

  1. Basics of CBT for Depression: This considers at the theory, history, and research on depression, as well as schemas and strength-based and problem-based cognitive formulation.
  2. Planning Treatment Using Cognitive Conceptualization Diagrams: An introduction to strength- and problem-based cognitive conceptualization diagrams and how they can be used in treatment planning
  3. Building Blocks of Treatment: How to structure therapy sessions, build rapport, and create action plans, among other topics
  4. Beginning Treatment: How to set up an evaluation session, determine objectives, set goals, and plan a structure for the first session
  5. Automatic Thoughts: Different types of automatic thoughts and how they can be challenged with Socratic Questioning, psychoeducation interventions, and other strategies
  6. Core Beliefs, Coping Strategies, and Intermediate Beliefs: Identifying and providing psychoeducation about core beliefs, modifying maladaptive core beliefs
  7. Techniques from CBT and Other Therapies: e.g., decision-making, scheduling activities, role plays, creating therapy notes, and mindfulness techniques
  8. Termination Preparation: Preparing to terminate, tapering sessions, and problem-solving termination issues.

5 Best Online Certification Programs [2022]

Here, we reviewed some of the best online CBT programs available online, including some of the courses already mentioned above.

With self-paced CBT workshops and official certifications to choose from, these picks include options for established and aspiring practitioners alike.



Beck Institute Logo blue black whiteThe Beck Institute is an international cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) training and research center offering a wide range of training options such as CBT and Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R) for Anxiety, Depression, Youth, Personality Disorders, and PTSD.

These comprehensive, self-paced courses include live webinars, live workshops, on-demand courses, and on-demand workshops that run throughout the year. Students can expect to learn and apply evidence-based cognitive and behavioral strategies, plan treatments, and decrease physiological symptoms of conditions such as those mentioned above.

Name Various courses
InstitutionBeck Institute
Good ForAll levels and professionals
More infoBeck Institute



oxford cognitive training center logo largeThe Oxford Cognitive Training Center offers online CBT programs covering a wide range of topics at the basic level and intermediate to advanced levels.

Learners can apply for anywhere between twelve months and five years of access to the videos, which include video role-plays and downloadable resources for use in practice.

Introductory courses include themes such as Basic CBT Theory, CBT Assessment and Formulation, and Behavioural Experiments, while Intermediate – Advanced courses cover topics such as CBT for obsessive-compulsive disorder and Working with core beliefs.

Name OCTC Online Training
InstitutionOxford Cognitive Therapy Center 
Good ForAll levels and professionals
More infoOCTC Online Training



Laurier logo blue white blackWilfrid Laurier University offers a CBT training program and certification for professionals and graduate students who have completed a degree in a relevant field or at least three years of experience in mental health, education, healthcare, or similar.

To obtain a certificate, learners must complete two levels: Level I is an introduction to a set of core cognitive behavior interventions used to treat an array of presenting problems and disorders. In Level II, students learn how to professionally use these core CBT skills and interventions in application to the most prevalent DSM-V disorders, e.g., Anxiety Disorders, Depression, and Trauma, as well as how to use CBT with Children and Youth. Each level of these asynchronous courses takes 36 hours to complete and includes assignments.

 Name Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Certificate
Institution Wilfrid Laurier University
Good ForExperienced therapists and practitioners
More infoCognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Certificate



TF CBT logo orange white and greenThe Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy National Therapist Certification Program does not offer specific training per se, but an accreditation process for practitioners who want to help children and adolescents recover after trauma professionally.

To qualify for accreditation through this program, applicants must have a Master’s degree or higher in a mental health discipline, participate in live training, and score 80% or higher for the TF CBT therapist certification program knowledge-based test, among other things.

On successful completion of this program, clinicians will officially be certified in the TF-CBT treatment model.

Name TF-CBT National Therapist Certification Program
Good ForAll levels and professionals
More infoTF-CBT National Therapist Certification Program



APT logo red circle white backgroundThe APT’s CBT Essentials course is a 3-day program from one of the UK’s leading providers of accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) training.

It is aimed at professionals with existing clinical skills and experience treating patients in one-on-one contexts.

Some of this course’s modules include Treatments Based on Behavioral Factors, Treatment Techniques Based on Biological Factors, and Treatment Techniques Based on Cognitions and Thinking Style.

NameCBT Essentials (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
InstitutionThe Association for Psychological Therapies
Good ForAll levels and professionals
More infoAPT CBT Essentials

Requirements for Training

Of course, every institution will have its own set of prerequisites for entry into a CBT program, and these will vary based on whether you are pursuing accreditation or simply looking to learn.

Introductory level courses are frequently designed for anyone interested in learning the basics of CBT, and often come with no entry requirements.

You’ll also find intermediate- to advanced-level courses or accreditation programs targeted at experienced practitioners. These may require that applicants show proof of past work experience, recognized mental health qualifications, or university degrees.

If accreditation or an advanced-level course is what you are looking for, many institutions offer “equivalence routes” or similar. This means they will consider any applicant that satisfactorily demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to understand and apply the learnings from their course in mental health practice—there are often multiple routes into a course.

As an example, the prerequisites for Laurier University’s Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Certificate are as follows:

  • Graduate or professional student status in any discipline, and
  • A degree in a relevant field, or at least three years of experience working in education, mental health, healthcare, or a related field,

How To Deliver iCBT programs

It’s never too early to think about how you’ll deliver your CBT programs, even while you’re looking into potential training opportunities.

Although a few courses will cover the basics of designing and delivering an online CBT program, learning the ropes is often a matter of trial and error.

We have a range of resources to help you put together a digital CBT treatment plan and implement it successfully from intake to evaluation.

Take a look at the following step-by-step guides and software reviews:

If you are looking for more tips on how to plan your sessions and keep your patients engaged throughout their treatment, we recommend you download our free 30-page online coaching guide: Coach, This Changes Everything.

blue cover image of online life coaching guide pdf

This guide was specifically designed for helping professionals such as therapists and coaches, and reveals the most effective ways to deliver high-impact online interventions such as CBT programs in less time, with maximum impact.

Click here to download your copy today.

Final Thoughts

Deciding which course to pursue can be daunting for mental health professionals—not only are there so many great options available, but there are also numerous factors such as cost, modality, and program prerequisites to consider.

We hope this article has given you a little more clarity about what you want to learn and how you hope to apply your new skills. If you’re inspired to start designing and testing some of your own CBT tools right now, sign up for your $1, 30-day Quenza trial and see how it works for you!


  1. ^ Association for Psychological Therapies. (2022). CBT Essentials. Retrieved from https://www.apt.ac/cbt-training.html
  2. ^ Persons, J. B., Davidson, J., Tompkins, M. A., & Dowd, E. T. (2001). Essential components of cognitive-behavior therapy for depression. Individualized Case Formulation and Treatment Planning, 25–55.

About the author

Catherine specializes in Organizational and Positive Psychology, helping entrepreneurs, clinical psychologists and OD specialists grow their businesses by simplifying their digital journeys.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.