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To establish competence based on the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale (CTRS), various training options are available.

The Academy of Cognitive Therapy (www.AcademyofCT.org) awards certification based on proven competence in Cognitive Therapy (a MA degree in a mental health field is an additional minimum prerequisite). Formal training in CT/CBT ideally starts with 1-2 years of training at institutions abroad or via a distance education course. This would include didactic seminars, case discussions, practical supervision and research. In SA this is not offered as part of a graduation program at university. After establishing a basic theoretical understanding, continued training in longer workshop format is available worldwide.

There are three levels of professional development in CBT:

Stage 1

Involves basic conceptualization formulation based on initial evaluation, structuring and planning treatment, transforming dysfunctional thoughts and assisting in problem solving. Getting to know some basic cognitive and behavioural techniques.

Stage 2

Requires better integration and flow of therapy components. Making critical decisions about interventions based on continuous review of conceptualization, expanding on repertoire of techniques and the appropriate implementation thereof.

Stage 3

Characterised by an automatic process of reformulation and varying techniques and structure, incorporating flexibility for the more demanding patient with personality disorder traits.1  

Course content

A distance education course (i.e. http://www.BehavioralHealthAssoc.com) includes compulsory reading, +_ 70 hours of seminars received electronically, case discussions, post tests, two examinations and an assessment of an audio/video tape and case write up (additional requirement of ACT) of a patient.

Four modules are covered, whereby participants are taught to discuss, explain and demonstrate the use of Cognitive Therapy concepts, strategies, techniques as well as how to apply the Cognitive Therapy approach to specific diagnostic categories.

Module 1

Fundamentals of Cognitive Therapy with Depression
Basic theoretical concepts of Cognitive Therapy is introduced, including historical perspective, basic conceptualization, techniques and strategies. Topics addressed: developing rapport, structuring the session, cognitive and behavioural strategies, the use of homework assignments, issues of compliance, resistance and termination. Didactic and experiential components are included.

Module 2

Cognitive Therapy with stress and anxiety disorders
Fundamentals in module 1 are applied to the treatment of stress, adjustment disorders and the anxiety disorders. Topics addressed: adjustment disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, OCD, GAD, phobias, PTSD. Case presentations are discussed on a consultative basis.

Module 3

Cognitive Therapy with personality disorders
Specific treatment approaches for borderline, paranoid, histrionic, dependent, avoidant, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, and anti-social personality disorders are covered. Theoretical content, case presentation and consultation is provided.

Module 4

Special / additional topics are chosen by participants which may include CT in groups, marital and family problems, substance abuse, medical application, etc.

For accreditation requirements set by the British Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), log onto www.babcp.com/Accreditation/CBP/CBP-Provisional-Accreditaion.aspx 

Requirements as a Trainer and Consultant in CBT:  www.academyofct.org/cbt_training_certificate 


Other distance education resources:



www.octc.co.uk (Oxford CT Centre) 





Upcoming international conferences and workshops

EABCT (European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies) Conference, Athens 2-5 Sept 2020 www.eabct2020.org  

BABCP (British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies) Conference, Bath 3-5 Sept 2020

AACBT (Australian Association of CBT) Conference, Perth 29-31 Oct 2010 www.aacbt.org.au/events 

ABCT (American Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy), Atlanta 21-24  2020 www.abct.org   

8th World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies, Melbourne Onvention Centre, Melbourne, Australia, 22-25 June 2016 www.wcbct.com.au 

ICCP Rome 18-21 June 2020 www.iccp202.com 

WCCBT (World Confederation of CBT) Conference, Jeju Island, South Korea, 2-5 June 2022 www.wccbt2022.org   




www.abct.org webinars and webcasts

APT CBT Training online




Trial Based Cognitive Therapy workshops www.trial-basedcognitivetherapy.com  



5th Asian CBT Conference, Nanjing, China 15-20 May 2015 http://cbtchina.com.cn/2015acbtc/

8th World congress of behavioural and cognitive therapies, Melbourne, Australia, 22-25 June 2016 www.wcbct2016.com.au

9th International congress of cognitive psychotherapy, 2017, Cluj-Napoca, Romania www.iccp2017.org


In South Africa


David Edwards offers an internationally approved training program in schema therapy, including training workshops and individual or group supervision. For more information about schema therapy and his training program, visit:


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