Working Privately as an AREBT Practitioner

General Guidance

  • Psychotherapy, including REBT or CBT is not a state-registered profession, so there are no legal requirements for working privately.
  • Accreditation and specific qualifications are not legally essential however the public are likely to look for accredited practitioners as this provides reassurance that you have met the standards of training and practice required for accreditation.
  • You must work ethically and abide by our AREBT Code of Conduct Code of Conduct – Association for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (
  • You must have appropriate supervision and CPD.
  • You must ensure you are GDPR compliant.
  • You must work from suitable premises. It is good practice to conduct a risk assessment of your premises.
  • All AREBT members in clinical practice must take out professional indemnity and public liability insurance.
  • Check with your employer if you intending to practice privately alongside other work – there may be restrictions.

If you’re Accredited (Provisional or Full)

  • You can use “AREBT Accredited” and our logo in your advertising.
  • You can pay to upgrade your CBT Register UK listing so that members of the public can find your details.
  • There are other online therapy directories you can sign up to. However, your presence on the CBT Register UK will show clients that you are AREBT accredited.
  • Accredited members can register with Private Health Insurers and Medico-Legal agencies to receive referrals.

If you’re not Accredited

  • You cannot mention your membership of the AREBT within your marketing, unless you are accredited.  You cannot claim to be accredited or registered by AREBT, as this may imply that you are represented on the CBT Register.   However, you should in your initial contracting let the client know you are a member of AREBT and that they have the right to complain to AREBT if they wish.
  • If you are a listed AREBT counsellor you can mention your membership of AREBT in your marketing.   However, you should not in your marketing claim to be an accredited AREBT psychotherapist.
  • If you have a core profession of counsellor/psychologist, then you should advise the client of your professional body (e.g., BACP or BPS) in your marketing and initial contracting.

Recommendations for Private Practice

Clinical issues including Risk

  • It is highly recommended that you make use of a written contract for therapy which is agreed to by both psychotherapist and client
  • In this written contract, amongst other details do include details of your fees, cancellation policy the limits of confidentiality and relevant GDPR information.
  • Collect your client’s contact details before commencing therapy: including their full address and postcode and date of birth.
  • Ensure you collect GP details from your client before your first meeting and get agreement to contact the GP with regard to risk.   The GP is usually the only suitable person who can hold the risk for your client between their therapy sessions.   You can also seek permission to consult with their psychiatrist and other health professionals – where appropriate.
  • Monitor your clinical effectiveness in practice:  Make use of clinical measures before, during and at the end of therapy so that you can monitor your own clinical effectiveness, and also respond honestly to client enquiries about your rate of success.  You should also always ask for feedback at the end of therapy.
  • Ensure you keep clinically updated with regular CPD.
  • Make provision for managing risk in independent practice. Discuss with your supervisor when it is appropriate to consult them on an urgent basis.   If your supervisor is not available for urgent consultation, consider having a suitably qualified peer supervisor, who would be willing to be available for additional supervision.
  • As you are working independently you will often need to act first in response to risk and then consult your supervisor afterwards.
  • Do not delay in responding to risk because you cannot access supervision.
  • Have a proactive conversation with your supervisor about how you intend to handle risk – preferably before you begin to work in private practice.
  • Consider boundary issues before they arise: how do you wish to handle contact between sessions?  Make it clear to the client how you would prefer to be contacted and the limits of what you can and can’t do between sessions.   If you are going to charge for a contact between sessions then make this clear to the client.
  • Make a clinical will: it is good practice in the care of your clients to ensure that should you become seriously ill or die, that this news is broken to them in a sensitive and timely manner.   You will also need to make practical arrangements with regard to the disposal of your records.

Record keeping

  • All records must be accurate.
  • Your records must be kept securely: whether in hard copy or held on your computer.
  • Whether your clinical records are kept at your premises or at your home office – they should only be accessible to you.
  • If any other member of staff (for example a receptionist) has access to the client’s contact details, then they will need to give consent to this.

Business considerations

  • Having a written contract making the fee, length of session and cancellation policy (including any charges) clear and transparent is important for both you and your client.
  • When deciding on fees – do your research.  What are local similarly qualified REBT psychotherapists charging?
  • Consider your social media presence – do you want to have a business page on Facebook or LinkedIn profile?
  • Review your personal social media – to ensure that it is private.
  • You must make sure any advertising you do is accurate.

Self-care Recommendations

  • When working from home, allow yourself suitable breaks between sessions and at lunch time.
  • Consider a lone worker policy and your personal safety while in private practice.
  • Can you provide disabled access to your premises and be inclusive within your practice?   If so, make this clear in your advertising/on your website.  Consider how you could make your service more accessible.
  • Consider joining a Peer Supervision group to reduce professional isolation.