Training Standards

Minimum training standards for the practice of REBT

In 1995 AREBT set its first minimum training standard requirements for the practice of REBT. In 2002 as joint members of the CBT section of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy alongside BABCP, AREBT updated these minimum training standards to specifically detail minimum level of training, experience and practice required of therapists applying for Accreditation with AREBT and registration at that time with the Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy Section of the UKCP.

When BABCP joined with us in 2007 to create the joint national register of REBT/CBT accredited therapists, we began the process of creating an agreed set of minimum training standards required of those who wish to seek accredited status, with AREBT and/or BABCP and be placed on our joint REBT/CBT national register, which is the current format you will read today.

Such training standards detailed here relate to ‘individual therapists’ and are separate from standards required of Training courses. Whilst at this time AREBT does not Accredit Training Courses, we do have a formal ‘Course Recognition’ process in REBT and are currently reviewing and developing such an accreditation program for the future. There is an appendix detail of such AREBT ‘recognised’ training courses at the end of this document along with an overview of REBT for those members of the public interested in learning more about or training in REBT and membership categories which demonstrate a developmental pathway towards seeking accreditation.

The current set of Minimum Training standards has the aims of:

  • Providing people seeking further training with core standards they will be expected to meet within their overall training in Rational Emotive Behaviour/Cognitive Behaviour therapies.

  • Providing training courses with a guide to the training needs which will be met by their training programme.

  • Providing the Accreditation and Registration Committee (A & R) of BABCP/AREBT with a standard against which to decide if an applicant has received the desired level of training necessary to practice.

  • Providing employers with a benchmark of standards in REB/CB Therapies.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS of seeking accredited status

  • All therapists are considered on an individual basis but they will usually have an approved basic professional qualification in an appropriate profession such as clinical/counselling psychology, occupational therapy, psychiatry or counselling, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, education.

  • They usually have been or will still be registered with a professional regulatory body and have undertaken a minimum period of two years post qualification training and experience

  • Where they do not have a core profession training but can prove they have successfully completed counselling or psychotherapy courses that amount to a minimum of 450 hours of training of which a minimum of 200 hours was core training in REBT/CBT; plus have completed a minimum of 200 hours of supervised clinical practice; plus have and still are receiving current on-going monthly supervision in REBT/CBT and can demonstrate having achieved Continuing Professional Development through yearly logs made up of a minimum of 30hrs per annum, they can seek accreditation through the Knowledge, Skills, Assessment KSA route.

  • They must be a member of AREBT and/or BABCP and have signed an agreement to abide by their Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Practice

  • Therapists being considered for accreditation will have sufficient experience in working in a therapeutic role with clients.

  • Therapists must be able to demonstrate personal qualities that make them suitable for the practice of rational emotive, behaviour and cognitive behaviour therapy.

  • Therapists will be using rational emotive behaviour and cognitive behaviour therapy in a systematic way as their main, or one of their main therapeutic models.


  • Training, including basic professional Training and experience and relevant cognitive and/or behaviour therapy training will have been over at least a four year period.


  • The period of training will include the acquisition of a critical understanding of the relevance of studies of human development, psychopathology, psychology, social issues and evidence based practice.

  • Specialist courses in a particular model of rational emotive behaviour and cognitive behaviour therapy or in a specialist area of its application may focus on a specific area of interest. However all therapists will have covered a minimum curriculum that will provide a broad-based understanding of the theoretical basis of rational emotive behaviour and cognitive behaviour therapies and their application across a range of problem areas.

  • Skill’s training is an essential component of the acquisition of knowledge and experience and should not be less than 50% of a therapist’s total training programme.

  • Theoretical knowledge and skills will have been acquired through structured teaching and self-directed study. The minimum number of hours study required for the rational emotive behavioural/cognitive behavioural elements of training is 450 hours of which 200 hours should be provided directly by recognised trainers through a recognised course or other programme of study.

  • A training log must specify the length of study, number of taught hours and a record of the lecturers, tutors or mentors participating in a therapist’s training.

  • Therapists should achieve the skills to be able to understand and interpret research relevant to the outcome and effectiveness of rational emotive behavioural and cognitive behaviour therapy.


  • Therapists will have conducted 200 hours of supervised assessment and therapy during training in addition to the minimum number of study hours referred to earlier.

  • All therapist’s will have received supervision during the period of training for both assessment and therapy, carried out by a rational emotive behavioural/cognitive behavioural supervisor/accredited therapist or therapist who meets the AREBT/BABCP criteria for accreditation. Supervision will consist of regular feedback and discussion. Close supervision will involve the use of live, audio or video materials in supervision.

  • A minimum of 8 clients will be treated during the period of training from assessment to completion or termination of treatment before a therapist is regarded as having completed their training. These cases will cover at least 3 types of problems and three cases will have been closely supervised as defined above.

  • Details of supervised clinical practice and case mix will be recorded in a training log.


  • Therapists must ensure that they can identify and manage appropriately their personal involvement in the process of rational emotive behaviour and cognitive behaviour therapy.

  • Therapist must have developed an ability to recognise when they should seek other professional advice.


  • To apply to be accredited by AREBT as a Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapist and BABCP as a Cognitive Behaviour Psychotherapist, therapists must: have two years’ experience since qualification in their core profession; meet the Minimum Training Standards; maintain an agreed level of Continuing Professional Supervision and adhere to the AREBT/BABCP Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics in the practice of Rational Emotive Behaviour and Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.


  • Therapists are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical aspects of Rational Emotive Behaviour and Cognitive Behaviour therapy and its application by the production of a formal assessment essay, exam or research project.

  • An understanding of evidenced based practice should be evaluated by (i) the production of an extended case study that critically discusses the research evidence or (ii) a relevant research dissertation; or (iii) a research paper to which they have contributed published by a peer review journal.

  • Supervised practice will be subjected to formal assessment with four case studies written up (2000 – 4000 words each).

  • The above assessments are usually required in most recognised post-qualification rational emotive behaviour or cognitive and/or behaviour therapy course. For candidates who are not pursuing a training route through such a course it is important that they agree an independent programme of study and assessment with a Rational Emotive Behaviour/Cognitive Behavioural therapist who meets the AREBT/BABCP criteria for accreditation.

Those subsequently achieving accreditation as a REB and/or CB therapist can have their details placed on the national register of REB/CB Therapists.

In 2007 in response to a consultation paper from Skills for Health relating to

National Occupational Standards for Psychological Therapies, AREBT put together a detailed listing of the competency skills expected of a qualified and practicing REB Therapist.

Competency Skills
Preparation – starting the therapy Help client generate a goals list for therapy agreed with client with regard to desired outcomes Conduct a GABCDE assessment of client problems. Explaining and defining how client’s problems can be explained within REBT model, and the benefits of looking at problem through ABC model. Assess a client’s problems across a range of modalities. Discuss importance of Client/therapist Collaboration and mutual understanding of client’s goals, and how these are defined and measured throughout therapy. Discuss with client similarities and differences between REBT and other CBT models and the technical and theoretical basis for these differences. Clarify the tasks that therapist and client are responsible for throughout therapy. Agree a contract with the client, at the same time acknowledge client autonomy to end therapy at any time.
Competency Skills
The therapeutic work and the working alliance Help client to prioritise goals for therapy. Socialise client into problem-focused approach through setting of agreed agendas with client each session. Develop client’s motivation to change in order to meet goals During therapy demonstrate to client the difference between client presented Irrational Beliefs and Healthy Rational alternatives to deal with presented problem. Integrate client feedback into approach at beginning, during and end of each session. In particular review any resistance to change or relapse experiences for client. Monitor cognitive, emotional and behavioural change and evaluate at the beginning and end of each session both from a client and therapist perspective. With agenda setting reviewed on a regular basis. Attend regular Supervision to discuss effective or in-effective client practices in order to develop new or enhanced approach for therapy or asses the new for onward referral Develop a flexible working relationship based on: Client focussed approach, matching styles i.e. formal, informal to client preference. Teach client how REBT is relevant to their presenting problems. Teach the benefits of adopting a philosophy of self acceptance. Teach the benefits of adopting a philosophy of accepting others as fallible human beings and accepts life as it is Teach client to use REBT self help forms in order to facilitate the development of the clients skills outside of the therapy sessions. Educate client about use of and benefits of homework in therapy Help define and negotiate appropriate homework goals that are challenging but not overwhelming to client, taking into consideration their age, level of distress.
Competency Skills
Ending the therapy Through monitoring, client feedback and discussion ascertain client movement towards their chosen goals and endings of therapy. Ensure ending session, discusses relapse prevention using already learned and practiced life changes. Offer follow up review session (3 months hence) If appropriate ensure route to referral to another therapist or therapy is clearly defined.


Competency Skills
Evaluation On going evaluation (case notes) of therapeutic alliance; boundaries; personal competence, client movement and effective therapy stratagems within and after a session; with a supervisor; and from attaining client written feedback (evaluation form – client anonymous).