Behavioural Therapist Job Description

Behavioural Therapist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a behavioural therapist. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a behavioural therapist.


Who is a Behavioural Therapist?

A Behavioural therapist is a medical professional who treats patients with addiction or mental health issues. They use various strategies to help their patients get rid of behavioural problems and live more fruitful lives.

Behavioural therapists employ various techniques based on the patient’s requirements. While some people might only need individual or group therapy sessions, others might need more extensive care, such as medication or hospitalization. Behavioural therapists put a lot of effort into helping the people they treat live better, regardless of the strategy used. They use several strategies to help patients change their behaviour. Being a behavioral therapist can be your best career decision if you are interested in helping people overcome these challenges.


Behavioural Therapist Job Description

Below are the behavioural therapist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a Behavioural therapist include the following:

  • Developing treatment plans based on diagnosis and objectives.
  • Keeping an eye on the results and modifying the plans as necessary.
  • Communicating with other medical staff involved in the patient’s care, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and occupational therapists.
  • Providing solo, couple, family, or group therapy sessions.
  • Ensuring psychological testing to evaluate IQ, personality traits, or other factors that may impact the treatment is conducted.
  • Making initial assessments of patients to identify their requirements and the best course of action.
  • Monitoring, training, and providing feedback to staff members treating patients.
  • Tracking patients’ development and making appropriate adjustments to the treatment plans.
  • Interviewing new patients to have a better understanding of their condition and identify potential therapeutic goals.
  • Ensuring treatment plans are developed based on the needs and goals of the patient.
  • Carrying out treatment plans using various techniques, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT).



Certain requirements must be reached to be a behavioural therapist. These requirements  include:

  • A master’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as psychology or applied behavioural science.
  • State-issued authorization to practice behaviour therapy.
  • A successful track record in behavioural therapy.
  • Thorough knowledge of behaviour therapy models.
  • Strong teamwork skills.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Outstanding clinical and counseling skills.
  • Powerful communication skills.


Essential Skills

A behaviour therapist typically possesses the following abilities.

  • Collaboration

The ability to work together to accomplish a shared goal is a core skill every behavioural therapist should possess. Behavioural therapists frequently collaborate with other members of the patient’s treatment team, such as psychiatrists and social workers, to help the patient overcome mental health concerns. They also collaborate with patients to set therapy goals and track outcomes. Collaboration can be a key ability in any career that requires dealing with people since it allows employees to share responsibility and resources while supporting one another.

  • Therapeutic Techniques

Therapeutic procedures are the methods you use to help individuals overcome their mental health issues. This covers everything, from your interactions with them to the therapies you recommend. For instance, you might suggest journaling or meditation as a symptom-management technique for a patient who is depressed.

  • Behaviour Modification

The capacity to influence patients’ and clients’ behaviour is a need for behavioural therapists. They might need to calm irritated individuals, refocus attention, or diffuse stressful situations. This necessitates tolerance and an openness to hearing other perspectives. Additionally, it suggests that these professionals should be knowledgeable in coping with various personality traits and emotional reactions.

  • Observation

Behavioural therapists frequently use observational skills when working with clients because they need to recognize potential signs of distress and react appropriately. For instance, the therapist may ask clients questions if they show signs of anxiety or unease while engaging in an activity to find out what might make them feel that way.

  • Documentation

Through the documentation process, details about a patient’s treatment are documented. Information on their diagnosis, course of therapy, and development may be included. Behavioural therapists must be able to accurately record their work for other specialists in the area to understand what was done and why. With the help of the paperwork, patients can track their development.

  • Patient Advocacy

Behavioural therapists should have the ability to speak up for patients and their needs. With this skill, you might be able to help your patients find resources or navigate the insurance process while they continue their therapy. You can also use your patient advocacy abilities when working with patients with anxiety attacks or other emotional reactions to their treatment. For example, if a patient feels overburdened by the sessions, you can utilize your advocacy abilities to help them feel more at ease in the therapy room.

  • Communication

Behavioural therapists work with people who are struggling with mental health issues, so being able to communicate effectively with patients is essential. Sharing medical information and explaining available therapies fall within this category. Another must is to speak with other professionals, such as psychologists or psychiatrists.

  • Professionalism

Professionalism is the ability to conduct yourself in a way that is appropriate for your workplace. This means being on time, acting professionally around patients and coworkers, and dressing appropriately. You can progress professionally by being professional since hiring managers typically prize mature, responsible candidates.

  • Flexibility

Being adaptable involves being able to alter directions as necessary. Flexibility can be useful for behavioural therapists as they modify their treatment plans to meet the unique requirements and difficulties of the patients they commonly work with. For instance, a behavioral therapist may need to adjust their approach if a patient has problems focusing on one job at a time.

  • Administration of Cases

Case management is the procedure through which a behavioural therapist assesses a person’s requirements and develops a treatment plan to help them overcome their challenges. This ability comprises assessing clients’ physical, mental, or emotional well-being and creating individualized treatment programmes that consider each client’s unique circumstances.

You must pay close attention to detail and exhibit active listening skills to comprehend a case, so you can understand your client’s situation and develop effective treatment solutions.

  • Patience

Behavioural therapists must be patient when speaking with those under their care. This is particularly true if the behavioural therapist has a lengthy treatment plan that requires them to work with the patient. Patience can help behavioural therapists stay calm and upbeat as they support their patients through their treatments. Additionally, it enables them to fully explain treatment plans to patients, so they know what to expect.

  • Empathy

Since behavioural therapists commonly deal with patients experiencing emotional distress, empathy can help them empathize with their patient’s needs and put them at ease. Empathy can be useful when working with patients to develop treatment programmes that may require changing routines or behaviours. A behavioural therapist, for example, may be able to relate to a patient’s struggle with addiction because they have experienced a similar setback.

  • Organization

Being organized entails keeping track of all work-related documents, records, and materials. To accurately track your patients’ progress as a behavioral therapist, you may need to keep detailed records of each of them. As you learn new treatment modalities, you may need to plan training sessions for others or yourself. Being well-organized allows you to complete all of your tasks quickly.

  • Report Writing Skill

As a behavioural therapist, you could be needed to produce reports about your findings and patient care. This may take the shape of notes from therapy sessions or details regarding a patient’s progress. Your ability to write reports will help you communicate with management and other members of the medical team.

  • Medication Administration

As they frequently interact with patients on medication, behavioural therapists must be proficient in drug administration. Understanding how the medications work and any potential adverse effects are necessary for this. Understanding dose calculations and when seeking a doctor’s help is necessary.


How to become a Behavioural Therapist

You should adhere to the guidelines stated below to become a behavioural therapist:

  • Step 1: Obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or a similar discipline

A behavioural therapist normally needs a bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or a related subject. Students in undergraduate psychology and social work programmes are introduced to the theories and practices of behavioural therapy. Courses may cover cognitive behaviour therapy, aberrant psychology, research methodologies, human development, and substance abuse counseling.

Behavioural science is a primary option for undergraduate students that offers more general education classes that are useful for various psychology vocations. Students with a behavioural science bachelor’s degree might be able to pursue behavioural therapy graduate training without acquiring a master’s degree first.

  • Step 2: Acquire a master’s or doctoral degree in behavioural therapy or a similarly suited field.

A master’s or doctoral degree in behavioural therapy, clinical psychology, or a closely related field is required for behavioural therapists. A graduate degree program in behavioural therapy often combines supervised clinical practice with courses in psychology, sociology, statistics, and other areas.

Some universities offer a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program in behavioural therapy, allowing students to earn both degrees faster than the typical four years for each degree. Students who select this expedited option may enroll in more courses during their first two years of study to focus on electives during their final two years of study.


  • Step 3: Get a  behavioural therapist License.

To work as a behavioural therapist, you must receive a license in the state where you plan to do so. The qualifications for licensure vary from state to state, although most demand at least a master’s degree from a behavioural therapy program.

You might also need to pass a test on ethics and behavioural therapy. Additionally, supervised patient experience under the supervision of a licensed therapist is required by several states.

  • Step 4: Enhance your communication and interpersonal abilities.

Behavioural therapists must communicate with patients and their families regularly. They should also have great interpersonal skills to connect with patients and make them feel at ease discussing sensitive topics.

Patients frequently seek guidance, solace, and advice from their therapists. Because of this, behavioural therapists need to be able to listen carefully and respond helpfully. Patients may need to be inspired when they face challenges and urged to improve their lives.

  • Step 5: Work with addicts or individuals suffering from mental problems to hone your abilities.

Most behavioural therapists obtain experience treating patients with mental illness or addiction before starting their practices. They can learn the skills and knowledge needed to handle these illnesses.

In clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other healthcare facilities with entry-level roles available, you can work under the direction of a licensed therapist. You can also consider volunteering at one of these places to obtain real-world experience.

  • Step 6: Keep up with changes in the behavioural therapy sector.

Professionals in the area must stay current with these developments as behavioral therapists refine their techniques and explore cutting-edge ways to treat mental illness. For instance, behavioural therapists can now help patients manage their diseases by using apps and other digital tools.

Behavioural therapists also need to keep up with developments in psychology and neuroscience. With this knowledge, they may design more effective treatment regimens and better understand how different brain regions affect a patient’s behavior.

  • Step 7: Join professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association.

Behavioural therapists might consult the American Psychological Association for information on the most recent developments in their area (APA). The APA gives professionals many opportunities to network with people in the psychology and behavioural therapy disciplines, attend seminars and conferences focused on professional development, and access research publications and other resources to help them enhance their careers.


Where to work as a Behavioural Therapist

Behavioral therapists can work in private practices, medical facilities, clinics, and educational institutions. Although some may work evenings or weekends, they normally work full-time to meet their patients’ schedules. In addition, many behavioural therapists conduct therapy sessions with patients in their homes. Working with patients who are coping with difficult situations can be emotionally taxing. Therefore therapists need to be able to handle the tension.


Behavioral Therapist Salary Scale

Behavioral therapists typically earn between $38,000 and $72,000 per year. Various factors, including previous employment, influence behavioral therapists’ annual salaries.

Experienced behavioral therapists with 5 to 9 years of experience typically earn between $23,583 and $49,682 per year, while therapists with 1 to 4 years of experience typically earn between $27,990 and $45,725 per year.

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