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The Best Cognitive Behavior Coaching Certification Programs

Last updated on February 26, 2024

The cognitive behavior coaching industry is expanding and evolving, enabling even more knowledgeable and empathetic coaches to help clients in need of support and guidance. 

Do you want to become a cognitive behavior coach but don’t know where to start? Signing up for cognitive behavior coaching certification will prepare you with extensive information, hands-on experience, and support from experts in this field. 

Have a look at the best CBT coaching certificate programs to find a program that will meet your career goals.

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What Is a Cognitive-Behavioral Coach?

Cognitive-behavioral coaching (CBC) is a coaching technique that draws on principles from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) to help individuals enhance cognitive abilities and foster more effective behavior. This approach emphasizes the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and helps clients to develop more positive and effective ways of thinking and living.

What does a behavioral coach do? A cognitive-behavioral life coach helps clients identify and change negative or unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors that may be creating roadblocks and stopping them from achieving their personal or professional goals. 

CBC can also be useful for people struggling with mental health challenges like anxiety or depression. By helping clients identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs, CBC can help them develop positive coping strategies and improve their overall well-being.

Can a life coach practice CBT? A life coach can work as a CBC; however, general life coach certification programs aren’t enough to prepare them for this niche. They’ll need to specialize in CBT coaching to use CBT techniques. 

What Is the Difference Between Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) And Cognitive Behavioral Coaching (CBC)?

As the name implies, CBT refers to “therapy.” To work as a cognitive behavioral therapist, you need a degree and, in most cases, an accredited postgraduate course in this subject. 

To become a behavioral coach, you don’t need a degree since you won’t be conducting therapy with clients. Instead, you’ll be coaching them to improve their quality of life by applying the techniques of CBT in a non-therapeutic way. 

To put it plainly, the main difference between CBT and CBC lies in their model—therapy vs. coaching. While CBT focuses more on digging into past experiences and emotional issues to resolve the problem, CBC is goal-driven and focuses on achieving desired outcomes.

How Do You Become a Cognitive Coach?

What qualifications do you need to be a CBT coach? While you aren’t restricted to a specific field of study, nor do you need a degree to become a cognitive coach, understanding psychology and mental health is essential if you plan to apply CBT techniques. Some coaching institutes may require an academic background in a relevant field of study.

Another common question among up-and-coming CBT coaches is, “How do I become CBT qualified?” A CBT coaching certificate will give you the knowledge, experience, and credentials for practicing this type of coaching. 

To start a successful practice, you should also develop specific skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership quality
  • Collaboration
  • Listening skills

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cognitive Behavioral Coaching Certification

You probably want to begin or upgrade your CBT coaching career with the top programs on the market. However, just because a program is well-regarded doesn’t mean it is the right choice for you. 

Before you commit to a program, you should consider some key factors such as price, length of the program, and accreditation. 

Program Cost

The cost of cognitive-behavioral coach certification mainly depends on the course duration, examination method, issuing institution, and mode of study. You should also check if there are any additional fees, taxes, and additional charges to know the exact cost from the very start. An online mode of study can offer you more options and flexibility. 

Course Length

Do your business goals dictate a specific time frame for obtaining certification? This can be a key eliminating factor if you need to learn on a schedule. Program durations vary, allowing you to choose the one that will align with your plans and availability. 


Accrediting credentials formally recognize that you have satisfied particular coaching criteria and obligations. Accreditation isn’t required, but it proves your commitment to upholding high ethical standards in the coaching field, as set by the issuing body. The most recognized accrediting entity is International Coaching Federation (ICF), but we should also mention that other institutions, such as the Continuing Professional Development Standards Agency (CPD), also indicate high standards of coaching. 

Best Behavior Coach Certification Programs

Best Value for Money Option: Transformation Academy 

If you seek flexibility and affordability but also want a robust curriculum that will set you up with coaching skills and tools, Transformation Academy can be the best choice for you.

Transformation Academy – CBT Cognitive Behavioral Life Coach Certification

They call their cognitive behavioral life coach course a “human mind owner’s manual,” as it contains a breadth of information about how thoughts and emotions work.

The course teaches the science of helping people get unstuck, the keys to managing anger, coping with stress and minimizing anxiety, how to consistently make powerful, clear, confident decisions, and much more. Along with comprehensive CBT knowledge, they’ll also supply you with effective CBT techniques and coaching practices. 

Another benefit of this program is that they provide you with done-for-you templates, worksheets, intake forms, and questionnaires, so you can start coaching straight out of the academy. 

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $197 (80% discount with our link. Applied at the checkout)
  • Accreditation: CPD
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Specialty Option: The Institute for Life Coach Training

The Cognitive Behavioral Coaching program by the Institute for Life Coach Training is well suited for those who wish to learn more about CBT applications in specific areas. The course will introduce you to various applications of CBT, including the workplace, adolescents, procrastination, and smoking cessation.

The Institute for Life Coach Training – Cognitive Behavioral Coaching

This online class will supply books, audio and video support, and downloadable material. Through these learning materials, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of CBC processes, different types of cognitive distortion, detailed case studies, and more. 

  • Course Length: Up to 1 year
  • Program Cost: $400
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Beginner Option: National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists (NACBT)

The National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists (NACBT)

offers a home study program,  Cognitive-Behavioral Life Coaching Certification, for non-mental health professionals. The course is well-designed for beginners since it will equip you with everything you need to go from zero to a professional level of coaching. 

National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists – Cognitive-Behavioral Life Coaching Certification

The program includes a comprehensive life coaching certification manual, books, study material, and audio and video lectures. The modules cover relevant topics and techniques such as ethics of life coaching when to refer to a mental health professional, visualization, coaching agreements, and being a motivator for clients. 

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $350
  • Accreditation: None
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Alternatives (non-niche)

Do you want to work on your life coaching skills some more before specializing in CBC techniques? You can enroll in general life coaching programs to help you learn the ins and outs of coaching, building a business, and effectively working with clients. 

When it comes to life coaching, our vote goes to Coach Training Alliance. They are ICF-accredited and have a very practical approach to teaching, but we won’t go into details now as you can read all about them and how they compare to other reputable competitors in our review. If budget is a factor, check out the life coaching certification from Transformation Academy, which we’ve reviewed here.


  • How much does a cognitive behavioral life coach make?

A cognitive behavior life coach’s salary depends on their expertise, location, services they provide, and many other factors. However, on average, a life coach’s annual income ranges between $62,500 and $245,000.

  • Do you need a certification to be a cognitive behavioral life coach?

Cognitive behavioral coaching certification isn’t required by law; however, it’s unlikely that clients looking for cognitive behavior coaches would choose someone with no official proof of their expertise..

  • How much does a cognitive behavior certification cost?

Typically, you can expect to invest between $100 and $500 for cognitive coaching certification.

  • Does accreditation matter in a CBT coaching certificate program?

A CBT coaching certificate doesn’t need to be accredited to be valid. Whether or not you’ll go for an accredited program solely depends on your preference. 

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

Rather than focusing on a CBT certification program and its reputation, the more effective way of gaining recognition is focusing on the accrediting body. Clients and coaches can’t keep pace with all the emerging coaching programs, but they know about world-famous accrediting entities such as ICF and CPD.


The mantra “change your thoughts and change your life” has been proven to be true which explains why CBC is expanding at the speed of light. If being a CBT coach is your dream career, nothing should stand in your way. Hone your skills, learn the proven coaching techniques, and enter the field with confidence with the help of cognitive behavioral coaching certification such as that from Transformation Academy or any of the other reputable trainers mentioned above.

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