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Training Programme Overview

Our part-time, BACP accredited training comprises our entry-level Certificate in Counselling Skills, followed by Diploma in Counselling Skills that can lead to a Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling – a professional qualification providing the skills to practice as a psychodynamic counsellor.

Many students find that the Certificate and Diploma in Counselling Skills offer useful knowledge and practical skills that can be applied in many situations, both personal and professional, and decide not to continue further. However, you will not be fully qualified to practice as a counsellor unless you complete the full training that leads to the Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling.

Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling students are provided with an in-house client placement that negates the need to seek a placement outside of their training provider; and are required to be in a minimum of once weekly psychodynamic therapy with a therapist from CCF’s approved therapist list for at least four months before starting the Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling training. This needs to be paid for separately and the negotiation of fees is a private matter between the student and their therapist. 

In addition to seminars, students are required to see clients (up to 4, weekly) in CCF’s counselling service and attend weekly supervision (1.5 hours). The cost of  room hire, supervision and professional indemnity insurance is included in the course fee. 

To qualify, students need to complete at least 150 hours of face to face client work in our in-house counselling service. This can be achieved by students continuing into a third year of the Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling if required.

Please note that progression from one level to the next in our training programme is not guaranteed. Students need to graduate from their current course and participate in an interview and assessment process for the next. Places on the Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling in particular are limited as we need to ensure that trainees are ready to see clients and that the number of suitable clients meets the need for training hours. Our emphasis is on providing that a training in counselling, not a course of instruction.  This means that our Assessment Committee must be satisfied that the trainee has reached a required standard of competence to work appropriately and ethicaly with clients, which is not just a matter of completing hours and assignments, before awarding a qualification.

Following qualification, graduates can be offered a minimum of a 1 year post-qualification volunteer position to support them in working towards BACP individual accreditation; and opportunities can also arise for further voluntary counselling positions within our counselling service. 

Accreditation of Prior Learning

We may accept a previous qualification as meeting the learning outcomes (or covering the syllabus) for a course to allow applicants to join our training programme at the next level, for example the Diploma in Counselling Skills or Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling, dependent on the level of the prior, external training.

For credit to be awarded for prior learning, applicants must have completed a syllabus of similar level and depth, normally within the previous five years.  Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, and evidence of learning must be shown in three areas:

  • Counselling theory 
  • Psychodynamic counselling skills
  • Self-development 

Where recognition of prior learning is requested, we will only consider prior certificated learning. This is learning which has been formally assessed by a recognised academic institution or professional body and for which the student has been awarded a resulting qualification. 

We will normally only consider recognition of prior learning for entry to the Diploma in Counselling Skills. If an applicant has completed a Certificate and Diploma in Counselling Skills (or equivalent) and wish to apply for direct entry into the Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling, please note that you must, in addition to meeting the APL requirements, have been in weekly personal therapy with a suitably qualified psychodynamic therapist for at least four months  before starting the Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling course  

Applicants need to apply for any prior learning to be recognised and accredited, by requesting an assessment of prior learning before making an application or request this when submitting an application. If applicants have already submitted their application but now wish to request recognition of prior learning, please contact Kellie Willis, Training Co-Ordinator at kelliew@chelmsfordcounselling.org.uk