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Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling


This BACP accredited course uniquely prepares individuals to work both in private practice and agency settings. The training focuses on the counselling relationship and the self-development of the counsellor in preparation for the intensity and complexity of working at relational depth, whether in time-limited or longer term work.

Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling

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Students are taught using experiential learning methods, combined with core readings and handouts which provide explanation of theoretical concepts. The aim is to bring the concepts to life and enhance self-awareness through self-reflection. Students engage with agency placements, regular supervision and individual weekly counselling or psychotherapy. In the second year of the diploma, students begin in private practice with the support of tutors and supervisors.

Our theoretical approach integrates concepts and ways of working from Humanistic and Psychodynamic traditions. We draw on the work of Klein, Winnicott, Bowlby, Jung, Erikson, Stern, Lowen and Rogers, as well as more recent theorists from Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Attachment and Body Process theory.

APL Link with Bath Spa University

BCPC graduates may approach Bath Spa University to study for an MA in Counselling Practice. The BCPC Diploma carries 90 credits towards this. Find out more about the Bath Spa University professional masters programme.


Course Structure

The course is taught one day a week over two academic years, with up to a further year of supervised practice while preparing the diploma submission papers.

We require students to be in individual counselling or psychotherapy at least weekly, with a practitioner on the BCPC Approved Lists, throughout all of the course and up to completion, the cost of which is not included in the tuition fees. Students are also required to keep a journal and complete several pieces of academic writing.

Skills training places emphasis on the development of an authentic relationship between counsellor and client. This is developed through group and individual feedback processes. Trainees will learn skills of self-reflection and an awareness of personal, interpersonal and group process.

Individuals admitted onto this programme embark on a thorough and in depth training that involves:

  • BCPC approved agency placements

  • Regular supervision

  • Experientially taught seminars

  • Practical application groups

  • Skills practice

  • Supervision groups

  • Critiquing taped sessions

  • Writing self-assessments

  • Writing academic essays

Course Outline

Year 1

Length of stage: one academic year (34 day-long meetings)

In the first year, students work with clients in agency placements where they receive regular supervision. Students are ordinarily expected to complete approximately 50 hours of supervised counselling within the placement. In addition to this, students meet for experientially taught theoretical seminars, business meetings and check-ins, skills practice, practical application groups, “open” groups, and tutorials. Opportunities are given each week for students to process the emotional impact of the training.

Each student receives three tutorials (3 X 30 minutes), which take place outside of designated course time.

Students are expected to support their learning by reading all set books for the stage as well as a selection from a broader reading list. We recommend allowing four hours per week for such study.

Year 2

Length of stage: one academic year (34 day-long meetings)

The training in the second year continues to integrate theory, practice and self-reflection. There is particular emphasis on finding ways of working at relational depth in short-term contracts, enabling students to find appropriate work in organisational settings. Students continue to gain counselling experience in the agency placement and in the second or third term of this year must attend fortnightly supervision (not included in course fees). Once sufficiently prepared via this process they may begin to take on private clients with the support of their tutors and supervisors.

The course meets for seminars, supervision groups, business meetings, and “open” groups where the emotional impact of the training is given space for exploration and expression. Each student receives three 50-minute tutorials during the year, which take place outside of designated course time.

Reading for this stage is a combination of the set books for Year 2 and a student's own developing interests in line with their dissertation. We recommend allowing six hours per week for study.

Year 3

Length of stage: up to one year (no formal tuition days or tuition fees)

During this stage students have up to one year to submit their papers for the diploma. Tutors continue to support the students while they continue in personal counselling or psychotherapy, supervision and tutorials. Submission papers for the diploma consist of a dissertation, case study and self-assessment, evidence of 150 supervised counselling hours and 50 hours of work-based learning, verification of personal therapy, and tutor, peer and supervisor's reports.

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Bath Spa University Middlesex University UKCP