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MA/Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy

The BCPC professional training prepares individuals to work as psychotherapists in private practice. Upon qualification, graduates gain automatic entry to the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) register. BCPC collaborates with Middlesex University London to offer a Masters degree in Integrative Psychotherapy and students on our Professional training will automatically be enrolled.

Our external examiner 2016 commented on the training: 'The combination of academic study, clinical work and personal development remain a great strength in this programme. This results in the creation of clinically proficient, knowledgeable practitioners who have a high level of self-awareness.'

MA / Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy

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Our Training Approach

BCPC's training approach is based on an informed appreciation of the historical roots of theories within the field, across a spectrum from Humanistic to Psychoanalytic. Experiential learning aims to bring the theoretical concepts alive. This enhances and develops self-awareness and reflectiveness helping BCPC graduates formulate their own synthesis: an individual integration which creates a unique, coherent and considered approach to integrative psychotherapy.

We are also interested in developing contemporary approaches in our training. In 'contemporary psychoanalysis' we find Intersubjective Systems Theory (IST) allows us to expand our Humanistic ethos which accepts the primacy of the client's experience, into a fully relational stance. We embrace IST as an elegant and robust theory which firmly places the relationship at the centre of the therapeutic endeavour, as an organic, lived experience. In contemporary humanistic approaches, we find 'Dialogical Gestalt' highly compatible with IST and have integrated these two theories for the last fifteen years. The 'relational sensibility' that is core in BCPC's identity thus finds a unique integration and theoretical underpinning.

Course Structure

The MA / Diploma takes 5 years to complete the taught training, followed by up to 2 years - if required - to submit qualifying papers. The psychotherapy training consists of an MA Preparatory year followed by 5 MA modules.

We require students to be in individual therapy at least weekly with a psychotherapist on our Approved Practitioner Lists throughout the duration of the course, the cost of which is not included in tuition fees. Students are also required to keep a journal. This helps develop self-reflection, and awareness of process which is necessary for the cultivation of an authentic psychotherapeutic relationship with the client.

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

  • Group building workshops

  • Theoretical and practical seminars

  • Work discussion groups

  • Business meetings

  • Video taped skills sessions for reflection and discussion

  • Peer and individual supervision

  • Teaching of core models of supervision

  • Tutorials

  • Agency placements

  • Guidance for setting up in private practice

  • Specialised core study courses

  • Facilitated learning community

  • Tutoring and feedback in preparation for writing the final submission

Course Outline

In the first two years of training the course meets weekly, with 32 day-long meetings within each academic year. Full attendance is recommended. Students are also 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 study.

Psychotherapy MA Preparatory Year

The Experiencing Self: A Lifelong Development

In this first year of the professional training students will be introduced to key psychoanalytic ideas and their development since Freud. They will explore the relational and developmental contexts which shape self experience starting from birth. Central to the beginning of the training is to understand the notion of each person’s ‘psychobiography’ and to begin to explore its implications in theory making and in their development as a psychotherapist.

Students work with clients in agency placements where they receive regular supervision. In addition to the placement, students meet for theoretical and practical seminars, workshops, discussion groups, and tutorials.

Each student receives three tutorials during the year (two of 25 minutes and one of 50 minutes), which take place outside the designated course time.

MA Module 1

The Primacy of the Client-Therapist Relationship

Students will register for the MA programme at the beginning of this academic year. They begin to set up in private practice with the support of tutors and supervisors. The agency placement from the previous year is usually dropped during this year to allow room for the private practice to develop. In addition to this, the course meets for a business meeting, theoretical seminars, facilitated peer supervision groups, and a final one-day workshop.

Each student receives four tutorials of 50 minutes which take place outside the designated course time, and are also required to arrange, and meet the cost of, fortnightly supervision sessions outside of course times, initially with core teaching staff and subsequently with one of the supervisors from our Approved Practitioners Lists.

MA Module 2

Development of an Authentic Therapeutic Approach

The course meets three Saturdays per year for group days. In addition to this, students are required to undertake ‘Relational Process’, a 72 hour Core Study Course.

Students in this stage continue to develop their private practice and continue in individual and peer supervision. A training contract is established in consultation with the tutor. Overall this year furthers the process of internalising the learning from previous stages while moving into the role of psychotherapist.

Each student receives two tutorials of 50 minutes in the year.

MA Module 3

Integration within the Wider Context

Again the course meets three Saturdays per year for group days. In addition to this, students will undertake a mental health placement, plus one other core course of 36 hours (‘Working with Body Process’ or ‘Reflection and Presence’ run on alternative years). The individual training contract is renewed and private practice continues to develop with individual and peer supervision.

Each student receives two tutorials of 50 minutes in the year.

MA Module 4

Articulation of Theory, Practice and Personal Experience

The module consists of 18 day-long meetings. It allows for the students, now confident and competent in their practice of psychotherapy, to articulate their own style and theoretical perspective as they continue to prepare for independent practice and the final submission of written work. The student group forms a learning community to develop their thinking and plan their writing. Students are introduced to experiential research methods to identify and define individual research interests/concerns, and are encouraged to find creative means of exploring the dissertation subject area.

Each student receives three tutorials of 50 minutes which take place outside the designated course time.

MA Module 5

Integration in Therapeutic Practice

By this stage students should have accrued the 450 hours of practice required to submit their final papers and write a clinical case study. Although generally final submission will happen by the end of this year, we allow a further year for students to submit their final qualifying papers for the MA/Professional Award, since clinical practice develops at its own pace.

Tutorials are arranged on the basis of individual need and paid for separately. It is recommended that students have a minimum of three tutorials per year.


Study Courses

Study Courses form part of the MA programme in Modules 2 and 3, and students are offered optional units in Module 3. These courses are also open to practitioners from outside BCPC and are of interest to graduates for CPD purposes, refreshment or further study (subject to availability).

Sample courses include ‘The Ecological Self’, Reflection and Presence: a contemplative approach to psychotherapy’, ‘Intersubjective Dialogue in Working with Difference’ and ‘Working with Body Process’.


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Bath Spa University Middlesex University UKCP