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Foundation Certificate in Psychotherapy and Counselling

Foundation Certificate in Psychotherapy and Counselling

Personal development and the start of your professional training

*We are no longer taking applications for the course starting in September 2022. If you wish to apply for September 2023 entry we will be accepting new applications from 1 January 2023.*

We operate a rolling admissions process for the Foundation Certificate and therefore encourage you to apply as early as possible.

A one year, part time course designed to support professionals involved in people-related work by providing counselling skills and opportunities for personal development. The Certificate represents the entry year for both professional Diplomas in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

BCPC welcomes applications from a diverse range of students, particularly from underrepresented groups. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We will discuss your particular requirements in order to identify and accommodate reasonable adjustments to enable you to participate fully. Our premises are partially wheelchair accessible.

Location: BCPC, Bath
Course Length: 1 Year
Course Fees: £2,990 (installment option available)
Additional Costs: Weekly therapy (£40 plus throughout the course - minimum 35 sessions)
Start Date: 21 / 22 / 23 September 2022
Detailed Dates and Fees: Course Information Sheet 2022-23
Apply Online

Introduction Introduction

This course is a training in its own right, designed to enhance the work of professionals in people related work, and for individuals who are interested in personal development and in learning counselling skills. It also serves as a springboard for those who intend pursuing further professional training in this field, either in Counselling or Psychotherapy. This is a flexible feature unique among BACP and UKCP accredited courses, allowing students to explore both areas and choose the direction most suited to them. No previous experience is necessary to embark on the Foundation Certificate year, though it is advantageous to attend one of our ten-week introductory courses prior to starting the course.

The focus of the year is on developing the counselling and psychotherapy skills of personal presence and awareness of process. Attention is also paid to interpersonal and group skills. All our training at BCPC builds on these areas as they ultimately allow for the cultivation of an authentic relationship with the client. As a means of helping to achieve this goal, we require students to be in individual counselling or psychotherapy once a week with a practitioner on the BCPC Approved Lists, the cost of which is not included in the fees. Tutors provide assistance in finding approved practitioners once the course has started.

Our students frequently describe the year as a life-changing experience, which many of them see as the most valuable outcome.
The completion of the Foundation Certificate year satisfies our criteria for the first stage of the BACP accredited and the UKCP approved training courses in Counselling and Psychotherapy (entry onto these further courses is subject to separate interviews).

Attendance is expected on all course days. Whilst we realise that absence is sometimes unavoidable, students must ensure that any gaps in their learning are addressed to the satisfaction of the course tutor. Insufficient attendance may prejudice continuation to a further stage.

Course Structure Course Structure

The Foundation Certificate is a one year, part-time course, that meets once a week. The focus is on experiential learning that is underpinned by a theoretical grounding in Humanistic approaches and Carl Rogers' core conditions of empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence. There are also core readings and handouts which help lay sound theoretical foundations.

Individuals are encouraged to draw on their moment-to-moment experience in order to achieve the aim of developing their personal awareness and interpersonal skills. Students have the opportunity to practice their counselling skills in small peer groups, and have termly tutorials with a tutor of their choice to review their progress and assess individual learning needs.

We suggest allowing at least three hours a week for private study. Students are required to keep a journal throughout the course and to write one essay.

Curriculum Curriculum

  • Awareness of self and other, and the ways we organise ourselves; our assumptions and values and the way we see others; meeting in our differences
  • Carl Rogers' core conditions for enhancing personal growth in another: empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence, and the challenge of meeting these conditions
  • Supporting another in personal exploration: establishing a safe environment and a holding space, tuning into and hearing the other
  • Drawing on the body and felt senses, imaginative reflection, intuition, work with archetypes, images and dreams
  • Empathy in the “here and now” and awareness of process
  • The early environment and how it shapes relationship styles
  • Ethics, Professional Practice
  • Counselling and psychotherapy, links to further training and personal choices
  • Individual presentations, tutor and peer review
  • Endings - past and present

How to Apply How to Apply

Below is a brief guide on how to apply. For detailed information, especially concerning application deadlines, interview dates and course dates, please download the Course Information Sheet via the link at the top of this page.

Once you have submitted your application you will get an acknowledgement email to confirm that it was successfully received. If you have any questions about the process or the application form please contact or telephone 01225 429 720


We operate a rolling admissions process for the Foundation Certificate, we therefore encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Please apply online. If you prefer, you can download our external application form. Please note we charge a £40 non-refundable application fee. Details of how to make payment will be sent to you following receipt of your application. Applicants will be shortlisted for interview on the basis of their applications.

Two references, submitted on BCPC reference forms are required. This should be one from a previous tutor or employer and one personal and cannot be from a family member or therapist. The reference form template will be emailed to you following receipt of your application.


Our interview days are structured as a workshop-style experience. Applicants will be short-listed for interview on the basis of their applications.

Interview days for 2023 - To be confirmed

Job Prospects Job Prospects

Whilst this introductory year does not lead to jobs in the professional field of counselling and psychotherapy, it is experienced as enhancing life skills and developing listening skills for people related work.


Reflection in itself during Foundation allowed me to become more aware of who I am, and to accept me and I see this as a prerequisite for appreciating people in my life and differences between us. Foundation offers a safe place to be yourself and share yourself with others..

Alex, Foundation Certificate

I very much valued being part of the Foundation Course Group; it allowed me to grow through participation and relationship, supporting me in re-establishing my sense of self in relation to others in anticipation of the clinical training for psychotherapy..

Caroline, Foundation Certificate

BCPC practices what it preaches. This integrity is fantastic - a life changing and enlightening experience.

Foundation participant feedback

Professional, trustworthy, insightful about people and process......I felt the programme was well calibrated in terms of organisation and tutor support..

Foundation participant feedback

Contact Ros or Sara

Meet the Tutors

  • Gill Theodoreson
    Gill Theodoreson
    Course Leader Foundation

    Dip HIP, MA HIP, UKCP Reg

  • Ruth Gilbert
    Ruth Gilbert

    Dip HIP, MA HIP, UKCP Reg

  • Rhianwen Gilson
    Rhianwen Gilson


  • Katrina Sutcliffe
    Katrina Sutcliffe

    MA HIP, Dip. HIP, PG Dip. Dramatherapy, UKCP Reg, HCPC Reg

Training with BCPC