Find a Therapist

Help Me Choose

We can help you find a suitable Counsellor or Psychotherapist.

Low Cost Service

Our low cost service aims to increase access to therapy.

Foundation Certificate in Psychotherapy and Counselling

Foundation Certificate in Psychotherapy and Counselling

Personal development and the start of your professional training

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.

Location: BCPC, Bath
Course Length: 1 Year
Course Fees: £2,990 (installment option available)
Additional Costs: Weekly therapy (£35-50 throughout the course - minimum 35 sessions)
Start Date: 19th / 20th / 21st September 2018
Detailed Dates and Fees: Course Information Sheet
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. Please remember to send your application fee.

External applicants

Please apply online. If you prefer, you can download our external application form. Please note we charge a £37 non-refundable application fee and this should be sent immediately after your online application or with your paper application form.

Two references, submitted on BCPC reference forms are required. This should be one from a previous tutor and one personal and cannot be from a family member or therapist. Please send the reference form to your chosen referees and ask them to return them to the BCPC Office as soon as possible. Applicants will be shortlisted for interview on the basis of their applications.

Internal applicants

This is people who have completed our Foundation Certificate and are applying to our psychotherapy or counselling diploma. Please download the internal application form. Please note we charge a £37 non-refundable application fee and this should be sent immediately after your online application or with your paper application form.

Two references are required; one from your current Foundation tutor (please let him/her know about your application) and one from a person other than either of your referees for Foundation. Please send this person the reference form and ask him/her to return it to the BCPC Office as soon as possible. 


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 2018 are: 21st April, 26th May, 30th June, 22nd July and 2nd September.

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.

Entry Requirements Entry Requirements

Interested in applying for our Foundation Certificate? Visit our Entry Requirements page to find out more.


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 Polly

Meet the Tutors

  • Amanda Hawking
    Amanda Hawking
    Lead Tutor

    MA, BA (Hons), Dip HIC, MBACP (Accred).

  • Pam Leslie
    Pam Leslie

  • Martin Phillips
    Martin Phillips

  • Chloe Tahta
    Chloe Tahta

  • Gill Theodoreson
    Gill Theodoreson

    Dip HIP, MA HIP, UKCP Reg

  • Cath Wilkins
    Cath Wilkins

    BscEcon (Hons) DipHIC MBACP (Accred.)

Training with BCPC