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This level 4 part-time course over one academic year is one of our most popular. The aim of the course is to develop your self-awareness, communication, and counselling skills to give you a deeper understanding of counselling theories and ethics. Gestalt theory holds a central position in this course and supports the use of counselling skills in a variety of settings. This includes the charitable sector, education, and managerial settings where there is a role in supporting people. It can also be taken as a standalone course by those looking to understand themselves and their relationships-whether for personal insight or continuing professional development even if you don’t plan to become a therapist.

For all Certificate students there is an overall 90% attendance and as part of the training there is a mandatory minimum requirement of 12 hours personal therapy with a MBACP (Accred) or UCKP Registered counsellor/therapist.

On successful completion of this course, you will be awarded a Certificate in Humanistic Counselling Skills. This fulfils the entry requirements for application to the two-year, BACP accredited Diploma in Counselling or alternatively you may be eligible for the Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Programme (subject to application and interview).

Who takes this course?

You can take this course as a standalone introduction to counselling or as a foundation to our Gestalt Counselling Programme. The course typically attracts:

  • People who may want to qualify as professional counsellors.
  • People-focused professionals in health, complementary medicine, social care, the prison service, HR, consultancy, coaching and mentoring who want to develop their communication, negotiation, assertiveness and problem-solving skills, and to gain a qualification as part of their CPD.
  • People who want to understand more about themselves, others and their relationships.

What the course offers

  • Participation in a varied, stimulating learning environment which includes tutor and student input, group-work and personal reflection.
  • An understanding of the theories which support the use of counselling skills.
  • Opportunities to practice various counselling skills and techniques within an ethical and professional framework.
  • A safe place to begin to explore and share some of your personal beliefs and values.
  • Continuing professional development.

Course outline

There are three components to the course.

1. Foundation

Here, you’ll learn about the various counselling skills and techniques needed to support people in personal exploration and during times of difficulty. Looking more closely at yourself and relationships with others, you’ll be invited to consider your attitudes to race, gender, sexuality and other differences. There will be an introduction to person-centered counselling and to Gestalt theory and practice and how it supports the use of counselling skills.

2. Gestalt in Action

This component will enable you to deepen your understanding of Gestalt theory and practice using words, art, writing, sound, movement and other creative means. You’ll explore how we make and interrupt contact with ourselves in order to meet our needs, others and the environment and how this affects our life. As a central theme in Gestalt therapy theory, you’ll also look at the issue of responsibility and at the consequences of disowning it. We also offer this component as a single weekend. See our Gestalt in Action short course page to book and for further details.

3. Endings (including loss)

As children, the quality of the bond that we make with others lays the groundwork for future relationships and determines how we cope with the many different losses in our lives, including the ending of the therapeutic relationship. We respond to loss by beginning a process of grieving. In this last part of the training, you will learn about loss theory and how to work with endings, including the end of the client/counsellor relationship as well as the end of the group you have studied in and the course.

What our students say…

“Fulfilled my expectations and then exceeded them. This has been the course I wanted and needed it to be but also so much more – life-changing.” HP (Charity Development Manager)

“This course was much, much stronger than I had expected.” KF (PR Consultant)

“I enjoyed this course immensely.  Life-changing and a new beginning” BO (Chair of Educational Charity)

  • Course format

    This is consistently one of our most popular courses, so we offer four different formats:

    1. Wednesday evenings, 6pm to 9pm over 3 terms. (32 sessions) plus 3 whole days on either Saturday or Sunday, 10am to 5pm
    2. Friday mornings, 10am to 1pm over 3 terms (32 sessions) plus three whole days on either Saturday or Sunday 10am to 5pm
    3. Saturdays 10am- 5pm, over three terms + 15 Saturdays + 4 Sundays.
    4. Thursday evenings, 6pm to 9pm over 2 terms (24 sessions) plus 7 Sundays 10am to 5pm (3 in the 1st term, 4 in the 2nd term)

    Each format the attendance is 114 hours of training. You also need to allow time for personal study and a minimum of 12 consecutive personal counselling sessions.

  • Assessments

    To pass the course, you’ll need to:

    • Show appropriate participation in all areas of the course.
    • Keep a personal learning journal which gives an account of your reflections on the course material and its impact on you as a person and your relationships.
    • Write one essay, one on a theoretical topic relating to counselling.
    • Student presentations
    • There is an overall 90% attendance.
  • FEES

    Certificate in Humanistic Counselling Skills

    Fees for 2024-2025

    Wednesday evening or Friday morning format plus 1 weekend day over 3 terms.

    Termly – £663 x 3
    Monthly standing order – £165.75  x 12
    Total Annual Fee – £1,989
    Discounted annual fee when paid in full by a single payment – £1,890

    Thursday evenings plus 6 Sundays over 2 terms

    Termly – £994.50 x 2
    Monthly standing order – £331.50  x 9
    Total Annual Fee – £1,989
    Discounted annual fee when paid in full by a single payment – £1,890

    Termly fees are due during the following months:

    Autumn Term: July
    Spring Term: November
    Summer Term: February

    Saturday/weekend format 16 x Saturdays and 3 Sundays over 3 terms
    Termly – £663 x 3
    Monthly standing order – £221 x 9
    Total Annual Fee – £1,989
    Discounted annual fee when paid in full by a single payment – £1,890

    Spreading the cost



    Fees paid after the due dates will be liable for a £50 charge for additional administration costs unless prior arrangement is made.

    Additional Costs

    Students’ personal counselling/therapy is not included in the course fees and will be paid direct to the counsellor/therapist they choose and who fulfils the course requirement. Costs may range from approximately £60 to £75 per session.

“The tutor’s ability to create a safe, boundaried, enjoyable learning space is second to none.”

CC - former communications consultant


Questions on courses, timings or fees? Ready to book your place? Want to know more about room hire or finding a counsellor? We have the answers you’re looking for.

Add your name plus a contact email address or telephone number to the contact form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Alternatively, you can call us (8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday) on the number below.

CALL US ON 020 7383 5610