This two-year diploma-level course is part of our Gestalt Counselling Programme. It offers intensive, practical professional training. On completion (and having completed the required number of personal therapy, client and supervision hours) you’ll be a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and fully equipped to work competently with a range of clients.
Who takes this course?
Most students apply to this course directly from the Certificate in Humanistic Counselling Skills (also part of our Counselling Programme) with a view to becoming a qualified professional counsellor. Occasionally, we admit students with prior experience from elsewhere at this stage – see entry requirements for full details.
What the course offers
There are four components to this part of the programme:
- teaching, practice and evaluation of skills involved in creating and developing a counselling relationship
- developing awareness of self and self in relation to others both personally and professionally
- presenting sound theoretical concepts from relevant established disciplines
- group supervision to discuss and evaluate counselling practice.
In the first year, you will:
- Gain a solid grounding in the philosophy and practice of gestalt as a core model.
- Review and evaluate the fundamental principles of counselling and relate these to the core method.
- Discuss and explore ethical and professional issues in relation to the counselling profession and clinical practice.
- Explore a range of theories of human development.
- Address major areas such as:
- cross-cultural counselling
- race, sexuality and gender issues
- loss and bereavement
- other topics relevant to student needs.
- Develop one-to-one counselling skills.
- Learn to review counselling sessions with peers.
- Integrate this theoretical, practical and experiential learning into current counselling practice with the support of supervision.
In the second year you will:
- Focus on groupwork theory, skills and practice.
- Deepen your understanding of gestalt theory and methodology with reference to subjects like transference and developmental theories.
- Cover other topics relevant to the developments in the wider counselling profession, e.g. short-term, brief therapy.
- Have an introduction to psychiatric diagnosis, treatment and drugs.
- Focus primarily on integrating this learning into individual and group counselling practice through case discussions, group and individual supervision and peer feedback.
The weekly components of both years are:
- peer learning groups for study, skills practice, professional exchange and support
- seminars on theory, professional and ethical issues
- weekly personal development groups to address and explore individual and group issues, interpersonal relationships and attend to group process.
Across the two years, students need:
- to be in their own private, individual gestalt counselling for a minimum of 80 hours over the two year period of training
- to find a suitable trainee placement, in accordance with the Gestalt Centre guidelines and complete 120 hours of work with clients
- to have a minimum of 23 hours’ individual supervision with a Gestalt Centre approved supervisor in addition to any supervision that may be provided by the student’s counselling placement.
What our students say
“Very intensive but of great value.” (CN)
“I rate this course as excellent and would happily recommend it.” (SA)