The programme is for those who wish to train professionally as a counsellor and may be particularly suitable for those who come from areas such as social work, education, nursing, medicine, occupational therapy, youth and community work, pastoral work, law, personnel management or voluntary work in a related field.
You will explore at theoretical, experiential and practical levels a pluralistically psychodynamic approach to counselling. You will be encouraged to develop your own individual and reflexive way of working within this broad framework. Particular attention will be paid to social and cultural values that underpin counselling theories and practices, to the social and cultural contexts in which counselling takes place, and to how these relate both to you as a practitioner and to your clients.
In addition, your learning experience will be enriched by a critical consideration of comparative theoretical approaches with reference to current research findings. In order to complete the MA, you will undertake a research project using case study methodology.
The programme tutors bring a wide range of expertise to the programme as practising counsellors, psychotherapists, supervisors and researchers. Their interests lie primarily in the psychodynamic approaches to counselling, in social constructionism, phenomenology and in research.
From the commencement of the programme you will be expected to undertake a placement in a counselling agency, approved by the programme team. Careers
This programme gives you professional training in counselling, which is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Teaching methods
Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Therapeutic Counselling (BACP accredited)
You complete Years One and Two of this programme and the following four modules:
-Theory and Practice of Counselling I
-Theory and Practice of Counselling II
-Critical Approaches to Psychopathology
-Research Methods, Professional and Ethical Issues
Areas of work are as follows:
Theoretical and Practical Work
Emphasis throughout will be placed on a participatory and student-centred approach to learning. This will be promoted through the use of seminar work, group discussion, triad work and videotaped practice, underpinned by self, peer and tutor feedback.
You will be encouraged to develop a range of competencies in psychodynamic counselling and to relate theory to practice.
You will be given the opportunity to:
-familiarise yourself with the central themes of the diverse psychodynamic approaches to counselling. These will include notions of human nature, self in relation, self and development, sexuality, gender and cultural diversity;
-examine critically comparative and contrasting approaches, such as: existential, humanistic and cognitive behavioural therapies and personal construct theory;
-consider social constructionist and phenomenological ideas to achieve a critical understanding of the social and cultural values and assumptions that underpin the psychodynamic and comparative approaches to the theory and practice of counselling;
-explore ethical and professional issues. Particular attention will be paid to these issues in relation to the requirements of organisations where counselling takes place, such as: educational, employment and health care settings;
-achieve a critical understanding of comparative approaches to research methodology in counselling and of the relevance of current research findings to their work as practitioners.
Group Case Discussion
You present case material from your placement work for discussion in tutor facilitated small groups. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of theory, self-awareness and practice. You will be encouraged to develop a constructively critical and self-reflective approach to your practice work.
You will be given an opportunity of firsthand experience of personal discovery within a group environment. This will enable you to become more aware of your own values, assumptions and ways of relating to others and of the bearing that these might have on your practice work. In so doing, you may discover other possibilities of being and relating. External consultants will facilitate this part of the programme.
Opportunity is given to discuss academic and professional development issues with an individual member of staff.
MA in Contemporary Therapeutic Counselling
In addition to Years One and Two, you will undertake two further semesters of study (Year Three, June-February) in order to complete a dissertation using case study methodology for the award of your Master’s Degree.