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Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling

Key course information

Health and Social Care


22 weeks

Part time


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Course Overview

This qualification is designed to give the knowledge, skills and competencies to work as a self-employed counsellor in independent practice, or to take on a senior counselling role in an organisational context where client assessment, referral and routine evaluation are part of the role. The course aims to enhance your theoretical understanding of working within an integrative framework and to continue to deepen your ability to work therapeutically with clients. Since all the students are already qualified counsellors, with varying degrees of experience across a wide range of client groups, it is an exciting opportunity to share aspects of good practice within a supportive learning environment.

What will I learn?

The integrative theoretical framework of the course includes humanistic, psychodynamic and transpersonal perspectives – the emphasis throughout is on supporting practitioners to develop and deepen their own personally held model within an ethical framework. Students are encouraged to bring examples from their placement work, experimenting and exploring with skills development in a supportive environment. You will also have an opportunity to explore the practical aspects of establishing and maintaining an appropriate framework for independent professional practice, including, for example, how to carry out client assessments (exploring work with clients with more severe and/or complex mental health needs) and thinking about what resources may support you best in your own independent practice.

Entry Requirements

Before applying for this course, students must have successfully completed the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling or its equivalent.

Study, Assessment and Qualifications

The course takes place over 20 weeks, one full day per week. You are required to undertake at least 60 hours of one-to-one, formally contracted and supervised counselling with clients during the course. A range of methods will be used to assess students, including written assignments, a 15-minute transcript of clinical work, a learning review through the duration of the course and self-reviews. External assessment is by means of a 3000-3500 word case review.

Additional Costs and Information

Students are required to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of personal counselling by the end of the course. This can include hours undertaken prior to the start of the course; however, at least 15 hours must be undertaken during the training itself. This cost is not included in the course fees. This qualification is not suitable for those who are currently in a state of severe emotional difficulty and/or severe psychological confusion. An interview is required for this course. There may be a residential which may incur an additional cost.

What Could I Do Next?

On completion of your course you may choose to progress onto these following courses

Successful students will be awarded the Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling awarded by the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB) and are qualified to work independently. Students may progress onto the Open University Foundation Degree in Counselling or the Level 6 Certificate in Therapeutic Counselling Supervision provided they have acquired at least one year's part-time post PC-L5 supervised client work. More information is on the CPCAB website at

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