Aims.of the training
The course will teach you the essential knowledge and skills of psychodynamic counselling. It will help you to establish an understanding of the theory and the technical processes of counselling, while also developing personal and professional awareness required for effective practice as defined by the BACP.
We also devote time during the course to preparing students to later join the wider therapeutic community and, for those who wish, ongoing training and/or further academic progress.
Life as a Student.
Our training is exciting and challenging: it is more than an academic course. As a student at CCS you will belong to a professional counselling organisation. This offers you the opportunity to work alongside a mutually supportive group of counsellors who are at different stages of their career development. The CCS training package includes theory, skills, supervision and client work. You won’t have to go elsewhere to find clients or supervision. CCS will select and assess your clients for you and you will be supported by supervision in keeping withBACP requirements. CCS provides a safe secure environment for you to be introduced into the fascinating and demanding world of client work.
Within counselling there are various theoretical models underpinning the work. At CCS we work to the psychodynamic model. Based on the profound belief that the past influences the present, student counsellors learn to help clients explore their experiences, become aware of hidden feelings and discover new insights and perspectives. Training for the Diploma takes place over three years part-time. Whilst each year is separate, there are three main elements to the training:
- Theory and Skills
- Personal Development
- Client work and Supervision
The course includes, over 3 years:
- 180 hours of seminars
- 90 hours personal and professional development group.
- 32* hours individual tutorials
- 45 hours Saturday workshops
- 100* hours client work
- 129* hours group casework supervision
As students develop, the notion of three clearly defined elements recedes and the links between the three elements become apparent. This is called integration. However, in order to understand the components that comprise the course it is helpful to think of them in terms of three separate elements.
Theory and Skills.
This mainly takes place in weekly seminars comprising psychodynamic theory and skills. There are also Saturday workshops each term. Learning takes place through reading, discussion, written assignments and skills practice. Over time your knowledge of the richness and complexities of psychodynamic theory is deepened and enhanced as you progress through the course. Skills are developed in tandem with the theory, using role plays with your peers to bring the theoretical concepts to life.
Self-awareness is given a high priority throughout the training and is developed through:
- Group work - part of the weekly training sessions from the summer term of the first year to the end of the third year.
- Personal counselling - ongoing, weekly throughout the course. We provide a list of recommended psychodynamic counsellors for our students to work with. This is the only part of the course that takes place outside CCS
- Journal - a chance to express and reflect on thoughts and feelings and to incorporate your learning with personal experiences.
- Project - a long essay started in the second year, giving you an opportunity to make a study of an area of particular personal interest, linking the personal with the theoretical.
- Tutorials - one to one with your course tutor, supervisor, project tutor and personal tutor. A chance to focus on your individual needs.
Client work and Supervision.
We consider it a real strength of our training that we are able to provide both the clients for our trainees and specially tailored psychodynamic supervision within our organisation. You will begin to work in a training supervision group with your peers at the end of the first year. When you are ready you can begin to work with clients who are specially selected as being suitable for an inexperienced counsellor. Weekly supervision and client work then continues throughout the training. Following successful completion of the training, counsellors are asked to continue counselling on a voluntary basis at CCS for one year, to consolidate their learning in a secure, supervised setting.
Continuous assessment by all members of staff involved in your learning takes place throughout each year. This is planned to be supportive so that you have an opportunity to identify and work on areas you find more difficult. Progress from one year to the next is based on satisfactory completion of the previous year. A final assessment takes place at the end of the third year and students receive a diploma on successful completion of course requirements, including one hundred supervised counselling hours. In cases where a student has been unable, for whatever reason, to successfully complete a year, the staff concerned meet to discuss the best course of action for the student. This may include taking a sabbatical year to work on personal issues, or deferring the final assessment while continuing studies and client work, the latter is known as the Diploma Extension. We consider the Diploma Extension to be an asset of the course because it is tailored to meet the needs of each student concerned. It focuses on appropriate aspects of the individual’s work rather than a blind repetition of an academic year.
Pastoral Care & Support
Each student is allocated a personal tutor. The personal tutor monitors and encourages personal development, but is also there to provide you with support and guidance if difficulties arise. Regular tutorials are provided, but you can also contact your personal tutor as the need arises.
After qualifying former students have the opportunity to consolidate their training and client work. You will be eligible to attend workshops, reading seminars and short courses. Many counsellors also begin to take on additional client work and work towards personal BACP accreditation at CCS.
Qualified counsellors may continue voluntary counselling and supervision at CCS or may enhance their growth towards independent practice by becoming Associates Counsellors within CCS. Many people enjoy this opportunity to belong to a counselling community.
After leaving it is also possible to keep in touch with CCS as a member, giving you access to our ongoing programme of further development.