DCPsych Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy by Professional Studies

About the Course

Available Study Modes
Intensive Study, Saturday Weekly or Wednesday - Weekly

Course Description

This unique counselling psychology programme, with the existential approach as it’s main modality, is a joint programme with Middlesex University and on successful completion graduates are eligible for BPS accreditation as a Chartered Counselling Psychologist and registration with HCPC as a practitioner psychologist.

At the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, we consider counselling psychology and psychotherapy to be important evolving professions, which have an essential role to play in the future of mental health services.

The Doctorate in Counselling Psychology programme at NSPC will involve helping you to acquire the right qualification and expertise in this field whilst enjoying its interconnections with other mental health professions. This training involves a substantial period of supervised practice, a sound knowledge of underlying theory, and the development of critical research skills. Theory, practice, self-development and research will therefore be intertwined continuously throughout the programme of studies, so as to bring together all the important elements through concerted work in supervised clinical placements and at our training institution.

We value personal maturity greatly and will seek to enable you to draw from your understanding of your life experiences in becoming a practitioner. Indeed life crises often represent a special opportunity for personal development and NSPC students will be expected to use individual therapy and personal and professional development groups to achieve such reflection on and understanding of their own experiences in light of the theories and practice of counselling psychology and psychotherapy.

The existential philosophy of the school provides a disciplined philosophical framework for this integration. The existential approach does not focus on what has gone wrong in a person’s life, but on how a person may discover a deeper sense of being through the experience of anguish and a sense of meaning through tackling life’s challenges. The teaching and training provided by NSPC incorporates these basic values by recognising that life experience, in addition to formal academic and practical professional training and alongside careful research together form the four foundations on which students need to build in becoming an accomplished existential counselling psychologist and psychotherapist.

NSPC aims to provide its students with every opportunity to work towards professional competence and academic excellence in an integrated way.

The Course Leader is Dr Claire Arnold-Baker, an experienced existential counselling psychologist and psychotherapist who is also Academic Manager at NSPC. The Deputy Course Leader is Dr Victoria Garland who is also an existential counselling psychologist and psychotherapist.

Useful Links:

Why Counselling Psychology?

Programme of Study

Year 1

  • Introduction to Counselling Psychology Theory and Practice

 This module will enable students to achieve an overall grasp of the profession, and to begin to build an identity as a counselling psychologist in order to establish a solid foundation on which to build for the rest of the training.

  • Existential Theory and Practice

The aim of the theory element of the module is to enable students to gain a fundamental grounding of theories of existential philosophy and phenomenology that underpin existential psychotherapy and existential counselling psychology.

The aim of the practice element is for students to achieve an initial aptitude in applying the principles of phenomenological practice and familiarise them with their roots and links in existential philosophy.

  • Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice

The aim of the theory element of the module is to enable students to gain a fundamental grounding of theories of existential philosophy and phenomenology that underpin existential psychotherapy and existential counselling psychology.

The aim of the practice element is for students to achieve an initial aptitude in applying the principles of phenomenological practice and familiarise them with their roots and links in existential philosophy.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Theory and Practice

The theory element of this module aims to enable students to achieve a grounding in the fundamentals of CBT, from its philosophical and scientific origins, to the current 3rd wave approaches.

The practice element provides an opportunity for students to achieve a basic aptitude for applying CBT interventions in a range of conditions.

  • Quantitative Research Methods

This module will enable students to critically appraise the variety of counting-based research methods that have been developed to make such enquiries.  It will further enable students to design, conduct, and critique quantitative studies.

Year 2

  • Advanced Existential Theory and Practice

This module will develop and expand students’ familiarity with the existential approach   through continuous questioning of the relevance of philosophy to the practice of psychotherapy and counselling psychology. Students will be exposed to the various philosophers and practitioners on whose work existential therapy is based and consider their pertinence to current day clinical practice, with an emphasis on identifying particular human dilemmas and life issues and learning to work with these creatively...

  • Critical Psychopathology

The aim of this  module is  to enable students to recognise the principal diagnostic categories used in mental health settings, their characteristics, and the major critiques of those criteria or, where relevant, of the value of making any diagnosis at all. 

  • Development through the Life Span

The aim of the module to enable students to critically appraise developmental theories, demonstrating how physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development interact and how theories of development, and developmental stages, can be applied to counselling psychology.  Development stage theories will be evaluated in the context of the existential reflections on the purpose of development as an unfolding project.

  • Qualitative Research Methods

The aim of this module is to enable students to describe and contrast the main qualitative research methods and to illustrate various types of mixed method combinations.  Students will be able to design, conduct, and critique qualitative studies and take into account how individuals interpret experience.

  • Placement and Supervision 1

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop their therapeutic skills in a variety of placement settings under clinical supervision.  Thus allowing students to demonstrate their developing professional competence.

  • Research Supervision 1

The aim of the module is to enable students to design, plan, implement, and complete independent and original research that can be written up as an acceptable programme planning document. To assist the student to monitor their progress on a regular basis. To enable the student to present their work at a programme planning viva and make the necessary corrections.

  • Programme Planning, Research Preparation and Viva

The aim of this module is to enable students to plan their learning and research in relation to their future contribution to their field of practice, through preparing a detailed research proposal to be examined by viva voce.

Year 3

  • Counselling Psychology Skills, Formulation and Assessment

This module aims to enable students to acquire and apply a substantial body of knowledge for assessment, formulation and practice in counselling psychology with a range of clients. It will enable students to communicate to their clients, carers, parents, and colleagues with clarity the evidence basis for the decisions being taken in the programme of this practice.

  • Families and Systems Therapy ( An optional module that can be taken as an extra for UKCP registration)

 The aims of this module are to provide a thorough grounding in the family and systems perspective on therapy and to show the development of this approach from its inception to the present day. It will enable students to think of individual problems as located in the nexus of the family and to apply this way of looking at issues to their own clinical work.

  • Working with Sexuality and Gender Identities (An optional module that can be taken as an extra for UKCP registration)

 The aim of the module will be to challenge heteronormative beliefs and categorizations in order to widen perspectives and encourage students to think and develop their understanding of more complex categories, which will enable students to better relate to the growing number of people who reject one or more of them, and to quip students to be able to effectively train others in overcoming discriminatory practices towards people whose sexual or gender preference is either different from theirs or does not sit comfortably within their norm. 

  • Social, Cultural and Ethical Issues

To enable students to be able to make appropriate decisions about consent, confidentiality, discrimination, exploitation, fairness, duty of care, and other ethical and moral quandaries in professional practice.  Students will be able to describe cultural variations, and the impact of social organization and culture on morals, values, and social expectation.

  • Counselling Psychology Settings and Integration

The ultimate aim of this module is for students to demonstrate the ability to integrate professional theories with practice in multiple settings.

  • Advanced Research Seminar

The aim of this module is to enable students to design, plan, carry out, and complete independent and original research that can be written up as a completed research dissertation.  By the end of the module students will be able to construct a successful research ethics application

  • Placement and Supervision 2

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop their therapeutic skills in a variety of placement settings under clinical supervision, building on the work in year 2.  Thus allowing students to demonstrate their developing professional competence.

  • Research Supervision 2

To enable students to design, plan, carry out, and complete independent and original research that can be written up as a completed research dissertation through regular monitoring of progress through ethics and the pilot study.

  • Part 1 Research Project

The aim of this module is to enable the student to complete part of the requirements of their final dissertation by submitting a document that will be a near final draft of their literature review and intended methods and an analysis of one transcript or an example of practice.

Year 4

  • Existential Supervision Training

The module aims to enable students to critically appraise theoretical models and skills to supervise others in the practice of existential psychotherapy.

  • Existential Group Training

The module aims is to enable students to critically appraise a range of group psychotherapy approaches and demonstrate links to existential psychotherapy.  To apply the work of existential philosophers to develop an existential practice of group psychotherapy and be able to run groups along these lines in a competent and responsible maner.

  • Leadership Training

The aim of this module is to enable students to supervise other staff, to lead times and to evaluate service designs and implement service innovations upon graduation. Students will develop their leadership skills and consider how existential concepts can be used in democratic and inspirational leadership.

  • Preparation for Viva

This module aims to prepare students for the successful presentation of their research project at a viva voce examination.  It will provide students with practical experience of a viva voce examination. 

  • Research Supervision 3

The aim of this module is to enable students to design, plan, carry out, and complete independent and original research and monitor the writing up process for the completed research dissertation through regular monitoring of progress through ethics and the pilot study.

  • Placement and Supervision 3 (advanced)

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop their advanced therapeutic skills, where they can also practice some leadership skills, either leading a group, offering supervision or providing training sessions.

  • Research Project Part II, Final

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop their advanced therapeutic skills, where they can also practice some leadership skills, either leading a group, offering supervision or providing training sessions.

Accreditation and Careers

The Doctorate in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy by Professional Studies is a joint programme between NSPC and Middlesex University. It is designed for students who have obtained the Graduate Basis for Chartering of the British Psychological Society.

Successful completion of the Professional Doctorate makes you eligible to apply for chartership with the BPS and eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as a practitioner, counselling psychologist. With a small amount of additional study, it also makes you eligible for registration with the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (UPCA) and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

While we hope to help you achieve the full doctoral qualification, it is important for you to know that there are a number of exit qualifications to the programme if you were to choose to leave earlier.

The whole list of available exit qualifications is as follows:

· PGCert in Psychology and Psychotherapy

· PGDip in Psychology and Psychotherapy,

· MSc in Psychology and Psychotherapy

· MProf in Psychology and Psychotherapy,

· DCPsych: Doctorate by Professional Studies in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy

Please note that if you exit with one of these other qualifications and decide to return to complete a higher qualification, you will have to abandon your previous exit qualification, as Middlesex University will not award two qualifications for the same work

Fees

Year of course

Modules to be completed in year

Fee payable per year

(if no modules have to be repeated)

1

8 modules over 3 terms

£7520

2

10 modules over 3 terms

£9400

3

11

£10340

4

10

£9400

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

£100 per submission

NB You should also expect to pay for books, personal therapy, student membership of an accrediting organisation, and practice indemnity. If you are on the DCPsych and want UKCP accreditation, you will be required to take two additional modules not in this calculation. Students on doctoral programmes are eligible to apply for Student Finance.

Fees are charged per module as you take them, so costs are spread across each year rather than by an annual lump sum.

Entry Requirements

· a good Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

· Graduate basis for chartership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS)

· An introductory course in psychotherapy and counselling such as the Foundation Course offered by the Existential Academy

· Some counselling practice, either professionally or in a voluntary position, for instance with Childline or the Samaritans

· Personal suitability for the course to be demonstrated at interview

· Fluent English (ELTS for study score of 7.0 or TOEFL score of 87)

How You Study

The course may be taken full-time, over 4 years, although a January start may extend the course by one term; or part-time for a longer period. For the first two years, students may participate as distance learners, attending on an intensive basis for blocks of study, or as weekly attenders, attending NSPC in London either on a Wednesday for three ten week terms, or on a Saturday. Some of the modules may also be studied online with intensive online tutor support. Weekly attenders may also be required to attend some intensives.

The third and fourth years of the course are provided by 5 day intensives or, for some modules, online with intensive online supervision.

Words from Our Graduates

Excellent, great staff, good mix of students and interesting modules.

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate

The DCPsych changed my life and the direction of my career and allowed me to realise my life-long dream of becoming a psychological practitioner. The programme at NSPC, with its flexible and varied learning options, enabled me to fit in study with a busy career and family life. The quality of teaching was outstanding and the opportunity to explore a range of psychological-therapeutic theories enabled me to determine my own identity as a psychologist.

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate

It was a huge learning experience in so many levels. Lecturers were experienced practitioners willing to share their experiences. A well-structured programme with small classes

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate

I was allowed to create my own style of practicing and thinking without insistence on archaic and unhelpful psychological theories. Digby’s neurological expertise mixed with Emmy’s philosophical expertise created an environment where science and philosophy could coexist and thrive. The admin team of Dawn and Sasha were always supportive.

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate

The combination of rigorous academic engagement and experiential encounter Exercises, with the deep commitment in philosophy and existentialism, have prepared me for advanced professional work in both private and institutional practice. I’m very grateful.

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate

What never seems to amaze me is just how perfect, both in terms of content and timing, the NSPC modules are.  This course, in my opinion at least, is so well thought through and constructed.  I have studied psychotherapy and counselling elsewhere.  One of my clinical supervisors also thinks so too.

Current Student on DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy