Independent Counselling Training Bedford - Where Vocation meets Education
Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
I am under 25, will I be considered for a place on a counselling Diploma?
We normally require applicants to be at least 24 years of age so that they have encountered a broad range of life experiences. We will exceptionally consider applicants who are under 24 years of age but they will be expected to demonstrate a high degree of maturity and self-awareness.
The entry requirements state that I must have some experience of working with people in a helping capacity, what does this mean?
What we are seeking is to ensure that you can demonstrate that you have experience of being in a helping role and that you are able to reflect on your thoughts and feelings about this experience. We do not specify the exact nature of this experience as there are so many varied ways of satisfying it. We are interested in the question, 'What draws you to wanting to be a helper?' and would hope that you might also be curious and use your experience to think about this question.

I don't know what the difference is between a Humanistic course and other courses that are offered in counselling – how do I decide?
We can provide a few pointers for you but ultimately you must make the decision. First, you could use the opportunity of the Introductory counselling as well as the Certificate course to talk with tutors about how they see the differences between the different theoretical approaches and as different theories are taught on the courses you can see how you feel about the different approaches. You could try personal therapy with a therapist and see how you take to it.
 I have not studied psychology before, does this matter?
No, it doesn't. Whilst counselling training draws on a lot of psychology theory we do not expect students to have undertaken a formal study of psychology before the course. We do, of course, require all applicants to have undertaken a minimum of 120 hours of counselling training which includes skills and theory. This can be any theoretical approach..
Does it matter which counselling training courses I undertake in order to apply for the Diploma?
No, as long as it has a minimum total of 120 hours of class contact and includes both skills and theory and is a nationally recognised course that is accredited by the RCF. For example at ICT Bedford we offer an Introduction to Counselling Skills (30 hour course) and a level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills (150 hour course) which together would make up 180 hours of prior counselling training. There are other ways in which the 120 hours can be gathered, however a substantial proportion of these hours must be gained from a level 3 qualification in counselling (or its equivalent). A counselling course by distance learning does not satisfy our requirement.
Are there loans, grants or bursaries for these courses?
No, there are no government grants for these courses. There are a number of charitable organisations which can be found on the web and which you would have to trawl through in the hope of finding some that might accept an application for funds. Many students have gained some support from their employer.Students that study either at an F.E College or a University will be eligible for a 24+ student loan for Level 3 and Level 4 course. For student at independent centres that such as ICT are not eligible for student loans.
Does it matter that I have been out of education for a number of years?
No. Provided you meet all the requirements then you should be offered an interview for the course. Many of our students are returning to study after a few years away – for example, the average age of the Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling is 40 years of age
As I have not been in education for many years, I do not know who to use as a referee.
You will require two references. If you have been out of education for a long time and it is not possible to obtain an academic reference then we will require an alternative. An employer, current or very recent, could be one reference and a second reference from a tutor on a previous counselling course you have taken. An alternative to an employer would be a friend although this is a poor third.

I have previously had my own counselling/psychotherapy – will this count against me?
No rather the contrary in fact. We encourage applicants to start personal counselling or therapy as soon as possible. The course is intellectually and emotionally demanding and the more sources of support you have, the better. It is a requirement of our Diploma that from January during year one, you must be in regular therapy for the rest of the course (a minimum of 40 hours of personal counselling)
 If I am called for interview, what form does the interview take?
You will be interviewed by a member of staff for about 30 minutes. We ask all candidates the same set of questions and we aim to try to determine for example (a) if you are emotionally robust enough for the course, (b) if you can cope with this level academic work, (c) if you are mature enough for the course and (d) if a humanistic training (as opposed to say CBT) is the right one for you.

I am currently working as an unqualified counsellor – will I be able to use this as my counselling training placement?
A small number of applicants are in this position each year and each has to be considered in the light of the circumstances. We ask a number of questions including (a) is the counselling work properly ‘contracted’ with the client, (b) it is counselling as opposed to just using counselling skills, (c) does the setting, way of working and the supervision support the type of counselling which is based on the theoretical orientation of the course, and (d) are the clients assessed by someone qualified as being suitable for a trainee?

I know a counselling placement is part of the course, does the course guarantee to find me one?
No. We do help but the final responsibility lies with you.
Students must make individual applications to agencies.