Course Details Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling

SEG Awards ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling – 603/5029/5

This Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling supports learners to develop and demonstrate skills, knowledge and understanding of counselling, towards achieving professional status as a practicing therapeutic counsellor.

The purpose of this qualification is to provide learners with an opportunity to develop work-based skills within an ethical framework and develop and understanding of the impact of a diverse society on clients, counselling therapeutic approaches, self-awareness and research methodologies, all of which will be demonstrated through a 100 hour supervised placement.

This integrative and, we believe, innovative counsellor training course is underpinned by the core conditions and values of person centred therapy; great emphasis is placed on the building of effective and respectful relationships between learners and trainers. We believe that this is more of a way of life than something that is just confined to the therapeutic environment, this is very important to us.

The course is delivered by trainers who are enthusiastic, motivated and sufficiently fluent in their chosen modality including (but not limited to) Person Centred Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Body Process Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Ecotherapy, Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing), NLP and Mindfulness interventions. Our trainers are all experienced practising counsellors and supervisors who are currently working in different contexts with both groups and individuals.

Our aim is that learners will benefit from this up-to-date varied knowledge and experience, and our belief is that counsellors, like clients, are all unique individuals and one model or way of working does not fit all.  Continuous self-reflection, exploration and discovery play an integral part in counselling and are a central focus of this training with experiential learning and the encouragement to reflect upon life and relationship experiences; both past and present – all of which can be demanding of the learner.

All of the trainers at Devon Counselling College are passionate about learning; our commitment to you is to provide a safe and challenging learning environment where you can develop an integrative counselling approach by way of incorporating those theories that you can understand, relate to, and therefore most enjoy. You will meet your tutors on the first day and we will arrange regular tutorials with you throughout the course to discuss your progress.

Progression Opportunities

Learners who successfully complete the SEG Awards Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling may progress onto post diploma courses in counselling studies that are designed to enhance the practice, skills and knowledge of a practising counsellor. This provides academic progression alongside a recognised career pathway. It combines the professional aspects, e.g. theoretical knowledge, counselling skills development, self-appraisal and commitment to provision of an ethical quality service and professional development element, which is necessary to ensure that the counsellor is fit to practice. The course provides the necessary training and qualification for you to progress towards national accreditation status with professional bodies such as the National Counselling Society (NCS) or British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and eligibility to be listed on their public registers.

We endeavour to maintain contact with trainees who have finished their study with us and are now qualified therapists, putting current learners in contact with them, should they so wish; in order to receive the therapy and supervision required by this course.

Aims and Objectives

This qualification aims to:

  • to meet the training contact hours requirement for basic training at a professional level for recognition as a qualified counsellor with the BACP and/or other Professional Counselling Bodies.
  • provide support for further developed skills, including a 100-hour practice component under supervision
  • create a reflective practitioner

The objectives of this qualification are to help you to:

  • further develop knowledge, skills and self-development from Level 3 training
  • further develop your skills in triad and small group situations
  • gain experience in a supervised placement
  • increase self-awareness by continual professional and personal development
  • develop an understanding of different therapeutic models; the learner developing a deep understanding of his/her own integrated model of choice
  • an interchange of experiences between the placements and the classroom work on a regular basis

Theories to be studied and integrated include:

  • Person Centred Therapy
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Body Process Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Ecotherapy
  • Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing)
  • NLP
  • Mindfulness
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Transpersonal
  • Psychodynamics

Entry Guidance

  • As a pre-requisite for admission to the Diploma course learners must possess a Certificate in Counselling Skills and Studies or the equivalent obtained elsewhere.
  • Entry is at the discretion of Devon Counselling College and applicants should be able to satisfy us of their suitability for and commitment to the course at an initial interview which will be held prior to the start of the course. We reserve the right to request an observed simulated skills session and/or written essay in order to demonstrate that the learner is entering this training at the appropriate level for them
  • An ability to commit to the attendance requirement on this course
  • We are happy to give you a degree of assistance and guidance with course work and writing presentation although a certain level of competence in this area will be assumed, as will competence with IT which is used as the main method of communication between learning sessions.

Structure and Content of the Qualification

Professional organisational issues in counselling

In this unit, trainees will develop an understanding of the essential relationship between counsellors, as professionals, and the organisations and other people with which they may work. They will explore areas of potential conflict, especially through the existence of different ethical standards and principles. They will also reflect on the importance of casework supervision and understand assessment and risk in relation to safeguarding in counselling.

Counselling in a diverse society

In this unit, trainees will explore the impact diverse culture and heritage can have on the client/counsellor therapeutic relationship in a multicultural society. They will also examine power issues within the counselling process.

Counselling theory

In this unit, learners will analyse one major therapeutic model to influence, inform and empower their practice as a counsellor. They will also compare other therapeutic approaches alongside the major approach.

Advanced counselling skills

Learners will demonstrate a range of skills illustrating their development as practitioners. In addition, they will learn that counselling is a managed activity, with emphasis being given to the importance of opening and closing a series of sessions.

Self-awareness for counsellors

This unit aims to enable learners to increase self-awareness by analysing and evaluating the impact that counselling theory and practice has on self and relationships.

There is a strong emphasis on continuous self-reflection, exploration and discovery through experiential learning and the encouragement to reflect upon life and relationship experiences; both past and present – all of which can be demanding of the self of the learner.

Research methodologies in counselling

In this unit, learners will explore the importance of research in counselling. They will develop their research skills and will learn how to present findings.

Counselling placement

Learners will complete this unit linked to a supervised counselling placement practice of 100 hours. They will analyse how their theoretical approach has influenced their practice, and evaluate learning gained from supervision.

Please be aware that learners are responsible for finding their own placements although Devon Counselling College does have several connections. Help and advice will always be given.

Residential Weekend

This course includes one residential weekend during the second year of training. Residential Weekend fees will be payable in advance of the year 2 weekend. These will be kept to a minimum, and will not exceed £130.

Devon Counselling College reserves the right to change certain elements of this programme as necessary to comply with Awarding Body requirements.


By the end of the course, learners should be able to:

  1. Use a range of counselling skills consistently – initiating, functioning, concluding and ending counselling skills interactions
  2. Accept and subscribe to the current BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.
  3. Respect other people’s views, attitudes, belief structures, and cultures
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to anti-oppressive practices and non-discriminatory use of counselling skills
  5. Articulate their own philosophical approach to counselling to conceptualise case material and the counselling process and to show a deep understanding of one major therapeutic model into which two other models of counselling and ways of working may be integrated (‘integrative’ can be a theory under the approach)
  6. Manage their own caseload particularly relating to organisational policies and practices, working within a team setting and/or a multi-disciplinary environment
  7. Reflect constructively on themselves, their own life experiences, and their interactions with others and evidence their own personal and professional growth processes
  8. Demonstrate the use of the counselling relationship itself as a vehicle of change
  9. Explain and demonstrate the purposes of research in the practice of counselling

This is not just a training course where you learn the skills and theory required to obtain the qualification; it will encourage you to draw on and use your own individual life experience and develop your own special way of working therapeutically with clients. You really get to know who you are.