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Level 4 Diploma (CBT) in Therapeutic Counselling


This course is designed for those who are seeking to be professionally qualified counsellors

The course is made up of credit rated units developed in association with Skills for Health, the Sector Skills Council for the Health and Social Care Sector. When combined with the ABC Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills, it meets the basic training requirement for recognition as a qualified counsellor to a professional level of competency. It also contains supervised placement hours.

Trainees will complete this course with a comprehensive and full understanding of the following


Ethical frameworks, including the importance of setting, supervision and casework management in counselling

The impact diverse culture and heritage can have on the client/counsellor relationship in a multicultural society

One major therapeutic model

How to conduct a counselling session with a client in an ethical, effective and safe way

How to increase self-awareness

The purpose and importance of Research in counselling

along with a deep knowledge of CBT, as a core model, in conjunction with Psychodynamic (Attachment)) and Humanistic (Existentialism) models


Course details

This Level 4 Diploma is concerned with the training of counsellors to a professional level of competency. 


As a pre-requisite for admission to the Diploma course trainees must possess a Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills or the equivalent obtained elsewhere.

 Trainees will further develop the knowledge, skills and self-development from their Level 3 experience. It is anticipated that learners will be involved in placement with rigorous and qualified casework supervision. This should enable an interchange of experiences between the placements and the classroom work on a constant basis.


The ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling aims to 

meet, when combined with the ABC Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills, the training contact hours requirement for basic training at a professional level for recognition as a qualified counsellor 

provide further developed skills, including a 100-hour practice component under supervision 

create a reflective practitioner 

develop a deep understanding of one therapeutic model with knowledge of two others (‘integrative’ can be a model under the approach)

Structure and Content of the Qualification:

The course incorporates a theoretical module (i.e. counselling theories relevant to the descriptor), professional framework module (e.g. ethical practice), group training supervision, counselling skills practice and an ongoing process group. 

The structure of the course also involve full day Saturdays. Trainees need to secure a supervised client work experience (i.e. placement). Trainees are also expected to complete 20 hours of personal therapy during the life of this course.  

Trainees will learn to work with more implicit patterns of relating, working at relational depth and will increasingly become clear on the types of clients and settings they can work with. This counselling programme provides a balance of theoretical input, practical and experiential learning, understanding of professional context for counselling work, and focuses on counselling as a contracted professional relationship as opposed to using counselling skills. The evidence based portfolio system of assessment is encouraging trainees to know their capabilities and limitations, and is in line with the increasing demand for evidence of competence within the mental health field. 

Qualification Units 

1.K/601/7629 – Professional organisational issues in counselling   

2.D/601/7630 – Counselling in  a diverse society

3.K/6017632 –  Counselling theory (CBT core model + Attachment + Existentialism)

4.M/601/7633  – Advanced counselling skills

5. T/601/7634 – Self-awareness for counsellors

6.A/601/7635  – Research methodologies in counselling

7.F/601/7636  – Counselling placement. 


Internal – Evidence-based portfolio. Case studies. Assignments. Self- and learning reviews. Counselling practice sessions. Case presentations. Client record. Supervision record. Therapy record. Supervisor & agency feedback. Tutor/peer feedback. Tutorial record.

External – Placement Unit Submission (Obligatory in 2nd year)

Client hours – 100 hours minimum with adult clients 

Other information   

Placement – Ideally before joining the course

 Personal Therapy  –   20 hours  

Attendance   –   90% minimum