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Studying for a counselling or psychotherapy qualification, what do I need to know?

We regularly get asked questions by prospective students, here are a few of the most common ones with answers. If you still need more information, don’t hesitate to contact our training team on training@tavistockrelationships.ac.uk

(Please click on each question to see the answers)

What are the key benefits of studying with Tavistock Relationships?

If your primary interest is in working with Couples, Tavistock Relationships is an international leader in the field with over 70 years’ worth of experience of delivering and developing advanced practice, training and research in therapeutic approaches to supporting couples.

  • Our training stretches from beginner right up to Doctorate level.
  • The flexibility of our training means you can equip yourself to work with individuals and couples via one of our different pathways. Watch our Video to learn more.
  • One of the significant advantages of our clinical training is that we source the clients that you need to see to qualify. Most other organisations ask you to find your own clients.
  • Our students love the organisation: 94% of students in our professional trainings were either very satisfied or satisfied.

“The friendliness and warmth of the organisation set it apart. There are inspiring staff and tutors, and you get to learn from internationally-recognised experts who are the best in the field of couple therapy.”

S Khan, former Psychoanalytic Student

When do terms start?

Terms dates vary a little year on year but in general, our:

  • Masters and Doctorate programmes start in September.
  • Our Introductory Courses start in late January and late April, with a Summer School in July.

I have missed the deadline, can I still apply?

Deadlines are published on the relevant page for each qualification. On occasion they are extended, you can browse them here. We do still consider applications submitted after the deadline.

What night do the qualifications run?

This varies, to find out more please view our course information page here.

Can I pay in Instalments?

It is possible to pay in instalments for our courses.

I am not sure if I want to do an individual or couple therapy training, is this for me?

Our Introduction to Couple Counselling & Psychotherapy Course features content on working with adult relationships, but it also covers the grounding for the start of any counselling or psychotherapy career. Many of our students go on from the Introductory course to our psychodynamic Masters, but if you want to take another training path, our qualification will be accepted with most major centres and will stand you in good stead.

What level of qualification do I need?

As our courses (with the exception of the Introductory course) are postgraduate degrees, we would normally expect applicants to have a first degree. However, we assess people on an individual basis. In general, it is good if you have the experience of studying for an academic or professional qualification. Also, you need to be interested in working with people and possess personal qualities such as empathy, awareness, maturity, and the ability to make use of, and reflect on life experience. The introductory course is a very useful start for those interested in a career in therapy.

I already have a Masters qualification in another subject, do I need to do the Introductory course?’

If you have trained in a highly relevant discipline to a professional qualification level then we would expect you to be able to enter straight onto our Masters' pathway. If you are unsure, you can talk individually about your proposed journey at one of our open evenings or arrange to talk to one of our tutors.

Who qualifies for advanced standing?

The answer to this varies according to individual circumstances and the qualification applied for.

In general, a Masters can only be completed via Advanced standing by prequalified professional therapists, with extensive direct experience in working with clients in a counselling or therapeutic setting.

The best way to find out how this applies to you is to attend one of our open evenings or arrange a call with one of our tutors directly.

How am I assessed?

The Masters' programmes are a combination of a number of elements including coursework and assessment on your practical performance. Feedback throughout the training is provided by your personal tutor.

How do I find clients while I am studying to complete my clincial hours?’

We do it for you! One of the special things about our training is that we provide couples and individuals for you to work to gain your experience as part of our offer. This is almost unique in trainings of this kind and allows you to focus on your professional growth, not worrying about sourcing clients.  

Will I be qualified to practice on my own?

When you complete one of our Masters' training, you gain full accreditation to the relevant professional body. For the psychodynamic qualification, the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BAPC), for the Psychoanalytic pathway, with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and with COSRT, for our Psychosexual pathway.

The cost of therapy

Students on our Masters' training are required to receive therapy themselves. The fees for this are negotiated individually, but usually, cost anything from £50 per session. Potential students must factor the cost of this into their considerations.

If you have already had the required amount of therapy from an approved practitioner, you may not be required to undertake it for your study.

What payment options are there?

Students pay for our Masters' qualification in a lump sum, or via Direct Debit in agreed regular sums to help spread the financial commitment.

Are bursaries available?

Each year a limited number of financial assistance packages are available but are in high demand. We recommend you contact us at training@TavistockRelationships.ac.uk.

Do you offer placement work?

We source clients for our own students undertaking our relevant training, however, we don’t provide placements for students from other organisations.

What support do you give students?

Support is provided throughout the process. We provide expert tuition, through tutors, and supervisors. Also, the courses are set up to allow a maximum peer to peer networking – as one of our students you are automatically a member of our professional body; Tavistock Relationships Alumni.

Where to get funding?

If you are thinking of studying for a Psychotherapy Training with us, and are trying to arrange your finances, it may help you to know that there are various opportunities that may help you pay for your study here.

  • Tavistock Relationships Bursaries and Loans

For our practitioner trainings, Tavistock Relationships has a limited number of bursaries and loans. These are only available for our full trainings, and not for introductory courses or certificates.

Each year there is 1 Bursary available that is means tested and is specifically directed at underrepresented groups. In addition, we have a number of loans available students can apply for – which cover up to 50% of the course fees. We accept applications for loans and the Bursary, after students have been successfully admitted on the course. For further information we recommend you contact us at training@TavistockRelationships.ac.uk.

  • Training Funds

There are, across the UK, a variety of loans and grants available to individuals wanting to take a training to improve their skills and career prospects.

  • Government Funding

Career Development Loans If you are over 18 and a British Citizen you can apply for a Career Development Loan, https://www.gov.uk/career-development-loans

  • Trusts or Foundations

These are normally small specialist bodies with a mission to help individuals. The rules and criteria vary greatly. Often they are designed to help prospective students who would not normally be able to afford the study or those from a diverse background.

The list below are merely suggestions, there may be other sources of funding. Each fund requires an application to be made by the individual looking for training, please do not contact us.

Snowdon Trust - Helps students with disabilities

BB Zeitlyn Psychotherapy Training Fund - Accessible to psychotherapy students living or working in East Anglia

Thomas Wall Trust – A general fund aiding people with skills to improve life chances

Futures for Women (Grants to Female applicants)

Diamond Education Grant - Helping Women acquire new skills

Listing these sources does not in any way act as a form of endorsement by Tavistock Relationships.

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