The BA (Hons) in Counselling and the Psychotherapeutic Relationship at the University of Warwick is a professional course, which offers students an opportunity to develop the necessary skills and knowledge required to practice as a qualified counsellor. The course encompasses the theoretical, practical and developmental areas integral to all counselling training, delivered in an experiential learning environment. It also incorporates an element of research, in terms of understanding research ethics and theory as well as conducting your own research project in an area of interest in your final year.
The new programme reflects an integrative model, building on a Person-Centred base with a relational focus. This includes the work of John Heron whose theory focuses on the stances which counsellors can take within a therapeutic relationship. The integration of Psychodynamic theory to the model also allows for consideration around how the past may influence the present, and how counsellors might work with this in the therapeutic space. The programme also allows for a focus on post-modern approaches to counselling in terms of both Humanistic and Psychodynamic perspectives, including experiential, existential and creative ways of working. These approaches are offered within the context of supporting and challenging students to develop their cultural awareness, and their capacity to work with difference and diversity.
The practical element of the course includes placement hours, both for work-based learning and clinical work, undertaken across the four years of study. This allows for expansion of theory into practice, in order to further inform your development as a practitioner. This is supported by specific learning about the varied mental health needs that will present in practice. Personal development is also seen as a critical part of the programme, with students undertaking personal therapy, supervision and group work which serves to deepen the understanding of self. This element of counselling study is to both promote therapist self-care and ensure that students are developing into ethical counsellors.
We believe that these developments to the program will enhance the quality and contemporary relevance of the course.
About the author
This blog was written by Natasha Rae-Dean (MSc, MBACP). Natasha is a Teaching Fellow on the BA (Hons) in Counselling and the Psychotherapeutic Relationship, alongside counselling and supervising at her private practice. Natasha currently teaches on Year 1, covering theory, ethics and group facilitation. She has a particular interest in research, and also both teaches and supervises students in the final year research projects.