West Thames College London

Therapeutic Counselling - Level 4

This two-year course will prepare you to work as a capable counselling practitioner in an agency setting. You will study a counselling practice theoretical model, ethical practice, specialist issues relevant to working as a counsellor within an agency, group training supervision, counselling skills practice, and an ongoing process group. There will be workshops on cultural diversity, difference and anti-discriminatory practice.

In the second year you will need to complete a minimum of 100 hours in a work placement.

Key course features


CPCAB Advanced Diploma

Level: Level 4

Mode: Part-time

Start Date: 06 September 2017

Who is this course for?

People seeking an advanced counselling practitioner training course, including those who wish to progress to higher qualifications. It is designed for those who want to make counselling their career or whose work demands higher level counselling skills. You will be qualified to work in a counselling agency.

About the course

You will study:

  • Working ethically and safely as an agency counsellor
  • Working within a counselling relationship
  • Working with client diversity
  • Working within a user-centred agency approach
  • Working with self-awareness in the counselling process
  • Working within a framework of counselling theory and skills
  • Working self-reflectively as an agency counsellor.

The course will give you an opportunity to:

  • Develop ethical and safe practice as an agency counsellor
  • Learn how to develop and sustain a therapeutic counselling relationship
  • Understand and work with client diversity
  • Become a capable practitioner within a user-centred agency approach
  • Develop self awareness within the counselling process
  • Work within a core model of counselling theory and skills
  • Work self-reflectively as an agency counsellor making effective use of supervision.

In the second year you will need to complete a minimum of 100 hours in a work placement. Your placement needs to be confirmed before embarking onto the second year.

Additional opportunities

You will be required to complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised client work in a placement as a formally-contracted volunteer in a counselling agency. You will also be required to complete a minimum of 40 hours personal counselling and supervision hours in the work placement. These commitments are your own responsibility to secure and manage.

How will I be assessed?

You will be expected to build a portfolio. The three assessments used throughout the training are review of documents, assessed observation, and testimony. This ensures that all aspects of the seven processes of practitioner development are evidenced. These assessment methods will assess training programme assignments and look at the evidence from the agency setting, and will provide the quantity and type of evidence required to satisfy criteria.

Assessments are designed to assess your understanding of the professional framework. External assessment is based on a role play between counsellor and client and a written assessment based on an evaluation of the practical work and counselling process.

Where next?

When you complete this course you will be qualified to work as a counselling practitioner within an agency setting, but do need to collect a further 350 hours client work before you can be certified by the BACP as a counsellor. You may wish to go on to further qualifications validated by the CPCAB, such as the Advanced Certificate in Consultancy Supervision, the Higher Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, and/or the Higher Diploma in Counselling within Health Settings.

Entry requirements

You will need to have completed the CPCAB Intermediate Certificates in Counselling Skills and Counselling Studies or equivalent. If you need advice before you apply, please call 020 8326 2020 or email info@west-thames.ac.uk.


The fee is for one year of study and may be subject to change in subsequent years. Sorry, no concessions are available.

How to apply?
Please click the "apply now" button and fill out the online application form. An adviser will be in touch regarding interview dates. Please note interviews for the Counselling courses will not be until June 2017.


  1. Balbir Kaur Chumber

    CPCAB Therapeutic Counselling

    Balbir Kaur Chumber

    “The course has equipped me with tools, techniques, skills and lots of theories and both tutors were supportive during the course. My future plan is to complete the Level 5 course in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in September. Now that I have Level 4 under my belt it has enabled me to continue to work towards Accreditation too.”


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