The masters in counselling award provides a framework for theoretical understanding and skills development in the application of a systemic approach to working with individual adults and children, couples and families as well as supervision of counselling practice. Alongside these frameworks, students can enjoy a detailed analysis of models and practices in supervision, including an understanding of wider systemic influences that impact practice.
Systemic approaches to psychotherapy and family therapy have been the cornerstone of the Family Institute’s clinical practice, teaching and research since 1967. The Institute was the first centre in the UK to develop these approaches to problems in living. Forty years on, progress in family therapy has occurred at a rapid pace. The application of systems thinking and practice in health and social care contexts has grown considerably. It has, therefore, become essential to ensure the highest standards of practice, training and qualification in applying systemic approaches effectively within these fields.
“The course allowed me to find my own way around the myriad of counselling and psychotherapy approaches, and to appreciate the theoretical support of such approaches.” Ann Jones, BSc Systemic Counselling
You will study the following modules: - Foundation in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice - Using Systemic Practice in the Work Setting - Research Methods - Counselling Supervision and Consultation
The programme aims to offer students opportunity to: - develop in-depth understanding of conceptual frameworks underpinning systemic theory and practice applied to counselling;
- understand and utilise methods of integration in order to develop their own personal epistemology in counselling practice;
- develop skills in responding to challenging or complex issues that may arise in counselling;
- develop and promote appropriate treatment responses and skills in working with areas new to their experience and knowledge (e.g. serious mental illness, couples, children, families, elders, refugees, forensic settings, new theoretical developments, methods and techniques);
- develop knowledge and practice of appropriate supervision in counselling;
- develop an understanding of organisational development and the interaction between relevant wider systems in the practice of supervision, for example, management and governance of services;
- promote high professional standards.
Learning and teaching methods
The award integrates practice-based evidence with evidence-based practice and offers excellent training in research methods. You will study through a mixture of lectures, group discussion via action learning and independent study. Assessment will involve directed study assignments, analysis of practice in supervision and video or audio review.
Practice based learning is a central component to this award and is embedded in the philosophy of the award. The award has been designed to develop the professional requirements of counsellors from a variety of professional backgrounds and takes into account current British Psychological Society criteria for Chartered Counselling Psychologists.
Staff delivering this award have extensive experience of designing and teaching Family Therapy and Systemic Practice programmes at postgraduate level (UKCP accredited) as well as Counselling programmes leading to a BSc Hons in Counselling (BACP accredited). The Institute is a member of the European Family Therapy Association and also the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association.
Work Experience and Employment Prospects
There is an increase in the demand for counsellors and there is a corresponding need for supervision and continuing professional development. The demands on counsellors to practice to the highest ethical, theoretical and practical standards increase as we move towards statutory regulation (possibly by 2012). In the context of increasing focus on evidence-based practice, the practitioner’s relationship to the scientist’s practitioner model will influence how they locate their practice and thinking within wider networks of research and collegial exchange of good practice, not only as practitioners but also as supervisors.
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