CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling

What makes this diploma different?

This is an integrative diploma with a gestalt focus. 

In our experience students do best when first studying one theory in real depth. 

Gestalt theory is holistic, experiential and creative.  We believe that we need to look at the whole of the client.  We will not only notice the words which are said, but we will notice voice tone, speed of speech, gesture, body language etc.  We encourage clients to experience the links between body, mind and spirit.  We work with the here and now unfolding experiences which happen in the counselling room.  When the past becomes part of the here and now, we may come alongside clients as they explore unfinished business to gain a sense of acceptance or closure.  We will encourage clients to develop an awareness of how they make contact with the others, with the world and with themselves and see if their ways of relating are still relevant to the here and now situation. 

We believe that everyone has the capacity within them to live a rich and fulfilling life, but sometimes patterns of relating, which may have been helpful in the past, begin to cause difficulties in the present. These patterns are made explicit as they become evident within the counselling relationship. With increased awareness comes new possibilities as the client learns that they have ‘response- ability’, so empowering them to move forward. 

Relationship is at the centre of all this work.  We strive to create an I/thou relationship which provides the container in which the work can happen.   

Once the external exam is over in January of Year 2, we look at possible ways to build an individual integration of theories.  We touch on CBT, person-centred theory, internal family systems, TA, compassion focused theory, mindfulness amongst others. You will come away from this course with your own unique integration, which will link to your personal worldview, philosophy and be embedded in research. 

Course content:

We will study the 7 processes: 

  • Working ethically, safely, and professionally as a counsellor  
  • Working within a counselling relationship  
  • Working with client diversity in counselling work  
  • Working within a user-centred approach to counselling  
  • Working with self-awareness in the counselling process  
  • Working within a coherent framework of counselling theory and skills  
  • Working self-reflectively as a counsellor  

How you will be taught

At Counselling World we put you at the centre of the teaching experience.  We believe that we learn best through experiencing things for yourselves.  We work with the flipped classroom approach.  We like you to come prepared with the knowledge for the session, so that  you can use the session to explore and try things out rather than it being about us imparting information. 

We work to make sessions well structured, so that you know the aims and objectives and which criteria the lesson is based around.  Revision is built into the work we do.  This way you can keep track of your learning. 

A typical lesson will be likely to include whole class and small group discussion.  When appropriate we will use videos and demonstrations.  There will be opportunities for you to lead presentations which can cement your own knowledge and skills.  Research shows that we learn best by teaching. 

Research also shows that we learn through experiencing.  It is common for us to use creative resources to help you gain a deeper knowledge of the criteria.  Sand trays, play dough, colouring pens, toys etc. are frequently used.  You will be encouraged to try exercises which could be used with your clients. 

Finally, and most importantly, both tutors believe that our relationship with you is central to the learning process.  We feel privileged as you share your story and your insights through tutorials, discussions and written work.  Without that strong relationship in place we believe that learning is unlikely to take place. 

We work within our Christian ethos and we encourage trust and honesty within the group.  We aim to create a trusting atmosphere were your deepest needs and emotions can be explored. 


This course involves ongoing assessment through regular learning reviews, essays, presentations, case reviews, and practical skills work.  You will complete a fitness to practice assessment halfway through year one, which will ensure that you are ready to work in a placement setting.  There will be a formative internal assessment at the end of year 1. There will be an external assessment in the form of an extended case study in year 2. 

You can read more about the course here: https://www.cpcab.co.uk/public_docs/tc-l4_candidate_guide

Entry requirements


  • Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills (or equivalent qualification) 
  • Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies (or equivalent qualification) 
  • GCSE or O’ Level in English at grade C/4 


  • Be academically and emotionally able to cope with this level of training 
  • Be able to work with difference and diversity 
  • Be able to work with and develop your self-awareness 
  • Have the ability to form an empathic therapeutic relationship 
  • Have the ability to challenge and be challenged
  • Be confident in working on a computer or laptop 
  • Come to each session having completed the preparation, so you come knowing about the topic we cover before the session 
  • Attend a minimum of 85% of the course 
  • This course is not suitable for those who are currently struggling with significant emotional difficulties 

Progression on to Year 2 is not automatic.  You must have a placement in place by year 2 or you will not be able to continue.  You are responsible for securing your own placement, though you will be given guidance from Counselling World. 

What you will need

  • A computer or laptop 
  • Word 
  • A phone capable of recording audio and video 
  • Internet access 
  • Access to the course books

Additional time costs

  • An estimated 4-5 hours for reading each week in Year 1.  This is slightly less in Year 2. 
  • Time to write an 800-word learning review every week 
  • Time to write peer feedback each week 
  • Time to complete extra essays and presentations 
  • Time for personal counselling (30 hours required in your own time) 
  • Time for your student placement (100 hours with at least 5 different clients)
  • Time for supervision (at least one hour per fortnight) 
  • Some agencies require you to complete their training in addition to your diploma 

Additional financial costs

  • Course books (6 books minimum) 
  • Supervision hours (if not offered for free by your agency) 
  • Personal counselling (a minimum of 30 hours) 
  • Membership of BACP 
  • Indemnity insurance 


This is a CPCAB course which is accredited by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).


This qualifies you to work as a counsellor, initially in an agency setting. You will be a qualified professional counsellor recognised by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and you will be eligible for inclusion on their Register of Counsellors after taking the certificate of proficiency. 

With additional experience and the support from a clinical supervisor you may progress to independent private practice. 

You may choose to go on to study the Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling or apply for the Open University Foundation Degree in Counselling.  Once you have gained further experience you can study the Level 6 Certificate in Therapeutic Counselling Supervision. 

Click here for further information: https://www.cpcab.co.uk/qualifications/

The application process

You will need to submit an application form to 4counsellingworld@gmail.com, giving a couple of referees (one being someone who knows you personally and one being your most recent counselling tutor). 

You will need to include two examples of marked learning reviews from your Level 3 course and two tutor feedbacks from skills practice.

If you are successful at this point, you will be asked to attend an interview.  You will need to demonstrate your counselling skills at the interview and you may be asked to bring further samples of your work. 

If you are given an offer, you will only hold your place once you pay the course deposit along with your CPCAB registration fee which is nonreturnable.

Here is the link to download the application form: Application Form   


The fees for Year 1 of this diploma is £3,050 Your place will only be held after you have paid the course deposit which is nonreturnable.  After this you can choose to pay in monthly installments from the date of acceptance onto this course.  Once you have started the course you are committing to pay for the whole academic year.

When will this course take place?

This is a 2 year course which will take place on a Monday from 9:20am to 3:30pm for 35 weeks over 2 academic years.  There will be half term breaks and holidays over Christmas and Easter which will follow the term times stated here: https://www.kent.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/124477/Kent-term-dates-2022-23.pdf. The course will start in September 2023. There is one additional Saturday in year 1 and 3 Saturdays in year 2, all of which are held on Zoom.

You will be expected to attend every session apart from when you are ill.  You could be in danger of not getting through the course if your attendance is poor.

Where will the course take place?

We meet in Canterbury. The centre address is:

Thanington Resource Centre, Thanington Road, Canterbury, Kent CT1 3XE 

The centre is a mile from the city centre, a short distance away from Canterbury East railway station and opposite the No1 bus stop. We work in well equipped rooms with access to a large outdoor area. There is free parking at the venue. The venue is fully accessible with Wi fi availability.

Student book club

Once you have paid your deposit you may choose to join the student led book club.  This is a chance for you to read and discuss the books before the start of the course, as well as being an opportunity to meet course peers.

%d bloggers like this: