One Year Certificate in Psychodynamic Counselling

The theoretical components of the course will be presented as lecture, video, discussion papers and reading material.  The experiential group is a ninety minute group led by an experienced group analyst. This group provides an environment for self examination and following group dynamics.

During the year the topics below will be covered. Your seminar leader will provide you with a reading list and a term by term programme which you may be asked to contribute towards shaping.

Student Guidance Notes on COVID-19 

ECS will endeavor to offer in-person training. However, safe practice and teaching is paramount at ECS therefore we will adhere to guidelines at any given time. For this reason ECS are developing a multi-mode delivery strategy in order to accommodate the current climate.

There are two Certificate Courses at ECS

Spring 2022 course start date – cancelled

Date:  No course     Time: 7pm – 10.15pm

Autumn 2022 course start dates 

Date: 19th September 2022    Time: 7pm – 10.15pm

Location: Online Zoom Sessions also with an in-person workshop (subject to guidelines)
Fees:          £1,195.00

£50 reduction if fees are paid in advance
Paying by monthly instalments is available

The above are planned dates, all candidates who have paid deposits will be kept informed of any updates and changes

Get in touch with any questions about applying for this course.

Download and fill in the application form, then return by email to ECS.

Term One

  • Where it all began. 10 lectures on Sigmund Freud – The Founder of Psychodynamic therapies.
  • A look at early childhood with issues of sexuality, rivalry and conflicts.
  • The Famous Oedipus Complex
  • ‘Helping’ and how paradoxically, it can be unhelpful.
  • Our unconscious, our values, our prejudices which may influence how we respond to others.  All these issues will be explored.
  • Clients defences and how they show themselves in the counselling relationship
  • Are we who the client thinks we are? The concept of transference, and how important a tool it becomes in being of use to the counsellor.

Term Two

  • The ground breaking contributions of Melanie Klein.
  • The role of unconscious phantasy.
  • The death instinct and its implications.
  • New discoveries in the realm of defences.
  • Depression.
  • Paranoia.
  • The ‘Controversial discussions’ and how they shaped modern day counselling.
  • Envy, its role in the infant.
  • The Oedipus complex. A new understanding.

Term Three

  • The role of Mother and baby in detail.
  • DWW Winnicott. And his unique and influential work.
  • The role of theory and practice in Winnicott’s work.
  • The on going influence of Winnicott and object relations theorists to child care both in the family and institutions.
  • ‘True and false self’ how we develop as human beings.
  • From pathology to health.


Seminars take place in the first part of the evening for an hour and a half. Students will be expected at times to take part in experiential exercises and to take turns to present a précis of a set piece of reading for a particular discussion.

Experiential group

During the second part of the evening students meet together with the experiential group conductor for an hour and a half. The purpose of the group is to explore what is of concern to individual members and the group as a whole in the here and now. It is part of the group’s task to identify these concerns and discover how to work with them with the help of the group conductor. This work provides a source of learning about oneself and about group dynamics.

The work of the group and the material revealed by individuals is confidential to the group. The experiential group leader may give an opinion about a student to the Course Tutor/Head of Training if it is felt that it would be helpful to do so but will not reveal personal material. As with seminars, regular attendance is very important and a requirement of the course. Students are asked to send a message to the group via the experiential group conductor if they are unavoidably absent.


The Certificate is not a license to practise privately.  ECS clients are not seen by students during this course. Counselling skills should be practised under supervision with an agency or organisation.

This course has helped me to understand my patients better and I will pursue more training to help them further with counselling skills.

Ruth J.

This introductory course has been a great eye-opener and it has given me the confidence to move forward with training to become a counsellor.

Peter B.

Since my introduction course I am now on the Certificate course and I will like to continue here at ECS to train on their Diploma course.

Kay L.

Certificate Course Term Dates 2020 – 2021


MONDAY, 7.00PM – 10.15PM


Monday, 28 September – Monday, 14 December 2020

Reading Weeks: Monday, 26 October – Friday, 6 November 2020


Monday, 18 January – Monday, 29 March 2021

Reading Week: Monday, 15 – Friday, 19 February 2021


Monday, 19 April – Monday, 12 July 2021

Reading Week: Monday, 31 May – Friday, 4 June 2021


25, 28 December 2020, 1 January, 2 & 5 April, 3 & 31 May, 30 August 2020