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.

The course will be held online, via Zoom.

There are two Certificate Courses at ECPS

Course start date: Autumn 2024

Date:  16th September 2024  
Time: 7pm – 10.15pm Monday evenings

Spring 2024 course start date –

Date: 15th April 2024    
Time: 5:15pm – 8.30pm Monday evenings

Location: Online Zoom Sessions
Fees: £1,295.00

Paying by monthly or termly 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 ECPS.

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.
  • DW Winnicott. And his unique and influential work.
  • The role of theory and practice in Winnicott’s work.
  • The role of the environment in the development of the human personality with particular consideration of the development of ‘capacities’ e.g. capacity to be alone, to play, for concern etc
  • ‘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 within an agency or organisation.

“The Certificate course was hugely enjoyable and incredibly informative. The essay feedback was really thorough, forensic and helpful. The tutors are committed and caring.  I would recommend the course highly, it’s a great primer for psychoanalytic thought.”

Claire, student on the 2022-23 Certificate course

“The Certificate Course has impacted my life positively in so many ways.  It has helped me grow personally, professionally and is the most brilliant foundation for those wishing to become counsellors and psychotherapists.”

Charlie, student on the 2021-22 Certificate course

Certificate Course Term Dates 2023 – 2024

April Certificate Course, April 2024 – March 2025

Mondays 5:15 – 8:30pm


Summer Term – Term 1

Monday, 15th April – Monday 1st July 2024

Reading week: Monday 27th May – Friday 31st May


Autumn Term – Term 2

Monday, 16th September – Monday 2nd December 2024

Reading week: Monday 21st October – Friday 1st November


Spring term – Term 3

Monday, 13th January – Monday 24th March 2025

Reading week: Monday 17th – Friday 21st February



September Certificate Course, September 2023 – July 2024

Mondays, 7 – 10.15 PM


Monday, 18th September – Monday, 4th December 2023

Reading Weeks: Monday, 23rd October – Friday, 3rd November 2023


Monday, 8th January – Monday, 18th March 2024

Reading Week: Monday, 12th – Friday, 16th February 2023


Monday, 15th April – Monday, 1st July 2024

Reading Week: Monday, 27th May – Friday, 31st May 2024


25th, 26th December 2023, 1st January, 29th March, 1st April, 6th and 27th May 2024