Three Year Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling

The theoretical components of the course will be presented as lecture, discussion of 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.

2024 course start date

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

Location: ECPS Training Centre
Fees: See below

Get in touch with any questions about this Diploma course.

Download and send the application form via email to ECPS.

This course is held on one evening per week, from September to July. It includes seeing clients under supervision. It provides qualification to work as an agency and private counsellor, and is part of the requirements for becoming an individually accredited British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) psychodynamic counsellor. It is recommended for those who have completed the Certificate course or its equivalent, and who want a professional training in psychodynamic counselling which enables them to:

  • Work as agency counsellors, in private practice or in private sector organisations.
  • Pursue further clinical hours (in-house) leading to BACP accreditation
  • Membership of Enfield Counselling Service and the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)

Course details

This course offers detailed study in the practice and technique of counselling, with psychodynamic theories forming the core model. Unconscious and conscious processes, the client/counsellor relationship and clinical boundaries within a therapeutic setting are the main focus. The emphasis is on integrating theory and practice, and an important part of the course is the supervised work trainees do with their clients. Personal psychotherapy is a requirement throughout the course. It is assumed that applicants will have already completed a one-year foundation course, such as the ECS Certificate in Counselling Skills or equivalent. The course is accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council, and with sufficient clinical hours entitles the student to gain membership of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Each study evening consists of a theoretical seminar followed by an experiential group. Trainees will also participate in a supervision group, with a maximum of four trainees per group.

The theoretical seminars cover techniques and practice, and developmental psychology. There will also be weekend workshops on social perspectives and endings.

Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling (Minimum 3 years) This course, accredited by BPC, qualifies trainees to work as agency and private counsellors. It provides a firm grounding in psychodynamic counselling theory and practice, and contributes towards the requirements for eventual BPC and BACP individual accreditation.

Course structure

Each term is 11 weeks; 10 weeks of seminars plus one week mid-term which is designated as reading week. The seminars will take place on one evening per week. This is likely to be on a Monday. There will be an additional day or evening time commitment of 90 minutes for supervision. Supervision groups meet for 42 weeks per year. There will also be additional time commitments for client work. An important part of the course will be once a term meetings with the personal tutor. There will also be once a term plenary sessions with the Training Co-ordinator.

Year 1

There will be a seminar (90 minutes) followed by an experiential group (90 minutes). The seminars will cover Fundamentals of psychodynamic counselling including boundaries and technique (2 terms) and Developmental Psychology (1 term). It will be necessary to attend additional seminars on Social Perspectives (15 hours), and Endings (5 hours). These will take place on Saturdays, arranged at suitable intervals over the year.

Year 2

There will be 2 seminars per evening, each of 90 minutes. Developmental Psychology continues into the first term of this year. Other topics covered over the year are Clinical Concepts (2 terms); Psychopathology (2 terms) and Object Relations theories.

There will also be an additional Saturday seminar on Endings (5 hours). The Social Perspectives module may continue into the third year.

Year 3

There will be a concentration of the theories of Object Relations and clinical presentations. This year will be an opportunity to consolidate the whole course and to develop your own style and way of thinking psychodynamically. There is usually a different seminar leader for each module. All teachers are experienced, highly qualified psychodynamic counsellors or psychoanalytic psychotherapists. Written work You will be required to write six papers over the course of the three years. There is an External Examiner who moderates the marking.

Client work

Over the three years trainees work towards seeing three clients weekly. Each trainee must hold two clients for a full year in order to fulfil course requirements. To meet BPC standards for supervision, trainees will meet in supervision groups, with a maximum of four to a group. Supervision days and times offered are dependent on supervisors’ schedules, group numbers and room availability.

  • Trainees need to have completed 180 contact hours with clients. It should be noted that, because of this requirement, client work may continue beyond the three academic years.

As a trainee counsellor you are regarded as part of Enfield Counselling Service and you will be expected to participate in some important Service events, such as the once termly Service meeting. This is held on a Saturday morning. All ECS staff attend this. You will also be encouraged to make every effort to attend the Enfield Counselling Service AGM. Successful completion of the course depends on trainees meeting the requirements. Details of the assessment process will be provided on successful application. Personal therapy is a requirement of the course and applicants need to have this in place at least four months prior to seeing clients.

  • You will need to be with an approved psychodynamic counsellor or psychoanalytic psychotherapist. You need to contact the Training Co-ordinator who will provide you with our Therapy Adviser details. You will need to remain in personal therapy throughout the training. Application details Applicants will have successfully completed the Certificate in Counselling Skills course or it’s equivalent. You will need to provide details of the course you have done if it was not an ECS or WPF affiliate course. There is also an age requirement for applicants (25 years or older).
  • A completed application form should be returned to the Training Co-ordinator, together with a brief report from your Counselling Skills course tutor. Where the requirements have been met, the applicant will then have two interviews.

First interview

This is conducted in two parts. The first part is an interview with the Training Coordinator. The second part is a case discussion. The applicant will be given a case to consider for discussion with the Clinical Director, either individually or as part of a group with other applicants. There is a fee of £45.00 for the first interview. Second interview: This will be with our external assessor to whom a fee of £55 is to be paid. Applicants may be asked to attend a third interview. The decision to offer a place will be based on the outcome of all the interviews and the fulfilment of the above requirements. For details about application submission date, please contact the Training Co-ordinator via the office. Enfield Counselling Service reserves the right to cancel or change the contents of all courses

Information about personal therapy requirements An important part of the diploma training entails supervised clinical work with clients at ECS. This necessitates a level of self-awareness which psychodynamic practitioners must attain in order to work effectively and ethically with those who seek such help. As personal development is part of this process, it is essential that trainees are in personal therapy. This is a requirement of the diploma course.

Timing and length of therapy

Trainees are required to be in a minimum of once weekly psychodynamic psychotherapy at least 4-6 months before starting work with clients. It is therefore recommended that trainees begin their therapy some months before the course start date in September. Trainees are required to be in psychotherapy for the minimum of three years in training, and it is expected this will continue until one year after graduation.

Arrangements for personal therapy

As trainees need to be in psychotherapy with a BPC approved psychodynamic psychotherapist, applicants for the diploma course are put in touch with the therapy adviser for ECS who will facilitate placement of an applicant with a suitable therapist. Applicants are advised not to find their own psychotherapists as complications may arise if therapists do not meet criteria as required by the Service.

The procedure is as follows:

Once the applicant has contacted the therapy adviser, (therapy adviser details to be provided on enquiry to Training Co-ordinator), the adviser ascertains which therapist to refer the applicant to. After the adviser contacts the therapist to establish whether there is a vacancy, the adviser provides the applicant with the therapist’s name and contact number. When the applicant has met with the therapist, the applicant lets the adviser know the outcome. If the applicant is accepted onto the course and then becomes a trainee counsellor, it is the trainee’s responsibility to ensure that their therapy continues as required. Should an applicant already be in therapy, the applicant needs to ascertain with the Training Coordinator whether their therapist would be BPC approved. It may be the case that the therapist doesn’t meet the particular criteria for such approval, and the applicant would need to discuss with the Training Co-ordinator whether to delay application. It is recommended that if an applicant decides to change to a BPC approved therapist, this is undertaken after an appropriate and agreed ending with the current therapist. Fees for personal therapy are paid by the applicant and agreed between therapist and applicant. There will be no charge to the applicant for a referral to a therapist. Usually the procedural arrangements are done by telephone. However, occasionally it may be necessary for the therapy adviser and applicant to meet. If that were the case there would be a fee payable to the adviser.

Payment of fees for Year 1  – Fees for all years subject to review 

The fee of £3,495 for year 1 includes an enrolment fee of £145 which is payable in response to ECS’S offer of a place. On acceptance of an offer of a place the student enters into a financial contract with ECS. (See contract terms).

The balance of £3,350 may be paid in full or in instalments. If paying in instalments, details of monthly and termly plans will be provided:

31st August – £1,120
30th December- £1,120
30th March – £1,110

Whether paying in full or in instalments, course fee must be remitted by 31st August before term starts. Fees are subject to annual review. Please discuss with the Head of training any anticipated difficulties before a crisis arise so that a mutually acceptable arrangement can be agreed.

Contract terms
On accepting an offer of a place on the course, the student enters into a financial contract with Enfield Counselling Service (ECS) and pays an enrolment fee.

In the event of a student not taking up an accepted place the enrolment fee and any other fees already paid are non-refundable. The enrolment fee will be refundable only if ECS withdraws the offer of a place because of a candidate’s unsatisfactory references.

If a student withdraws from a course part way through the year, the full fees for the year are payable.
In the event of a student anticipating or experiencing difficulty in meeting financial obligations to ECS, contact should be made as soon as possible with the Head of training so that a mutually acceptable arrangement can be agreed.

If a student has been awarded funding from a third party source, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that obligations to ECS are fulfilled. The Head of training needs to be notified in advance of the course start date if any communication is required between ECS and the funding body. Fees are subject to annual review. They may be remitted either in full or in instalments. Year 2 fees are the same amount as year 1.

Year 3 Fees are £3,995

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.

Diploma Course Term Dates 2024 – 2025


MONDAY, 7.00PM – 10.15PM


Monday, 16th September – Monday, 2nd December 2024

Reading Weeks: Monday, 21st October – Friday, 1st November 2024


Monday, 13th January – Monday, 24th March 2025

Reading Week: Monday, 17th – Friday, 21st February 2025


Monday, 28th April – Monday, 14th July 2025

Reading Week: Monday, 26th May – Friday, 30th May 2025


25th, 26th December 2024, 1st January, 18th April, 21st April, 5th May, 26th May 2025