The humanistic approach to counselling suggests that each person has their own unique way of perceiving and understanding the world, which in turn influences their actions and the way they behave. Focused on helping clients to achieve their highest potential, humanistic counsellors work to understand a person's subjective experience and, as such, the kinds of questions they ask about people differ from those asked by practitioners who take other approaches.
Delivered through a school with a 45-year history of humanistic psychology, this course is designed for those wishing to practice as a professional counsellor. It has been developed through research in humanistic and experiential learning approaches, and is grounded in the belief that people grow through reflection on experience.
A key component of this training is the development of self-awareness, which will enhance your capacity to respond to clients with awareness, and ensure that your use of self is always in service of your clients' needs, rather than your own. You will therefore be required to take part in self-funded personal counselling in order to understand the experience from the client's perspective.
You'll be taught by trained counsellors and psychotherapists, and will build your practical experience through micro-skills training, skills practice groups and a supervised counselling placement. You will complete more than the required number of training hours for individual accreditation by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
"I looked through a number of degree level courses in counselling until I finally settled on the one here at Nottingham. I was drawn to its person-centred foundation as well as its focus on preparing students for actual counselling work rather than just studying the theory for academic purposes. All the teaching was geared around practical application and relevance to hands-on counselling. To me, this made the learning so much more interesting and brought it to life as I could see the reality of what I was learning in my own practice and life in general."
Phil Rudd, BA Humanistic Counselling Practice
Providing you with a solid theoretical and practical foundation, the first year of this course is designed to introduce you to humanistic counselling practice and prepare you for your second year placement. You will need to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of self-funded personal therapy alongside your studies.
Grounded in the person-centred approach, your second year will include 150 hours of face-to-face tuition in a single core module, which is one of the criteria for individual BACP accreditation. You will also be required to continue the self-funded personal therapy you began in year one, and pass a Readiness to Practice assessment before beginning a 100-hour supervised counselling placement.
Your final year will enable you to complete your counselling placement hours, consolidate your professional learning and delve further into specialist areas through a selection of optional modules. Typical choices include Sex and Sexuality, Understanding Trauma, and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.
"My favourite part of my degree is how practical and hands-on the teaching is. We rarely spend too long sat down simply listening. Instead, we often engage in small group discussions, thought-provoking personal reflections and creative activities, all of which are directly relevant to the learning." Phil Rudd
Why study at Nottingham?
As a student on this course, you will:
- complete more than the required number of training hours for individual BACP accreditation
- benefit from the expertise of trained counsellors and psychotherapists who have experience in a wide range of areas including teenagers and young adults, addiction, and sexuality
- take part in experiential activities and active discussion, with both playing an important part in small and large group sessions
- undergo assessment through a variety of methods including essays, presentations, case studies and reflective journals (instead of exams)
- develop professionally and acquire new skills in an academically-challenging and supportive environment
- have the opportunity to improve your employability through the Nottingham Advantage Award
- be part of one of the UK's top education departments, having placed at 8th in the UK and in the top 30 worldwide according to the latest QS World University Rankings
Please visit the school website for further useful information.
Our staff and students describe the course.