Duration: Two years

Year one: Weekend days. When: starts last Saturday in September

Year two: Tuesdays plus a few additional weekend days. When: Starts last week of September

Cost: Please view all of our training courses and fees

Eligible to apply for Registered Membership with BACP (MBACP)


Overview of the Course


The child counselling course offers cutting edge and inspiring theory and practice. It adopts an integrative approach, drawing on some of the most fascinating neuroscientific and psychotherapeutic theory including attachment theory, object relations theory and, in particular the work of Freud, Winnicott, Bowlby and Berne. The Diploma offers a wealth of clinical techniques to develop a meaningful dialogue with a child in ways which promote emotional health. The use of creative media: sandplay, art, puppetry, clay, storytelling are central to the clinical skills training.


Philosophy and Objectives

The training aims to enable trainees to bring about therapeutic change with troubled children and work effectively with their experiences of trauma, loss and attachment difficulties. Theory, techniques and clinical skills are designed to provide the trainee with the wherewithal to change brain as well as mind. In essence this means therapeutic conversation that will enable the child to establish good stress regulatory pathways in the brain and develop a far more sophisticated frontal lobe function. As a result children will be enabled to move from reacting impulsively under stress to reflecting, and benefitting profoundly from more sophisticated theory of mind capacities. This is partly due to the fact that, in the context of the therapeutic relationship, reflection and mentalisation, have been modelled by the therapist.

Child counselling trainees will master skills in containment, self-regulation, finding the teenager’s meaning, and staying with deep feelings, rather than reacting too quickly to what is happening in the therapeutic relationship, by being judgemental, blaming or inferring meaning.

All clinical skills taught on the course are underpinned with an in-depth understanding of child and adolescent developmental theory, child psychiatry, knowledge of relevant medication, safeguarding and child protection policies, legal and ethical issues. In short, we offer a training where the relationship offered by the therapist will enable the child to move from a life perhaps blighted by mental health problems and/or troubled relationships with self and others, to being able to enjoy a far more developed capacity for deeply fulfilling relationships, to fulfil their potential, and to know a far warmer kinder inner world.


Progression from Year One to Two and Three

The first-year child counselling course covers fundamental skills in therapeutic counselling with children; essential psychotherapeutic, psychiatric and neurobiological theory; and a wealth of hands on practical therapeutic tools. The continuing years build on the theory and practice of Year One with more in-depth knowledge about emotional and behavioural difficulties and mental health problems specific to this stage of human development. Supervised practice in clinical placement, working with the therapeutic relationship and advanced therapeutic skills take precedence.

Students accrue at least 100 clinical hours as an integral part of the 2 year Diploma, and 200 clinical hours as part of the Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. Trainees can exit after one year, two years or three years according to the level of nationally recognised accreditation they wish to achieve.

All candidates must have the following:

Be able to demonstrate on the interview day, the following capacities and abilities:

  • Warmth, openness and ability  to take feedback non-defensively. 
  • Contactful exchanges with others rather than being defensive, withholding, intellectualising.
  • A genuine curiosity about the other as opposed to indifference or simply focusing on yourself all the time.
  • Empathic therapeutic presence.
  • Self-awareness, and knowledge of your own trauma triggers, defence mechanisms.
  • Openness and willingness  to discuss with the interviewer your own personal journey in an emotionally undefended way.
  • Ability to communicate about your mental states and emotions. 
  • Emotional robustness.
  • An accepting, compassionate, as opposed to judgmental, attitude towards others.
  • The ability to stay stable under stress.
  • Under interpersonal stress, the ability to reflect and negotiate with the other, rather than moving to a position of accusation or blame.
  • A good ability to play.
  • A positive rather than frightened or inhibited relationship to the arts.
  • The ability to create with ease both mental and artistic images.
  • Commitment to working with the arts and the active use of the imagination in the ways outlined by the philosophy of The Institute.
  • Agree to abide by the Code of Ethics, Code of Practice and Code of Conduct adhered to by The Institute
  • Undertake personal psychotherapy with approved practitioners over the duration of the course.


Year One

Helping Children to Speak About Feelings Using the Arts
Psychotherapeutic and Neuroscientific Concepts of Human Development, Emotional Health & Ill-health
Arts and the Self


Group Assessment

Year Two

Child Mental Health

Clinical Skills

Child Protection Exam

Case Study Essay

Supervised Placements

Year Three

Gain UKCP registration

Develop Research Methods



Supervised Placements























Students moving on to any of the Advanced Clinical Trainings from the Level 1 Post Graduate Certificate/Advanced Diploma, must complete a short course in counselling unless they have previous experience of at least 30 hours counselling skills training.

The Third Year of the of the Diploma is an additional year of training for the prestigious UKCP registered award

Please note graduation from one level of training to the next is not automatic. Students may on occasions not be successful to progress. Others will on occasions be asked to take time out for more personal work. Please note most students are successful in progression due to the rigorous interview process for entry onto the course.


Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Child Counselling
(UKCP and EIATCYP registration)

UKCP Master Logo-300x162      c cap

After completion of 450 supervised client hours (150 of which must be post-qualification) eligible to apply for Accredited membership with BACP.

Duration: Three year course.
Year one: weekend days only. Tuesdays plus a few additional weekends days in Year two and Year three. Year three: approximately once a month (Tuesdays).

When: Starts September each year

(Please refer to course fees for all additional costs)


How to apply

You will need to attend an interview day (Taster day).

The award of 'Diploma in Child Counselling' will be granted after 100 clinical hours have been accrued and a log submitted stating it is an accurate record of clinical hours signed by your supervisor

Changes to the curriculum, teaching staff, assignments on our courses
IATE reserves the right to make adjustments to the above due to unforeseen circumstances. 
The quality of the training will not in any way be compromised in doing so.


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