CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling

An Integrative approach

Day:Tuesdays, 10th September 2024 – June 2026
Venue:Eco Hub, Gamlingay, SG19 3JR
Length:2 years
Tutors:Kate Williams, MBACP (Accred.) & Alison Oliver, MBACP (Accred.)
Course Fee:

Year one: £2,150 + VAT, plus CPCAB fee approx. £360
Year two: £2,150 + VAT, plus CPCAB fee approx. £360

*pls note that CPCAB fees haven’t been published yet

This training is delivered by experienced counsellors, tutors and supervisors, working in the field of counselling and psychotherapy, who will accompany you through your journey on this integrative training.  At the end of the diploma you will be confident with a wide range of client issues, working within an agency setting; assessing and working with risk, making appropriate and timely referrals, and working within an integrative theoretical framework.

Our diploma level training is not just a theoretical based course; it is deeply experiential leading to a process of change and transformation necessary for working with clients at relational depth.  We endeavour to create a warm and safe environment where you can reflect, express and create.

This course is relational in nature; the relationship being at the heart of the encounter.  You will gain a deeper grounding in: psychodynamic, person-centred and existential theories whilst working with the creative arts to facilitate your own journey of growth and exploration supporting you to make the unconscious, conscious.   Our tutors are all integrative in their own training.

Additionally, in year 2, you will learn the essentials of trauma-informed practice, how to identify trauma, the impact on the nervous system and skills to stabilise and regulate for safe practice.

Session topics:

  • Professional practice: professional boundaries and the therapeutic frame, ethics, the legal frame, supervision, working with risk and suicide, organisational policies and procedures, working with difference, assessment and referral will all be explored in depth in lectures, small groups, skills practice and use of case studies.
  • Mental health: peer-led presentations are at the heart of this module where you’ll have the opportunity to research a mental health topic of your choice. You’ll also learn about evaluation tools, mental health across the 3 modalities, referring to specialist services, working with clients on medication and mental health first aid skills.
  • Theory: where you will deepen your understanding of person-centred, psychodynamic and existential theories within the Clarkson’s Five Relationship Model.
  • Self-awareness: being experiential in nature this diploma will provide you with ample opportunity to explore your intra-relational processes, early experiences and relational patterns. We use the creative arts, imagery, sandtray and psychodrama to facilitate your development.  Working with the creative arts can access parts of the psyche that talking can’t always reach – it’s often full of surprises and ‘a-ha’ moments.  It can also support you to bring the creative arts into your counselling work should you wish and is particularly useful for those looking into working with children.
  • Reflective Practice Group: you’ll engage in a Reflective Practice Group from Easter of year one once placement commences.  This group will support your development as a counsellor linking theory to practice, growing in confidence and preparing you for life after the diploma.
  • Group Process: each week you’ll spend an hour in a process group providing you with the opportunity to explore your inter-relational dynamics and your own process. Process group can be both challenging and rewarding.
Zoom learning is now integrated throughout all of our counselling training to support learning to be proficient in online counselling as well as in-person.  Two sessions per term will be on Zoom.

 Entry Requirements:

Applicants need to be 23 or over and have 180 hours of Counselling training at Level 2 and L3 certificate level in order to apply for the diploma.  Please note that we can’t accept any training that is carried out distant learning.

Please see the L4 brochure for further entry requirements that you must evidence during the application process.

Additionally you are required to have a laptop for Zoom learning (2 sessions per term), have access to a private space and be willing to commit to our Zoom Guidelines.

We are sometimes asked if prior learning & experience can be accepted.  Please see our Prior Learning & Experience Request Policy. 


You will compile an e-portfolio during the course which will be submitted in the final term of your training.  You will need a Google drive free account in order to upload your work.

You will gain this evidence for the seven learning outcomes in a number of ways:

    • Weekly journals
    • Assignments and Self Reviews
    • In-class assignments
    • Student-led presentations
    • Tutor feedback and peer feedback
    • Book Reviews
    • Various worksheets
    • 100 client hours
    • 40 hours personal therapy

There is an expectation that journals and assignments are typed.  You can download a Candidate Guide detailing CPCAB’s seven learning outcomes and you will be well supported by your tutor throughout the course.

In order to pass your course you are required to be deemed proficient in the learning outcomes, to have accrued 100 supervised client hours in an agency setting and completed 40 hours of personal therapy.

Progression routes

Level 4 learners will become student members of BACP (The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) and upon completion of the course can gain individual membership status with the BACP.   Students can apply for paid work.  We’ve had student secure paid work in CHUMS, private and state schools, MIND, tutor roles, NHS, counselling agencies and their own private practice.

Our diploma isn’t a BACP Accredited course.  This means that once qualified, you will need to sit a BACP Certificate of Proficiency test to evidence that you are a safe and ethical practitioner, within 24 months of completing your diploma. 


  1. Submit:-
    1. The application form & reflective essay
    2. Reference from your Level 3 tutor
    3. Photographed ID
    4. L2/L3 Certs
  2. If successful you’ll be invited for a 40 minute interview via Zoom
  3. The application, tutor reference and interview are the 3 components of the application process
  4. Upon offer of a place and acceptance the non-refundable deposit of £600 + VAT will secure your place on the course – required 7 days after acceptance.

2022 L4 graduates – well done all!

2021 L4 graduates had their f2f ending!

What our students say

“L4 Diploma at BCTS is far more than just formal qualifications. It is a journey that if you are ready to take deep has the potential for a transformative life experience. I loved my time during study and valued the open minded variety of approaches we studied as an integrative model. As I entered the Diploma with experience of using creativity and arts therapeutically, I was delighted to find many sessions when as students we were allowed to move beyond talking therapy. I also valued and use now in my practice the importance of somatic approach offered as a learning element during the Diploma. The course includes many other elements of work with clients like trauma informed approach, part works, attachment theories – during my student placement I was already aware how much this was helping my clients and witnessed the positive impact of therapeutic change in counselling. This course prepares you to be fully ethical, comprehensive, and confident practitioner who is able to relate to clients on relational depth level. My admiration also goes to tutors themselves and how they are able to push students to the best of their abilities at the same time being able to demonstrate the care and empathy so much needed in this often emotionally demanding profession.”
Honorata Chorazy-Przybysz L4 Diploma 2020-2022

“Words can’t describe what an excellent training this is and what I’ve gained.  I’m so glad I chose BCTS to continue my counselling training.  The venue is spacious with outside space, the tutors are so supportive and really want the best for us, the learning is challenging yet so rewarding and I particularly loved the psychodrama work where we mapped out our family with group members.  I’m a different person leaving to who I was when I started and for this I’ll always be grateful” Sarah

“What a journey this has been; truly transformative.  I have learnt so much about myself and feel really confident in working with a wide range of clients. And great news, my placement has offered me paid work – couldn’t be happier!” Jemma

“My expectations have been exceeded on this training – I have enjoyed the variety – the meditation, voice work, creative arts, sandtray – I have discovered so much about myself.”

“Kate and the team of tutors are very supportive and containing. They’ve created an excellent programme and I feel fully prepared to fly the nest. This is a great course that holds  personal development at its heart, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants more than a ‘tick-box’ training.

“I also wanted to thank you for a truly wonderful course.  I always refrain from saying things like ‘it changed my life’ but your course really did, and I think although I’m really excited about being a counsellor, what the course has introduced me to in terms of experiential techniques, will change the way I work forever.    Meditation, visualisation, using creativity to explore feelings has opened up a whole area I want to learn more about and is where I’m focusing at the moment. Thank you – your course is beautiful.” Claire

“My name is Martha Burling and I am a former Counselling Student with Bedfordshire Centre for Therapeutic Studies (BCTS). I qualified as an Integrative Counsellor in 2019. I am now a Registered Counsellor with my own Private Practice called;  Imatter Counselling Therapy Networks. I also work with other organisations as their Self Employed Counsellor namely; Signpost based in Watford, which supports Young People’s mental health issues and the Peace Hospice Care, supporting clients and their families, going through challenges with cancer. I am currently being trained by the Peace Hospice Care as their IAPT Counsellor and also appear on their new website. Such strength in my career would not had taken place without BCTS, where I learned to believe in myself. BCTS, to me is simply the college where Counsellors are made.”  Martha

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