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Certificate in Counselling Skills & Theory (Levels 2 and 3)

Basingstoke Counselling Service, based in North Hampshire, offers a Level 2 and 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills & Theory, which takes place annually, starting in September of each year.

What does the course cover?

This course has multiple aspects to it, including:

  • to provide a basic training in counselling skills and theory
  • to develop understanding of counselling and the counselling situation
  • to develop understanding of the psyche
  • to develop awareness and understanding of self in relation to others
  • to develop understanding of human development
  • to develop study skills

To gain a more in depth understanding of what the course involves please click here.

Is this course for me?

People’s motivations for undertaking this course vary, such as:

  • an interest in a career in counselling and psychotherapy
  • a desire to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your personal relationships and how you interact with others
  • a curiosity in group dynamics and your own position within a group
  • an interest in exploring counselling skills from the perspective of people’s life experiences and how they have impacted them
  • a wish to enhance skills in a profession or helping role where listening and communication skills are important
  • a desire to develop your professional potential in a management role through the use of counselling skills in the workplace

If any of these reasons resonate with you, please see below to find out more about achieving your personal and professional goals and how to apply.

A Certificate in Counselling Skills is also a prerequisite for those wishing to pursue further counselling training. It is a mandatory step on any progressive training journey, including that offered by Basingstoke Counselling Service, which leads to status as a qualified counsellor.

Entry Criteria

The selection process is by means of application form and interview. No formal qualifications are required. The selection of candidates will be based upon an individual’s personal attributes and their intellectual and emotional capacity to work with the content of the course.

Completion of an Introduction to Counselling course prior to applying for the Certificate in Counselling Skills & Theory is recommended but not essential.

Course Structure

The course takes place over one academic year. There are thirty once-weekly sessions which take place on a Thursday evening and two Saturday workshops spread over three ten-week terms. There is a half-term break in each term in line with Hampshire school holidays.

The sessions take place between 6.15 and 9.30pm. Each evening is split into two sessions; the first of these is a seminar, whilst the second part of the evening is an experiential group.

There will be one Saturday workshop in the autumn term and one in the summer term. The workshops run from 10am to 4pm.

Seminar Leaders and Teaching Methods

All seminar leaders are experienced counsellors or psychotherapists and skilled trainers. They all adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions or an equivalent ethical body. Teaching is through seminar leader presentation, experiential exercises, role-play, and small and large group discussion.

The Experiential Group

This part of the training offers an opportunity in which to explore feelings and relationships within the group. The content of the course can be emotionally challenging and this group supports participants in their journey to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the group dynamics involved. Many people find this a rich and personally rewarding experience. The group is facilitated by a skilled group psychotherapist.

The Team

Catherine Butler MBACP
Certificate and Introduction Course Manager

Catherine is the Certificate and Introduction Course Manager and is responsible for all aspects of these courses, she is an experienced Psychodynamic Counsellor and in addition to working at BCS she has a thriving private practice. Catherine has a background in training, this experience combined with extensive subject knowledge, a good sense of humour and excellent communication skills gives her the ability to enthuse, encourage, motivate, and nurture others. Catherine teaches the 1st term of the Certificate, is a course tutor and delivers a number of workshops.

Paul Brand MBACP (Accred)
Seminar Leader

Paul is an experienced counsellor with a background in training and adult education, it is this combination of skills and experienced  that makes him particularly well suited to his role within Basingstoke Counselling Service. He brings his understanding of both the requirements of a counselling training and the needs of adult learners to the role, and seeks to balance the two in his work with students and other members of the training team.

Paul teaches the 3rd term of the Certificate course which covers topics such as the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice to the Counselling Professions and ethical dilemmas.

Marta Shepherd MBACP (Accred)
Seminar Leader

Marta joined the training team in 2018 and is the Diploma Course Manager at BCS. Marta teaches on both the Certificate Course and Diploma Training.

Her work as a language teacher helped her develop an ability to engage my students in interactive learning, ensuring her seminars are collaborative and interactive; students are encouraged to learn from, challenge and support one another. Marta  facilitates student’s openness and enthusiasm for an on-going self-discovery,  emphasising its importance in psychodynamic practice. Marta is engaging, warm and committed.                         

Marta teaches the second term of the Certificate which covers patterns of human growth and development.

Reading and Written Work

Students are expected to engage in reading relevant to the course and will need to either purchase the core course books or borrow them from a library. Further reading suggestions will be provided at the beginning of the course and electronic copies of papers for discussion are also distributed throughout the course where appropriate.

There is one written assignment of 2,000 words which is completed in the final term. Students are also asked to keep a record of their personal learning journey throughout the course. A 1,000 word summary of their learning is submitted at the end of the academic year.

Students will be supported throughout their learning by a personal tutor and will have a formal tutorial at the end of each term.


In addition to the above academic requirements, assessment of a student’s personal development is continuous throughout the course and consists of self, peer and staff evaluation.

Counselling and Therapy Requirements

Students are not required to be in their own counselling or therapy during the Certificate course. However, this is encouraged at this stage if you are considering going onto further counselling training.

Award of Certificate

Students must demonstrate to a satisfactory degree an ability to use counselling skills and an understanding of self and the counselling process. They must also attend and participate in seminars, workshops, groups and tutorials. All written work must be completed to a satisfactory standard. This course does not give qualified status as a counsellor.

Course Fees

Attendees of a BCS Introduction to Counselling Course:  £1245.00

Applications received after the deadline of 11th April 2022: £1545.00

N.B Late applications may be considered. Please contact us at to determine if there is space available prior to completing an application form.

Course Dates

Autumn Term 2022
W/C 19th September 2022 – W/C 28th November 2022 (inclusive)
Reading week: W/C 24th October 2022 – no sessions
Workshop: W/C 14th November 2022

Spring Term 2023
W/C 9th January 2023 – W/C 20th March 2023 (inclusive)
Reading week: W/C 13th February 2023 – no sessions
Workshop: W/C 13th March 2023

Summer Term 2023
W/C 24th April 2023 – W/C 3rd July 2023 (inclusive)
Reading week: W/C 29th May 2023 – no sessions
Workshop: TBC

Application process

Applications for the Certificate are now open. To apply please click on the following link – Certificate 2022 Application

Any questions

If you have any questions about any aspect of the course or the training journey we offer, please contact us on 01256 843125 or

Terms and Conditions


Payment for the course can be made in two ways:

  1. Full payment of the course fee by yourself or your employer upon acceptance of a place on the Certificate course.
  2. Payment in three equal instalments. The first of these is due upon acceptance of a place on the course. Two further payments are then due at the beginning of the second and third terms.


Basingstoke Counselling Service makes a commitment to each student who accepts a place on this course. We therefore require a reciprocal commitment from each student.

Acceptance of a place on the course enters a student into a financial contract with Basingstoke Counselling Service. This commits the student to payment of the full course fee. Should a student not take up an accepted place or leave during the course of the training for any reason, no refund can be given and any outstanding fees will remain due to Basingstoke Counselling Service.


Basingstoke Counselling Service reserves the right to modify its training courses in line with BACP requirements.

Should exceptional circumstances arise Basingstoke Counselling Service reserves the right to cancel the course. In this situation, any students already enrolled on the course would have their full fees refunded.