Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling at The Ellesmere Centre

If you are thinking about training to be a counsellor, or would like to chat to someone to find out more about what this involves, please get in touch with us at the centre.  The centre has a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere ideal for learning and we are always keen to hear from people who are considering a change of direction in their career.


The Ellesmere Centre offers a three year training leading to The Ellesmere Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. This is a part-time course with each training year consisting of one training weekend per month between September and June (10 months). The core modality is Transactional Analysis but other models and theories are also introduced. Once completed, the Diploma may be used to meet the training requirement for BACP Accreditation and is the minimum requirement for working as a trained counsellor.

Year One – Foundation Certificate

The Foundation Certificate in TA is an in depth introduction to the core theories and key concepts of Transactional Analysis. This can be done as a standalone year or can be accredited towards your ongoing training in TA.



1 Introductions, philosophy, training contracts, contracting

2 Ego State Theory and counselling skills practice

3 Transactions, strokes, time structuring. Life positions and counselling skills practice

4 Game, Game Process and counselling skills practice

5 Racket and racket analysis and counselling skills practice

6 Script theory 1 – Injunctions, drivers and script decisions and counselling skills practice

7 Script theory 2 – Impasse clarification and resolution and counselling skills practice

8 Brief therapy, Decontamination and Deconfusion and counselling skills practice

9 Personality Adaptations and counselling skills practice

10 The Cathexis model, symbiosis, discounting, redefining, passivity, endings and counselling skills practice

Download a brochure here

Year Two

After supervisory contact with their principal trainer, trainees may enter the second year of training and establish a voluntary practice. Some assistance can be offered to trainees seeking a placement but generally this is something that trainees arrange themselves based on their general aims in offering counselling to adults.

In this second year of training there is an increasing emphasis on developing therapeutic relationships with clients and on awareness of our own internal ‘process’ in relationship. This invites an integration of client work from voluntary practice to meet the ‘core’ therapeutic conditions of empathic attunement, prizing and congruence.



1 Group Work – Berne

2 Self psychology.

3 Culture and Diversity.

4 Creative methods of psychotherapeutic counselling; play therapy; story telling.

5 The therapeutic relationship (Clarkson & Barr).

6 Research and Development in TA

7 Redecision as a technique in psychotherapeutic counselling

8 Working with more complex processes (borderline) within the therapeutic relationship.

9 Working with more complex processes (schizoid) within the therapeutic relationship.

10 Working with more complex processes (narcissistic) within the therapeutic relationship.

Year Three

Year Three develops the work done in the second year of training and extends the range of interventions in clinical practice. After completion of all training requirements, including written assessments, presentations and personal journal, trainees are awarded the Ellesmere Centre Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling.



1 Treatment planning

2 The importance of the therapeutic relationship

3 Child development – Attachment theory

4 Child development – Winnicott and Stern

5 A TA approach to working with couples

6 An existential approach to psychotherapeutic counselling

7 Working with the Child ego state

8 An integrative approach to the therapeutic relationship.

9 Field theory and phenomenology

10 Therapeutic failures and endings

Download a brochure here

Beyond Diploma level

The Ellesmere Centre offers a full TA psychotherapy training to CTA (Certified Transactional Analyst) level. This psychotherapy training leads to registration with UKCP as a Psychotherapist. Trainees holding the Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling may continue on a fourth year of training towards qualifying as a psychotherapist.

The Ellesmere Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling meets the training requirement for individual accreditation with BACP. Other requirements for BACP Accreditation include a certain number of supervised client hours after qualification. Trainees working towards BACP Accreditation should familiarise themselves with the latest BACP requirements early in their training.

Personal Therapy

The Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling requires each trainee to have an experience of at least 50 hours of personal therapy. This needs to be undertaken during the period of training and with a UKCP registered therapist.

The Ellesmere Centre believes that this personal experience of therapy is essential for developing effective therapeutic relationships with clients. It is also a requirement of UKCP for those going beyond Diploma level.