Welcome to...


Did you know your Internet Explorer is out of date?

To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.

Just click on the icons to get to the download page

If you understand that your browser is inadequate but you still wish to view the site click here

Diploma in Adolescent and Schools Counselling

Conversion Programme from Adult to Adolescent and School Counselling

Why a Post Qualification Specialist Training?


Working with young people in a school context is of course supported by the attitudes and experience developed during adult counselling training and practice. However, there is also much that is very different about both the work and the context that can impact both on counselling with adolescents and counselling in a school setting.


  • Clients are most often referred because of someone else’s concern about them and may not know what is expected in counselling.
  • The referrer continues to be involved and there may be a number of other ‘stakeholders’ who have a continuing influence over whether an individual can continue in therapy.
  • The work may be taking place in the very setting in which the issues are arising and being played out (school)
  • The student and therapist are likely to encounter each other outside of the therapy room around the school building interacting with others within the school system
  • The fact that a student is attending counselling is likely to become known to others
  • Some of the counsellors other clients are likely to be seen and known to a client
  • The work is complicated by issues of responsibility, informed consent, risk and safety and child protection duties of care
  • School policy may impinge on usual counselling practice, for example an expectation that clients are collected from class, that different lessons are missed each week etc.
  • There is no division between working therapeutically and not, as clients and referrers may engage as the counsellor moves around the building
  • A School Counsellor may need to be, ‘in the system but not necessarily of the system’
  • Teenagers may need to build up elaborate defences to deal with peer relationships in school as well as with the anticipated judgement of all adults in that setting and struggle to let these down in any counselling relationship
  • The young person may not readily talk about ‘the problem’ but derive benefit from the warm attention of someone who genuinely wants to understand something of what’s important to them


Why a Central Focus on a Person-centred and Humanistic Approach?


Young people are often relatively powerless both within a school and within their broader context and much of their experience can be defined by others. Some of the things that makes the person-centred approach such a good fit within a school setting are the way that the approach strives to equalise this power inequality, meet the person where they are without agenda and strives to see and respond to the whole person rather than the immediate issue or label. These qualities of relating can powerfully signal that a different relationship is possible. They can directly invite a shift, not only in how the young person views themselves, becoming more accepting of their own experiencing but, through the counsellor’s visibility outside of the counselling room, whether relating directly to students or speaking with staff about a student, also invite a shift in the ‘labels’ which may have been imposed on the young person from outside. ‘Deviant’ and ‘bad’ can be de-constructed and understood as distressed and hurt. In this way, the relationship attributes of this approach represent a dependable and often essential compass for such work whether they are complimented by understanding or practice derived from other approaches too.


Knowledge of Models of Practice in School-Based Counselling


The core model which informs this training is person-centred. However, the training will equip participants with an ability to draw on knowledge of the theory and principles underpinning other therapeutic models commonly applied in schools-based counselling.


The course will also offer participants knowledge about:


  • The evidence base for each model employed in schools-based counselling
  • The age group or developmental level for whom the modality is appropriate
  • The principles of the modality in order to implement counselling in a manner which is flexible and responsive to client need, but which also ensures that all relevant components are included

How to adapt the techniques used in a particular programme of counselling work so as to match them to the age and developmental level of the child/young person

Course Content

The course will include in-depth explorations of the complexities of the school setting, mediating the culture of counselling and school, issues of safeguarding and ethics, models of child development, the self-awareness of the counsellor, adolescent process, research on counselling young people, using outcome measures relationally and best practice service development. Each unit will also devote time to practice development in counselling young people.

This is a practice based Diploma and the learning style will be experiential with an emphasis on each participant’s application in practice.

Group Supervision

Group Supervision will be provided as a part of each module session within the course.

School and Adolescent Counselling Supervision Option

Participants who are sufficiently qualified/experienced may opt to undertake the school and adolescent counselling supervision training option.

Special Interest Areas

Participants will be supported to explore a particular aspect of theory and practice of interest for them in this area in more depth as part of the Diploma assignment requirements and each student will make a presentation to the group.

Entry Requirements


  • Diploma in Person-centred or humanistic counselling or psychotherapy
  • Evidence of working towards BACP Counsellor/Psychotherapy accreditation or equivalent


  • Willingness/ opportunity to undertake 60 hours of placement practice in an existing school counselling or youth counselling agency. NB. Support to secure a placement that will enable this requirement to be met maybe possible through the course


And for the supervision option:-

  • Qualification to provide supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists (e.g Certificate or Diploma in Supervision). NB. Applicants with significant experience as a counselling supervisor may apply for equivalence to this requirement.

Application Procedures

Applicants must complete the application form. This must be accompanied by:

  • A full CV
  • Two(2) references
  • A passport sized photograph
  • Enhanced disclosures via the Criminal Records Bureau and appropriate references attesting to the applicant’s suitability to work with young people are essential components of the entry process.

Your application will be reviewed to ensure that the basic entry requirements are met. You will then be invited to a course orientation.

Please note: relevant application materials (eg. copies of certificates etc.) should be submitted at the same time in order for us to process your application as quickly as possible.


Half Day Registration and Orientation TBC


Programme Tutor

Katy Burgess

For any further information please email Cristina Soares, the Academic Coordinator, or call her on 0208 832 3096.

Dip. Adolescent & School Counselling Course Enquiry

If you have any questions please get in contact with us below and we will respond to your enquiry.

Dip in Adolescent and School Counselling