The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy is a pioneering, innovative and comprehensive programme of study. The programme is delivered over four stages, with a suite of internal awards available which provides the learner with a number of exit points, should they not be in a position to complete the programme. The IACP recognise the first three stages of the programme for professional purposes and those who complete the entire BA (Hons) programme at IICP also achieve the IACP Diploma.
The programme is delivered on a part time basis (weekday or weekend option), with one full day from 9.30am to 5pm over the academic calendar. Learners are also required to complete clinical placements as part of their core requirements at stage three and stage four.
At IICP, we desire to contribute a community dimension to the development of mental health care and counselling through the use of a practical, cutting-edge and integrative model, which forms the basis for this pioneering and innovative programme. We consider that training in counselling and psychotherapy is an inter-disciplinary endeavour, a combination of art and science to include, amongst others, the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, sociology and anthropology. IICP’s core philosophical ethos, which offers a theoretical framework encompassing humanistic-existential, cognitive-behavioural and multicultural psychotherapeutic models, is a contemporary integrative framework.
This unique approach offers a broad structure to professionals who are dealing with a diverse range of clients and presenting problems. IICP offer a unique learner-centred environment. At the heart of the training provided in IICP lies the belief that people are experts in the story of their own lives. The therapeutic process can encourage the client to make effective change in relation to life direction and the ensuing process of decision making. IICP holds that it is not enough to simply teach the skills of counselling and psychotherapy. Learners are given the space to learn, practice and be supported as they develop for themselves a style and model of counselling which is both personal and effective.
Learner’s exit the programme with two qualifications: the IACP Recognised Diploma and the QQI Level 8 BA (Hons) Degree.
This programme is designed for people who wish to become professional therapists or for those who have an opportunity to use counselling skills as part of their work, either in a paid or voluntary capacity. It is of special interest to those who work within the caring profession, from community workers to human resource professionals, hospital and other health-care personnel, teachers, Gardaí, workplace supervisors, trade unionists and to anyone who works in formal helping settings.
- To introduce learners to a practical cutting-edge approach to mental health care and counselling, and to afford them the opportunity to develop an integrated style of working with clients;
- To establish a professional counsellor training programme which will adhere to the guidelines for accreditation as outlined by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP);
- To establish an academic training programme that will adhere to standards for academic validation by QQI;
- To train and equip learners with the knowledge, skills, attitude and expertise to meet the needs of an increasingly pluralistic society;
- To encourage psychological well being within society and to empower and encourage support networks;
- To provide training and education to the wider community of professionals;
- To offer opportunities both formally and informally to participants to enhance personal and professional development;
- To provide a warm and challenging environment where learners can reach their potential;
- To enable participants to develop a personal philosophy of counselling and psychotherapy that is congruent with the principles associated with bona fide helping professionals;
- To encourage learners to view this programme in the context of lifelong learning and personal as well as professional development; and
- To develop links with Statutory and Educational Agencies.
Learners will exit the programme with:
- Knowledge of the theories underpinning counselling and psychotherapeutic practice and an in-depth understanding of Person Centred Therapy and Reality Therapy;
- Knowledge of ethical considerations and implications for practice;
- Awareness of the importance of equality, diversity and inclusive practice;
- Ability to practice client assessment, engagement and intervention, demonstrating appreciation of the various factors that influence client engagement;
- Competence in the core microskills of counselling and psychotherapy;
- Capacity to identify issues of risk in clinical work, using supervision effectively to support one’s practice;
- Ability to apply counselling and psychotherapeutic skills in practice, under supervision;
- Capacity to engage in situations involving diverse professional environments and with diverse populations;
- Ability to exercise appropriate clinical judgement in planning, provision and evaluation of integrative therapy;
- Reflexivity and the ability to use same to enhance professional practice;
- Awareness of blind spots, professional development needs and the potential impact of the shadow in therapy; and
- Ability to reflect critically within a therapeutic context, recognising limits of knowledge, skills and competence and giving consideration to self in the therapeutic process.
- Be able to articulate their interest in the therapeutic field and their reasons for pursuing this course of study; and
- Produce evidence of prior educational attainment (see application form for further details)
- Evidence of completion of a one year Certificate Programme or a relevant qualification in a cognate area of study
- Entry onto the Diploma / BA programme is through application and interview. Selection procedures will apply.
The programme is highly interactive and taught through role-play, lectures, group-work and audio/video presentations. The ethos of the course reflects the Quality School model of CT/RT/LM, which promotes a warm, safe environment that is free from fear, criticism and coercion. Participants will have the opportunity to produce and participate in individual written assignments, group projects and group work.
The first two years and summer semester of this programme are the same as the IACP Diploma. Learners at this point progress to a final year in order to gain a QQI Level 8 Honours Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy
Year One – Module Descriptors
Theory of Counselling and Psychotherapy 1
The aim of this module is to enable learners to develop in-depth knowledge and application of the three core theoretical models. This is to facilitate learners to begin to develop a personal integrative framework for case conceptualisation and clinical application. Learners will be introduced to Person Centred Therapy and Reality Therapy as they apply to clinical practice.
Advanced Microskills of Counselling and Psychotherapy 1
This module is designed to provide learners with a set of basic intervention skills which will be fundamental to the therapeutic relationship by building on learners’ interpersonal skills whether formally or informally acquired; focusing on the necessary micro skills, defining them, and practicing them until the trainee is comfortable with them and can use them efficiently. Learners will be coached in a range of key skills that will facilitate effective listening within the helping relationship. Learners will be taught each of the Advanced Microskills of listening in a sequential manner. This process enables the learner to become competent in each of the individual Microskills to facilitate a way of intervening that will facilitate the therapeutic alliance.
This module aims to increase the learner’s awareness and ability to attend to their own needs in such a way as to increase their ability to be with clients in a manner that is not only safe for both parties but which incrementally improves their effectiveness. Learners focus on developing awareness of soft/blind spots and resistances so that they can better accompany clients on their painful or challenging journeys rather than risk blocking them because they seek to enter areas which are frightening or painful for them. It also aims to provide opportunities for further development of self awareness, specifically in the areas of values/prejudices, sexuality and boundaries and to examine the ethical implications of same for the therapeutic relationship.
Ethics and Values in the counselling relationship
The aim of this module is to enable learners to see ethics as much more than abiding by coded regulations. They are encouraged to understand the underpinnings of ethical choices and their context within the client’s distinct biographical background and culture. They are taught how to conceptualise and reflect upon ethical dilemmas, values conflicts and legal issues so that they can ground their decisions in multiple points of view.
This module aims to provide a theoretical framework within which self-development can be examined, including a theoretical and experiential study of the developmental periods of infancy, childhood, adolescence and early/mid/late adulthood. Additionally, the module explores the value and significance of the developmental stages of the client in the context of the therapeutic relationship.
The Dynamics of Addiction
The aim of this module is to provide participants with a basis on which to develop their therapeutic understanding of the theoretical and clinical considerations of substance use.. Module content will include understanding the theories of causation, as well as practical skills and models of intervention specific to substance use treatment, such as Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioural approaches.
The aim of this module is to encourage learners to develop professional skills required for client work. This module will include exploration of the key clinical skills that will be required in advance of commencing client contact work including assessment, the use of feedback and the principles of evidence based practice.
Bereavement, Loss and Grief
This module aims to deepen the learner’s knowledge, understanding and analysis of bereavement, loss and grief as dimensions of the human experience and how they may affect the counselling process from both intrapersonal and interpersonal standpoints. Learners will be encouraged and equipped to develop those skills and attitudes that will enable them to undertake further critical study in the areas of bereavement, loss and grief within the field of counselling and psychotherapy
Year Two Module Descriptors
Theory of Counselling and Psychotherapy 2
The aim of this module will focus on consolidating the core models of CT/RT, PCC and MCT, and introducing learners to other approaches to counselling psychotherapy. Learners will also be expected to focus on one psychological issue that a client may present with and to demonstrate how a therapist word work with a client presenting with this issue using the core models in an integrated framework.
Advanced Microskills of Counselling & Psychotherapy 2
This module aims to increase learners’ competence and confidence in using a range of intervention skills within the therapeutic environment. Building on the advanced Microskills in stage two, this module is designed to enable learners to develop further competence in the use of Microskills. This module will enable learners to increase their repertoire of skills and interventions.
Group Process and Facilitation
This module aims to increase the learner’s awareness and ability to attend to their own needs in such a way as to increase their ability to be with clients that is not only safe for both parties but which incrementally improves their effectiveness. Learners will also be taught about the knowledge, skills and attributes required for group facilitation.
The module aims to introduce learners to an integrative approach to working with couples. The integrative approach focuses on elements integrated from PCC, RT/CT and MCT approaches. The module will focus on learning about therapeutic skills relevant to couples’ work including initial assessment, goal setting, conflict resolution, gender related issues, exploring background influences through the mapping of individual past influences, values and cultural heritage and parenting issues. Learners will also be introduced to psycho-educational tools designed specifically for use with couples in the therapeutic relationship including Glasser’s Staying Together Programme and Structured Reality Therapy Couple Counselling.
Clinical Placement and Professional Development 1
This module aims to enable and support learners in their commencement of therapeutic work in suitable generic/specialised clinical placements. Clinical placement includes the development of a supervised client caseload within the ethical guidelines as set out by the IACP.
The purpose of this module is to allow learners to experience a group supervision setting in which they engage in both group and one-to-one supervision. This process quality assures the client contact work the learners are undertaking, supports them in their development and provides an opportunity for reflexivity and critical thinking related to clinical work
The aim of the module is to encourage thought and discussion on the subject of sexuality from a practical point of view as it pertains to the work and the practice of counselling and psychotherapy, the development of the therapeutic relationship and current perspectives on the subject. Learners will engage in theoretical and practical training related to issues of sexual identity, sexual functioning and dysfunction and appropriate therapy methods for exploring sexual issues.
Research Methods and Statistics
This module is designed to provide a practical introduction to some of the methods, strategies and structures used in counselling and psychotherapy research. Research approaches appropriate to the therapeutic field will be explored and examined.
Summer Semester Module Descriptors
Clinical Placement and Professional Development 2
The aim of this module is to continue to enable and support learners in their client contact work with clients within an appropriate generic and therapeutic setting. As part of this module, learners will also engage in supervised clinical practice.
This module aims to support learners to enhance their advanced professional practice in an appropriate therapeutic setting and to consider the development of their professional practice.
Final Year Module Desciptors
Note: The number of modules candidates complete is dependent on their previous qualifications:
Advanced Professional Practice
This module aims to enable learners to advance their level of professional practice through evaluation and review of progressive integration of theory and skills. Learners will review their core theoretical models and skills base and be introduced to psychodynamic models.
This module aims to afford learners an opportunity to conduct a piece of independent, self-directed research under supervision. The dissertation will enable learners to integrate the academic and professional training and learning over the duration of the programme.
Family Dynamics and Clinical Implications
The purpose of this module to facilitate learners in expanding into work with more complex clinical presentation and unfamiliar clients. In particular, this module aims to explore clinical considerations for integrating systemic work into the therapeutic space.
This module aims to assist the learner in gaining a deeper background of understanding regarding the objectives, strategies, skills and climate formation in group counselling through experiential group therapy.
The aim of the module is to introduce learners to Abnormal Psychology, with particular emphasis on mental health issues which clients may present with in therapy.
Pluralistic Counselling & Psychotherapy
A pluralistic framework for counselling and psychotherapy recognises that psychological distress may have multiple causes and it is improbable that one specific therapeutic approach will be effective in all circumstances. At its core, therefore, is a philosophical and ethical commitment to valuing multiple perspectives.
Working with Children & Adolescents
The purpose of this module is to facilitate learners in expanding into work with more complex clinical presentation and unfamiliar clients. In particular, this module will aim to support learners in gaining knowledge, skills and competencies in work with children and adolescents.