Keele University, along with the University of Reading, was the first Higher Education Institution to offer counsellor training and has been delivering programmes in counselling since the 1970s. The current Masters course is available on a full-time or part-time basis, and provides a professional training in counselling. These details relate to the full-time option. This course is accredited by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) as a route of professional counsellor training. Candidates for accreditation must note that they will also have to meet all other criteria.
This MSc programme in Counselling Psychology is founded on a person-centred view of personhood and person-centred ways of being. In this we view the relationship in counselling as central, and support Rogers’ belief in the ‘selftherapeutic capacity and wisdom of clients’. However, we also take a strong ‘anti-schoolism’ stance which reflects our sincere respect for other, non-person-centred practices and practitioners. Our starting point for the Keele Counselling Model is thus a unifying ethos which enables us to respect and welcome a diversity of professional skills and orientations.
We employ a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, large group work, community meetings, tutorials and small group work. Within this framework students are introduced to a range of practices which are related to relevant philosophical traditions including existentialism, phenomenology and poststructuralism. Throughout the course, students are supported to establish a sense of coherence in their own position.
The centrality of a secure and constantly reviewed ethical position, based on the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy, is presented to the programme members as a major personal responsibility. We accept the overwhelming evidence of the theorists that the major factor in helping human beings change in desired, positive directions is a relationship in which they feel safe, valued and challenged.