Advanced Specialist Diploma in Relationship Counselling

This course will allow qualified counsellors to develop confidence, competence and understanding about how to work with relationships inside the counselling room.


Next course starts: date to be announced shortly 

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Beginning with an exploration of what constitutes a healthy relationship, the course will look at common themes which arise when counselling couples: problems with communication, conflict, affairs, lack of libido, separation and endings.
This Advanced Specialist Diploma and is aimed at qualified counsellors interested in developing and expanding their current practice to facilitate work with couples and relationships.

Heartwood’s theoretical approach presented on the course is Integrative and Holistic. We will look at integrating models, techniques, theories and a range of modalities that suit the individual client. Whilst working on developing relationship skills which will aid and deepen your current therapeutic work.

We will focus on providing a safe and non-judgemental environment in which to practice new skills and techniques to enhance current practice and develop confidence in working with couples and relational dynamics.

We integrate appropriate theory with creative and experiential aspects to make the learning experience thorough, thought provoking and professional.

The course will be delivered at the Heartwood Centre on the Dartington Estate, over 12 class room based sessions.

We create a supportive learning environment here at Heartwood and will guide learners through their studies.

Suitable for people who are either on or have completed the Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCPS Accred (Level 4 equivalent). Counsellors come to us from a diverse variety of backgrounds with a vast range of skills and ability, as well as an established understanding of the counselling profession. It offers the opportunity to enhance further career and life skills, and can aid in accessing specialist counselling and therapeutic professions.

Heartwood students have access to outdoor and indoor light and warm recreational spaces with seating for break times and its own refreshment making facilities.

Course details

This course runs for 12 sessions either fortnightly on a weekday or one weekend per month for 6 months – dates to be announced – To register your interest in this course without obligationplease click here

This graduate level Diploma course is aimed at qualified counsellors interested in developing and expanding their current practice in order to facilitate work with couples and relationships.

The course will be delivered over 6 weekends at the Heartwood Centre on the Dartington Estate.

The training will deliver a range of theory and techniques designed to equip students with the skills required to work ethically and competently with issues of dysfunctional relationships, and a variety of issues related to working with couples.

The course is delivered using a variety of experiential and didactic methods and is designed to both inspire and engender confidence in students to work as Relationship Counsellors.

The training has been awarded Advanced Specialist recognition by the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS).

Entry requirements

Must be currently in practice (private practice or within an agency).
Must have at least 200 hours of supervised clinical practice hours to date.
Must be a member of a governing body (BACP NCPS UKCP etc)
Must have a minimum of Level 4 Diploma in Counselling qualification (or equivalent)



Further advancing our counselling skills, personal and professional development, we will specialise in:

  • Effectiveness and critical reflection of relationship counselling models
  • Impact of self-awareness on counselling relationship & practice work; personal case formulation, personal patterns & schema that may impact work
  • Self-development and reflection
  • Working with couples
  • Dysfunctional relationships
  • Social, cultural and biological factors in treatment plans
  • Conducting assessments
  • Relate theory of diversity to client assessment and treatment choices
  • Identifying severe or complex mental health problems and support referral pathways
  • Personal well-being, competence and efficacy


This course specialises in the following:

  • Ethical framework & code of conduct
  • Theoretical models & concepts
  • Risk management, assessments & referral pathways
  • Personal & professional guidance and support
  • Complex dynamics counselling involving multiple clients
  • Therapy contracts with involving multiple clients
  • Supervision in multiple client setting
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) pathways
  • Working within limits of own proficiency
  • Difference, Diversity & Inclusion


The course requires the following:

  • A minimum of 85% attendance on tuition days
  • Completion of a learning journal
  • Demonstration of practical skills
  • Completion of the external case review
  • Supervision and completion of supervisors proficiency statement
  • Practice proficiency assessment


Payment options:

Full course fee £1475.

Your place on the course is only secured on receipt of the non-refundable deposit of £395:

  • The outstanding balance of £1080 can then be made in full before the course start date.
  • monthly payment plan is available at £365* for 3 months *(This includes a monthly administration fee of £5.00 for instalment payments).

What Students Say

“Since finishing the course and working with couples I have been using the theories, techniques and interventions that we learnt about.”

“I have received some good feedback from clients expressing how our sessions have really supported them to improve their relationship . I know that the course has also added depth to my work with individual clients.”

“It is a course that offers you plenty of theory to work with and also practical skills to develop in a supportive environment and then go on to use with confidence.”

Register your interest

To register your interest in this course without obligation, please click here


To enrol on this course, please select your payment method below and then select ‘Buy now’ to proceed.

Pay a deposit of £395.00 per item
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