Level 3 Foundation in Counselling

Begin your journey with our foundation course in Counselling Skills (Quality Checked by the National Counselling Society).

This course is suitable for people who are interested in joining our Level 4 Accredited Diploma.

A creative mix of theory, skills and personal awareness.

Start dates in Devon throughout the year

  • Next weekend course starts: 21st/22nd March 2020, one weekend per month.***Fully booked*** Next weekend course starts 10th/11th October 2020 
  • Next weekday course starts: 20th April 2020, weekly on Mondays. ***Fully booked*** Next weekday course starts 14th September 2020 
  • Next evening course starts: 3rd June 2020, weekly on Wednesday evenings.



If you are ready to embark on a course which gives you the essential theories and skills involved in becoming a counsellor, then our Level 3 Foundation Certificate Course is for you. The training offers you a direct route onto our Accredited Level 4 Advanced Diploma in Counselling.

The course is 12 sessions of experiential, creative training days, one day per week or one weekend per month over 6 months. Evening classes take place on one evening per week over 19 weeks (plus one full day Saturday class).

No prior experience is required, as this course is a comprehensive and complete foundation into counselling.

This course has been Quality Checked by the National Counselling Society.

Suitable for people engaged in a caring or therapeutic role, anyone working in a people focused environment or anyone interested in counselling skills, the course attracts people with diverse professional and personal backgrounds. It offers the opportunity to enhance further career and life skills, and can be a stepping stone to accessing counselling and therapeutic professions.

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

Course Details

A 12 day course, running one day a week or one weekend per month over 6 months. Evening classes take place on one evening per week 6pm – 9.30pm over 19 weeks (plus one full day Saturday class).

Start dates:
Weekends 21st/22nd March 2020 on Saturday and Sunday, one weekend per month. ***Fully booked*** Next weekend course starts 10th/11th October 2020

Monday 20th April 2020, weekly on Monday ***Fully booked***

Wednesday 3rd June 2020, weekly on Wednesday evenings (19 sessions plus one full day Saturday class)

Monday 14th September 2020, weekly on Mondays

A course that is Quality Checked by the National Counselling Society, you will learn how to create a safe space for counselling and a range of therapeutic skills and techniques to explore client issues.

This course is suitable for people who are looking to start our Level 4 Accredited Diploma. Please contact us to discuss this further.

This course will be beneficial for anybody working in the caring profession. It will give you important skills which are of great value in your life as well as the workplace!

A perfect place to begin if you are looking for a change in career path!

Entry requirements

No prior knowledge or experience required to enrol on this course.

There is no requirement for an interview, however we are always happy to show people around our beautiful centre, if you would like to come and visit us just let us know.

Level 2 is not a requirement to join this course.

Applications welcome over the age of 19yrs.

No prior profession or academic attainment is required.


The Level 3 Foundation Counselling Certificate course furthers our understanding and knowledge of ourselves and counselling concepts, theory and skills.

Heartwood’s theoretical approach presented on the course is both 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 therapeutic work.

We will cover a range of approaches including Gestalt Therapy, Person Centred Therapy and Mindfulness based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

We will work with the full perception of the client, their world from their eyes, adapting our methods to accommodate our client’s needs and working with the way a client’s problems may present as:

  • Thoughts – fixed beliefs or negative ideas, old messages (introjects).
  • Emotions – grief, anger, sadness, regret, guilt, shame.
  • Physical – panic attacks, insomnia, eating disorders, self-harm.
  • Spiritual – hopes, dreams, aspirations, purpose.

Level 3 further develops counselling, communication and listening skills through the following client centred practices; effective questioning and working at an appropriate pace, managing silence, active listening and minimal encouragement prompts, paraphrasing and summarising, attentiveness and rapport building, empathetic listening, checking for understanding and focusing.


  • Drama Triangle
  • Self-awareness development – experiential exercises
  • Therapeutic skills and interventions
  • Techniques to explore client issues
  • Create a safe space for counselling – setting clear boundaries
  • Personal & professional conduct and creating a therapy contract
  • How people gain support
  • Holding emotional space
  • Deepening congruence and becoming authentic in relationships
  • Exploring challenging emotions


  • A minimum of 85% attendance on tuition days
  • Completion of learning journals
  • Completion of course assignments
  • Demonstration of practical skills throughout
  • Active participation in experiential aspects of the training

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


Full course fees are £650

Your place is secured when we receive your application form and deposit of £200 (non-refundable)

You can pay the balance of £450 before the start of the course or choose to pay by monthly payment plan of £118 for 4 months.

What Students Say

“It was over too quickly, the tutor was wonderful and really supported me. I have met some wonderful people on this course who are also going onto the level 4 course with me, I can’t wait, I am hooked!”

Justine 2018

Register your interest

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

Pay a deposit of £200.00 per item