Advanced Specialist Diploma in Psychotherapy

Ready to take the next step in your counselling training? This course is designed to deepen your self-development and take you to the next level of professional practice.

The next course starts: 

  • 11th March 2023 – one weekend per month




Ready to take the next step in your counselling training?  This course is designed to deepen your self-development and take you to the next level of professional practice.

This Advanced Specialist Diploma course is aimed at qualified counsellors interested in developing and expanding their current practice to facilitate work as a Psychotherapist.

At Heartwood we integrate theoretical approaches and a range of modalities to help practitioners develop a practice in a way which reflects their theoretical perspective. The course will further develop skills in order to aid 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 practicing as a psychotherapist.

The course delivery is through experiential and didactic learning designed to inspire and instil confidence in students to work as psychotherapists.

Course details

The course is designed for blended learning and runs via our Heartwood online learning platform (HOP) Monthly on weekends (9.30am – 6pm) over 18 sessions with six sessions being delivered in person at the Heartwood Centre on the Dartington Estate (please see the course calendar for details).

After enrolling you will be invited to the Heartwood Online Platform (HOP) which is our unique online and blended learning environment which gives you access to all aspects of your course. All you need is access to the internet, and a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The interactive, college platform provides a comprehensive, enjoyable and convenient learning experience which will complement your classroom experience..

Support is just the other end of the phone if you need it – whether you need a bit of assistance finding your way around the online learning platform, or would like to speak to us about your studies.

The Heartwood Online Platform (HOP) includes access to:

  • your course resources, handbook and policies
  • submission and feedback on of your assessments and journals
  • online class sessions are held via integrated Zoom meetings which allow breakout sessions for group work
  • online messaging which gives you the opportunity to discuss topics with your fellow students. You can use it to ask questions, learn from others, get feedback, and share your own experiences.

You will also access the Heartwood community via the online Heartwood Office and Virtual Notice Board and our regular ‘Topic in Focus’ sessions held via Zoom

At the Heartwood Centre on the Dartington Estate, Heartwood students have access to outdoor and indoor light and warm recreational spaces with seating for break times and its own refreshment making facilities.

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

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.

What the course offers

A deeper exploration into ‘self’

There is a strong reflective element to this course which runs throughout the whole program. You will be encouraged to reflect on your personal journey so far, the obstacles which you face in your ongoing practice while building on your strengths.

The importance of the client- therapist relationship

You will be invited to explore ways in which you can effectively establish and maintain a congruent working alliance with your clients based on fidelity and integrity. You will be exploring a range of techniques that will help you in your practice.

Developing an authentic and individual psychotherapeutic therapeutic approach

The course will provide you with a good foundation from which to build your confidence as a practitioner. You will be supported in developing your own emerging style and psychotherapeutic approach.

NCS Advanced Specialist Status: This course is recognised by the National Counselling Society as “Advanced Specialist Diploma” status.

Next Start:

  • 11th March 2023 – one weekend per month


Course Calendar:

Please click on the below link to view and download the course calendar for upcoming courses:

Advanced Specialist Diploma L5 – Devon Blended – 11th March 2023 – one weekend per month

Entry requirements

All students wishing to enrol onto our Advanced Specialist Diploma in Psychotherapy (Level 5 equivalent) course will be invited to participate in an interview with one of our Lead Tutors. The interview is the opportunity for you and the Tutor to ascertain if you are ready for the course and to explore your reasons for applying.

Interviews will take place via Zoom.

You will need to have completed a Level 4 Diploma in Counselling (or equivalent).
You will need to have completed a minimum of 100 client hours and have a supporting supervision record.

If you are interested in booking onto this course, to request an interview, please click here. Alternatively, to speak with our enrolment support officer Sarah, please call 01803 308 604.

Places are allocated on a first come first served basis and only secured with a deposit.


Throughout the course we will use a range of experiential exercises to make accessible the theories which underpin these interventions and approaches.

Further advancing your counselling skills, personal and professional development, we will focus on the following:

Aims and objectives

  • Develop proficiency in your particular counselling approach
  • Deepen ability to work with the counselling relationship
  • Develop proficiency to work with clients at an emotional depth
  • Understanding of working in different health and therapy settings
  • Impact of self-awareness on therapeutic relationship & practice work
  • Self-development and reflection
  • Understand what is included in conducting assessments
  • Understand the role of diversity and difference in client assessments and treatment choices
  • Identifying severe or complex mental health problems and support referral pathways


  • Ethical framework and code of conduct
  • The role of research in psychotherapy
  • Theoretical models and topics such as trauma and addiction
  • Risk management, safeguarding, assessments and referral pathways
  • Personal and professional guidance and support
  • Complex dynamics in psychotherapy
  • Making the most of supervision
  • Continuing professional development (CPD) pathways
  • Working within limits of own proficiency
  • Difference, Diversity and Inclusion


  • A minimum of 90% attendance on tuition days
  • Completion of a learning journals
  • Demonstration of practical skills
  • Completion of all course assignments
  • Minimum of 10 hours of personal therapy are required during your training
  • Completion of 60 client hours
  • Completion of the external case review
  • Clinical supervision and completion of supervisor’s proficiency statement

Fees Options

Payment options:

Full course fee £2745*.

Your place on the course is only secured on receipt of the non-refundable deposit of £545:

  • The outstanding balance of £2,200 can then be made in full before the course start date.
  • monthly payment plan is available at £255.50* for 9 months *(This includes an administration fee of £11.06 per month (total £99.50) for instalment payments).


*Have you completed a Heartwood Level 4 course previously? Heartwood alumni will receive a special Alumni saving of £400 on their total course fees. Alumni benefits will be deducted on the balance of the course after you have been accepted onto the course and the deposit has been paid. Please contact us for further details.

What Students Say

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 £545.00 per item