Course name

Counselling Children, Young People and Families (CYPF)

Who is the course aimed at?

Practising Counsellors with a Diploma/PG Diploma in Counselling and who would like to develop their work in schools, colleges and universities.

Individuals working with children, adolescents, young people and families and who are interested in learning more about psychodynamic processes. (Module 1 only)

Counsellors who have completed a Certificate in CYP and would like to develop work with the families of the children they Counsel. (Module 3 only)

Course description

This post-qualifying Certificate is a part-time training programme designed to prepare practitioners to work with children, young adults (up to mid-20s) and their families and is taught from a psychodynamic perspective.

It enables practitioners to engage with contemporary debates in the field of child and adolescence with an emphasis in modules 2 and 3 on counselling in a variety of settings including schools, voluntary and statutory sector organisations, Universities and Colleges, primary and secondary care settings, as well as in private practice.

Module 1 can be taken as standalone CPD for anyone interested in learning and understanding more about children, adolescents and young adults. It is a good introduction to psychodynamic thought and how that can be applied in a variety of contexts e.g. schools, voluntary sector organisations.

This Certificate (modules 1,2 and 3) prepares Counsellors to work safely and confidently with mild to moderate concerns. For those practitioners (e.g. Counsellors, Nurses, OTs, Psychologists, Social Workers) working in CAMHS or equivalent, consideration should be given to the Masters in  Psychoanalytic Observation and Reflective Practice: Therapeutic Work With Children and Young People (TWCYP).


Like many organisations that provide training and education programmes, we have adapted our training to deliver this online (where possible) due to COVID-19. We are continuing to accept applications for our training courses and we will continue with contingency plans to deliver some of our teaching remotely or in a mixed format to ensure that the health of students and staff is our priority.

Programme structure

  • The Certificate is comprised of three modules:
    1. Human Development: Childhood to Young Adult
    2. Theory and Practice of Counselling Children, Adolescents and Young Adults
    3. Theory and Practice of Working with Families
  • Each module runs under a blended learning format of student-centred learning activities such as experiential workshops incorporating the psychodynamic theoretical approaches supported by Moodle based resources and skills-based framework.
  • Teaching and learning consists of 24 hours of teaching supported by 36 hours of individual independent learning, practice and written assessments per module. Participants must successfully complete all three modules to be awarded the Certificate.

Programme Currriculum

  • Child, adolescent and young adult development, Theory of Mind, Attachment Theory, developmental trauma, understanding self in relation to others in a Social World.
  • The theoretical background to therapeutic play and other methods of engagement including skills-based exercises.
  • Safeguarding, legal and ethical issues involved in working with children, young adults and families.
  • Self-care and Recovery.

Teaching and Learning Strategy

A diverse range of learning and teaching strategies are employed to create an enabling environment for this professional course. This will include the use seminars, facilitated group discussion, case studies, Moodle based resources, case discussion based on experiential exercises and personal tutor support.


  • A negotiated essay on a related topic
  • Case studies

Progression Routes

  • Module 1 can be taken as stand-alone CPD.
  • Module 3 can be taken as an additional module for those who have completed a Certificate for Counselling Children and Young People at a different University/organisation.


  • Classes generally meet from 09:30 to 17:00 at weekends usually one weekend a month across 6 months. Click here to see the timetable.
  • The requirement for approximately 70 hours of supervised practice in modules 2 and 3 may require students to continue with placement beyond the timescales indicated above.
  • Teaching takes place at the HDS training suite in central Glasgow.

Entry requirements

Applicants should meet the following requirements:

  • For module 1, 2 and 3 (PGCert): a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling (any theoretical basis).
  • For module 1 (taken as standalone CPD): appropriate current professional qualification (Teachers, Nursery Nurses, Social Workers, Youth Workers etc.) to support employability and career development in therapeutic work.
  • For module 3 (taken as an add on to a Certificate in Counselling CYP): Post Graduate Diploma In Counselling (any theoretical basis) and a Certificate in Counselling Children and Young People (any theoretical basis).

Costs and funding

Enquiries and application



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