If you’re looking into a career in health and social care, counselling or anything similar, then an Introduction to Counselling course may be something you need or want to take. We’ve come up with a list of some of the Introduction to Counselling courses available for you.

1. The Distance Learning Centre: Introduction to Counselling Level 2 

This course is done through a workbook sent to you and then online. It has approximately 80 hours of studying to complete and costs £250. The cost is split between 4 payments, 1 of £100 and 3 of £50. In the course, you will do the following units:

  1. Basics of counselling
  2. Types of counselling
  3. New wave counselling
  4. Counselling styles
  5. Listening skills
  6. Negotiation
  7. Mediation
  8. Crisis Meditation

This will then be assessed by coursework throughout the course.

If you successfully complete the course you will have a Level 2 qualification in Introduction to Counselling.

2. Goldsmiths short course: Introduction to Counselling

Whilst this course is shorter than the others, only spanning 2 weekends (9 am – 4 pm). You can study just one weekend, or both, depending on how much of the content you’d like to cover; because of this, the cost varies between £200-£400. In the course, you’ll cover:

  • CBT
  • Psychodynamic
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Counselling skills

This course doesn’t leave you with a qualification as it is only 4 days long, however, if you’re unsure whether you definitely want to commit to counselling then perhaps try this as a taster.

3. NHS Tavistock and Portman: Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy 

Ran under the NHS, this course is perhaps one of the best ones available. The course is structured with weekly theory lectures, reading and reading seminars, workplace discussions, self-reflective journals, individual tutorials, and a term-long placement. It is assessed by 12 write-ups across the course and a minimum of 75% attendance. Whilst on the course, you will study:

Term one:

  • Beginnings
  • Thinking about observation
  • Introducing psychoanalysis – Freud and the unconscious
  • Therapeutic practice and the setting
  • Klein and the paranoid schizoid position
  • Unconscious phantasy
  • Klein and the depressive position
  • Transference and counter-transference
  • Projective identification

Term two:

  • Infancy and early childhood
  • The third object and Oedipal situation
  • Later childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Adulthood and later life
  • Old age
  • Psychic pain
  • Trauma
  • Difference and diversity

Term three:

  • Depression
  • Personality disorder
  • Pyschosis
  • Suicide
  • Risk assessment and risk management
  • Eating disorders

This course, due to its depth and length is £3,500 per year. However, there are ways of funding this.

4. Crawley College: Introduction to Counselling Stage 1 

This course is 11 weeks long and costs £350. It covers the following skills:

  • Active listening
  • Paraphrasing
  • Reflecting
  • Summarising
  • Non-verbal communication

And will discuss what counselling is, the elements that are essential in the development of a therapeutic relationship. The course will also include the Johari window, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, an introduction to existential counselling and therapy, and the role of unconscious processes.

5. Open Study College: Introduction to Counselling Level 2

Another level 2 course, this course covers the span of 12 months and is assessed by tutor-marked work. On it, you will study the following units:

  1. Introduction to counselling
  2. Transactional analysis
  3. Personality and counselling
  4. Character and counselling
  5. Emotional intelligence and counselling
  6. Counselling in practice

At the end of this course, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and Certa Awards.


Most courses have some form on Intro to Counselling course, but these are the variations you may find. If you need the course in order to progress, check out the advice on UCAS and Career Expert to find out more.