DProf Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling

About the Course

Available Study Modes
Intensive Study, Saturday Weekly or Wednesday - Weekly

Course Description

The Professional Doctorate in Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling is a joint programme between NSPC and Middlesex University.  The DProf programme is both an academic qualification and a professional psychotherapy training. Successful completion of the doctoral programme leads to the award of a DProf degree by Middlesex University. Successful completion of the DProf also qualifies graduates for full membership of the University Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (UPCA) and thus also for the Universities Training College, which confers eligibility for UKCP accreditation as an existential psychotherapist.

The programme comprises three different interconnected strands leading to a well-rounded training both academically and as practitioners. These strands comprise of academic theory, skills training  with substantial period of supervised practice in placement, and a research project culminating in submitting a thesis.  

The philosophy of this programme is existential. It is concerned with the understanding of people’s position in the world and with the clarification of what it means to be alive in the world. The existential paradigm is committed to exploring these questions with a receptive attitude in the search for truth with an open mind and an attitude of wonder. 

The existential philosophy of the school provides a disciplined philosophical framework. With this framework in mind, students will focus on learning and understanding the human predicaments and attending to their clients in a philosophical way. It draws on the work of existential and phenomenological thinkers and on the practice of existential psychotherapy. Existential thinkers avoid restrictive models that categorise or label people.  Instead, they look for the universals that can be observed transculturally. There is no existential personality theory which divides humanity up into types or reduces people to part components. Instead, there is a description of the different levels of experience and existence that people are inevitably confronted with. The teaching and training provided by NSPC incorporates these basic values by recognising that life experience combined with formal academic,  practical professional training and alongside research together  form the four foundations on which students need to build in becoming an accomplished existential psychotherapist.

NSPC aims to provide its students with every opportunity to work towards professional competence and academic excellence in an integrated way.

This programme is designed for four years but can be extended up to eight years.

The course leader is Dr Nancy Hakim Dowek an existential psychotherapist.

Useful link: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7InPSJ1x3KA&list=PL00FF5E6D4B79409F&index=4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqII-PJReNc&list=PL00FF5E6D4B79409F&index=14

Programme of Study

Year 1

  • Introduction to Counselling Psychology Theory and Practice

 This module will enable students to achieve an overall grasp of the profession, and to begin to build an identity as a counselling psychologist in order to establish a solid foundation on which to build for the rest of the training.

  • Existential Theory and Practice

The aim of the theory element of the module is to enable students to gain a fundamental grounding of theories of existential philosophy and phenomenology that underpin existential psychotherapy and existential counselling psychology.

The aim of the practice element is for students to achieve an initial aptitude in applying the principles of phenomenological practice and familiarise them with their roots and links in existential philosophy.

  • Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice

The aim of the theory element of the module is to enable students to gain a fundamental grounding of theories of existential philosophy and phenomenology that underpin existential psychotherapy and existential counselling psychology.

The aim of the practice element is for students to achieve an initial aptitude in applying the principles of phenomenological practice and familiarise them with their roots and links in existential philosophy.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Theory and Practice

The theory element of this module aims to enable students to achieve a grounding in the fundamentals of CBT, from its philosophical and scientific origins, to the current 3rd wave approaches.

The practice element provides an opportunity for students to achieve a basic aptitude for applying CBT interventions in a range of conditions.

  • Overview of Research Methods 

This module will enable students to critically appraise the variety of  research methods, qualitative and quantitative .   It will further enable students to   critique both quantitative and qualitative studies and use them appropiatly. 

Year 2

  • Advanced Existential Theory and Practice

This module will develop and expand students’ familiarity with the existential approach   through continuous questioning of the relevance of philosophy to the practice of psychotherapy and counselling psychology. Students will be exposed to the various philosophers and practitioners on whose work existential therapy is based and consider their pertinence to current day clinical practice, with an emphasis on identifying particular human dilemmas and life issues and learning to work with these creatively...

  • Critical Psychopathology

The aim of this  module is  to enable students to recognise the principal diagnostic categories used in mental health settings, their characteristics, and the major critiques of those criteria or, where relevant, of the value of making any diagnosis at all. 

  • Development through the Life Span

The aim of the module to enable students to critically appraise developmental theories, demonstrating how physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development interact and how theories of development, and developmental stages, can be applied to counselling psychology.  Development stage theories will be evaluated in the context of the existential reflections on the purpose of development as an unfolding project.

  • Qualitative Research Methods

The aim of this module is to enable students to describe and contrast the main qualitative research methods and to illustrate various types of mixed method combinations.  Students will be able to design, conduct, and critique qualitative studies and take into account how individuals interpret experience.

  • Placement and Supervision 1

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop their therapeutic skills in a variety of placement settings under clinical supervision.  Thus allowing students to demonstrate their developing professional competence.

  • Research Supervision 1

The aim of the module is to enable students to design, plan, implement, and complete independent and original research that can be written up as an acceptable programme planning document. To assist the student to monitor their progress on a regular basis. To enable the student to present their work at a programme planning viva and make the necessary corrections.

  • Programme Planning, Research Preparation and Viva

The aim of this module is to enable students to plan their learning and research in relation to their future contribution to their field of practice, through preparing a detailed research proposal to be examined by viva voce.

Year 3

  • Families and Systems Therapy 

 The aims of this module are to provide a thorough grounding in the family and systems perspective on therapy and to show the development of this approach from its inception to the present day. It will enable students to think of individual problems as located in the nexus of the family and to apply this way of looking at issues to their own clinical work.

  • Working with Sexuality and Gender Identities (An optional module that can be taken as an extra for UKCP registration)

 The aim of the module will be to challenge heteronormative beliefs and categorizations in order to widen perspectives and encourage students to think and develop their understanding of more complex categories, which will enable students to better relate to the growing number of people who reject one or more of them, and to quip students to be able to effectively train others in overcoming discriminatory practices towards people whose sexual or gender preference is either different from theirs or does not sit comfortably within their norm. 

  • Social, Cultural and Ethical Issues

To enable students to be able to make appropriate decisions about consent, confidentiality, discrimination, exploitation, fairness, duty of care, and other ethical and moral quandaries in professional practice.  Students will be able to describe cultural variations, and the impact of social organization and culture on morals, values, and social expectation.

  • Advanced Research Seminar

The aim of this module is to enable students to design, plan, carry out, and complete independent and original research that can be written up as a completed research dissertation.  By the end of the module students will be able to construct a successful research ethics application

  • Placement and Supervision 2

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop their therapeutic skills in a variety of placement settings under clinical supervision, building on the work in year 2.  Thus allowing students to demonstrate their developing professional competence.

  • Research Supervision 2

To enable students to design, plan, carry out, and complete independent and original research that can be written up as a completed research dissertation through regular monitoring of progress through ethics and the pilot study.

  • Part 1 Research Project

The aim of this module is to enable the student to complete part of the requirements of their final dissertation by submitting a document that will be a near final draft of their literature review and intended methods and an analysis of one transcript or an example of practice.

Year 4

  • Existential Supervision Training

The module aims to enable students to critically appraise theoretical models and skills to supervise others in the practice of existential psychotherapy.

  • Existential Group Training

The module aims is to enable students to critically appraise a range of group psychotherapy approaches and demonstrate links to existential psychotherapy.  To apply the work of existential philosophers to develop an existential practice of group psychotherapy and be able to run groups along these lines in a competent and responsible maner.

  • Leadership Training

The aim of this module is to enable students to supervise other staff, to lead times and to evaluate service designs and implement service innovations upon graduation. Students will develop their leadership skills and consider how existential concepts can be used in democratic and inspirational leadership.

  • Preparation for Viva

This module aims to prepare students for the successful presentation of their research project at a viva voce examination.  It will provide students with practical experience of a viva voce examination. 

  • Research Supervision 3

The aim of this module is to enable students to design, plan, carry out, and complete independent and original research and monitor the writing up process for the completed research dissertation through regular monitoring of progress through ethics and the pilot study.

  • Placement and Supervision 3 (advanced)

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop their advanced therapeutic skills, where they can also practice some leadership skills, either leading a group, offering supervision or providing training sessions.

  • Research Project Part II, Final

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop their advanced therapeutic skills, where they can also practice some leadership skills, either leading a group, offering supervision or providing training sessions.

What can you expect?

Year one introduces the key concepts of existential philosophy and existential psychotherapy. It will provide the opportunity to start building your practitioner skills. You will start with core competencies and  you will gradually be introduced to existential and phenomenological practical work. You will also take part in modules introducing different psychotherapy disciplines and you will have the opportunity to practice these. In addition, you will study a module involving an overview of research methods.

Year two provides an opportunity to start building experience in a placement with the support of Clinical Supervision. You will take part in three advanced academic modules. Following two additional research modules, you will start looking into your research subject and, with the help of your supervisor, you will be able to design an academic proposal for your research. This will consist of choosing the subject of your research and will include the aims and objectives for this research, the literature review, and your chosen research method. Your proposal will also include your reflection on the process which is an important part of this research project.

Year three will continue to provide the opportunity to add to your psychotherapy skills through your placement(s) with the continuous support of Clinical Supervision. You will develop your research through an Advanced Research Seminar and the Research Pilot module. In parallel, you will continue your academic and theoretical education with three academic modules pertaining to different aspects of the therapeutic work.

Year four will continue to provide you with a platform to further develop as a psychotherapist in general and as an existential psychotherapist in particular through your placement(s) with the support of Clinical Supervision. You will take part in three advanced academic seminars whilst also concentrating on your research. You will conduct your interviews, redraft your literature review, adapt your research method, analyse your data and conclude your research. Finally, supported by your academic supervisors, you will write your thesis.

Accreditation and Careers

Completion of the full professional doctorate or the MProf (4 years or 3 years of study respectively) together with further placement and supervision at NSPC (up to 450 hours of supervised practice) qualifies graduates to apply for accreditation with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). In addition, the DProf also enables graduates to apply to the supervision recognition scheme of BACP, since the four-year doctoral programme includes one year of supervision and group leadership training. 

Fees

Year of course

Modules to be completed in year

Fee payable per year

(if no modules have to be repeated)

1

8 modules over 3 terms

£7520

2

10 modules over 3 terms

£9400

3

11

£10340

4

10

£9400

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

£100 per submission

NB You should also expect to pay for books, personal therapy, student membership of an accrediting organisation, and practice indemnity. If you are on the DCPsych and want UKCP accreditation, you will be required to take two additional modules not in this calculation. Students on doctoral programmes are eligible to apply for Student Finance.

Fees are charged per module as you take them, so costs are spread across each year rather than by an annual lump sum.

If you are on a doctoral course you can apply for a student loan, as you are on a joint course.  You must meet the criteria and have been offered a place, on the doctoral course before applying.  The loan is between you and Middlesex University.  NSPC are not involved in the process.  The loan payment will not cover all the costs for a term.  You may need to pay an additional amount, on average around £600 if you take 3 modules a term.

https://www.gov.uk/doctoral-loan

Entry Requirements

  • A good Bachelor degree in any fields
  • An introductory course in psychotherapy and counselling such as the Foundation Course offered by the Existential Academy
  • Some counselling practice, either professionally or in a voluntary position, for instance with Childline or the Samaritans
  • Personal suitability for the course to be demonstrated at interview
  • Fluent English (ELTS for study score of 7.0 or TOEFL score of 87) 

Words from Our Graduates

My time at NSPC was challenging, but life affirming and part of a key turning period in my life. One always had a sense that one was at a serious academic institution with high standards that one had to step up to. It opened doors to spheres of knowledge I had had no contact with before. Although I found this very hard for quite a long time, I now see how it sparked a thirst for personal development and experience that has helped me develop a new meaning and purpose for the second half of my working life. I am so grateful for having had this experience and sticking it out to a productive end, or at least stopping off point, before returning for more.

DProf in Existential Psychotherapy & Counselling by Professional Studies, Graduate

I enjoyed my studies at NSPC very much; I liked the international atmosphere, the approach of working with (continental) existential philosophy in a therapeutic context and I found lots of inspiration and friends along the way. I hope to be able to stay in touch with NSPC in some way

DProf in Existential Psychotherapy & Counselling by Professional Studies, Graduate

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU!

It was an incredible week, full of intense thoughts and feelings which I assume I will begin to unpack in the next few days with my own self-reflection. But I wanted to say thank you.

It was a week that gave me a lot of clarity and introduced me to wonderfully inspiring and intellectually driven staff members.

However, the most notable thing that kept coming up was the feeling of family and warmth from the NSPC staff.

Even through the virtual realm, it was clear that I have entered a family atmosphere, not only through the staff’s warm engagement with us, but also with the wonderful cohort that was chosen.

That is such a nice feeling in addition to feeling at home from a professional/theoretical perspective, which is amazing for me ;)

DProf in Existential Psychotherapy & Counselling by Professional Studies Graduate