BA (Hons) in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy – Level 8



“The only one who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change” – C. R. Rogers


BACHELOR OF ARTS (Hons) in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy

1 year, part-time, 60 credit, Level 8 add-on, QQI-validated

This new QQI-validated Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy programme is being offered in both Athlone and Galway.

Since its foundation ICPPD has taken the steps necessary to ensure the delivery of a quality service in an environment that is characterised by an attitude to adult learners that is supportive and encouraging. We aim to provide an experience of learning that will develop in learners a hunger for both heart-centred wisdom and critical analysis. Our programmes are designed to be participative, experiential and to draw whenever possible on prior lived experience. The programme’s academic value is enhanced by a learning environment that is warm, vibrant, and genuine. Learners and staff interact in a mutual effort to engage in and promote the concept of lifelong learning. ICPPD’s holistic ethos underpins all interaction. This programme has been designed, and is delivered, by staff who are passionate and inspired about the merit of personal development and excellence in professional counselling and psychotherapy training and education.

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be.
When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right-hand corner.”
I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds. ~ Carl R. Rogers (Humanistic Psychologist, 1902-1987)

Programme Aims

The main aim of this new 1-year, add-on Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy is to provide adult learners with the opportunity to deepen and expand their knowledge, skills and competence in the field of holistic counselling and psychotherapy. At ICPPD, self-awareness is seen as vital to personal and professional development and is encouraged and promoted throughout this and all programmes offered.

More generally, the broader aims of this proposed BA (Hons) programme are to

  • further develop the academic research, professional study and clinical training of graduates from ICPPD’s L7 BA in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy and for external applicants who meet the admission requirements.
  • elaborate on the training of reflective practitioners who work at a high standard of competency, within a humanistic and integrative context, with ethical and safe practice.
  • enable learners to practice with a depth and degree of clinical expertise and theoretical knowledge which is integrated within a wider field of counselling and psychotherapy.
  • support learners to gain full independent professional status, accreditation and meet regulations within the profession.
  • develop the ability to critically engage with contemporary policy and research in this field.


Programme Objectives

The objectives of this 1-year add-on level 8 programme are to

  • enhance and expand the learner’s self-awareness, and knowledge, skills and clinical experience through engagement with, and immersion in, the programme.
  • provide comprehensive education and training in the theory, skills and related therapeutic processes required for holistic/integrative counselling and psychotherapy practice.
  • enable the learner to deepen their knowledge of mental health issues, including addiction, and trauma matters, supported with an awareness of the complex ethical implications and good practice involved.
  • broaden learner’s comprehension and experience of the use of creative processes and bodywork in holistic counselling and psychotherapy.
  • promote evidence-based practice through robust research in the field of holistic counselling and psychotherapy.
  • facilitate the learner in achieving relevant client work to meet requirements of academic and professional bodies.


It is true that we can see the therapist as a technician only if we have first viewed the patient as some sort of machine. ~ Viktor E. Frankl (Austrian psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, 1905 –1997)

Learning Outcomes

This programme supports learners to develop their range and depth of knowledge, skills and competencies in the field of holistic counselling and psychotherapy and to, thereby, develop into competent, compassionate, ethical, professional practitioners. A full list of the programme learning outcomes for this add-on level 8 BA (Hons) in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy is provided on the programme page on the ICPPD website [].


Programme Admission Information

Entry Requirements

Application is limited to candidates who have successfully completed a level 7 award in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy, or equivalent.

In addition, applicants will need to provide written and verified evidence of having completed a minimum of 100 hours of Supervised Client Work and undertaken a minimum of 50 sessions of Personal Therapy, in advance of their acceptance to this programme.

Applicants will be required to have appropriate IT skills and English to facilitate his/her engagement with a level 8 degree programme.

ICPPD is responsible for ensuring learners’ ongoing Fitness to Practice, in terms of health, behaviour and character. Therefore, progression is at the discretion of the College.

Recognition of Prior Learning may be facilitated (reference for more information).

A truly human psychotherapy must celebrate the uniqueness of humankind and of each human individual.

~ James F. T. Bugental (Existential-Humanistic therapist, teacher and writer, 1915-2008)


Syllabus Content

This programme supports participants to develop self-awareness, knowledge, skills and competencies of counselling and psychotherapy from an integrative perspective, and is unique in its holistic/spiritual/creative focus. The programme consists of the following modules:

BAHCP_401 Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy

  • The module will examine humanistic approaches and models of psychotherapy integration from the historical developments of the core philosophical tenets and key writers of the humanistic movement. Through in-depth study of Person-Centred, Existential Approaches, Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy and the models of psychotherapy integration, the learner will advance their knowledge and skills in the methods of psychotherapy in the context of a theoretically integrated framework for practice.
BAHCP_402 Trauma and Body Psychotherapy

  • This module will familiarise learners with different knowledge and understanding of trauma, how the fracturing that can happen in the mind, and the imprints that traumatic wounding leaves in the body. It will enable the development of an understanding and embodied knowledge of the defence mechanisms that operate, most often at an unconscious level. The module aims to provide the learner with the skills to facilitate the reorganisation of a client’s experience by sequencing through trauma using a body-centred approach.


BAHCP_403 Clinical Practice

  • Clinical Practice is at the heart of all counselling and psychotherapy training and education programmes. The focus in this module is to deepen the learner’s clinical practice in terms of greater awareness around a client’s process and their own and for the learner to integrate the advanced skills and theory developed from the other modules. The module will develop an informed and critical appraisal of the core principles associated with an adaptable integrative framework for practice.
BAHCP_404 Research Project

  • This capstone Research Project will provide learners with the ability and confidence to conduct a piece of supervised research, with advanced research training and peer support. It allows the learner to draw upon knowledge gleaned during the taught modules in the course or appropriate areas of interest, through a systematic plan of action and support. The research practitioner is committed to raise questions about deeply ingrained assumptions which are habitually relied on in counselling and psychotherapy. ICPPD’s research endeavour aims to do no harm and negotiate ethical issues within counselling and psychotherapy.
BAHCP_405 Understanding Psychopathology

  • This module is designed to further develop learners in the theories, principles and practices of abnormal psychology and mental health issues. It aims to critically examine the various psychological concepts, diagnostic disorders as well as theoretical and clinical perspectives of the study of psychopathology.

The College reserves the right to amend the list of modules being offered on this programme.

Additional Programme Information

Academic and Professional Requirements

In addition to meeting the academic requirements of the programme, learners are required to meet all of the relevant professional requirements, including those which determine fitness to practice.

Personal Therapy

Learners are required to complete a minimum of 20 sessions of personal counselling during this programme.

Note: An additional fee is payable by the learner for personal therapy (to the therapist).


During Clinical Practice, learners are required to complete 1 session of supervision for every 5 sessions of client work, with a minimum of 1 supervision session/month.

By the end of this programme, learners are required to have completed a minimum of 14 supervision sessions with an accredited external supervisor.

ICPPD also provides in-house group supervision, as required by the relevant professional bodies.

Note: An additional fee is payable by the learner for supervision (to their external clinical supervisor).

Additional (Integrated) Personal Development

During the programme, learners are invited to lead mini reflections/retreats as part of their creative and spiritual development.

Integration Weekend

There will be a mandatory 2 day residential integration event scheduled at the end of the academic year. This retreat will incur an additional fee (to be advised prior to programme commencement).

Clinical Practice

Learners on this programme are required to have completed a minimum of 70 client work sessions, under clinical supervision in a suitable placement, and meet all other modules’ requirements.

Note: An additional fee is payable by the learner to their external supervisor.

As part of, and to support Clinical Practice, ICPPD also provides In-House Supervision, (groups of 3-6 with an accredited supervisor).

Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.  ~ Jean-Paul Sartre 

(French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic, 1905-1980)


Learning and Teaching Strategies

The experiential environment and holistic focus of this programme supports academic frameworks and theoretical input. The programme and individual module learning outcomes are achieved through the following learning and teaching methodologies:

  • Class Presentations
  • Clinical Practice
  • Creative Projects/Exercises
  • DVD-Recorded Skills Practice
  • Dyads/Triads
  • Essays
  • External Clinical Supervision
  • External Research Supervision
  • Formal Scheduled Classes
  • Formal/Informal Feedback
  • Group Work/Peer/Study Groups
  • Guest lectures
  • Holistic Reflections
  • Independent Learning
  • In-House Group Supervision
  • Microscopic Case Study
  • Modelling/Demonstration by Lecturer
  • Personal Therapy
  • Portfolio Conference Sessions
  • Practical Assessments
  • Reflective Learning Journal
  • Reports
  • Research Project
  • Role Play
  • Skills Recorded Sessions

The College also provides access to e-Library resources through Moodle. ICPPD uses Moodle, a virtual learning environment (VLE), to disseminate class material and share course-related resources, as well as news, assignment details, discussion fora, etc.

These resources facilitate the support of learners at outreach centres, and through out-of-hours times.

Learners will be shown how to access these facilities at their induction session, through Academic Writing workshops, and the Research Project module.

Assessment Strategies

Assessment Strategies for this programme include:

  • Keeping a reflective journal during the programme.
  • Role playing and scenarios demonstrating your holistic counselling and psychotherapy skills.
  • Ongoing assessment by programme lecturer.
  • Written examination
  • Projects, Reports, Creative Poster, Reflections, Portfolios, Written essays, on topics related to the holistic counselling and psychotherapy theory and skills presented during the programme.
  • Development of a Research Project


This Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy, 1-year, 60 credit, NFQ-L8, programme is validated by the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).


Post-Programme Progression

Graduates of this BA (Hons) in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy will be eligible to apply for entry onto cognate Level 9 programmes within other third level institutions.

ICPPD reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the matters contained in this publication.  The College reserves the right to amend the list of modules being offered for any programme.

Learner protection for participants on this programme is provided in accordance with Part 6 of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012.

  • Level:
    NFQ, Level 8
  • Credit:
    60 ECTS
  • Venues:

    Athlone:- Coláiste Chiaráin, Summerhill, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 AH97
    Galway: - SCCUL Enterprise Centre,
    Castlepark Road, Ballybane,
    Galway, H91 RH32.
  • Application:
    Directly to;
    ICPPD, Suite 11, Inish Carraig,
    Golden Island, Athlone,
    Co Westmeath N37 PN82.
    Entry is by completion of an Application Form All applicants are subject to interview. Health & psychological screening may also be required. All applicants will be required to have completed National Vetting prior to commencing the programme.
  • Commencement Dates:
    Contact ICPPD for more information, and a copy of the programme timetable.
  • Duration:
    1 calendar year, part-time
  • Schedule:
    Delivered every second weekend during the academic year: Saturday and Sunday (9.30am-5.00pm). Please Note: There may also be a requirement to attend course/ progression meetings on a Friday; these dates will be identified to learners on their timetable at the commencement of the academic year.
  • Application Fee:
    Fees for this programme are comparative to those for similar programmes delivered nationwide, at: €3990* * An additional QQI Certification Fee of €200 also applies. Payment plan options are available for learners – please contact ICPPD for more information.
  • Additional Costs:
    Please note that there are additional costs for mandatory associated programme activities, in particular, the Residential/Integration 2-day weekend, external supervision and personal therapy.
  • Application Form:
  • Information Leaflet:

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