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About Us

Our Philosophy



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Underlying Values

The Minster Centre subscribes to and promotes the following values:

  • recognition, honour and respect of individual uniqueness;
  • the realisation of the responsibility of individuals within society;
  • the creative use of the tension between the individual, the wider community and society.

Supporting Diversity

The Minster Centre welcomes applications from men and women of all ethnic communities and sexual orientations. Disability is catered for wherever possible. In furtherance of this aim:

  • We work to provide an environment for development through embedding diversity to ensure staff and students experience a consistently inclusive and supportive environment to assist them in reaching their full potential.
  • We work to remove barriers, real or perceived, which might deter people from applying to The Minster Centre either as staff or students.
  • Aims and Purpose

    The Minster Centre was founded with the purpose of addressing the growing divergence between the humanistic and psychoanalytic schools of psychotherapy. The initial concern was to evolve a training philosophy that could integrate these different schools but avoid producing a training that was either eclectic, in the sense of including anything and everything, or that presented itself as a new, rigidly defined alternative. The training therefore begins with the belief that many approaches have valuable contributions to make to the broad field of psychotherapy and counselling.

    Theoretical Content

    The theoretical content, accordingly, encompasses the contributions of Analytical Psychology, Humanistic and Existential Psychology, Bodywork, Psychoanalysis and Transpersonal Psychology. These various schools give very powerful accounts of what it means to be human, what factors shape us in our development, how psychological suffering or impairment arises and what can be done to alleviate it. The teaching aim is thus to further a spirit of inclusiveness, rather than exclusiveness, with a reflective and critical overall stance.

    Integration Model

    Integration, does not mean simply bringing these approaches together in a new and unified whole, and the Centre does not promote one particular 'brand' of integrative psychotherapy/counselling. Instead, the Centre recognises the divergence between different points of view and presents them to be studied, compared and discussed. Tutors will have different views.

    Whilst Helen Davis, the Centre's Founder, developed the model accepted by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), as the basis for accreditation of courses, the ultimate challenge is to create your own unique model, making the most of who you are. It will reflect your ability and personality, your character, and your evolving self. We see integration as a continuous process, as work to be done by each student and practitioner individually, and we carry this philosophy through to our post-graduate courses.

    Thus, the intention is that students do not graduate as devotees of any particular theorist, nor do they simply emulate the practices of Minster Centre staff. They do emerge with a profound knowledge of established theories and practice and an understanding of concepts and processes that will support their integration journey.

    A Truth and The Truth

    Because of the integrative nature of the courses we offer, something which is generally true becomes much more obvious – that is, that none of the theories offered represents THE truth. In fact, we reject the idea that someone, some day, will discover THE truth about human beings. And we also believe that anyone who believes they have THE truth is a dangerous person: there is quite a short step from believing that there is only one truth to trying to impose it on everyone else, and eliminate those who disagree. It is safer for human beings to restrict themselves to referring to A truth. It may be less satisfying, but it does less harm.