Frequently-Asked Questions


Intake related questions

+ Why would you recommend your training to people who are new to the field of psychotherapy?

We are proud to offer a unique perspective of psychotherapy and counselling training, as we combine a strong theoretical integrative grounding with an emphasis on the importance of experiential learning. Many trainees and visitors to the Minster Centre have commented on the friendliness of the place. Although we are a well-established and well-regarded training we have taken a conscious decision to remain small enough to offer a more personalised training. Our learning groups are designed so that trainees are not lost in the crowd. We give close personal guidance to trainees as individuals. As well as being grounded in the traditional approaches to psychotherapy and counselling, our tutors also have experience and expertise in contemporary understandings, such as neurobiology, relational work, mindfulness, mentalization and CBT. We provide theory, practice and personal development work through all the years of training. In total, tutor contact hours exceed many other psychotherapy and counselling trainings and the price is equivalent to others of similar calibre.

+ When is your deadline for applying for you courses starting in September?

We accept applications from February onwards. Please refer to the website for dates of our upcoming open events. Early applications are recommended, so please make sure you don’t leave your submission to the last minute to avoid disappointment.

+ Is your Introduction to Counselling Skills a prerequisite course if I want to embark on your Foundation certificate?

No, our Introduction to Counselling Skills course is open for everybody and it is a taster course for gaining some experience before you commit for the whole length of the four to five year long training with us. It is a 30 hour course and costs £250.

+ Can I enter your First year without having attended your Foundation course?

Yes, we accept applicants who have completed a Foundation course elsewhere which is equivalent to ours. It must consist of at least 90 hours of contact hours covering theory and skills. Also you must have undertaken 20 hours of one to one personal psychotherapy within the year prior to your application.

+ What happens after I have emailed my application to you?

Your application will be reviewed and if it passes this initial screening, you will be invited for an interview. You will be interviewed by one senior member of staff if applying for the Foundation year and two if you are applying for professional training or an MA/PG Dip. If you are accepted, you will be sent a contract to confirm your place on the course within ten working days. We require a non-refundable £700 deposit to secure your place. Your application is complete once we have received both of your references.

+ Do I need to prepare anything for the interview?

The purpose of the interview is for the tutors to assess your suitability to become a psychotherapist. However it is also an opportunity for you to ask them any questions you may have regarding the training. Please be prepared to elaborate on anything you may have included in your application.

General training enquiries

+ What is the difference between BACP and UKCP?

These are the two main professional registering bodies for psychotherapist and counsellors in the UK. Our Diploma in Counselling is accredited by BACP and our Advanced Diploma is accredited by UKCP. If you are applying for a public sector job as a psychotherapist or counsellor, adverts usually ask for someone who is BACP or UKCP registered.

+ How long does it take to qualify as an integrative psychotherapist?

It could take four to five years. If you haven’t done any training in counselling/psychotherapy before, you will need to start with the Foundation certificate course.

+ Can I get funding?

Students registered on MA courses may be eligible for the new government postgraduate student loans. For information on eligibility, access to the loans, and repayment conditions see

We have been able to introduce a bursary scheme to support people who would not otherwise be able to train as a counsellor or psychotherapist, and to encourage people from under-represented groups to join the profession. We also have a Student Hardship Fund which students can apply for once they are on our training. You can also apply for BACP’s Hoxter Educational Bursary. Please check their website for further information.

+ How long have you been teaching counselling and psychotherapy?

The Minster Centre was founded in 1978 and has been running training courses ever since. Alongside our training courses, we also have a Minster Centre Psychotherapy and Counselling Service.

+ Do you have a library for the students at the Minster Centre?

Yes, the Minster Centre library contains core books and a wider selection of relevant texts, an archive of journals, eight current journals (Therapy Today, The Psychotherapist, International Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Existential Analysis, Self and Society, and the British Gestalt Journal), an online library catalogue.

+ How can I find a suitable therapist for my studies?

Please refer to the ‘Find a therapist’ section on our website where you can browse through an extensive list of UKCP registered therapists. You may also want to refer to the list of therapists on the UKCP website. ( Students’ psychotherapy should be with a qualified and experienced, UKCP-registered practitioner or equivalent who is not in any other professional or personal relationship with you, and normally not a Minster Centre member of staff. If you are choosing a new therapist when starting here as a student, please choose your therapist from outside the Minster Centre staff.

Should a new student already be in therapy with a practitioner accredited by another professional body such as the BACP, BCP or BPS, rather than the UKCP, it may be possible to remain with this practitioner, at least during the first year of your joining the course; and the final decision on this will rest with the Director of Training.

+ How many students are in a class?

We aim to have around 12 students in a class from Foundation to Finalist year.

+ How often will I have to come in to the Minster Centre?

Course Weekly attendance Weekend attendance (10am to 5pm)
Foundation year Monday evening – 5.30pm to 9.30pm 4 training days
Fast Track Foundation year NA 16 training days (10am to 6pm)
First year Tuesday – 12pm to 8.30pm 8 training days
Second year Thursday- 10am to 6pm or 11am to 7pm 10 training days
Third year Wednesday – 9.30am to 6pm or 10am to 7pm or 12pm to 8.30pm 13 training days
Third year – Diploma in Counselling 2 hours of supervision 8 training days
Finalist year 2 hours of supervision 14 training days

+ What does ETG stand for?

Experiential Training Group - The ETG is the main forum for personal development (aside from your personal therapy). We are looking for a willingness to explore your issues, to take some risks, to support others’ work and to make use of feedback.

+ Do you help students to find their placements?

The responsibility for arranging the placement lies primarily with the student. The Minster has a database of potential placements which students can access via the Placements Coordinator. Students are encouraged to discuss possible placements with Minster Centre tutors and supervisors and consult with other students and/or other personal contacts. Students should be aware that the placement will usually be on an unpaid basis.

+ When and how am I going to see clients during my course?

Students wishing to work with a training client will first gain approval from their supervisor. Most of our students source their clients through the Low Cost Therapy Service (LCTS) and tend to start during the second year. The LCTS will assess the clients’ suitability before allocating to a student.


you are here: Home>> Training>> Questions