Diploma in Child Psychotherapy

 This is a four-year part-time course leading to Diploma in Child Psychotherapy working to UKCP standards for specialism of working with Children and Young People.  The course fulfils UKCP and BACP criteria. Following 4 years core training an individual can apply for accreditation leading to registration on UKCP Child Therapist Register.

Completion of 3 years an individual could be awarded ECPT Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling.  They would be eligible to join BACP and UKCP as members.  Both professional bodies offer route to accreditation as Integrative, TA Psychotherapeutic Counsellors.

The main differences between training as a psychotherapist and as a psychotherapeutic counsellor are the breadth and depth of the training, as well as the breadth and depth of work with clients. What distinguishes psychotherapeutic counselling from other forms of counselling is the emphasis it places on the in-depth therapeutic relationship jointly created by the therapist and the client.

The level of qualification depends on what works for an individual, the client group they wish to work with, how they market their private practice or what the essential elements of a job role a person is applying for.

ECPT hold a list of approved Supervisors and Therapists where Students would be able to count their hours towards their formal qualification. Those on the approved list would to be trained to Accredited Psychotherapy level.

The Diploma Course is aimed at:

ECPT Training starts at level 4 with Psychotherapy year as a level 7 Postgraduate, equivalent to Masters.  Completion of all 4 years criteria will prepare an individual to be accreditation ready. 

  • Those who work in Therapeutic and Vocational Settings for CYP
  • Those who work or would like to work with CYP working towards a formal qualification in Counselling Children and Young People.
  • Qualified Adult Counsellors who want to extend their scope to work with Children and Young People.

Entry requirements

  • Undergraduate Degree.
  • Relevant professional qualification or equivalent to level 4 understanding,

Experience of or about to work with Children and Young People. Complete application form with personal statement, provide two references and attend an interview with 2 Ellesmere staff members.  This may be both at same time or separately depending on all parties’ availability, either online via zoom or in person.

All students, wanting to work with Adults or Children are required to attend a TA101, a 2-day workshop £155, which forms part of being able to complete their Foundation Year (Year 1). TA101 can be booked before start of training or during Foundation Year.

APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning/Prior Experiential Learning)

Total duration of course will depend on an individual’s own initial experience and background, prior experience and qualifications working with CYP will be considered so it may be possible to credit prior learning towards training requirements. If no prior training or experience of TA Psychotherapy concepts, it is a requirement to complete the Foundation Year.  

Training Years Overview:

Year 1Foundation – concepts underpinning TA in therapy – Ego States, Script, Games, Drivers, Injunctions etc. Introduction to theorists.

The 1st Advanced covers fundamental skills in therapeutic counselling with children, essential theory and hands on practical therapeutic tools. The continuing years build on the theory and practice with more in-depth knowledge about emotional and behavioural difficulties and mental health. Preparing students for clinical practice.

Year 2 – 1st Advanced – Foundations for Clinical Practice – theory toolkit for therapists.

Year 3 – 2nd Advanced – Developing Therapeutic Practice in a specialised area – preparation for clinical practice and understanding process of self.

Year 4 – 3rd Advanced – Identity development within a therapeutic framework – deeper level of interpretation and reflection.  Identity of therapist and client.

Criteria for each year to be completed before moving onto the next year. Additional important requirements to start in Years 3&4 (if going into 4th year) are Observation Studies and Mental Health Placement.  


Course fees £2,220 per year (£1,850 + vat). 

Additional costs to consider:

  • TA101 – 2 day workshop (£155 + vat)
  • 4 Day Introduction course – optional
  • Ongoing Therapy
  • CPD workshops for professional development and complementary core training (inc mandatory training ie Safeguarding)
  • Conferences – experience of being part of the wider therapeutic community.
  • Ongoing Supervision
  • Costs associated with starting placement/private practice (insurance, DBS, membership fees etc)

Course Requirements Diploma in Child Psychotherapy

  • Length of course: 4 years, part-time. Each year over 10mths, one weekend a month. 9:15 to 16:45 (Saturday and Sunday).
  • Location: One of Ellesmere Centre’s Training facilities – Holderness Road or Beverley Road.
  • Training Hours: 600 taught student hours. (equates to 150 each year) Core training hours will cover this requirement. (If any sessions missed, these can be made up by attending CPD workshops, costs incurred would be paid for by the Student).
  • Additional Requirements but part of core 4th year training: Observation Studies and Mental Health Familiarisation Placement.
  • Ongoing Therapy: Continuous during training – at least 160 hours over the 4 years.
  • Clinical Hours: 450 (to include 50-100 adult hours)
  • Supervision – 1:4 for first 100 hours of clinical practice. Thereafter, 1:6 at the discretion of Supervisor
  • Specialism: Children & Young People
  • Modalities: Integrative, Transactional Analysis, Humanistic, Relational
  • Completion: Diploma in Child Psychotherapy. Automatically apply for UKCP membership.
  • Accreditation: Following 4 years core training and completion of all requirements an individual can apply for accreditation leading to registration on UKCP Child Therapist Register. (Additional cost of completion of written and oral assessment).

Why Train with ECPT?

ECPT is listed on UKCP website as a training and accredited organisation delivering Diploma in integrative & Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy working with Adults.  The same standard will be applied to our Diploma in Child Psychotherapy. Completion could lead to registration on UKCP’s Child Therapist Register. Only UKCP members who are on the Child Register will be able to display `Children and Young People` as a client group on their profile in UKCP find a therapist directory.

UKCP is the lead body for registration of Psychotherapists in the UK.  UKCP accreditation is a hallmark of quality, their approved qualifications offer a depth of knowledge, skill, and practical experience.

To gain UKCP accreditation to work with child clients is to undertake a full training course or a UKCP approved post-qualifying course.

London and Northern Guild in Newcastle are currently the only places to offer UKCP accredited Child training to Post graduate level in TA Psychotherapy.

There are other Training centres that offer qualifications to accreditation level working with CYP but these are from a Psychoanalytic perspective with the nearest being Leeds. Our fees are also very competitive.

Training is delivered on a weekend.  Each year runs from September to June. One weekend (Saturday and Sunday) a month for 10mths in each academic year.

Public sector jobs require psychotherapist or counsellor to be accredited by UKCP or BACP.

ECPT has a history of developing and delivering recognised child training to certificate level. In 2015 the Certificate in Therapeutic Work with Children and Young People course achieved recognition from BACP’s CPD endorsement scheme.  It achieved Advanced Specialist status from the National Counselling Society in 2016.  This course was also recognised by Relate as an approved external children and young people training course.