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With nearly 30 years experience of counselling and training, GCS is a unique and special place to train. Undertaking a professional training within the counselling and psychotherapy profession is a major commitment involving time, money and personal exploration. We want to make this choice a productive and enjoyable experience.

Why train at GCS?

GCS is a member of the National Counselling Network and our roots are in the counselling profession. At GCS we offer an extensive training and development route from introductory and skills courses to Diploma level training in psychodynamic counselling leading to membership and registration with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC). The BPC is a professional association which recognises high standards of clinical work, representing the profession of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapy. 

GCS is the only training provider in Gloucestershire which offers trainee counsellors a route to BPC registration as a psychodynamic counsellor.

Training in counselling is more than just theory and academic study and our courses provide a solid and robust preparation for those wishing to train as a counsellor. GCS aims to support our trainees through what can sometimes prove a challenging and demanding personal experience by providing a helpful environment. All our courses are staffed by experienced practitioners in the field who have expertise in clinical work, supervision and teaching.

Training and counselling takes place in comfortable and pleasant surroundings. We aim to provide a broad and enriching learning experience at all levels of training. Our training which is supportive, creative and often challenging, leads to a high level of competence and enable counsellors to practice confidently and knowledgably with a high level of professionalism.

Not everybody who trains with us wants to become a qualified counsellor. Some people want to improve their listening skills for their personal interest or because it will help them in the workplace.

Professional Counselling

Professional counselling provides a relationship in which clients can safely explore their experiences and become aware of hidden feelings and discover new perspectives and insights. Trainees need to develop the qualities required to provide this sort of relationship. Stability, personal suitability for the work and increasing emotional openness and maturity are all-important. Sustaining the counselling relationship, sometimes over a considerable period of time, also requires a commitment of time and energy.


Introduction To Counselling


This preliminary course provides an introduction to counselling and some basic counselling skills. It will be helpful for anyone with a counselling function in their work and also for anyone interested in exploring what counselling is all about. The course content includes:

  • Introducing basic theories
  • Practicing counselling skills
  • Exploring attitudes, values and beliefs about human nature
  • Examining intentions and motivations, both conscious and unconscious

Duration:  20 hours (10 weeks) of seminars and skills practice.

Entry requirements:    none

Course Fee:      £150
Apply Online

2014 Course Programme


We are running a number of courses during the year; all courses are held in our Stroud premises.

More Information?

For further information please contact via Contact page or 'phone 01453 766310.  Alternatively 
you can apply online or download our information leaflet below in PDF format and course times


Certificate in Counselling Skills

The Certificate in Counselling Skills course provides a valuable training in counselling skills and gives an introduction to the nature of counselling work. It provides the basic skills for those who use counselling skills in their work or wish to work in the field of counselling; it is also designed for those who wish to develop their listening and communication skills.
This course aims to enhance skills, develop ways of understanding patterns of human growth and behaviour and increase self-awareness. The content includes experiential seminar work on counselling skills and attitudes and a self-awareness group.
This course also forms the entry requirements to a part-time professional counsellor training leading to the award of  Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling.

Please note we run up to 4 courses each year, daytime and evening, commencing end of September; these courses are one year part-time.


45 hours of seminars / skills development and practice
45 hours of self-awareness group work
15 hours skills workshops

Times / venues:

Daytime courses:
Wednesday: 9.30 am to 1.00 pm in Stroud starting 1st October 2014

Evening courses:
Tuesday: 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm in Cheltenham starting 30th September 2014
Wednesday: 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm in Stroud starting 1st October 2014

Entry requirements:

No formal academic requirements.
Selection is by application form and consultation

Course fee:

NB. Fees can be paid by instalments.

Apply Online

More Information?

Please download our information leaflet below in PDF format.

Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling

This is a well established work-based clinical training which we have provided for over 25 years. The course  leads to a professional qualification and provides the clinical and theoretical elements of the training as a psychodynamic counsellor. The course includes theoretical and ontological seminars, tutorial sessions, self-awareness groups, supervision and workshops.

This 3-year training combines theoretical understanding and clinical practice. All trainees on this programme are provided with a clinical placement within GCS's Clinical Service and clinical supervision of this work is an integral part of the course and is provided on site. The Diploma is accredited by BPC (British Psychoanalytic Council) and completion of this training leads to registration with BPC as a Psychodynamic Counsellor.

The course commences end of September each year.

The training programme:

- Includes a clinical placement within our counselling service (avoids the difficulty of trainees finding their
own suitable placement.
- Includes regular supervision of the clinical work.
- Leads to registration with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) as a psychodynamic counsellor.
- Fulfils the training requirements for individual accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and
Psychotherapy (BACP).

Duration - Three years (part-time) involving :

135 hours of seminars / tutorial sessions

189 hours of supervision
45 hours of self-awareness group work (Year 1 only)
45 hours of ontology (Year 2 only)
45 hours workshops
200 hours supervised client work


All years of the course are held in Stroud

Core CourseTimes:

Year 1: Tuesday 1.00 pm to 7.00 pm
Year 2: Tuesday 1.00 pm to 7.00 pm
Year 3:  Monday 9.00 am to 3.00 pm

Course begins the week commencing Monday 22nd September 2014. 

Entry requirements:

Applications are open to anyone holding a Certificate in Counselling Skills award or an equivalent course at Level 3 by the start of the Diploma in September.  Selection is through application and interviews of suitably qualified candidates.

We are accepting applications now and will process these in phases; the first closed on Friday 23rd May, the second is on Monday 23rd June with the final phase during July.  We will fill the course from each round so an early application is recommended.

Course fee:

£1995 per year

NB. Fees can be paid by installments

For further information please contact the Head of Training

More Information?

Please download our information leaflet below in PDF format.

Associate Counsellor Programme

Following successful completion of the Diploma course, GCS offers students routes towards further professional work experience and qualifications. Students can apply to join our Associate Course, which provides continuing supervised client work and theoretical seminars. Satisfactory completion of this course entitles graduates to register with BPC (British Psychoanalytic Council) as a psychodynamic counsellor on their Association of Psychodynamic Counsellors register.
The vast majority of counsellors completing our Associate course successfully apply for BACP individual accreditation.


Continuing Professional Development

We can offer access to further advanced training through wpf Therapy in London:

  • Graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling (Roehampton University)
  • MA in Psychodynamic Studies (Roehampton University)
  • Continuing personal development for UKCP registration as a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist
  • Diploma in Supervision
  • Training in Group-work

For further course information please see the contact page or alternatively contact by telephone, letter or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

British Psychoanalytic Council

About Us

GCS specialises in providing counselling and training of counsellors to professional standards. GCS was established in 1980 and has over 60 counsellors offering high quality affordable, counselling to the community of Gloucestershire in venues across the county including Stroud, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Almondsbury and Cirencester.