Diploma in Psychosynthesis Counselling

Even though we are not offering the training again, we would like to keep this training information available, so people understand the breadth, height, and depth of the training programme.

Tiers One and Two involved personal work in a group environment and the experiential engagement with psychosynthesis theory and practice.

Tier Three is designed for counsellors and therapists and those wishing to train as counsellors, and who wish to integrate a psychosynthesis framework and methodology with their professional practice. The Tier Three programme is held bi-annually over 15 months. It starts with a two day introductory course followed by 11 three day course modules through to December. There is another two day course in January of the following year, followed by 3 three day course modules February, March, April.

The part-time nature of this programme enables students to assimilate and integrate the theoretical and practical material both personally and professionally. There is time to reflect, experiment and apply learnings in clinical practice. Also, students have some time after the training programme ends to meet all qualifying criteria, which may well take longer than the formal training schedule, particularly if they need to manage other work commitments as well. This flexibility allows students to develop as counsellors in tune with their own timing and rhythm. Students will have a variety of background experience, which creates a rich interdisciplinary exchange.

Introduction to Guiding

This course introduces the keynotes for the year. As the foundation for effective work is held to be the healing nature of the guiding relationship, trainees explore the attitudes, assumptions and presence they bring to counselling. Right from the beginning, trainees learn how to hold the psychospiritual context for this relationship.

The course aims to develop awareness of both interpersonal and intrapersonal process, as the more sensitive trainees are to themselves, the more effectively they can utilise their own process therapeutically. The emphasis is on being in relationship and developing such skills as: empathy, reflective listening, using non-verbal cues, matching, pacing, intuitive responses, observing energetic shifts.

Theory Courses

The Individual and the Group

This course begins to develop theoretical structures and models of the archetypal human journey, so that the interplay between individuals and the many groups they are part of can be explored. The course has two themes: An examination of how an individual attends to safety; and a charting of developmental stages and transitions through the lifespan that help give context and meaning to the soul-making journey.
The process of the course involves experiential and theoretical work so students can reflect on their own developmental ‘long patterns’. Such understanding is essential when considering transferential dynamics.


  • A model of levels of consciousness
  • Dependence, independence
  • Connection and attachment
  • Pride, inadequacy and surrender
  • Superego and parental imagos
  • Intimacy, safety and sexuality
  • Existential crises and life passages
  • Protection and defense
  • The process of group dynamics – theoretical and practical

Creativity and Mind

The way we are encouraged to think has been developed along linear and analytic lines which tend to polarise dichotomies and dualities. Out of this we construct our notions of reality which, by going largely unconscious, remain relatively fixed.
In the therapeutic relationship, there are consequences to having our minds available to us in this way only. This course encourages participants to use more of their mental field than the rational analytic functions, and to recognise the necessary limits of controlling belief systems. Central to it is the experience of disidentification in relation to mind, and the experience of holding a point of tension mentally that includes sensory awareness, abstract and intuitive as well as concrete functions.
Beginning to acquire these skills allows freedom and flexibility to be creative with hypothesising and building context, without being overwhelmed by content.


  • Kegan and self development
  • Constructs and maintaining cycles
  • Identification, disidentification and the locus of control
  • Perception and paradox
  • Stages in the creative process
  • Humour and heart
  • Looking in to language
  • Reflection, receptivity and creativity
  • Holding a point of tension

The Heroic Journey

This weekend course explores the mythic structure that underpins developmental assumptions, and helps shape thinking and morality in the West. There will also be an opportunity to consider whether or not the heroic myth is still culturally relevant in its present form. The structure will be drawn together as a model of stages and transitions with a developmental thread.

Will and the Creative process of Manifestation

The process of manifestation and transformation of psychological energies is the context of this course, and the alchemical quest is the metaphor.

Within this context, the evolution of Will is explored, both experientially and by using a number of theoretical models and developmental schema. Trainees will take on a personal or professional project over the term as a practical application of course learning.

The course will focus on how to evoke and use Will, which is the integrating and directing agent of the psyche. When Will is aligned to a clear sense of purpose, meaning and values, it becomes easier to prioritise needs, reducing neurotic conflict.


  • The nature of manifestation
  • Purpose and needs
  • Intentionality
  • Working with fear and aggression
  • Will and wounding
  • Sexuality and creativity
  • The Act of Will

Practicum Courses in Counselling Skills

Establishing a Meaningful Context

Trainees will begin to learn the therapeutic art of contextualising. This is taught as a process rather than as a technique, as is the ability to generate and test hypotheses about clients. Hypothesising addresses a client both as an individual in terms of developmental theory and as part of a system in terms of family-of-origin and current relationship dynamics. Both contextualising and hypothesising are essential skills which will continue to be developed throughout training.

The course deals with diagnostic and evocative counselling skills e.g. hypothesising, contextualising, building rapport and establishing a co-operative relationship, reframing, and heightening powers of observation as well as general skills such as contracting, preparing for supervision, client management.

Working with Will

Trainees learn to address the issue the client presents, and to engage the client’s willingness to open to what is emerging for them . Major topics are: personality formulation; freeing energy from maintaining cycles of behaviour; developing personal will; and aligning motivations to a sense of purpose and values.

Trainees will learn strategies for dealing with clients’ resistance to change, conflict resolution and anger management techniques, and explore transference and counter-transference issues.

Working with Trauma

Trauma encompasses the suffering occasioned by loss and accident to that caused by abuse. The course will examine various kinds of trauma, ranging from the experience and process of grieving through to understanding the symptoms and issues of working with physical, psychological and sexual abuse.

The course will examine social and cultural attitudes and values to trauma and abuse, with specific reference to gender and power issues with both a feminist and masculist analysis. The course will also focus on developing understanding of traumatic counter-transference issues.

Working with imaginal process

Trainees will learn to use imagery both as a diagnostic tool for exploring the unconscious and as a powerful means of transforming psychic energy.

Work will be done with directed imagery, spontaneous imagery, dialoguing with symbols of the unconscious, dreamwork, symbolic identification and resolution and grounding. The effective engagement of story, myth and metaphor will be a theme. Abnormal psychological dynamics will be covered so trainees have an appreciation of contra-indications for the use of imagery.

The Context of Change

This course will deepen understanding of systemic change. Restructuring and transformation on different levels of how clients organise their experience of the world is addressed, rather than intervening solely in a linear sequence of cause and effect.

Strategies and techniques practised in this context serve to empower clients and evoke their will in all its aspects and levels. A number of techniques are examined, the value and limitations of each being considered in relation to clients’ unique needs and the strategy of the guide.

Ahuatanga Maori

Although many Maori clients may appear to non-Maori practitioners as Westernised, for many, cultural heritage continues to shape world view. This course provides a conceptual framework with which to develop awareness of the complex interplay of cultural beliefs, values, and expectations in the practitioner-client relationship.

Professional Ethics

This course will be a forum for professional and ethical issues as they pertain to responsible and safe counselling practice. Trainees will be encouraged to raise and discuss such issues and to develop a professional sensibility whereby ethical codes and processes become integral functions of their professional being.

Course Requirements

Tier One

Fundamentals week intensive

Tier Two

Foundation Year: 9 weekends, intensive, tutorials, sessions.

Tier Three [1st Year]

Introductory course. 11 course modules composed of theory, practicum, group supervision, professional issues and ethics forum, group process.

Tier Three [2nd Year]

The Heroic Journey. 3 course modules as above.

Regular personal sessions as required

Individual supervision 33 hours minimum

Client work 200 hours

This does not include Self-directed hours, which involve assignment study and preparation, supervision preparation, reading, and reflection on theory and practice.