Higher Diploma Psychotherapy Studies

Course Features

  • Offers an introduction to the psychotherapies and prepares students for further specialist training.
  • Provides an academic foundation in the theoretical and clinical literature in the field.
  • Tailored not only to trainees or practitioners in disciplines within the mental health arena but also to applicants from non-cognate areas who may be considering embarking on a clinical training in psychotherapy.
  • Taught by experienced practitioners.

Course Overview

This one year full-time Higher Diploma programme provides an introduction to the major modalities of psychotherapy, to psychoanalysis and to psychiatric/mental health practice. It can be a very solid foundation for clinical training in psychotherapy. UCD Psychotherapy offers four clinical training MSc programmes.

Who Should Take This Course?

Graduates with Level 8 (NFQ) BA or BSc, or equivalent Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), are eligible to apply for the Higher Diploma. Academic qualification at postgraduate level is becoming an integral part of a professional career path in psychotherapy and a knowledge of the different modalities of psychotherapy is strongly recommended. The Higher Diploma can provide a very important knowledge of psychotherapy practices for anyone with a leadership role in mental health services, whether clinical or operational. It has been recommended for psychiatrists in, or heading towards, consultant posts involving leadership of Multi-Disciplinary Teams. Graduates of the Higher Diploma can make an informed decision on a modality of psychotherapy in which to train and may be interested in applying for one of the four clinical training MSc programmes offered by UCD Psychotherapy.

What Will I Learn?

Course Description

This one year programme can provide a solid foundation for subsequent clinical training in a specific modality of psychotherapy through the provision of an academic foundation in the theoretical and clinical literature in the field. It can also serve to provide comprehensive knowledge of psychotherapy practices for anyone for whom such knowledge will enhance their leadership and clinical decision making.

It is taught by practitioners in the field and is suited not only to trainees or practitioners in disciplines within the mental health arena but also to applicants from non-cognate areas who may be considering embarking on a clinical training in psychotherapy. 

Programme Aims

Students will achieve an understanding of the complex theories and concepts that underlie the main modalities of psychotherapy, of psychoanalysis and of current psychiatric practice. As well as psychoanalytic psychotherapy, child art psychotherapy, group analytic psychotherapy, systemic family psychotherapy are covered in detail. Students learn about psychotherapy based on theories of development, humanistic psychotherapy on the integrative model, dramatherapy, cognitive behavioural psychotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy  and other current forms of psychotherapy practice.  is the exemplar, the cognitive therapies, the integrative therapies and family and group therapies. Graduates of the Higher Diploma can make an informed decision on a modality of psychotherapy in which to train and may be interested in applying for one of the four clinical training MSc programmes offered by UCD Psychotherapy.

Modules

The course is delivered in 6 modules (5 taught and 1 dissertation), all of which are core requirements for the award of Higher Diploma. Assessment is by continuous assessment for the taught modules and a mark for the thesis. There are no written examinations.  For four of the modules assessment takes the form of essays and class presentation with written reports. One module is assessed on the basis of a learning journal compiled week by week over the course of the year. Students submit a 6,000-word dissertation for which they receive both group tutorial support and individual supervision.

Theoretical Overview of the Psychotherapies

Beginning with a historical introduction, the fundamental concepts and premises of the major approaches in psychotherapy will be explored. Commonalities and differences between the major traditions of psychotherapy are indicated with a tolerance of very diverse and non-complementary principles underlying these very different practices.  Classical theories of development from infancy to old age will be examined as will the psychoanalytic position founded on the existence of unconscious mental processes. Awareness of mental health and psychiatric diagnostics will be developed and the potential for the development of psychotherapeutic interventions in the context of the mental health and primary care services will be identified.

The Therapeutic Relationship in Psychotherapy

The module represents different perspectives on the notion of the therapeutic relationship using the psychoanalytic concept of transference a base for appreciating the dynamics of a situation in which one person addresses another on account of some difficulty or perplexity or on account of a question.

Psychotherapies I

This module introduces Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), child art psychotherapy, infant observation and dramatherapy. It represents further applications of psychoanalysis in contexts such as addiction, psychosis, psychiatry, college counselling services and criminality.

Psychotherapies II

Group Analytic Psychotherapy and Family Systemic Psychotherapy are covered in this module. Humanistic Psychotherapy in the integrative model, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Constructivist Therapy, Jungian psychotherapy and solution focussed brief therapies are also introduced in this module. The module concludes with a presentation of the principles of Group therapy and Family therapy.

Research and Clinical Applications Seminar

Emphasis will be placed on the challenges, both ethical and logistical posed to research in the field of psychotherapy. Research methodologies suitable for the investigation of psychotherapy practice and its effects will be studied. The challenge of appropriately relating research in the field of psychotherapy to the research paradigms of the social sciences is addressed.

Dissertation

Students will submit a 6,000 word thesis at the end of the year. Direction in formulating their proposal and in progressing their written work will be supported in designated seminars interspersed in the research and clinical applications seminar. Students will also have an individual thesis supervisor assigned to them.

Contributors

The list of contributors to the teaching of this course includes:

Jude Bowles, Dr Richard Blennerhassett, Gerard Butcher, Aine Casey, Orla Crowley, Dr Mary Cosgrave, Mary Cullen, Dr. Michelo DelMonte, Dr Grainne Donohue, Dr. Leonard Douglas, Dr Nicola Elmer, Monica Errity, Dr. Malcolm Garland, Dr Claire Hayes, Dr Terence Larkin, Maura Leahy, Dr Rik Loose, Dr Anthony McCarthy, Ros McCarthy, Malachi McCoy, Karina Melvin, Stephanie Metcalfe, Mary O’Doherty, Dr Barry O’Donnell, Paula Rock, Dr Emer Rutledge, Dr John Sheehan, Kim Spendlove, Diarmuid Stokes, Martina Vaughan.

Further contributors may be added to this list.

 

How/Where Will I Learn?

Programme Location

All teaching takes place in the School of Psychotherapy within the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Mental Health Research, St Camillus Ward, Lower Ground Floor, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4.

Programme Structure

The course takes place on Tuesday afternoons from 2.00 – 7.15 pm over the academic year beginning early  September and concluding mid May. There are breaks for mid-term in the first Semester and for Easter in the second as well as the Christmas / New Year break. 

 

 

Am I Eligible for this Course?

Overview

  • Open to applicants with a Honours Level 8 (NFQ) qualification or equivalent experience-based prior learning.
  • Most relevant to workers in the field of mental health practice and health work generally as well as those involved in education and social care provision but applicants from outside these fields are also most welcome.
  • Relevant professional experience and qualification is welcome but not a prerequisite. 

Applicants will be interviewed and will be expected to show evidence of a commitment to the study of psychotherapy.

International Applicants

International applicants should contact the academic programme director for a full list of entry requirements.

A list of FAQs for international applicants is available here.

Application Details

Application for this course must be made on-line at www.ucd.ie/apply.

Career Opportunities

Postgraduate psychotherapy degrees are becoming an integral part of a professional career path, which requires recognition of formal psychotherapeutic study. The Higher Diploma is taught by practitioners in the field and is suited not only to trainees or practitioners in disciplines within the mental health arena but also to applicants from non-cognate areas who may be considering embarking on a clinical training in psychotherapy.

Course Fees

2018/2019 Indicative Fees

EU StudentsNon-EU Students 
€5,550 €10,280
  • Last Updated - 27th April 2018
  • For more information on course fees please visit the Fees & Grants Office website.
  • Fees are correct at the time of writing and subject to change.

Contact Us

Programme Coordinator: 

Dr. Barry O'Donnell

Course Director

E: barry.odonnell@ucd.ie

T: +353 1 2213396