Psychotherapeutic Practice: Emotion-Focused Therapy MA

Course Overview

This programme in Psychotherapeutic Practice: Emotion-Focused Therapy offers a part-time Counselling training opportunity at Master's level in a Humanistic modality.

Lesley Greenberg, one of the co-researchers and founder of the modality states that

'Emotion-focused treatment was developed as an empirically informed approach to the practice of psychotherapy grounded in contemporary psychological theories of functioning. Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) was developed by my colleagues and I in the 1980s out of empirical studies of the process of change and has developed into one of the recognized evidence-based treatment approaches for depression and marital distress as well as showing promise for trauma, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and interpersonal problems.' FOCUS 2010;8:32-42.

This model of therapy has now been approved of by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, the quality gatekeepers of the NHS, as having demonstrated significant positive outcome research in a number of areas.

The foundation of this therapeutic modality draws on the work of Carl Rogers and his work on the 'therapeutic relationship?; from the 'focusing' work of Eugene Gendlin and the dialogic and experiential work of the Gestalt tradition. Significantly, however, EFT opens up a greater access to human emotion, as it engages with close interest in the growing understanding of neuroscience and how emotions function differently from cognition in the functioning of the brain. These insights from the work of Damasio and LeDoux, and others, are enabling practitioners in the field to develop a new language and method of addressing psychological distress and putting emotions back at the centre of the constituted self.

How will the programme be taught:

The programme will be taught in small groups so that students have a significant opportunity to engage in the practice and development of their therapeutic competence. In addition students will be taught through lecture format and small seminar group, where there will be the opportunity to discuss with each other and the tutor the rich, diverse and sometimes complex issues addressed in the programme.

Key Features

  • The interdisciplinary approach which underpins this programme, offers to contemporary trainee Counselling practitioners a fusion of new and traditional approaches backed by research.
  • The programme will be taught in small groups so that students have a significant opportunity to engage in the practice and development of their therapeutic competence.


The programme is divided into two parts:

Part 1:

The theory and practice of Emotion-Focused Therapy sets the philosophical, ideological and research base of the programme. The module on 'The Nature and Experience of Human Functioning' will address the conceptualization of human wellness and distress as described by the EFT model and establish the research base for the formulation and development of these ideas. The concept of 'dialectical constructivism' will be investigated in its formation of human meaning, and its implications to human perception and feeling. The module will engage in the most recent research regarding the emotions and the part they play in our human functioning.

The module 'The principles of working with EFT' introduces the practice work of the modality, which is initially founded on the establishing of the therapeutic relationship and qualities of empathy. The modules will develop a wider understanding of the concept of 'treatment' in the engagement of therapeutic work.

Running alongside these two practice modules will be modules on ethical practice and professional benchmarks; supervision; personal development; identity: sameness and difference; and the context of psychological distress and mental health.

Part 2:

Part two of the programme consists of a dissertation which is undertaken by the student as a supported research project. A student will receive regular supervision and opportunities to attend research workshops on topics which can help to underpin their knowledge of research.

Course Tutor(s)

  • Beverly Cole
  • Carol Hughes
  • Andrea Williams
  • Ruth Groff
  • Catherine Slade


The programme will offer a range of different assessment methods to give students the opportunity to extend practical and academic skills and encourage your independent learning, these could include: essays, presentation, reflection, practice.

As a Counselling practice programme written up to BACP accreditation/registration standard there are two additional requirement of the course:

  • a student will need to complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised clinical practice as a trainee Counsellor
  • complete a minimum of 12 hours of personal therapy

Career Opportunities

This programme is ideal for those wishing to develop their career within counselling practice using research-led methods to enhance their professional practice.

Further Information

For further information on this course, contact:

Carol Hughes
Phone: 01792 482109

Related Courses

  • BA Counselling Skill and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • BA Counselling Studies and Psychology
MA Award
September Start
Study Mode
2 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

Entry Criteria

There are three requirements for the programm

  • A good standard undergraduate degree in a compatible subject in the Humanities or Social Science
  • An introductory skills course: evidence of what was covered and at what level will need to be produced at interview.
  • Places for the course are offered subject to interview. Applicants for the programme will be given an opportunity to come and talk to the lecturers so that you can assess whether this is the course for you and we can also make that assessment.
  • Latest Updates from University of Wales Trinity Saint David

    Location of University of Wales Trinity Saint David