Course at a glance


This course is accepted by ACCPH and the Level 3 and allows you to join as a professional member after graduation.

This course concentrates on the two-fold issues of debt and counselling. An assessment and analysis of psychosocial factors relating to debt are made together with how therapy can be meet the challenges relating to debt. The course will specifically address the processes of the debt spiral and particular issues such as credit card debt and bankruptcy, together with how these can be explored as both metaphorical problems and what causes them to occur in the first place.

Debt has been linked to addiction in that it gives an initial high which can soon turn to despair. Specific attention will be given to psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and person-centred approaches advanced counselling skills, and how it specifically relates to debt counselling, and there will be reflective activities for personal evaluation in order to be able to recognise and deal with the complex range of client needs, together with being able to understand the origins of these particular emotions and possible physiological factors.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above to enrol into our Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma course.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit.


Optional coursework and final examination.


Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.

Course Length

1 Year.

Endorsed By

Students at the college have the option to choose the awarding body of their course.

This course has been endorsed by :

Quality Licence Scheme:


Accord :

This courses’ awarding bodies are recognised for their high-quality, non-regulated provision and training programmes. This course is not regulated by Ofqual and is not an accredited qualification. Your training provider will be able to advise you on any further recognition, for example progression routes into further and/or higher education. For further information please visit Quality Licence Scheme website or Accord website

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Course Content

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 1: Introduction to the concept of debt and reappraisal of counselling skills

This module looks at the definition of debt and ‘debting’; activities include self-reflection and evaluation so that any predetermined views and prejudices are identified. It also looks in detail at the five theories which have been adopted as approaches in counselling, the work of Freud, Rogers, Skinner, Ellis, Jung and Eagan, and the corresponding counselling approaches examined. Each approach is looked at in terms of how it works, its impact and methodology in a context of what is best suited for the client and what skills are needed to apply it in practice.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 2: The psychodynamic approach relevant to debt counselling

This module will look at how the psychodynamic approach works built on Freud’s model and its, often, long-term application to the present day counselling situation. It is used to give clients an insight into their own personality and problems. Specific examples and activities will give the student indications as to which particular set of client circumstances benefits most from this approach, and how it relates to debt counselling. So examples include transference, aggressiveness and clients being defensive, so techniques for limiting or avoiding are covered in depth.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 3: The cognitive behavioural approach relevant to debt counselling

This module will look at how the behavioural approach works (commonly called CBT), what is cognitive counselling and its application to certain counselling situation. It starts by defining maladaptive thought processes and irrational behaviours arising from such emotions. This may not suit every client so ways to recognise its use for a specific debt counselling situation, either fully or in combination with other techniques is practiced using specific examples and activities. Some of the pitfalls are also addressed, such as the process is long so clients may get too attached to the therapist and transference is a key possibility.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 4: The person-centred approach relevant to debt counselling

This module will look at how the person centred approach works and is applied to the counselling situation, it is often criticised for being self-indulgent. It teaches how to help clients focus on becoming self-aware of their personal experience and begin to understand the underlying cause of their problems and addiction. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model is referred to in detail as being a useful tool to use. Specific examples and activities will give the student indications as to which particular set of client circumstances benefits most from this approach. Areas of application where underlying problems and situations are present will be discussed, and how to resolve this e.g. through building self-esteem is addressed.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 5: Client-counsellor relationships in debt counselling

Counselling only works if the client has faith and trust in the therapist so the way the relationship is built and what skills are needed to do this is covered in detail. This module will discuss ethical guidelines, boundaries or limitations and will look at how to recognise and deal with these. In addition the importance of relationship building will be examined through an analysis of individual skills like active and passive listening, how to provide advice and guidance. Self-evaluation activities will be included in this module and it is recommended that regulatory guidelines and affiliations with professional bodies is made use of.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 6: What is debt? Part 1

This module looks at the concepts, assumptions and preconceptions surrounding debt. Debt is defined as owing something or money to another person, but what causes debt (depression, greed, divorce, change in personal circumstance) is covered in detail. In addition, the nature of ‘debting’ is often linked to compulsion or addiction and this is explored, for example compulsion, and the process of how individuals find themselves with serious debt problems is examined. Diagrammatic representation of causal effects e.g. through the use of genograms is demonstrated. Simple techniques such as relaxation and intervention are discussed.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 7: What is debt? Part 2

This module looks at money and the individual, together with contributing factors in the ‘debting’ process in greater detail, such as upbringing, dependents, career and personal expectations. In addition the module addresses the signs of underlying issues which may expose the debt problem as a metaphor. Reframing looks at the debt problem in a different context, and the discussion continues by looking at attachment theory which links human relations, emotions and behaviours to explain the influences on debt or it being a maladaptive behaviour. The key aim of the therapist will be to gently and carefully modify behaviour and how to do this in stages is identified e.g. by giving homework, discussing rewards and punishments, and relaxation exercise and techniques.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 8: Concepts of change

Key to change is building an understanding to [un]healthy relationship to money and how it is viewed in modern society. This module is about how individuals face their problem, stop the negative spiral and effect change through their knowledge counselling programmes and how it can be applied to helping them. Effective change can only be achieved if clients gain understanding of the underlying problems associated to their debt issues and if they are willing to change their behaviour. Advanced CBT [assessment, planning, keeping accurate and up to date records/ journals and delivery] can prove useful here so how to apply is shown by applying theories to real activities which can be used with clients.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 9: Achieving aims and goals in debt counselling

Debt has a historic context where it was often used to keep people in their place by making them obligated to those in power having huge amounts of money and wealth. Today debt is addictive since it is accessible, but often it arises out of people in power wanting to profit out of those less powerful. Thus, in order to achieve success from debt, methods are assessed such as setting goals, giving support, making better decisions, learning how to communicating with others, e.g. banks, maintenance strategies and using rewards and achievement. The module also examines how counselling can contribute to positive client motivation and facilitate behaviour changes which is key to debt management or even an end to debt by helping clients find all the places they can obtain help and support.

Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma Module 10: Looking at specific debts such as credit cards

As debt counsellors, it is essential to know about the legislation and related bodies who offer help and support with debt. Credit card debt is one of the most significant contributing factors to debt problems in modern society; therefore this module examines underlying and contributory factors, together with effective control strategies and mechanisms. In addition, this module will discuss Individual Voluntary Agreements, IVAs [debt over £15,000 is paid in small amounts over 5 years through an Insolvency firm] and bankruptcy agreements and what these processes mean in terms of psychological wellbeing. It is important that the effective role of the counsellor is not loss and that the skills learned in earlier modules is practiced alongside practical decisions the client needs to take and fulfil.


This Level 3 Debt Counselling Diploma course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

Further information on our Level 4 Diplomas can be found here: