Course at a glance

CMA Registered


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

Relationship or couples counselling has gained much popularity over recent years, possibly due to the complexities and expectations of modern life. This course explores the basic phases or stages of relationship counselling, and examines separation, divorce, violent relationships and problems based on sexual difficulties.

In addition to the study of various counselling approaches, a range of working models and theories specific to this field will be explained as well as the concepts of meta-communication, genograms and reflective practice.

Specific attention will be given to psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and person-centred approaches, which will give students a fuller working knowledge and understanding of advanced counselling skills. In specialist counselling fields, these skills are necessary 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.

This Level 3 Diploma course is designed to follow on from, and complement a basic counselling skills course. Reappraisal of basic counselling skills and core knowledge will be covered too.

Level 3 Relationship and Couples Counselling Diploma Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above to enrol into our Level 3 Relationship and Couples 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.

Course 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 Relationship and Couples Counselling Diploma Course Content

Module 1: Introduction to Course Topic and Reappraisal of Counselling Skills

This module introduces the concept of relationship counselling, and reflects on previous knowledge, looking in detail at five theories which have been adopted as approaches in counselling. In this module the work of Freud, Rogers, Skinner, Ellis, Jung and Egan will be highlighted, and the corresponding counselling approaches examined.

Module 2: The Psychodynamic Approach

This module examines the psychodynamic approach and its usefulness in relationship and couples counselling. This approach may have special significance in the context of various attachments and potential issues that may arise. The process of change from Freud’s original theories to the more social and relationship based approaches of the psychodynamic therapies is identified and explained.

Module 3: The Cognitive Behavioural Approach

In this module, students gain understanding of the key concepts of the cognitive behavioural approach to counselling in the context of intimate relationships. Students also learn about conditioning and social cognitive theories. The module describes cognitive techniques and their applications and relevance to relationship and couples counselling. Students gain confidence in the ability to integrate such components with other counselling approaches.

Module 4: The Person-Centred Approach

In the study of this module, students learn key elements of the person-centred approach to counselling. The hierarchy of needs is explained in relation to counselling. Person-centred techniques and their relevance and application to relationship and couples counselling are explored in detail.

Module 5: Boundaries, Ethics and Defining the Relationship

This module focuses on key aims of counselling, and includes confidentiality and ethical conduct within the counselling role. Students have the opportunity of considering the integration of different counselling approaches suitable for client need. Boundaries or limitations of counselling are identified and defined. It also looks at what types of consent and responsibilities the counsellor has to seek. In addition, some historical background of the development of counselling in this context is described, together with the emergence of the therapeutic concepts in use today.

Module 6: Exploring the Problems

This module examines the assessment of a clients’ needs, and how to consider building a collaborative relationship within the therapeutic environment. During this phase of counselling, the exploration and understanding of problems begin and the future effort, planning and facilitation necessary for successful resolution is established.

Module 7: Working Through the Problems

Within this module communication habits are discussed, together with references and examples of various working models such as attachment, triangular relationships, splitting and projection.

Module 8: Facilitating Change

This module addresses resolution of difficulties. This is the phase where change is facilitated via counselling strategies and techniques, together with the implementation of agreed programmes for homework, communicative exercises and maintenance.

Module 9: Specific Relationship Problems. Part 1

Separation, divorce and problems of a sexual nature are discussed in this module. In addition, relevant counselling techniques, strategies and observations will be identified and described.

Module 10: Specific Relationship Problems. Part 2

Career and workplace problems, violent relationships, and other related issues are discussed in this module. In addition, relevant counselling techniques, strategies and observations will be identified and explained.


This Level 3 Relationship and Couples 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: