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Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy Research

This proposed MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy Research is designed to place research at the heart of psychotherapy practice. This Masters is for accredited counsellors and psychotherapists to continue to explore their passion for psychotherapy and for change and transformation in their clients, underpinned by effective research. The programme is based on the fundamental philosophy of how an integrative psychotherapy framework for ethical practice includes the training, practice, supervision, personal process and research endeavours of TPI students and staff, and how they all are interwoven through the shared process of the research journey. Humanistic integrative psychotherapy is at the core of this new Masters programme: the fundamental philosophy is person-centred and relational, and is founded on the conviction that a person can heal themselves if they choose to engage with an empathically attuned psychotherapist, through the therapeutic relationship.

At TPI we do not teach one particular model of integration, but rather support our students in the process of integration itself. This approach to integration cultivates an ability to communicate through different modalities, and to have an openness and curiosity about the essential elements in any therapeutic process. Cognisant of the socio-political, cultural and historical environment in which we live, the TPI integrative approach proposes an open and fluid framework in which the practitioner-researcher becomes aware of the importance of subjectivity, reflexivity, their own life and experience, and their own worldview; and how that necessarily affects how they interact in the world.

Learning how to use oneself creatively and effectively as a therapist in clinical practice is familiar to accredited counsellors and psychotherapists: now here is the opportunity to use oneself similarly in practice-based research. As in the therapeutic encounter, such research encourages us to consider the choices we make in our interventions with our clients in more detail. This is real world research, and reflexive awareness helps us keep an open mind, aware of our potential blind spots and biases.

The central importance of research to psychotherapy practice must be underlined in this context. Engaging in research supports and allows for all of the following:

• the development of informed critical appraisal of current evidencebased literature to determine its usefulness to practice and to broaden and develop the knowledge base of up-to-date theoretical and practice development;

• using quantitative and qualitative methodologies in practice-based research to determine what is significant, helpful and unhelpful for our clients;

• to support reconstructing and developing personal therapeutic practice through research which challenges therapists to document and describe practice in terms of, for example, the therapy process and outcome monitoring; and to support evaluation of psychotherapy practice, whether that is in a service or private practice context.

MSc candidates will have the opportunity to collaborate in class with other accredited counsellors and psychotherapists to creatively engage, critique and conduct research which will be grounded in their own life experience and practice. Research in this context, where it is an integrated part of an overarching philosophical framework and approach to psychotherapy will provide valuable opportunities to enrich the understanding of the therapeutic process and will inform therapeutic clinical practice.

In this way, the transformative potential inherent in conducting research, which is from the heart and soul of the practitioner-researcher, will be facilitated by dedicated and passionate teachers who are co-researchers joining their students on the research journey.

Entry requirements

1 Prospective candidates should have a Level 8 Honours Degree (at least a 2.2 or equivalent).

2 Prospective candidates who do not possess a primary degree may gain entry through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). RPL students will be assessed on a case-by-case basis through the presentation of a 3,000 word essay and a 1,000 word book review which will be examined and marked by an external examiner. The fee for this will be €150 and must be borne by the applicant. If they attain a mark of 50% or more they will then be called for interview.

Prospective candidates will be called for interview, the purpose of which is to ascertain whether the person has the necessary qualities, both academic and personal, to undertake this course. Interviews are usually carried out by two members of faculty. The offer of a place on the programme is contingent upon the applicant completing a successful interview. Supporting documentary evidence of qualifications will be required when offered a place on the course.

Selection for interview
Those selected for interview will normally have a minimum of 5 years post-graduate experience. Pre-graduate experience may be considered.


2 Years

The part-time MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy Research runs over two academic years from the date of first registration for the programme.

The proposed programme will be delivered in Year 1 over 4 three-day weekends and 2 five-day week/weekend blocks and in Year 2 over 4 three day weekends during the academic years as shown in the tables below.

In addition, all candidates are required to attend regular Academic Supervision during the course.

Payment for this supervision is included in the course fees.

Year 1: Example of Five-Day Block
Wednesdays: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Thursdays: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Fridays: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Saturdays: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Sundays: 10:00am - 6:00pm

Year 2: Example of Three-Day Weekend
Fridays: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Saturdays: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Sundays: 10:00am - 6:00pm

Terms & Conditions of Acceptance and provisional timetables will be sent to candidates when they are offered a place on the course. Further course details will be sent out when candidates have accepted their places and paid full fees.

Subjects taught

Our integrative approach is embedded within a Humanistic framework and informed by the transpersonal approach of Psychosynthesis and the developmental insights of a Psychodynamic orientation.

In Year 1, the course comprises four modules, namely:

Research Methodology for Psychotherapists and Counsellors This module explores the types of approaches to research which best suit a practitioner-researcher in psychotherapy. Candidates will be introduced to the fundamental principles and philosophy of research design, including the selection of a research topic and the articulation of research questions. The importance of understanding one's own worldview and developing critical skills in self-reflexivity will be emphasised.

Practical Skills and Data Analysis for Psychotherapy Research The purpose of this module is to support candidates in developing practical skills in research methods and data analysis. Emphasis will be placed on the development of skills through experiential learning in critical analysis: guidelines will be provided, and students will be assisted in reading academic research journals, and developing the ability to critique academic research papers.

Research Ethics Submission
In this module candidates are supported in developing relevant research questions and in understanding the crucial role of ethics in psychotherapy research.

Integrative Model 1
This module explores candidate's understanding and appreciation as practitioners of an integrative model for psychotherapy practice and research.

The history, theory and model of Integration will be examined through readings and class discussions, and participants will discuss how they form hypotheses and plan treatment from an integrative practice perspective, using examples from their own clinical caseload.

During the summer a Research Ethics submission is prepared and due to be submitted at the beginning of the Year 2 semester.

In Year 2, the course comprises three modules, namely:

Research Project, Paper and Presentation

Candidates will continue to be supported through regular supervision with their assigned academic supervisor(s) to proceed with their research project.

Note that specific workshop training in writing academic articles and a booklist that includes guidelines for submission of articles for publication will be provided to candidates for this module.

Candidates will submit a potential journal article and make an individual presentation to their classmates for this module.

Advanced Research Methods and Data Analysis An emphasis on developing advanced practical skills in research methods and data analysis is the focus of this module. The importance of case study research in counselling and psychotherapy will be emphasised and specific guidance provided for this type of research work.

In addition, the ability to audit and evaluate qualitative research in counselling and psychotherapy will be underlined.

Integrative Model 2
This module will support the candidate in further developing their own personal integrative framework with reference to research in integrative psychotherapy.

Candidates' integrative model in practice will be deepened through the focused application of research literature on areas of special interest and in terms of evaluation of their work.


The MSc in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy Research is validated and awarded by University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork.

On successful completion of the full two-year programme (90 credits), UCC awards candidates an MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy Research.

Assessment method

Assessment is based on attendance, course work and includes written work and research skills development. There is no formal written examination. Candidates are assessed each year and progress on from year to year only when they have met all the requirements to date. An external examiner is involved in assessment for all years. An appeals procedure operates.

Application date

Application frrm Interested prospective candidates are required to complete a detailed application form, including 300 words on their motivation for applying for this course.

Course fee

There is a non-refundable application fee of €150.

For RPL candidates who are short-listed to the second round of selection there is an additional non-refundable fee of €150.

A non-refundable deposit of €2,000 must be paid on acceptance of a place on the course. The balance of fees must be paid in full before commencement of the first weekend of the course year.

A separate annual registration fee of €230 plus vat is payable to UCC.

The fee for Year 1 2017/18 is €5,000 (this does not include the fee for registration). The Year 2 fee is the same.

The course is eligible for tax relief under section 473A, Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997. For further information contact your Regional Revenue Office or visit the Revenue's website

Fees may increase from year to year.

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