Diploma in Family Counselling


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Diploma in Family Counselling

Why Oxford Learning College 

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


Families are ideally a great source of love, security and support, but sometimes, relationships within families can become strained, and family members may feel overlooked, isolated or misunderstood. Family counselling can be very helpful when family members are experiencing problems, or when parents and children are going through a separation or divorce – or when new family relationships are being established.

Two important developments within family counselling during the past 60 years has been the systemic formulation and integrative practices which links the theory and practical aspects. In addition to the counselling approaches, various working models and theories specific to this field will be explored as well as the following concepts: meta-communication, genograms, triangulation, open and closed systems, reframing, solution focused counselling, goal setting 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 advanced 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 Quality Assured Level 3 Diploma course is designed to follow on from, and complement a basic or introductory counselling skills course. Reappraisal of basic counselling skills and core knowledge will be covered, together with a detailed examination of the five approaches or theories of counselling.


Syllabus and Module Specification



Module 1: Introduction, outline of family cycle and reappraisal of counselling skills


This module focuses on the concept of the family cycle and reflects on previous counselling knowledge. Five main approaches in counselling are explored, namely, the work of Freud, Rogers, Skinner, Ellis, Jung and Egan is outlined, along with their corresponding counselling approaches. Students consider in detail the term ‘family cycle’, in terms of modern society.


Module 2: The psychodynamic approach relevant to family counselling


This module examines the psychodynamic approach and its usefulness in family counselling. This approach may have special significance in the context of various family 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 relevant to family counselling


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


Module 4: The person-centred approach relevant to family counselling


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 family counselling are explored in detail.


Module 5: Ethics, consent, counsellor responsibilities and historical background


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. Relationships within family groups are defined and explored. 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 family therapy since the 1950's is described, together with the emergence of the therapeutic concepts in use today.


Module 6: Main concepts


This module addresses the family lifecycle, including nuclear and extended family influences on family life. Students gain understanding of the main concepts associated with modern family counselling.



Module7: Processes in family counselling. Part 1


This module explains the process of accurate and effective client assessment. The subsequent planning of counselling programmes is described. Students learn about the deconstruction of issues, engaging helpfully with family members. Also, the reframing and construction of intervention is examined. This leads to positive counselling outcomes. Students also gain confidence in the use of genograms and scoring systems.


Module 8: Processes in family counselling. Part 2


This module continues from the previous one by discussing positive interventions, feedback loops, progressive hypothesizing and contexts of behaviour and interventions.


Module 9: Focus on specific problems. Part 1


This module considers important relationships within the family and specifically discusses depression, anxiety and associated psychological problems within the family that may be encountered within the counselling context. It will also examine alcohol and drug problems within the adult family members and their repercussions.



Module 10: Focus on specific problems. Part 2


With the completion of this module, students gain understanding of issues surrounding abuse and its different connotations within the family. The role of the counsellor in this context is explained. Relationship difficulties between parents and children are explored, along with the challenges of child alcohol and other substance misuse.

Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above.

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

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.

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


Diploma in Family Counselling

This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme
Quality Assured by QLS

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an e-Certificate from Oxford Learning College. There is also the option to purchase an Embossed Certificate and also a certificate from ABC Awards for the qualification.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

How can I progress

For more information on how to progress after completing this course, please click here

Additional Information

You will receive a certificate from the College. A digital version is included in the price and will be emailed to you within 5 days of taking your online exam.

Should you require an embossed hard copy of your certificate to be sent to you by Special Delivery post, you can order this separately after taking your exam.

The course can be enrolled upon by students Internationally. There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Diploma. Support is provided by the tutor department for the duration of the course (1 year). Certification upon completion. All examination fees.

Course Fee


Payment by Instalments

Students are able to pay course fees in monthly instalments. Click here to download our instalment plan.

Further Information

The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.

The Level 3 Diplomas require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.

They provide an ability to gain and apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding in a specific subject at a detailed level. Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, NVQ3, BTEC Diplomas etc. are appropriate if you plan to progress to university study.

Level 3 Diploma courses can assist you in career development, continued professional development, personal development, and provision of a basis for further study.

Progression from Level 3 is to specialist learning and detailed analysis of a higher level of information (for example university level study, Diploma Level 5 study).

Your course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning On Campus website.

This is a flexible learning course, so the more time you have to commit to your studies, the sooner you are able to complete.

In the student 'On Campus' you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 3 working days.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning

For more information please visit our FAQ page.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 based on 1 student reviews

I have enjoyed the researching into this course and much of it I felt was a revision from previous work. I have felt more confident within my counselling in school, bringing forward some areas that I feel I can now empathise with in a more realistic way. I found it difficult finding some information., searching websites and books from the library, as I felt it wasn\'t as readily available. Even though it took a while to register, I found all correspondence very quick throughout completing my work. Thank you for that. I am now searching for what to do next! Thank you Catherine

Rating: 4 Stars! [4 of 5 Stars!]

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 13 August, 2009.

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