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Certificate in Counselling (Marriage and Relationship)


ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Service will recruite for the Certificate in Counselling for the 2021/2022 academic year.    Applications can be submitted at any time and applicants will be notified if they are eligible to be invited to a Selection Conference in 2021.   Downloadable Application Form 

Would you like to achieve a Certificate in Counselling (Marriage and Relationship)?

Would you like the opportunity to train with the largest provider of counselling services to individuals and couples in marriage and relationships, on the island of Ireland?

Would you like to train with the organisation that has in excess of 50 years experience working with couples and individuals, and provided more than 24,000 sessions of marriage and relationship counselling in 2019

Do you want to acquire the knowledge and skills to enable you to work as a marriage and relationship counsellor?

The Certificate in Counselling (Marriage and Relationship) is equivalent to Level 8, 20 ECTS on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) (Level 6 England, Wales & NI)

Training Programme: The Certificate in Counselling, (Marriage and Relationship), is an affiliated programme of the Pontifical University, St Patrick's College, Maynooth.  This programme is aimed at qualified, experienced counsellors with a substantial knowledge and experience of the Person Centred Approach, who have a current supervised case load.

Costs: Successful applicants have their course fee and supervision fees funded by their sponsoring centre/region. Students are required to contract with ACCORD to repay the cost of training by delivering 100 counselling sessions during their training and thereafter the agreed number of annual voluntary sessions for a minimum of 3 years. If, for any reason a student cannot fulfill the above, they will be required to repay any outstanding costs.  All other costs are met by the student.

Time/Flexibility: Counsellors wishing to train and work with ACCORD will need to have a significant level of availability to attend the training on one weekend per month, October to May (inclusive). They will also need to have the availability and flexibility to work with ACCORD clients ideally during day and evening times. Attendance at supervision and centre meetings will also require a significant level of availability and flexibility.

Application Criteria: Applications will be considered from graduates of an approved counselling training programme of degree/diploma level; such graduates must;

a)  Have you completed 100 hours of supervised client work during training.
b)  Have completed 50 hours personal therapy during training.
c)  Meet the criteria for accreditation of a recognised counselling regulatory body.
d)  Have delivered 100 hours or more of supervised counselling post-graduation.
e)  Have a current supervised caseload.
f)   Have substantial knowledge and experience of the Person Centred Approach.
g)  Have the time and flexibility for; course attendance, study, completion of assignments, completion of clinical placement, attendance at supervision and centre meetings,     completion of annual voluntary commitment for a minimum of 3 years after graduation.
h) Have access to, familiarity with and competency in the use of Microsoft word, email and internet.

Personal/Professional Suitability: Successful applicants will demonstrate the following personal attributes:

  • An open and dialogic communication style
  • Maturity, genuineness, self-awareness
  • Warmth, flexibility, openness, a nonjudgmental worldview
  • Openness to learning
  • Ability to reflect on self and on practice
  • Ability to work in a safe and ethical way
  • Willing to commit to being an active member of ACCORD
  • Ability to work within ACCORD’s ethos and mission

Selection of Candidates: Following receipt of applications a paper selection process based on application criteria will take place. Applicants who are successful in the paper selection process may be invited to selection if the centre of their choice is recruiting counsellors. Selection Days will take place using zoom on August 14th 2021.

Duration of Course: Training is delivered over 16 days and generally takes place monthly at weekends over one academic year. An additional consolidation day will be scheduled some months after the end of the taught course for students on placement.

Location of Training: Training will be a blended approach using zoom combined with a number of in person days in Maynooth Co Kildare if health guidelines permit.

Course Content: Training will include:

  • Theory and Practice of Person Centred Counselling.
  • Theories and Practice of Couple Counselling.
  • Couple Counselling Skills Development and Practice.
  • Working Safely and Ethically with Domestic Abuse.
  • Working with the complexity of issues presenting in Coupes Counselling; Diversity, Infidelity, Step and Blended Family Dynamics, Trauma
  • Self-Awareness; Personal/Professional.
  • Safe and Ethical Practice.
  • ACCORD’s Code of Ethics and Practice.
  • Models of Supervision.
  • ACCORD’s Policies and Procedures.

Clinical Placement: Students who meet the required standard on the training programme will commence clinical practice placement in their assigned Centre when assessed by the course tutor(s) as competent to do so. Students will be facilitated in consolidating the theory and practice of couple counselling throughout the remainder of the Certificate Course. Students will be required to deliver a minimum of 100 sessions of counselling in their assigned Centre as part of their training requirement and to volunteer the agreed number of annual voluntary sessions thereafter for a minimum of three years. Students are also required to attend supervision provided by ACCORD at a ratio 10:1.  Regular attendance at their ACCORD centre’s meetings is also required, on an ongoing basis, once clinical practice has commenced.

Assessment: Participants will be assessed on both their knowledge and skills throughout the training programme.