MSc Integrative Psychotherapy

UKCP logo4 Years* Part-time - Next intake: October 2020

Our training dates are available to download  [Training Dates]

Places are available on a first come, first served basis. Early Applications are advised to avoid disappointment.

* In order to meet UKCP training requirements and ensure the consolidation and integration of theoretical knowledge and clinical experience, the programme is 4 years in length. This includes a preparatory year where students are registered with SPTI only and three subsequent years where students are registered with SPTI and Staffordshire University.


We are now Office for Students (OfS) registered. That means we meet the OfS requirements for course quality, academic standards, student support, student protection and more. Please visit  for more information. MSc students (year 2 onward) are therefore able to access student support and apply for a Postgraduate Masters Loan and Disabled Student Allowance via the Student Loans Company (SLC)

Integration involves drawing complementary theories from different psychotherapeutic approaches and blending them based on certain core principles. These core principles are that the client-therapist relationship is an essential aspect of healing and that our relationships and development as children affects subsequent relationships and our way of being in the here and now. If aspects of us are not supported as children, they do not fully develop and cannot integrate seamlessly into our personality. Integrative Psychotherapy aims to understand the client’s developmental story, helping them to change old patterns of behaviour and to learn new ones.

Entry Requirements (including IELTS score)

The following requirements comply with both QAA and UKCP standards for training in psychotherapy.

In order to apply, you must be at least 21 years of age.

You will be required to complete an application form and provide two acceptable references, which must provide evidence of one or more of the following:

  • An undergraduate degree in psychology or a related discipline (for example, sociology, education, theology, philosophy).
  • A non-relevant undergraduate degree with appropriate training or experience.
  • A qualification or professional training/work-based portfolio in the helping professions evidencing study level equivalent to level 6 (for instance, social work, psychiatric nursing, general nursing, teaching).
  • A counselling diploma or equivalent qualification plus evidence of ability to study at level 6.
  • Relevant work and/or life experience plus evidence of ability to study at level 6.

In addition, where English is not your first language you must demonstrate a pass in IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.5 in any element), TOEFL iBT 87 (no less than 21 in listening and writing, 22 in reading and 23 in speaking) or CELE pre-sessional course.

If you do not have an undergraduate qualification (or equivalent) but satisfy criteria relating to ‘relevant work and/or life experience’, you may be asked to undertake an independent assessment via the completion of a piece of written work in order to demonstrate your capacity to study at postgraduate level.

You will also be required to attend an interview which will enable both you and course staff to gauge your suitability for this professional course of study. In addition to the above entry requirements, you will need to demonstrate that you have, or have the potential to develop, the following attributes and skills:

  • Self-awareness, maturity and stability
  • Ability to reflect on life experiences and utilise constructive feedback
  • Capacity to cope with the emotional and intellectual demands of the programme
  • Ability to form a helping relationship
  • Awareness of issues of diversity and equality, prejudice and oppression
  • Ability to recognise the need for personal and professional support
  • The generic professional skills of literacy, numeracy, information technology, administrative skills, self-management skills, communication and interpersonal skills.

If successful, you will be eligible to join the Preparatory Stage of the Programme and the length of your training will be four years (minimum).

If you are already a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist wishing to further your career by undertaking additional study/research, you may be eligible to join either the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma Stage of the Programme via an Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) application process.  In this instance, the length of training will be determined by the point of entry.

DBS: Applicants to SPTI clinical training programmes are reminded that all offers are subject to a satisfactory Criminal Records check by undertaking an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate, and then registering it with the DBS update service  [DBS Policy] [DBS01 Declaration]

International Students should note that SPTI is not a UK Home Office registered Sponsor with approval to admit overseas students. We can only consider applications from applicants who satisfy HOME fee residential status criteria (e.g. UK/EU/EEA including Switzerland).

The nature of psychotherapy training is primarily relational and as such it is important for applicants to disclose any pre-existing relationships with SPTI staff and/or members (and other applicants where known) at the point of application.  This provides the opportunity to address potential implications for this at the interview stage thereby ensuring professional standards when attending to dual relationships, which Professional Bodies (for example, BACP and UKCP) recommend be avoided to prevent detrimental effects and promote professional accountability at all stages of training and practice.  We aim to ensure that this does not provide an unnecessary barrier to recruitment. Therefore, in cases of pre-existing relationships with current students and/or training staff adjustments may be suggested; this could include an alternative entry point or in some cases an alternative programme of study.

Programme Overview

The Integrative training programme devised by the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute is a developmental-relational approach integrating Object Relations theories, Psychoanalytic Self-Psychology and aspects of Humanistic Psychology. Further integration of Developmental Psychology is made via the work of Donald Winnicott, John Bowlby, Margaret Mahler, Daniel Stern and others.

This Psychotherapy programme focuses on the dynamics and potential of human relationships, with the aim of facilitating the individual’s ability to make choiceful responses and to create more satisfying relationships.

The central aim is to establish a therapeutic relationship which will lead to a corrective emotional relationship. This involves:

  • Understanding the internal and external barriers that people create to the formation of successful relationships.

  • Understanding how these barriers relate to the problems the person experiences.

  • Engaging the person in a therapeutic relationship which provides the opportunity and therapeutic support for engaging with these relationship problems.

The effectiveness of this kind of Integrative Psychotherapy is based on the ability of the psychotherapist to make an informed relationship with the client and to use his/her understanding of the difficulties in the relationship (including conscious and unconscious aspects, emotional and intellectual understanding) to address the client's difficulties.

The psychotherapist has to use both his/her theoretical and personal skills in this engagement and be sensitively aware of their own contribution to the relationship. This responsibility requires a high degree of self-awareness, honesty, receptivity, professional acceptance and ethical endeavour on the part of the therapist. Thus the course demands that trainees and students are willing and able to examine their own capacity for relationship and reflect on these processes.


Preparatory Stage - Year 1 - validated by SPTI

Module 1 - Contexts of Integrative Psychotherapy & Introduction to the Relational Self

This module will critically explore the history and development of psychotherapy and counselling in general and an integrative approach in particular and thereby establish the foundation and broad theoretical frame for the entire four-year programme.

Module 2 - The Relational Self: Object Relations Theories (Part 1) & Self Psychology (Part 2)

The first part of the module will focus on the theory of 'Object Relations' as way of understanding relational dynamics as they develop from our earliest experiences with primary care-takers through to adult-hood. The second part will focus on the theories of Self Psychology paying particular attention to the role of empathy within the therapeutic relationship. It will also demonstrate how an understanding of Object Relations and Self Psychology are relevant to relational developmental Integrative Psychotherapy.

Module 3 - The Fundamentals of Ethical and Preparation for Clinical Practice

This module addresses the fundamental aspects of ethical and professional practice necessary for undertaking a clinical practice placement as an Integrative Psychotherapist.  The emphasis is on placing ethical thinking centrally within the process of integrative psychotherapy by drawing attention to the personal and moral qualities of the practitioner and the application of codes of conduct and/or ethical frameworks to therapeutic practice.

Module 4 - Processes and Theories of Change in the Therapeutic Relationship

This module will introduce students to the notion of emotional literacy & intelligence as an essential component of ‘healthy’ human functioning. As such it will reflect the contemporary interest in affect regulation evidenced in the growing dialogue between psychotherapy and neuroscience and contextualise Integrative Psychotherapy within the overall therapeutic field.


Year 2 MSc - registered with Staffordshire University

Module 1 - The Relational Self and Human Development

This module will focus on the significance of core concepts in developmental psychology that have particular relevance for psychotherapy in general, and integrative psychotherapy in particular.

Module 2 - The Relational Self and the Unconscious Relationship

This module will focus on the powerful dynamics of unconscious communication which appear within the therapeutic relationship giving rise to important considerations for clinical and ethical practice. The learning in this module will ground students in both theory and practice of these phenomena so that their understanding facilitates their clinical practice, professional development and personal growth.

Module 3 - Integrative Perspectives on Psychopathology

The module will focus on differential treatment planning and an integrative approach to psychotherapy. Emphasis will be placed on exploring disorders and on differing models for assessing and working with presentations of trauma. Consideration will also be given to particular issues, such as shame, anxiety and depression.


Year 3 MSc - registered with Staffordshire University

Module 1 - The Clinical Application of Integrative Psychotherapy

The module provides students with an opportunity to develop and advance their understanding of the practice of integrative psychotherapy in the context of its history and continuing development. The emphasis on values and principles is maintained, stressing the personal and professional dimensions and the quality of the integrative relationship in theory and ethical practice. Content will include:  Self-reflection and the development of an ‘internal supervisor”; the use of self as an integrative practitioner; embodied empathy; vicarious traumatisation; compassion fatigue and self-care; and the significance of neuroscientific research; the emergence and impact of shame in the therapeutic relationship; approaches to Integration; personal, client and theoretical and approaches to integration: assessment and formulation.

Module 2 - Research in Integrative Psychotherapy

The module introduces psychotherapy as a research endeavour, demystifying and making it both accessible and useable by practitioners of integrative psychotherapy. It establishes the foundation upon which students can begin to develop a reflexive approach to research and its ethics. The emphasis is on practice-based research findings in an attempt to support and advance professional practice. It will familiarise students with the philosophical origins and assumptions of the major research paradigms. Finally, students will be equipped to write a research proposal relevant to the theory and practice of integrative psychotherapy.

Module 3 - Consolidating Integrative Clinical Practice

This module provides opportunities to consolidate knowledge and understanding of clinical practice and offers students a focus for further development of self-reflexivity and personal style as an integrative practitioner. Content for this module will include: Developing awareness of personal style as an Integrative practitioner; formulation of client’s presentation and suitability/readiness for psychotherapy; exploration of a range of therapeutic interventions; reflexivity; the therapeutic relationship, the supervisory relationship and parallel process; interpersonal process recall; advancing the process of ethical thinking; working with ethical & moral dilemmas; developing the capacity for critical reflection upon their ethical stance in ‘difficult’ countertransference responses; evaluation of the contributing factors in therapeutic failure, including their own responsibility.


Year 4 MSc - registered with Staffordshire University

Module 1 - Clinical Application & Research Project

This module involves the preparation and undertaking of a substantial case study and a process report each having equal weighting.  This will provide evidence of the student’s integration of theory and practice within their clinical work. This module also involves the undertaking and writing up of a small-scale research project relevant to the theory and practice of integrative Psychotherapy.  It aims to produce research-competent practitioners capable of advancing the profile of Integrative Psychotherapy.

Parallel Clinical Obligations (All years)

This clinical requirement will focus on the student’s continued personal development and professional development which is cumulative throughout all years and will enable the student to meet the requirements for registration with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. 

In order that the MSc Integrative Psychotherapy continues to meet the standards set by regulatory bodies, minimum requirements will be regularly reviewed and may be subject to change. Please contact us for further details.

If you would like further information about this course please contact Admissions.

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Our Undergraduate and Postgraduate Degrees are awarded by Staffordshire University.