Integrative Psychotherapy

at Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute

Study options



Key facts

Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute
Study option:
3 Years

Experiential psychotherapy training

A dynamic and experiential programme; developing an integration of personal, professional and theoretical training

Professional & academic recognition

Leading to an MSc and registration with UKCP, students will undertake placement with clients, engage in research and theory

Study with the experts

Tutors are at the forefront of their profession, active clinicians, authors and researchers

The Integrative programme is a developmental-relational approach integrating Object Relation theories, Psychoanalytic Self-Psychology and aspects of Humanistic Psychology. 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.

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 development story, helping them to change old patterns of behaviour and to learn new ones.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Integrative Psychotherapy

Part-time study

Studied part-time, all modules are compulsory to complete the academic qualification of MSc and professional accreditation with UKCP. All modules are taught in group sizes usually no larger than 18. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Course content

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 their 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 their 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.

Professional body accreditation

Accredited by the UK Council for Psycotherapy (UKCP)

Entry requirements

Entry is through submission of an application form, evidence of qualifications, 2 suitable references, a satisfactory criminal records check and a personal interview. The following requirements comply with both QAA and UKCP’s standards for training in psychotherapy:

  • An undergraduate degree in psychology or a related discipline (for example, sociology, education, theology, philosophy), or
  • A non-relevant undergraduate degree with appropriate training or experience, or
  • A qualification or professional training/work-based portfolio in the helping professions evidencing study level equivalent to level 6 (for example, 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

Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements for entry, but satisfy criteria relating to ‘relevant work and/or life experience’, may be asked to complete a short essay in order to demonstrate their capacity to study at postgraduate level.

Where English is not your first language, you must demonstrate a pass in either:

  • 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

SPTI can only consider applications from applicants who satisfy HOME fee residential status criteria e.g. UK/EU/EEA including Switzerland. SPTI is not a UK Home Office registered sponsor and we are unable to admit international students.

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 year 2 or 3 of the MSc 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.

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.


Interviews are conducted with the Programme Leader or an experienced staff member who is a professional counsellor/psychotherapist and likely to be for a minimum of 30 minutes duration. At interview, 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

Registration with UKCP enables many graduates to progress into employment within the field or develop their own practice. Further supervision training is available for those wishing to develop their skills

Teaching and assessment


We know that our students learn in different ways. To help everyone get the most out of their studies, we teach through a combination of lectures, workshops, and practical sessions. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor (or equivalent) at least twice a year to help support you in your studies. You will be taught in high-quality learning spaces throughout your course, and of course will have access to virtual learning environments to enhance your learning opportunities. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.


Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module will give you a variety of opportunities to receive informal feedback from your tutor. These may include classroom discussions, discussions in the virtual learning environment, presentations, milestone assessments, and practice assessments. Informal feedback is developmental and any grades you may receive for these do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.


You will normally receive feedback on formal coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission. Examination feedback may take a variety of formats, including one-to-one discussions with your tutor. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.


Deborah Blagden - Programme Leader

Rosemary Langford-Bellaby - Tutor

Lorna Grove - Tutor

Julie Dearden - Tutor

Julie Faulkner - Tutor

Linda O'Hern - Tutor

Dr David Tune - Tutor


For fee information, visit the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute website.

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