Rationale and Philosophy

Institute of Counselling

The Institute of Counselling was founded in 1985 as a Christian based not for profit making, independent, educational body which is now a charitable company registered in Scotland. It is committed to promoting pastoral care throughout the services it provides informed by a Christian spirituality. It is now a Credit Rating Body within the SCQF Partnership able to awards its own Higher Education credit level to its programmes.

The aims of the Institute of Counselling are:

(a) To promote the training and development of counselling skills;
(b) To provide opportunities for continuing professional development, including research;
(c) To produce and distribute counselling skills training resources;
(d) To provide a counselling service for individuals needing counselling;
(e) To provide consultancy and training services for other agencies and organisations.

The specific objectives are to promote the advancement of education by:

• The provision of counselling and pastoral care
• The provision of high quality training and development of counselling skills.
• The provision of opportunities for continuing professional development for established counsellors and therapists.
• The provision of one-to-one counselling, group counselling, counselling supervision and support, outreach work in the community and clinical and pastoral counselling

Mission Statement:

The Institute of Counselling strives to promote the development of clinical and pastoral education through online learning and work based education, to meet the needs of those working in the caring professions, chaplains, carers and the voluntary sector with the aim of putting the person back at the centre of care.

Student Body and Partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU)

Since 1985, some 30,000 individuals from the UK and overseas have participated in courses offered by the Institute of Counselling. In addition to awarding its own Certificates and Diplomas the Institute offers a number of externally accredited courses. Its Diploma in Clinical and Pastoral Counselling (Dip CPC) was first accredited by GCU in 1996, In 2000 the then School of Nursing, Midwifery and Community Health (NMCH) worked with the IoC awarded academic accreditation to the Dip CPC modules via NMCH’s Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes. This partnership strengthened through the years resulting in the NMCH including a suite of ioC Modules (SCQF Level 9, 30 credits) first in their BSc in Professional Development programme and latterly in the BSc Professional Nursing Studies programme. The IoC Became an External Education Partner (EEP) with the now School of Health and Life Sciences (SHLS) from 2014 till 2015. The IoC wanted to offer degree programmes, specifically BA (Hons) in Counselling and BA(Hons) in Counselling and Applied CBT and became an EEP with the School of Work Based Education (SWBE) in 2016. With the support of the SWBE we have jointly developed these two degree programmes that are now fully approved with students enrolled for their first year.

Programme Rationale and Philosophy

The Institute has been able to provide its own programmes of study for Certificate and Diploma level courses for three decades and now wishes with Glasgow Caledonian University, School of Work Based Education, to continue these programmes to proposed degree honours level. Specifically a BA (Hons) in Counselling and a BA (Hons) in Counselling and Applied CBT programmes.
The two degree programmes follows agreed guidelines provided by Glasgow Caledonian University and the Institute of Counselling Board of Studies for a BA (Hons) programme chaired by Professor Jack Rae.

The Institute of Counselling model of Clinical and Pastoral Counselling (CPC) embraces an eclectic approach identifying the ‘role’ of the practitioner using counselling in a work based context and a ‘model’ that uses clinical and pastoral counselling within a Christian spirituality. Egan’s problem management and opportunity development approach is used as a framework for conceptualising the counselling process and gives an extremely inclusive account of process, skills and techniques.
Clinical models and insights are based largely on the work of Gerard Egan and Carol Rogers further developed by Dave Mearns and Brian Thorne. The word ‘clinical’ is not used in a medical context, but refers to the practitioner drawing upon psychological and counselling insights and knowledge in order to facilitate the client’s grown, development and where appropriate problem solving within a work based context.
Pastoral models and insights are based on academic research of Anton Boison, the father of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), Charles Gerkin who further developed the CPE model, and Henry Nouwen’s pastoral psychology. The word ‘pastoral’ is not used in a devotional or evangelical context. Rather it refers to working existentially with human brokenness, suffering, pain, inner struggles and spiritual issues using pastoral psychology and counselling knowledge.
The CPC Model embraces an eclectic approach to counselling practice that encourages a synthesis of the main theoretical approaches. There are opportunities for practitioners to critically evaluate a wide range of counselling theory, skills and practice within a counselling work based context. Together with learning counselling models and processes, practitioners will engage in a wide range of competent practice and skills training and have the opportunity to increase personal awareness and professional development.

Rationale for using Gerard Egan’s Model

The main strength of Egan’s approach remains as it always has a systematic-eclectic model of helping and when adapted counselling. The model can be used in many kinds of counselling relationships. The model works best if the practitioners use the core counselling skills to convey Rogers’ core conditions. The practitioners approach to the client being based on acceptance (unconditional positive regard), genuineness, respect and empathy.
The aims of using this model are to counsel people to manage their problems in living more effectively and develop unused opportunities more fully, and to help people become better at helping themselves in their everyday lives (Egan G., The Skilled Helper, 1998, p7-8).
For Egan, the person’s own agenda is central and the model seeks to move the person towards action leading to outcomes, which they choose and value.
The course is designed to develop counselling practice necessary for practitioners and advanced practitioners in counselling and related professions.