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Counselling courses are ‘life-changing’ say HE Learners    

Counselling is a continuously evolving career choice and the new DipHE Counselling Diploma qualifications at Eastleigh College are proving popular with learners looking to take their next steps towards this fulfilling and impactful career path. Diploma-qualified counsellors now have the option to top up their counselling diploma (DipHE) to a Bachelor degree with Eastleigh College. 

Developed in partnership with the University of Portsmouth, the diploma courses teach students how to use Gestalt and CBT counselling to empower change processes. These processes can be used when working with individuals, couples, groups, teams and organisations. Gestalt and CBT counselling are highly effective ways of treating a wide range of issues including anxiety, stress, addiction, depression, trauma and anger management.

Learners at Eastleigh College and diploma-qualified counsellors from elsewhere now also have the option to top up their counselling diploma (DipHE) to a Bachelor’s degree. This can be done with a one-year BSc (Hons) Gestalt or CBT counselling course.

Many past students on these courses have started their own private counselling practices. 

Karen O’Hara, MBACP, Counsellor at Red Tree Therapy, describes her experience studying for the DipHE and the benefits she gained: 

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying the DipHE Humanistic Gestalt Counselling course at Eastleigh College and I would describe it as a life-changing experience. The theory was stimulating, the lectures were delivered in a way which helped my learning and there was regular opportunity to give and receive feedback.  The personal development aspect of the course had the most impact on me and I am grateful for how this prepared me for what life would be like as a counsellor as well as helping me to develop my self-awareness.  I formed a bond with my tutors and felt comfortable asking for any support I needed. 

“Since completing my DipHE in January, I have set up in private practice and I am also working as a sessional therapist in the agency where I had my college placement.  I took on my first private client at the end of April and I am now fully booked, with a waiting list, and I am still receiving regular enquiries.  Next week I am moving to new premises, which I have been able to commit to due to the number of clients I am seeing. 

“There is no doubt that the support I had from my tutors and the high standards of teaching – even through a pandemic – has led to my success in private practice.  This is why I am returning to Eastleigh College to take my studies on the Level 6 course.” 

Victoria Brooke MBACP, Counsellor at Mind Balancing Counselling, describes her Eastleigh College learner experience:

“Within the diploma, I found the level of theory-based teaching was invaluable, enabling me to relate theory to practice in a safe, group process. My lecturer adapted to changes quickly during the beginning of Covid lockdowns, ensuring continuation of the course continued with minimal disruption.  

“Since graduating with a Counselling Diploma, I have continued my studies at Eastleigh along with starting my own private counselling practice. 

“The support and guidance towards the end of the course provided me with the option to complete further studies and career options by exploring life after college.”  

The Gestalt Therapy Biscuit Tin

In his 18 years of continuous service at the College, Dr Neil MacFarlane, lecturer on the HE Level 4 and 5 Gestalt and CBT Counselling Diplomas, has seen the Eastleigh College higher education counselling courses grow in popularity and range.  Neil recently published ‘The Gestalt Therapy Biscuit Tin’, available on  

Find out more about counselling courses

Higher education counselling courses from Eastleigh College.


Courtesy of Izzy Sturgess. July 2021

Caption: Some of the DipHE Humanistic Gestalt Counselling learners from Eastleigh College (in partnership with University of Portsmouth) celebrating their graduation outside Portsmouth Guildhall.