First Certificate in Counselling Skills (ABC Level 3) - More info

 Starting Your Journey... 

In your first year of study at Heartwood you will combine a First Certificate (Level 3) with  a First Diploma (Level 3) in Counselling (no previous experience or training is required). 

There is the opportunity to finish part way through this first year if you find the training is not for you and if you choose this option you can still qualify with a First Certificate (Level 3).

You do not have to do both courses, however you will need both courses if you wish to progress onto the Advanced Diploma (Level 4).


You will learn a range of new techniques which you will use in the counselling practice sessions:

  • Focusing
  • Active listening
  • Empathic divining
  • Echoing
  • Immediacy
  • Presence
  • Minimal encouragers
  • Reflective responding
  • Dual awareness

You will explore a variety of models and theories which will underpin your work as a counsellor and create the solid foundations from which to build a strong career as a therapeutic counsellor.

The course is creatively designed to maximise the students enjoyment and the sessions are always uplifting, lively and informative. Students find the exercises fun and powerful and comment on how much they learn about themselves, and how their ability to relate openly and honestly with others grows.


This first year of training is really important and getting the right support is vital to your success. you will undergo lots of self development and grow in self awareness. Sometimes this can be a challenge and at Heartwood we provide a supportive and encouraging environment for students to spend time reflecting on their formative experiences.

This is a blossoming time for students and you will grow in self confidence as you experience the powerful effect of your new skills. Your tutors will develop a close relationship with you over this first year and  give you  feedback and direction to encourage your development as a competent counsellor.