Two-Year Diploma in Neurosomatic Psychotherapy

From Cell to Soul – a pioneering training combining neuroscience, physiology and psychotherapy

Year 1: 30 January 2021 – 28 November 2021
Year 2: January – November 2022 (dates to be confirmed later)

Each year of the training comprises 9 weekends in London and a 5½ day retreat in South-East England.
The training totals 47 days (420 contact hours) over the two years.

We welcome applications for a pioneering two-year psychotherapy training that:

  1. Opens access to non-traditional trainees with relevant experience that will support their future work with clients.
  2. Develops a solid foundation in neuroscience and physiology to underpin their psychotherapeutic interventions.
  3. Encourages idiosyncratic mastery in each trainee through exposure to different therapy styles and specialties

Neurosomatic Therapy (e.g. www.functionaltherapy.co.uk/neurosomatic-therapy/ ) is a functional therapy based solely on physical bodywork practice, while Neurosomatic Psychotherapy supports emotional, psychological, and spiritual alignment in the client with targeted awareness of the body and brain’s contributions to the process.

For Whom is This Training

– Applicants must have a proven ability to work at Level 4 (see Educational level outcome below), evidenced through an Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process.
– Applicants are likely to hold certificates in various approaches to mental or spiritual wellbeing, or have participated in different kinds of workshops in the complementary health therapy world, following their own philosophy.
– Applicants may have, but do not necessarily need, a background in healing (such as Brennan Healing Science, Theta Healing or Reiki).
– Applicants may also have supported troubled people in a carer-oriented way, such as an addict or a trauma victim through one or more stages of recovery, or had exposure to people in very challenging circumstances.

Course accreditations
CPCAB, NCP

CPCAB (Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body)
Students can gain this accreditation based on successful assessment and a minimum of 100 hours of formally contracted psychotherapy (one-to-one) with at least 5 different clients in an agency setting (volunteer at a counselling service or in private practice). Cancellations and non-attends do not count towards this total. Students will begin accumulating this total during the training, and some may complete the 100 hours before the end of the course.

NCP (National Council of Psychotherapists)
Graduates can gain this accreditation based on completion of a brief reflective portfolio and a minimum of 450 hours over 3 years of supervised practice following graduation.

Educational level outcome
LEVEL 4: Holder has practical, theoretical or technical knowledge and understanding of a subject or field of work to address problems that are well defined but complex and non-routine. Holder can analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant information and ideas. Holder is aware of the nature of approximate scope of the area of study or work. Holder has an informed awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the area of study or work.

Student progression
3rd Year of training at Level 5 with National Counselling Society (NCS) accreditation will be available for graduates of this course and other suitably qualified therapists and counsellors – advanced focus on neuropsychological and transpersonal approaches to therapy. This 3rd Year will support an individual application for accreditation with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) as well.

Faculty

Marcus Sorensen
Marcus Sorensen
Marcus is a multimodal therapist, neuropsychologist and PhD researcher. He works to bring a biological basis of understanding to socio-psychological processes, while also maintaining a transpersonal perspective. In short, he enjoys working from cell to soul.
He has a busy private practice combining talking therapy, energy therapy and neuropsychological interventions. As an Interfaith minister, he also provides spiritual counselling services, ceremony and ritual for groups and individuals.

Marcus is an Associate Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Kent, where his PhD research is on interoception: our ability to sense our inner environment in terms emotions and body sensations, which is profoundly influenced by the outer world.
His research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of how we can develop and maintain this sensing ability throughout life, so we can feel more connected to ourselves and others.

Marcus holds an MSc in Cognitive Psychology, a BSc in Psychology with Medical Sciences, Diplomas in Trauma Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy and Professional Energy Healing, as well as an MA in Architecture, and a BA in Commercial Languages. When not working or teaching, Marcus enjoys spending time with his wife and young daughter, watching the wonder of life unfolding.

@Bernd
Bernd Leygraf
Bernd is Consultant Psychotherapist, the first and only in his field of expertise. He was a senior trainer accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) until the demise of this accreditation category. Currently he is Consultant Trainer with the Interfaith Seminary. He trains therapists, supervisors, organisational consultants and executive coaches in the UK and abroad. He has been course director of several MSc programmes run in conjunction with South Bank University and Middlesex University and is training director of a number of organisations in the UK and internationally. He is currently joint Course Director of the London Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy, validated by COSRT and accredited by Middlesex University.

Bernd has senior accreditation status with the College for Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy (COSRT, a M.O. of UKCP). He has established a pathway for his own training into the accredited Register (Prof. Standards Board) via the National Counselling Society. He supervises in private practice and has practised and supervised within the NHS and other statutory and voluntary organisations. He is accredited as supervisor by COSRT.
He is Senior Accredited Member and Fellow of the National Council for Psychotherapy (NCP) and Fellow-Registrant of the National Counselling Society (NCS).

Bernd developed and taught training courses in leadership, therapy and related fields from beginners to Masters level, both in a private capacity and through various universities in the UK and abroad for nearly 4 decades. His training courses draw on students from over 40 countries. From 2019 onwards, he has also taken his work to the Middle East.

Dates

Each year: 9 weekends in London, + 5½ day retreat
Teaching hours: 9am–6pm
Total over 2 years: 47 days (420 contact hours)

Year 1
Weekend 1: 30-31 January 2021
Weekend 2: 27-28 Feb-2021
Weekend 3: 27-28 Mar 2021
Weekend 4: 24-25 Apr 2021
Weekend 5: 29-30 May 2021
Weekend 6: 26-27 Jun 2021
Retreat: 20-25 July 2021
Weekend 7: 25-26 Sep 2021
Weekend 8: 23-24 Oct 2021
Weekend 9: 27-28 Nov 2021

Year 2
January-November 2022

Exact dates will be published later

Fees

£4,900 per year
(includes 20% VAT and £334 yearly candidate registration payment with CPCAB and 5½ day retreat each year with meals; excludes accommodation).

Payments can be made monthly by standing order over 12 months. Applicants who wish to pay for the year a one-off payment are offered a 2.5% reduction in fees.

Some bursaries will be available once the minimum enrolment of 12 students has been reached.
Max. student group size: 16

Advanced Learner Loans from Student Finance England are available as the course is accredited at Level 4 FHEQ (www.ucas.com/student-finance-england/advanced-learner-loans)

Location

NAOS Institute
3 Montpelier Avenue
Ealing, London W5 2XP

The 5½ day retreat will be in South-East England at a venue to be confirmed.

Full course content

The first 9 weekends of the training will be based on the 8 + 1 stages of Psychosocial Development by Erik & Joan Erikson, providing the students with a framework to identify developmental challenges and associated opportunities for growth, in themselves and their future clients.

Year 1 outline
• An overview of therapeutic approaches (intrapsychic, relational, transpersonal, etc.)
• Critical reflection on developmental psychology basics: attachment theory in particular; psychosocial development more broadly
• Overview of most common client presentations and approaches to working with them: anxiety & depression, DSM V
• Neuroscience foundations of psychotherapy work (based on Cozolino and Siegel’s interpersonal neurobiology work)
• Neuroscience changes over the lifespan: teach alexithymia, interoception development, and neurotransmitter level assessment questionnaire & what this means
• Ethical principles for therapists and frameworks for professional practice (contracting with the client, formulation, discontinuation of therapy, etc.)
• Schon’s “reflective practitioner”, self-tracking exercises and mindfulness practice
• Extensive therapy skills practice in dyads, potentially triads with 3rd student observing & feeding back
• Introduce the concept of clinical responsibility and duty of care through what Supervision is and does
• Teachings from students on their “specialist subjects”, e.g. living with addiction, dissociative identity disorder, surviving sex work, coming out in a close-minded group, gender confirmation journey, emergency service work, etc.
• Group supervision (20-25 hours)

Year 2 outline
• Deepen neuroscience: default mode network, memory formation and fragility
• Deepen ethics, self-tracking and extensive therapy practice from Year One
• Critical exploration of psychopathologies: borderline, bi-polar, schizophrenia, panic disorder, conduct disorder & psychopathy, etc.)
• Chemical and behaviour addictions / eating disorder / self-harm / OCD / social anxiety presentations with external specialists invited
• Introduction to cognitive-behavioural and hypnotherapy approaches
• Introduction to transpersonal and spiritual counselling, including bereavement counselling
• Specialist speakers to go more in-depth with specific approaches to therapy; for example:

Thom Spiers for trauma therapy, including acute, chronic and vicarious trauma
• Ana Rhodes for Body Psychotherapy
• Bernd Leygraf for Gestalt therapy
• Bernd Leygraf for Relationship & Psychosexual Therapy

• On the retreat, systemic constellation work and group process work will be demonstrated, and the use of ritual and ceremony in the therapeutic space
• Group supervision (20-25 hours)

Assessment
• Therapist skillset evaluated in class against a list of competencies
• Bi-monthly reflective assignments and bi-monthly client case studies
• Required participation in “fishbowls” (therapy session simulations observed by the group)
• Written reflections on Supervision
• Supervisor evaluation with audio recordings or transcribed excerpts

For CPCAB accreditation
• Internal assessment: tutor assessment of candidate portfolio evidencing minimum assessment requirements, and verified by CPCAB.
• External assessment: externally assessed audio recording of counselling session with a peer, plus a 2-part Candidate Review paper taken under exam conditions and assessed by CPCAB.

Learning outcomes
Unit 1: Working ethically, safely and professionally as a counsellor
1. Work within an ethical and legal framework
2. Work within a counselling service organisation
3. Use supervision to work within own limits of proficiency

Unit 2: Working within a counselling relationship
1. Establish and sustain the boundaries of the counselling relationship
2. Establish and develop the therapeutic relationship

Unit 3: Working with client diversity in counselling work
1. Understand and work with diversity
2. Challenge own issues, fears and prejudices
3. Understand how diversity issues affect client access to counselling

Unit 4: Working within a user-centred approach to counselling
1. Work within a user-centred agreement for the counselling work
2. Maintain a user-centred focus throughout the counselling work

Unit 5: Working with self-awareness in the counselling process
1. Use counselling and neurosomatic theory to understand own self
2. Work on personal issues that resonate with client work
3. Use self awareness to enhance counselling work

Unit 6: Working within a coherent framework of counselling theory and skills
1. Use a coherent framework of theory and skills to inform and enhance counselling work
2. Understand and work with client problems at different service levels

Unit 7: Working self-reflectively as a counsellor
1. Manage own development as a counsellor
2. Reflect on and evaluate own counselling work within agency settings

Handbook
All course participants will be provided with an extensive course handbook, including handouts, code of ethics, assessment forms, learning outcome checklist, a reading list and more.

Course Format
The course is offered over 2 years, comprising a total of 18 weekends (9am – 6pm) plus two 5½ day retreats.

Entry requirements
The key quality that applicants will need is an exposure to and meaning-making from the challenges of life in intensive or prolonged ways, such as a personal or professional history with trauma, addictions, bullying, destructive family patterns, or search for identity (manifested in sexual orientation, a process of gender confirmation, mixed heritage ethnicity, cultural belonging as a 1st or 2nd generation immigrant, etc.). This will likely have involved one or more courses of personal therapy.

This qualification is not suitable for those who are currently in a state of severe emotional difficulty and/or severe psychological confusion. The course involves experiential elements that will involve considerable personal disclosure and associated personal developmental activities.

Applicants must be intending (and actively seeking) to begin work with clients during Year One of the programme in order to gain the necessary experience to continue into Year Two. This can be as a volunteer in a charitable counselling service, or in private practice from their home or external premises.

Fees
£4,900 per year
(includes 20% VAT, £334 yearly candidate registration payment with CPCAB and 5½ day retreat each year with meals; excludes accommodation). Payments can be made monthly by standing order over 12 months. Applicants who wish to pay for the year a one-off payment are offered a 2.5% reduction in fees.

Some bursaries will be available once the minimum enrolment of 12 students has been reached.
Max. student group size: 16

Advanced Learner Loans
Advanced Learner Loans from Student Finance England are available as the course is accredited at Level 4 FHEQ
(https://www.ucas.com/student-finance-england/advanced-learner-loans)

Enquiries and Application
If you require more information or are ready to apply, please fill in an application form. We will respond to you as soon as possible.

All applicants are required to complete the application form and then go through the application process which comprises a written portfolio submission and, if the portfolio is deemed sufficient, an interview in person. If offered a place, a course contract will have to be completed and an initial non-refundable deposit of £250 to secure a place will be required.

If a portfolio or interview is not successful, constructive guidance will be provided for those who wish to re-submit or interview again later.

Application process

Application process

For the application form, click here.

Applicant background:
Applicants may have, but do not necessarily need, a background in healing (such as Brennan Healing Science or Reiki) or may have participated in different kinds of workshops in the complementary health therapy world, following their own philosophy; they may have certificates in various wellbeing approaches, or supported troubled people in a carer-oriented way, such as an addict or a trauma victim through one or more stages of recovery.

The key quality that applicants will need is an exposure to and meaning-making from the challenges of life in intensive or prolonged ways, such as a personal or professional history with trauma, addictions, bullying, destructive family patterns, or search for identity (manifested in sexual orientation, a process of gender confirmation, mixed heritage ethnicity, cultural belonging a 1st or 2nd generation immigrant, etc.). This will likely have involved one or more courses of personal therapy. All of this will be evidenced through accreditation of prior learning (APL) via the application process.

This qualification is not suitable for those who are currently in a state of severe emotional difficulty and/or severe psychological confusion. The course involves experiential elements that will involve considerable personal disclosure and associated personal developmental activities.

Applicants must be intending (and actively seeking) to begin work with clients during Year One of the programme in order to gain the necessary experience to continue into Year Two. This can be as a volunteer in a charitable counselling service, or in private practice from their home or external premises.

Application process:
Portfolio submission with structured sections that allow applicants to showcase what they have learnt —from official institutions and from the school of life — in a clear way:

  1. Personal philosophy & how you derived it (up to 200 words)
  2. Examples of your ability to work with difference and diversity, and to respond sensitively and empathically to others (emphasising essential listening and communications skills, and exposure to people from different backgrounds) (up to 500 words)
  3. Examples of personal qualities of imagination, intuition, openness, and ability to benefit from self-development (emphasising how you allow space for creativity and continued learning) (up to 500 words)
  4. Examples of ability to challenge and be challenged (emphasising how you handle difficult conversations) (up to 500 words)
  5. Self-reflective essay on strengths and challenges in being with self and others, discussing your levels of current self-awareness, insight, honesty and the ability to make links (emphasising how you show up as your authentic self with others and when you choose not to or are unable to) (up to 1500 words)
  6. Self-reflective essay on your encounters with therapists or counselling / mental health support agencies: what is fair to expect as a client, and what is not? (emphasising therapy contracts with clients, duty of care, confidentiality and when breaking of confidentiality is required) (up to 600 words)
  7. Critical reflection on the three main counselling approaches (https://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/counselling-approaches.html): what benefit(s) and disadvantage(s) can you discern in each of these? (400 to 600 words)
  8. References from two referees who have known you in a personal or professional capacity for at least 2 years (must include duration of knowing you, their role in your regard, and their reflections on your potential as a therapist)

Applicants whose portfolios are accepted as evidence of sufficient prior learning will be invited to an in-person interview to secure their place on the course. If a portfolio or interview is not successful, constructive guidance will be provided for those who wish to re-submit or interview again later.