Since 2014, we have been running a Postgraduate Certificate in Holistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (HIP) and a Postgraduate Diploma of the same name. Only those who have successfully completed the certificate can continue to undertake the diploma. Below is a summary of each.
The Postgraduate Certificate
The number of hours required for successful completion of the certificate is 150 – 200 (this is a combination of tuition plus reading, research and experiential learning). Our training programme is, to a large degree, tailor-made for each student and so it is difficult to be more precise about the number of hours required to successfully complete all 10 modules. This is going to be subject to the student’s previous knowledge, background and experience, as well as their familiarity with our material.
As a guide, based on our experience, each module will take at least 4 – 6 one and a half hour, face-to-face training sessions (or via video) to complete. Students should expect that the recommended reading, research and writing up of assignments will at least match the tuition hours they will receive. Some students will need more personal study and preparation time to bridge the gaps in their understanding.
It should also be stated that the 10 core modules could take longer if the student chooses to undertake the journey at a slower pace, due to their own personal circumstances.
The Postgraduate Diploma
Those wishing to undertake the postgraduate diploma will have to have successfully completed the postgraduate certificate and will be expected to undertake a further 180 – 200 hours of training. This involves revisiting the 10 modules at a much deeper level. Course participants will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of our holistic and integrative approach using case studies as part of their learning process.
Assessment of the diploma is via the successful completion of a research project (10,000 – 12,000 word dissertation). This will be based on an aspect of the course that the student has found particularly beneficial/interesting/stimulating. The final decision regarding the subject matter will be arrived at as a result of discussions between the student and their tutor. This research project will be supervised and is expected to take approximately half of the time allocated to the course.
Below is the training syllabus for the Postgraduate Certificate in Holistic and Integrative Psychotherapy:
Module 1: The Reach Approach in a Nutshell
1. Participants will be introduced to the rationale for an holistic and integrative approach. There will be an exploration of how the Reach model was conceived and the primary pillars that underpin the approach will also be discussed.
2. The Reach Approach is firmly anchored to the concept of synergy – ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. Course participants will be introduced to an understanding of synergy, which embraces much more than the fields of counselling and psychotherapy. The limitations of the ‘talking therapies’, as a sole intervention, will also be explored.
3. The Reach model respects the past and the present. Participants will be helped to understand how the best practices of the past and the present can be integrated into an holistic framework that will meet the needs of their clients. This will include an introduction to subjects such as: cognitive neuroscience, epigenetics, meditation, neurotheology and the role of nutrition in mental health.
4. There will be an introduction to the primary premise of our model, that is: mind, body, spirit and environment are equal shareholders in personal growth.
Module 2: The Story of Health
1. Participants will be introduced to the centerpiece of The Reach Approach – The Story of Health. Building on the introduction in module one, the intimate relationship between health and wellbeing and these ‘four key players’ will be explored more fully.
2. Mind, body, spirit and environment are intimately and inextricably linked and during this module the ‘overlapping’ nature of their relationship will be examined at some length.
3. There will be particular emphasis, at this point, on what is meant by mind and spirit and their unique relationship to one another. The pivotal roles that the body and environment have with regards to the demise, as well as the expansion, of human potential will also be examined.
4. When working with mental health it is essential to understand the difference between neurosis and psychosis. The relationships between mind and body will be examined at some depth to enable participants to better understand how it’s often the tug of war between these two aspects that compromises mental health and wellbeing.
Module 3: N.O.S.E.
1. Our experience has taught us that in the pursuit of sustainable solutions, ‘naming’ and ‘owning’ one’s ‘stuff’ is critical to positive change. In this module participants will come to understand how the subconscious continues to influence our decisions and choices when resolution has not been achieved.
2. The importance of personal responsibility in shaping our thoughts, drives and patterns will be examined, as a central tool for personal transformation. ‘Change begins with me’ is an important mantra in the NOSE process.
3. The process of ‘letting go’ is one of the secrets to achieving contentment and wellbeing. A variety of strategies for achieving this ‘state of surrender’ with clients will be explored.
4. Participants will be introduced to the concept that resolution creates time, space and healing and ultimately leads to empowerment.
Module 4: Persuading The Body
1. This module will explore the relationship between mind and matter. The mind cannot persuade matter to do its bidding until the needs of matter are actually met. This is why nutrition, hydration, deep restorative sleep, appropriate supplementation, exercise and other ‘physical activities’ are needed to forge a healthy alliance.
2. Everything that exists/lives has a heartbeat and therefore strives for its survival. Nowhere is that instinct better witnessed and evidenced than within our own bodies. There are two primary forces that underpin that process; ‘protection’ and ‘growth’. Understanding their roles and relationship to one another gives us many clues to achieving recovery and healing.
3. This module will further expand participants’ understanding of topics such as: PNI (psychoneuroimmunology), epigenetics and orthomolecular medicine and their relevance to human health. The disease process will also be examined in some depth.
4. Perception, personality and performance are the three main things that are affected when the needs of the body are not met. Understanding the dynamics involved in this process offers some valuable insights and a powerful tool for change.
Module 5: The Three Aspects of Consciousness
1. This module offers a greater understanding of the subject of awareness. There will be an introduction to the anatomy of consciousness. This understanding is necessary to enable clients to achieve ‘real’ and sustainable growth.
2. The course participants will be helped to understand how self-awareness depends on appreciating and applying the relationship between the psychological positions of ‘Self’, ‘Other’ and ‘Lovingly Detached’.
3. In this module there will be in-depth exploration of the ‘Lovingly Detached’ position and its binding relationship with judgment, compassion and kindness.
4. The relationship between time and consciousness will be actively explored in this module e.g. The Memoried Self, The Anticipating Self and The Experiencing Self. ‘The Three Gatekeepers’ – truth, kindness and benevolence – also offer a valuable tool for expanding one’s awareness and this will be explored at some depth.
Module 6: All You Need to Know
1. Knowledge + Application = Personal Power. This equation lies at the heart of The Reach Approach. It demonstrates that knowledge is not sufficient for the client to reach his/her destination. It is our experience that the best therapists are those who are applying this principle in their own lives and so can mirror that in their work – the challenges around that will be explored.
2. Understanding how to work with relapses when they occur is critical for facilitating positive change. And so looking at the ‘value’ of relapse is an essential part of this module.
3. There is a ‘knowing’ that exists beyond what we can learn purely through information. That knowing is only actually understood through experience and so in this module the importance and value of introspection will be explored.
4. ‘Serenity is not freedom from the storm, it’s peace within it’. The relentless pursuit of a better ‘destination’ is often the cause of so much anxiety and fear. In this module we’ll explore the idea that the ultimate attainment is to be able to find peace where there appears to be little or none and that the ‘real’ destination is ‘being the best I can be’.
Module 7: Synergy… The cure for all ills?
In this module we will revisit some of the earlier concepts, but in greater depth…
1. The Story of Health revisited:
In order to really understand the role and importance of synergy, we need also to understand the depth and detail of The Story of Health. One of the best ways to explore this topic further is to apply it to one’s own life and see where the strengths and weaknesses exist. Participants will be encouraged to undertake the task of self-examination.
2. Neurotheology – where spirituality and science meet:
It is a myth to think that science has all the answers when science itself is a progeny of spirituality. In this module there will be an introduction to the origins of science and how, in its first incarnation, it was not an enemy of spirituality. However, as has often been the case in history, competition has undermined collaboration. We propose that both are needed to achieve sustainable solutions.
Without understanding how the invisible/subtle forces support and shape the physical world, we cannot fully understand ourselves, nor our part in this story of life. Metaphysics is where both science and philosophy meet, defining the relationships between all living things. In this module course participants will be introduced to its relevance to their work with clients and personal development generally.
4.Orthomolecular Medicine – Nutrition:
There will be an introduction to the therapeutic value of food and supplementation. The intimate relationship between the ‘mouth and the mind’ will be examined. What we put into our mouths indisputably affects the function of our bodies and brains, which in turn shapes our thoughts and feelings. Therefore our perceptions, attitudes and behaviors cannot be completely adjusted without taking nutrition seriously.
Module 8: Experiential Ways of Working
1. Becoming whole-brain thinkers:
Understanding the anatomy of the brain i.e. the roles and relationship between the left and right hemispheres, offers us the opportunity to move beyond the limitations of age, gender, the past, culture and toxic relationships. This module will illustrate how becoming a ‘whole-brain’ thinker is a choice each one of us can make, by applying the different levels of consciousness through the practice of awareness. Participants will be encouraged to undertake this practice.
2. Dark Room Work:
This is a unique aspect of The Reach Approach and participants will be given an introduction to it in this module. This is an experiential process where the energy we use for sight i.e. for looking at and interpreting the world, is turned in on itself and genuinely becomes ‘insight’. It’s amazing to note, that through this activity we are better able to ‘see’ the unseen and hear that which has previously not been said.
3. Deep Relaxation:
The mind cannot operate optimally without peace and so an important part of this module is teaching the principles of relaxation. Deep relaxation enables the individual to build a relationship with silence, which both soothes and heals the body and calms and restores the mind. Learning how to apply the principles of relaxation gives one the ability to disconnect from those energies that block one’s path.
4. Emotional Freedom Work:
This is a powerful adaptation of Emotional Freedom Technique. In this module, we clearly demonstrate that rarely is one technique or strategy alone enough to restore health and wellbeing. Within our approach other relevant factors are taken into account. For example, without understanding the relevance of hydration and nutrition many of the emotional and psychological gains acquired through this process can be lost.
Module 9: The Reach Approach
We have constructed a model, where antiquity meets modernity. We have consciously and with respect tried to marry the best of the past to the present. In addition, we have ensured our model/approach is not merely psychological in its emphasis and focus. Therefore, this is actually a ‘psycho-social-emotional-biological-environmental-spiritual’ approach. Below is a summary of our starting position for working with clients.
1. Life Map Work:
Without knowing someone’s story how can we best deduce what their needs are? This is why our approach is ‘person-specific’ rather than person-centred. The person-centred values are essential to all therapeutic ways of working but it is our experience that they are not always enough and other resources beyond that are needed. Rarely does the presenting problem tell the whole story, which is why a life map can be invaluable in working out who we are ‘sitting with’ and how their needs can be best met.
2. Shame Work:
Shame is the emotion that most binds the human spirit. In this module we will explore shame’s role and how it leads to our entrapment and is often the key to our redemption. We will also illustrate how introspective practices are able to free us from the limitations of shame.
3. Dark Room Work:
As previously stated, Dark Room Work is a wonderful tool for setting up an internal dialogue. It also allows for the relationship between the amygdala and hippocampus to be healthily restored. Participants will be introduced to the three distinct phases to this way of working, which enables the client to first face, heal and ultimately recover.
Our model focuses in part on ‘teaching’ the individual to ‘cook for themselves’ rather than merely providing them with a meal! Lifestyle is the stage in the process when all the work that has been done up to this point is pulled together and an action plan for the way forward is created, using The Story of Health as the template. Participants will be encouraged to create their own lifestyle template, so they can better translate it into their work with clients.
Module 10: The Role of the Self in the Change Process
1. In this module, participants will explore the relationship between personal responsibility and positive change and look at the many activities that can help the client to break the cycle of blame and victimhood.
2. A critical component of The Reach Approach is learning to ‘live with ambivalence’. It is our experience that until clients can live lovingly with their contradictions, they are unlikely to find the peace of mind that will liberate them from the out-dated patterns and beliefs that hold them hostage. Self-care is the key – there will be an in-depth look at this subject.
3. The lack of application of those pratices that lead to positive change is probably the single biggest reason that individuals do not fulfill their potential. In this module we will actively look at how to address the ‘discipline dilemma’, exploring those strategies and practices that can enable the individual to flourish. We will explore how to create a unique set of ‘non-negotiables’ with each client.
4. We live in a cause and effect universe. There are natural laws that govern and underpin all human experience. The further we go back in history, the more we find examples of how living harmoniously with those laws offers us arguably a better relationship with nature, ourselves and each other. In this module this relationship will be explored.
For those who successfully complete this course and want to continue, the Post Graduate Diploma is a more in-depth exploration of all of the items covered in the above syllabus.
Also see: The Reach Network