Diploma in Online and Distance Therapy

Gain the professional skills and competencies to take your sessions online or over the phone.

Therapists hold online video counselling session over zoom with laptop

Diploma in Online and Distance Therapy



The unique nature of online or telephone counselling means it can be some of the most powerful, accessible and fulfilling work for client and therapist. This Diploma will help you to realise these benefits in an ethical, competent and knowledgeable way.

The course structure is modelled on the curriculum and competencies of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). To enhance this further, we have added additional content above and beyond the BACP requirements as we believe this is fundamental to developing your professional skills for distance therapy and counselling. PLEASE NOTE – the BACP recently updated their course curriculum. This course aligns with the previous edition. We are currently updating the course but this may take some time.

You may have some experience of working online (perhaps during the Covid-19 lockdowns) or none at all. In either case, the course is suitable for you. This Diploma develops your professional competence in order to help you move some or all of your sessions online.

It provides 80 hours of training (plus optional resources in addition to this) covering the therapeutic, legal, technical, contractual and ethical aspects of this specialist work.

As with all courses from the School of Applied Mental Health, you will complete a learning pathway that is accessible, modern and connected to the needs of those who seek mental health support. Our modern society is changing rapidly, and we are here to ensure your professionals skills can match these needs.


Course Structure

Split into 11 learning modules, each covers a number of competencies required by professional bodies as well as additional learning to really enhance your professional skills.

In this Diploma the modules you will cover are:

Overview of modules structures including initial considerations, psychological processes, client assessment, contracting boundaries, communication and creativity, text based communication, risk management and identification, working internationally, endings and supervision, data protection and security and the future of online therapy and counselling.


Each of the modules is broken down into manageable sections, so you can pick up and leave the course to fit around your other commitments, whether home or work. The course covers video sessions, online chat, email therapy and audio only sessions (whether phone or online).


Who is it for?

This course is designed for qualified practicing counsellors, therapists and psychotherapists (or other relevant and qualified mental health professionals) who want to gain competence and knowledge in order to work with clients online or over the phone. It does not favour any modality and is suitable for those who work with adults in a one to one setting (i.e. it does not cover the legal, ethical or psychological elements of working with groups, couples, children or young people under 18). We are also able to accept students who are currently undertaking their professional training. If you are a student looking to apply you will need to provide a letter from your training organisation confirming your study. Please note this training is additional training in a specialist area and does not qualify you as a therapist (or similar).

It requires no previous experience of counselling online and provides a level of training well beyond any introductory course.

Within the Diploma, the legal perspective used is that of UK and EU law (i.e. GDPR) (specifically English law) but Module 8 does address some of the issues to be aware of when working outside of this and considering overseas clients.

If you have any queries over whether this course may be suitable for you, do contact us via the link at the bottom of this page and we will be happy to discuss this further with you.

What Our Students Say

The Diploma in Online and Distance Therapy is perfect for any counsellor or psychotherapist who wants to deepen their understanding of distance therapy, whether online, over the phone or in written form. It covers a great range of theory and practice and uses a very helpful mix of learning approaches and styles.

With 30 years experience as a therapist but only 6 months online due to Covid-19, I gained a huge amount from participating in the Diploma and thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting a high quality, substantial training in distance counselling.

Pete Connor
MBACP (Senior Accredited), UKCP Registered 

Entry Requirements

To attend this course, you will already hold:

  • Diploma level qualification in a therapy/psychotherapy qualification, or equivalent
  • Membership of a therapeutic professional body such as the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) or equivalent. Please get in touch if you are a member of a related profession and we can discuss
  • Access to a computer/laptop/tablet with good broadband connection

Why do we ask for proof of your credentials? We ask for certification in order to meet the BACP curriculum entry requirements. The course is structured to allow students to apply or adapt their own existing style of therapeutic approach to the practice of online or telephone therapy. Without pre-existing qualification and experience, this would simply not be possible. It also helps you to know that others who have undertaken this course also hold this level of qualification.

To provide counselling and therapy at a distance you will need at least a basic level of online/IT proficiency. If you have any concerns over whether you meet this, please do contact us to chat it through.

Whilst undertaking the training, you do not need to have a supervisor who is specifically trained for online work. The course will, however, ask you to start thinking about how you may need to adjust supervision to ensure it remains appropriate. As with any professional training, we expect you will be discussing your learning with your supervisor as you go as this will help to consolidate your learning.


How do I apply?

If you are ready to start your Diploma, please click the link below to express your interest and we can start the process of getting you inducted and started!

What Our Students Say

I liked that this course felt personalised despite it being remote. The structure of each module is concise and easy to follow. As you progress through each module the activities were thought provoking, engaging and interactive. This is a great course and I would highly recommend!

Elizabeth K, Middlesbrough


Next Available Course

Our courses are all online and designed to be completed at your own pace. You can start whenever you want and you have 12 months to complete your learning (although if you believe you may struggle to do so, do get in touch with us and we can discuss options).


Cost & Location

As an online course this Diploma can be studied anywhere and does not require face to face attendance (just your computer and a good internet connection).

During the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health support is more important than ever. To recognise this, and the role you play, we are giving everyone a 20% discount on the full cost of the course. Instead of paying £500, we are offering the Diploma for £400 for a limited time.

Organisational discount can be offered to those of groups of 5 or more.


Covid-19 Discount

 As a profession we have all been hit by the massive impact of Covid-19. Moving to online sessions gives everyone a chance to continue working and providing essential mental health services in a skilled, ethical, and competent manner. To help with this we are offering a 20% discount on our Diploma whilst restrictions are still in place. This will be automatically applied. 

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Image Credits

Header photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash

Diagrams by The School of Applied Mental Health ©2000