Psychology for Change is an intensive, 8-week course for people at the latter stages of their recovery journey.

It helps them develop a more accurate understanding of their life experiences and build a more solid foundation to build the rest of their lives upon.

The course draws upon a range of subjects that primarily focus on psychology – and through this, self-understanding – and that also include philosophy, feminist theory, social history, politics, sociology and more. Developing this bigger picture perspective and understanding individual experience within the wider context of social inequality significantly reduces the feelings of shame rooted in people believing they are to blame for how their lives turned out. It helps people let go of much of the stigma they carry about their pasts.

When does it run?

The course is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10.30 to 16.15 and runs for 8 weeks. The course is carefully and deliberately structured with each day covering a different topic to explore. The days involve a mixture of learning information, doing exercises, and discussion – trainees learn to think critically about what is being taught and have the space to apply what they learn to themselves.

Alongside the training days are fortnightly, hour long, tutorials. There are four in total. These provide the space to further reflect on what they are learning and process what may be coming up for them in the group. Tutorials are also a place to seek support around coursework if needed. The combination of training in a group and one to one tutorials act as a powerful catalyst to help people live what they learn.

Our next intake begins on June 21st 2022.

We have a later intake beginning on 18th October 2022

To apply or enquire for more information about the course, contact us [email protected] or call 020 3490 1818. To apply online, please find our application form here.

What will participants get out of the course?

Participants are encouraged to live what they learn, are supported in one-to-one tutorials, and complete written coursework that leads to an accredited qualification. 

Through the carefully structured training programme and tutorials, trainees are supported to develop healthy relationships with themselves, set out and achieve goals, and grow in confidence and self-esteem. They work on and practice establishing trust, personal boundaries, critical thinking, problem-solving, dealing with challenging situations, and personal responsibility.

People developing a healthier relationship with themselves supports in developing healthier relationships to those around them. Graduates of PfC frequently report more fulfilling relationships with partners, children, family members and friends.

Completing the coursework is also a significant boost in self-esteem for people and helps to change the core beliefs many people have about their inability to learn and complete things they have started.

"I feel that in treatment you are treated like a child but on Psychology for Change you are encouraged to act like an adult." - Warren

Who is the course for?

Suitable candidates for Psychology for Change are those who: 

  • Are at the latter stages of treatment. They may be thinking about their next steps after finishing residential rehab, coming to the end of a day programme, accessing aftercare services or being engaged with Employment Training and Education (ETE).
  • May be on low doses of substitute medication such as methadone, Subutex or Suboxone*
  • Have some support networks in their lives. Given the emotionally demanding nature of the course, we strongly suggest participants have structures such as stable housing and support networks (this might be groups, connections to services, friends/family, accessing counselling/therapy) that will help them commit to the course.
  • Are usually 23 years old or above. We recognise that age doesn’t equal maturity however so we are happy to assess people on a case-by-case basis.
  • Are able to commit to attending each day for the entire duration of the day over the six-week course**.
  • Have access to Zoom and Wi-Fi. We fully support participants to become familiar with Zoom prior to the course starting.

*A low dose for one person may be a high dose for another so we ask that individuals detail their dosage on their application form and be made aware that we will carry out an individual risk assessment. A decision about readiness and suitability will then be made.

**We recognise unexpected events sometimes happen and a day or part of a day may need to be missed. We have an 85% attendance requirement on the course which means that participants can miss up to two days to accommodate this but we strongly recommend aiming to attend every day if possible.

How much is the course?

We raise funds to ensure that participants can access the course for free. We ask local authorities/commissioners/treatment providers to pay £600 towards the cost of the course. We subside the rest through our fundraising.

What do course graduates move on to afterwards?

We have a dedicated Move On Coordinator who supports graduates with planning their next steps before they end the course. Many go on to volunteering placements and later, having developed some workplace experience, skills and confidence, many move on to paid employment. 

Many gain an appetite for study as a result of realising that learning can be enjoyable and lots of graduates move on to further education.

Recent Psychology for Change graduate on her experience of the course

"Psychology for Change made my whole life make sense. It has changed my life and for that I am truly grateful." - Rosina

How do people access the course?

Referrals are made via a service or you can self-refer. It's open to anyone who is accessing the latter stages of treatment or who has accessed treatment for drug or alcohol addiction in the past. There is an application form to complete and an informal interview to assess suitability.