Higher Certificate in Creative Action Methods

Course Name: Higher Certificate in Creative Action Methods

Training School: Northern School of Psychodrama

Date(s): 01 Sep 2017 – 30 Jun 2025

Location: Glasgow & York


This is the Post-Graduate level of training and is accredited by the BPA. The Northern School model of Psychodrama is underpinned by the Person Centred Approach.

Who is it for?

It is suitable for people who have some experience of working with individuals or groups in a way which promotes learning or enhances personal development. It may also be of interest to people who work therapeutically as a means of expanding their creativity or enlivening their practice.

Selection Procedure:

All applicants are expected to complete NSP’s course application form and supply the name and address of a professional referee. The referee will always be contacted, usually before the applicant’s interview. The applicant will be interviewed by two people at least one of whom will be a NSP trainer. In the interest of equal opportunities all applicants are asked a standard set of questions and given space themselves to ask questions of the NSP interviewer. One purpose of this interview is to ensure that the applicant is fully aware of the financial and time commitment in undertaking this course. In addition applicants are assessed as to their physical, emotional, intellectual and academic ability to undertake the course.

The Course Requirements:

Before registering for the Higher Certificate a candidate should normally hold:

(a) a first degree of an approved University or other approved institution of higher education, in the relevant proposed programme of study,
(b) an approved professional qualification and appropriate experience in a relevant field,

(c) an approved and relevant post graduate qualification.

Candidates are also required to:
(a) be physically and emotionally able to fulfil the requirements of training and practice,
(b) have experience of working in a responsible role with people,

Applicants must have some experience of psychodrama before joining the course. This may be from attending one of our workshops prior to commencement. Acceptance on the course is by successful completed application and subsequent interview. An interview fee of £80 is charged to cover some of the expenses regarding this.
You are required to attend a minimum of 5 open workshops and 1 residential per year. You must attend 1 closed “student only” workshops per year.

The Location Of The Course:

Workshops are run in Glasgow, and York with one residential week in Hexham.


Students will choose a personal tutor and they will attend regular tutorials in agreement with their tutor

Expected Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course trainees will:
1. Have an in depth knowledge of Psychodrama theory and philosophy.
2. Have developed an extensive repertoire of psychodramatic skills.
3. Be aware of and understand current developments concerning the theory and practice of Psychodrama.
4. Have demonstrated through their writing and practice a comprehension of theory and a broad grasp of the Psychodrama literature.
8. Have direct experience and understanding of the Person Centred Approach.
9. Be able to observe and have an understanding of individual development, group process and sociometry and respond effectively to these phenomena.
10. Understand the ways in which psychodrama is influenced by value judgements and a range of social, cultural and ethical issues.
11. Have an awareness of the theory and practice of Drama and Theatre.
12. Have demonstrated competent communication skills.
13. Have developed an understanding of the non-clinical use of Psychodrama.
14. Have an awareness of research in Psychodrama.
15. Have demonstrated a commitment to continuing personal growth, professional development and learning.
16. Be aware of, and have begun to develop, their own special interest, style and skill base.
17. Have an awareness and understanding of ethical practice in psychodrama.
18. Have an ability to write essays in a coherent and clearly structured manner.
19. Have an ability to use research findings in a critical and informed way to develop a deeper understanding of psychodrama

Programme Content

The programme focuses primarily upon five subject areas;
• Psychodrama theory and philosophy
• Psychodramatic method and practice
• Group process and sociometry
• Person Centred theory and philosophy
In much of the programme, these five elements are integrated and are experienced and studied as dimensions of a single process. However, reflection, analysis, discussion and study complement experiential learning and skills practice sessions.

Structure of the Course

The course consists of 1 residential, 4 weekends and 4 tutorials per year for 2 years, resulting in 280 hours of Psychodrama training. One short and one long residential are included. The course includes additional elements as described below.

Course Content

Year One – Fundamentals of Psychodrama Theory and Practice
By the end of year 1, trainees will have knowledge of:
Child development
Psychodrama Theory and Practice
Person Centred theory and practice
The use of psychodramatic techniques e.g. Mirror, Surplus reality, Soliloquy
The use of processing in psychodrama
The use of warm-up
The ethical issues involved
Trainees will be competent in the following areas:
Role reversal
Leading warm up exercises
Holding and developing of auxiliary roles
Trusting their judgement and spontaneity
Chairing processing and seminars

Year Two – Developing as a Practitioner
By the end of year 2, trainees will have knowledge of:
An understanding of theory and practice of humanistic Group Psychotherapy.
The use of Sociodrama
Group dynamics and process
Non-clinical applications of psychodrama
Awareness of Equal opportunity issues
Trainees will be competent in the following areas:
Managing group warm–up
Leading the group through protagonist selection
Directing vignettes
Directing a group
The use of processing to enhance their skills

In addition, trainees will be competent in their ability to:
Correspond with other professionals
Lead seminars
Present case studies
Lead processing
Demonstrate individual thinking
Understand and demonstrate their therapeutic intent

Teaching Methods

Teaching Methods include:
Practical workshops
Trainee-led seminars
Group processing
Group supervision
Peer assessment
Peer marking
Individual tutorials
Case studies and presentations

Contact Hours
The course will be taught on one residential sessions and five open and one closed weekends per year, giving a total of 140 training hours per year. In addition, each trainee is offered up to four tutorials per year. Closed weekends will be facilitated by at least two of the staff trainers. Total trainee hours for the Higher Certificate are 280 hours.

Course Requirements
These must be successfully completed to pass the course.

You are required to attend the one residential and six weekends, per year. If you miss a residential (with good reason), you are required to attend two extra weekends to make this up. Should you miss any parts of the course for any reason, you will be asked to make good this absence in some way agreed with your tutor, before you can qualify. Refunds will not be given to trainees who fail to attend any part of the course. You must keep a record of such missed weekends and ensure the administrator is fully informed of your intention to attend a weekend to replace lost hours.

You are required to submit all items of coursework by the agreed deadlines and to achieve a passing grade in each.
Personal Therapy
You may find personal therapy helpful during the course. By being in therapy yourself you will have the opportunity to pay attention to your own wounds, sources of difficulties, distress and patterns that might disable you when confronted with such material in your work with clients. This is an independent arrangement between you and your therapist, completely confidential and separate from the course and course tutors. The separation of the training and therapy will ensure that an essential curriculum is covered on the course. However training in psychodrama is substantially through experience of the process and you will be expected to work in the training group on personal issues, choosing what is appropriate for you to share in this context.

Registration with the BPA
This course is accredited by the B.P.A. You are required to become a member and register as a trainee with the B.P.A.; your tutor will co-sign the appropriate forms for you. The annual trainee membership of the B.P.A. is currently £100, due 1st Jan each year (£50 trainee registration and £50 membership). Trainees who commence training in September are entitled to join for the reduced rate of £75 (£50 trainee registration and £25 half-year membership). As a member, you will receive two journals and four newsletters, as well as reductions on the price of the annual conference and certain workshops. Attending the annual B.P.A. Conference can count towards your External Hours.

It is important that you are aware of, and operate within, the BPA’s code of ethics Copies are available from the Course Administrator or can be downloaded from the BPA website:


Below presents the coursework required.

Written work
Year 1
3,500-4,000 word Essay, on:
The Techniques of Creative Action Methods

Year 2
3,500 -4,000 word Essay on:
Psychodrama and the Process of Change

5000-5,500 word Case Study – An Evaluation of Practice

In addition trainees will be competent in their ability to:
Correspond with other professionals.
Lead seminars
Present case studies.
Lead processing
Demonstrate individual thinking.
Understand and demonstrate their therapeutic intent.


Course fees are currently £2495 per year with a “one off” registration fee of £100 in your first year.
You may pay this in one full payment before your first weekend or by monthly/ quarterly instalment. Payment plans to be agreed and signed prior to commencing the course.

Application forms are available from the school Administrator:
Margaret Bird at

This information sheet was amended November 2017.

 N.B. Intakes for the Higher Certificate are January & September each year.


Margaret Bird