Established since 1987, the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute (SPTI) is a not for profit educational organisation specialising in training counsellors and psychotherapists.  We offer professional and academic qualifications, ranging from introductory to masters level. Our graduates can achieve both accreditation and registration with the top national counselling and psychotherapy organisations in the UK and either a BSc (Hons) or a Masters degree.

Our mission is to provide a wide range of courses all of which combine academic rigour with high standards for clinical practice. We are committed to high quality training in terms of professional and ethical standards, research and innovation; and to providing opportunities for learning that will enable both our students and our graduates to further their personal growth, professional development and healthy engagement with society, allowing them to play a significant role in enhancing the lives of their clients.  

Our courses have a maximum of 28 training days each year and are designed to be managed alongside current occupations.  

This is a guide to our full range of professional training programmes, which include:

Our MSc graduates are eligible for UKCP registration. Graduates of the BSc (Hons) course are eligible to apply for BACP accreditation upon completion of their clinical component.

Each of our training courses is separate and distinct. But here at the Sherwood Institute, we actively encourage open enquiry and a willingness to look across and beyond theoretical boundaries. We like to see what can be learned from different ways of thinking about counselling and psychotherapy. In our opinion no single theoretical approach has a monopoly on truth. In addition we offer a variety of individual workshops and seminars with top international trainers, providing further opportunities for professional development for trainees, experienced practitioners, supervisors, and trainers. These are advertised at various points during the year and can be accessed through this web site.

Our courses are open to all who meet the entrance criteria. We also operate an APL system where people with suitable prior training may start the course part-way through. In the current climate of under representation of minority groups in counselling and psychotherapy we particularly welcome applicants from these groups. The Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute operates an equal opportunities policy and we strive to operate an environment of equality and diversity.  

We have two training buildings in the centre of Nottingham. Our facilities include three large training rooms (two of which are suitable for people with mobility difficulties including those needing wheelchair access). There is designated disabled parking outside our Park Row building and at Castle Quay.

We will be pleased to answer any further questions you may have. Please feel welcome to phone us, to talk to our tutors or programme leaders – we are happy to discuss your individual needs and interests.

Click here for a course overview.

Our Courses…

…Could Change Your Life

Taking any kind of study course can have an impact on your life.

And for many of our students, desire for personal change, a deeper experience of life and relationships, or an enhanced way of being, was not the primary motivation for beginning one of our courses. The subject of psychotherapy and counselling may simply have been of interest to them, or they wanted a good qualification in this area. Naturally we see that as our main raison d’etre. But over and over again, graduates and those part-way through our courses, tell us that they experience themselves and their lives changing in positive ways they could not have imagined, and that friendships forged during this time were of greater depth than previously known. They are often surprised at finding these personal changes to be of equal value to gaining the qualification.

Combine this with what we believe is an excellent professional training in counselling/psychotherapy, to the highest standards of ethics, competency, and contemporary relevance, and we hope that our courses provoke your excitement and serious consideration.

We don’t think psychotherapy/counselling is the only option for some of the difficulties people face or as a guide to how to live in a wiser, more fulfilled way. And we think it’s important to take on board some of the criticisms of the profession that surface at intervals and use them as useful feedback by which we may constantly seek to improve. But working with clients is all about helping them to enhance the quality of their lives, about helping them to fulfil their potential. We believe that at best, psychotherapy and counselling are powerful means of improving the lives of individuals and society and make a major contribution to modern life. That is why we’re engaged in this profession. But don’t say you haven’t been warned. . .

To see an overview of our courses please click here.

The Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute

The Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute was founded in 1987 and moved to Thiskney House in 1992. In 1997 we also extended to a second building at Park Row, a few yards away and then to its present location at Castle Quay in 2023.

We are situated near to Nottingham Castle (of Robin Hood fame) in the heart of the City of Nottingham, a highly popular, cosmopolitan centre for social and cultural activity. Being right in the centre of England, with good access to major road, rail and air networks, we are easily accessible from all parts of the UK and further afield.

We are one of the largest training organisations of its kind in the UK, having expanded every year since we began, with at present nearly 300 students. We are still small enough to retain a personal, caring atmosphere in which students, programme leaders and the staff of our small administrative office are familiar figures to each other. Yet we have the advantages of being a successful organisation with validation from Staffordshire University, extensive connections with the wider field of psychotherapy and counselling, and an international reputation. This all helps our graduates to enhance their professional standing.

Our students come from all areas of the UK, and our visiting tutors have come from all over the world.

Graduates from our courses have used their training in a vast number of public and private sector areas related to counselling and psychotherapy, have written books and articles, have founded their own institutes or initiated courses, have brought increased awareness to the upbringing of their children, or have used their learning to enhance the lives of themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.

We base all our programmes on well-researched methods of counselling and psychotherapy, and they evolve in response to the latest research.

Facilities at SPTI:

We have three large and one small training rooms; a library; a resources room with journals and computers, collected articles, dissertations from previous students and photocopying / scanning facilities. Trainees often choose to relax in one of the many nearby coffee houses and eating places at break-times. Both Institute buildings also have student common rooms for students to meet, with fresh filtered water and hot drinks-making facilities.

Our History

Originally located in a large house in the Sherwood area of Nottingham, we began our first ever training group in Gestalt Psychotherapy. It soon became clear that more than one group was needed and our second group began in 1989

Demand for training in Gestalt Psychotherapy continued to increase and the following year saw the start of our third group. Demand for other approaches was also increasing. We began other programmes, with Person-Centred Counselling (1990), Supervision (1991), and Integrative Psychotherapy (1992). We have continued to recruit to these programmes year by year, and we currently have nearly 300 students on a variety of programmes.

Meanwhile the world of counselling and psychotherapy was rapidly changing. Accreditation and national recognition was becoming increasingly important to graduates and potential trainees looking for courses in this field.

In 1993, we became an accrediting member of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and were thus able to offer our Psychotherapy graduates UKCP registered status. In 1994, our Counselling course gained accredited status with the British Association for Counselling (now the BACP) and in 1995, SPTI first achieved University validation. We were then able to offer University validated Masters Programmes as well as clinical professional qualifications.

This was an intense period of growth both in terms of size and in what we as a training institute could offer to our trainees. Many connections were made with others in the field on both national and international levels. The next period saw us concentrating on developing what we had already achieved.

In 2001, we entered a new period of expansion with the validation of the Humanistic Person-Centred Programme. We then offered four Masters courses each leading to UKCP registration and one undergraduate level accredited course with the BACP.

More recently, we have developed our SPTI Foundation Access Course designed for those who wish to move onto either the BSc (Hons) or Masters programmes but who need to enhance their study experience in preparation for this. Our MSc in Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and our MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy are thoroughly updated on an ongoing basis to take account of the changes in the field of Psychotherapy and Counselling and within the individual approaches. Our BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy is a BACP accredited course. Since 2008/9 our MSc and BSc programmes were offered as in partnership with Coventry University. Our Undergraduate and Postgraduate Degrees are now validated by Staffordshire University.

We also continue to extend our connections within the UK and Europe using our reputation for innovative research in psychotherapy and our ability to offer Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees.

We are proud and appreciative of the way our historical developments have led to us being here, now, able to provide a major contribution to the field of psychotherapy and counselling and we look forward to the future!