Talking Therapies and Brief Interventions

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Talking Therapies are therapeutic interventions practised across the expanding mental health and addiction services, as well as in primary care. As the demand for these therapies increases, so does the need for training.

UC postgraduate study provides you with specialist skills, applied experience and enhanced knowledge in topics you care about. Our programmes and research activities respond to the dynamic nature of the health sector and its workforce. Our aim is to assist you to upskill and develop expertise, so you can improve your professional practice and make a positive change to our communities.

If you are working in the health sector in mental health and addiction or related areas, you may be eligible for a fees scholarship.

Talking therapies help people understand and work through personal problems, with the aim of making positive changes to their thinking, feelings, behaviour, relationship, physical and emotional well-being. They cover a broad range of interventions including counselling, family therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing and other psychotherapies.

People may seek talking therapy at various stages in their lives. They may be facing new challenges, may have been diagnosed with a mental health issue, or simply need extra support during a difficult time. Talking therapies can help with anxiety, depression, anger, grief, mental health problems, relationship problems, personal development, sexual abuse, family violence, alcohol/drug/smoking/gambling issues, bullying, divorce, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress, self-harming, chronic illness, communication and behavioural issues that affect children, young people and whānau and self-management of health conditions. Talking therapies are based on trust and open communication, working together with clients to empower them to solve problems and adopt new perspectives and practices that will help them make positive changes in their lives.

UC offers a package of postgraduate courses that combine the latest research, practices and techniques applicable to talking therapies. The listed courses can be studied individually as professional development as part of a Certificate of Proficiency or as one of our Postgraduate Qualifications.

They are a mix of block and on-campus courses.

To enrol in a talking therapies course or study pathway you must meet the entry requirements for each course and or qualification, including enrolment in postgraduate certificate or diploma where necessary. Contact

For the 2023 academic year*, UC has secured funding from the Ministry of Health to support fees payment for talking therapies courses for some students. If you are a health professional working with people presenting with mental health and addictions conditions you may be eligible for funding. If you meet the criteria below please contact us to discuss your individual situation and eligibility:

  • Hold a degree in a health-related discipline such as Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Nursing, Psychology, Medicine, Counselling.
  • Meet the University of Canterbury requirements for entry to the particular qualification and/or course, including enrolment in postgraduate certificate or diploma where necessary. Check our qualification eligibility tool
  • Not be alternatively and additionally funded by DHB or Ministry of Health Manatū Hauora funding.

Preference will be given to those working in a mental health and addiction services.

*please note this funding maybe avaliable for the 2024 academic year, for more information please get in touch with our student advice team

For Health and Counselling courses, please contact our student advice team

 For Psychology courses, please contact the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy team