UK College of Holistic Training

UKCHT logoHolistic distance learning certificate
and diploma courses

Complementary therapies, self-help,
coaching, management,
New Age and spiritual fields. 
International enrolments accepted.
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Diploma in
Abnormal Psychology
(Dip. Ab. Psych.)

Distance Learning Course Details

Oct 2017: this course is being updated and will be relaunched with a different textbook. The syllabus and price will also change. Applications are temporarily suspended.

   College accreditation: International Association for Distance Learning.

Total recommended period of study:  6 - 9 months or less. Continuous enrolment. No time limit.

Cost: to be announced.

Textbooks extra . Students will need to buy books from on-line bookstores. Overseas students will need to allow for postage costs.

Method of study 

Textbook study. Written assignments based on textbooks and exercises. Assignment questions are issued by email and students return their written work by email. Grades and feedback are issued by email.

Course overview

This course is a private qualification aimed at the helping professional in private practice, those who already have the core qualifications for their career, or those interested in the subject.  Many courses in counselling, psychotherapy, coaching or hypnotherapy,  general nursing, social care, complementary medicine or New Age arts do not include a systematic study of abnormal psychology, and this course will fill gaps in knowledge and make it easier to communicate with the medical profession, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, psychotherapists and other professionals, and to understand psychology books and papers. 

The course may be used as a useful preparation for further training in psychology, psychotherapy, mental health work, etc. or as a professional development diploma which may be displayed alongside your existing qualifications to show additional specialist knowledge. You will be able to add the letters Dip.Ab.Psych. after your name. 

Syllabus (this syllabus is subject to change):

The nature of abnormal behaviour
The history of psychopathology
The role of science in abnormal psychology
Current approaches to abnormality
I - Biology
II - Psychoanalysis
III - Humanistic and Existential theories
IV - Learning theories and Behaviour Therapy
V - Cognitive Theories and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
The Diathesis-Stress Perspective
Eclecticism and Different Perspectives

Classification and diagnosis of abnormal behaviour
Clinical assessment procedures - psychological and biological
Cultural diversity and bias in assessment
Research methods in studying abnormal behaviour

Anxiety disorders: phobias, panic, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder
Somatoform disorders including body dysmorphic disorder and conversion disorder
Dissociative disorders including Dissociative Identity Disorder

Stress, health and the link between body and mind
Heart disease, asthma, hypertension and stress
AIDS prevention and the behavioural sciences
Social status, ethnicity, gender and health
Therapies for psychophysiological disorders

Eating disorders - etiology and treatment
Mood disorders - general characteristics (depression, mania, bipolar)
Mood disorders - psychological and biological approaches
Mood disorders - therapies

Childhood and adolescent depression

Schizophrenia: description, etiology, history, therapies

Substance-related disorders: alcohol abuse, smoking, marijuana, sedatives/stimulants, LSD/hallucinogens, etiology of substance abuse, therapies for alcohol dependence, treatments for illegal drugs, prevention

Personality disorders: classification, description, therapies (including borderline and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders)

Sexual and gender identity disorders including gender identity disorder and sexual dysfunctions: descriptions, etiology, therapies

Childhood disorders: ADHD, conduct disorder, learning disabilities, retardation, autistic disorders. Descriptions, etiology, treatments.

Abnormal behaviour in the elderly:  discussion of social issues,  old age and psychological disorders, brain disorders (dementia, delirium ), psychological disorders in old age, treatment and care, therapy with older adults

Does psychological therapy work?  general issues, psychoanalytic therapies, client-centered therapy, gestalt, behavioural and cognitive techniques, couple & family therapy, community psychology, integrative therapies, cultural/racial factors

Legal and ethical matters:  criminal and civil commitment, ethics in therapy and research

A university-level textbook of over 600 pages is required as the main book for the course.  Apart from the main text, at least 3 other books will be required for the special topics (see below).

Finally, the student takes 3 set taught units on special topics. These units will be selected by the course tutor, according to the student’s interests, from the distance learning units available to us.  

Special Topics (3 to be chosen)

  • Counselling Skills

  • Understanding Psychiatric Drugs

  • Symptoms of Mental Illness

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Introduction to Psychotherapy

  • Anorexia and Bulimia

  • Dissociative Disorders

  • Schizophrenia

  • Integration of Traditional Healing Practices (available to qualified counsellors/psychotherapists/mental health workers only)

Entry criteria and suitability 

The course can benefit any person who regularly comes into contact with the mentally ill or those with behavioural problems, e.g. therapists, professional carers, home managers and staff, volunteers, charity workers, pastors, probation officers, police officers, legal and correctional professionals, etc.  No particular qualifications are required for entry.



Successful graduates will receive the Diploma in Abnormal Psychology awarded by UK College of Holistic Training which is a private UK qualification. The college is accredited by the International Association for Distance Learning. Course graduates may use the postnominal designation Dip. Ab. Psych.

Please note that this course does not lead to membership of the British Psychological Society or to Chartered Psychologist status. It is not accredited by a government-recognised body and does not lead to any professional licence in any country. It is not a qualification in counselling or psychotherapy and does not confer the ability to treat patients.  Many of the conditions covered in this course are serious medical problems which will need the attention of a psychiatrist (a medical doctor specialising in mental illness). 

Further information

Please see our FAQs page for general information.

We reserve the right to change the syllabus and other details of any course at any time.

To apply for this course now, go to our Application page



Our new URL is www.ukcht.uk  (Note: this is a "dot UK" not a "dot co.uk" address)
(Our courses are by distance learning/ home study only - we have no classes in London.  All enrolments must be made by email, or post)
Email us using this link
 Tel.   020 7060 2283  International +44 207 060 2283