Concern as University of Limerick drops psychotherapy course


Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

Concern as University of Limerick drops psychotherapy course

A UL spokesperson said that the costs of running the programme were too high

THE University of Limerick's decision to cut its postgraduate diploma and Masters programmes in psychotherapy has been criticised by leading psychotherapists in the region.

A spokesperson for UL has confirmed to the Limerick Leader that it did not accept students on to either programme in the 2016/17 academic year as its running costs were “unsustainably high”.

UL said that similar to other bodies they are constantly reviewing programmes and modules offered “with a view to providing the best possible courses and qualifications to all students and prospective students”.

“Due to the high level of personal and professional development associated with the course and the guidelines in relation to student teacher ratios set out for psychotherapy training, the programme running costs were unsustainably high. 

They continued: “Students currently registered on psychotherapy courses at UL will continue their studies as normal and will not be impacted by this amendment to the university’s programme offering.”

Those working in the field say that this decision will have a “direct effect on the number of accredited service providers in the region.”

John Hartley, a local psychotherapist, who graduated from the programme in 2002, told the Leader that “to the best of my knowledge there isn’t a course of similar standing in the Limerick or Mid-West region, or have to same rigorous training for course participants.”

“There’s such an emphasis now on the whole area of mental health, but it really doesn’t make sense to me. Regardless of the cost of the programme, I feel this is something that gives back to the community as well. For me, it was the best training I did, and all these years later, still informs my work.” 

Others, who did not wish to be identified, said that they regard it as the “gold standard within the field” and said “it should be expanded rather than cut”.