Training to be a counsellor at 40y.o. -- anyone done it?

(2 Posts)
OnTheBr1nk Wed 07-Sep-16 10:11:19

Hi all,

I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with the current career path I am on, and am very drawn to the idea of retraining as a counsellor/therapist. I am frustrated with having to sit at a screen all day, and would really relish the human connection, as well as the opportunity to use/stretch my interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, listening, etc. I recently underwent a short course of counselling to help me through a rough patch, and was really fascinated with the process and see it as something I would do well. I know that it's not the biggest money-maker, and that jobs/clients are a little hard to come by, but I am thinking I would do it alongside my existing freelance work.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else on here had done a similar thing: retraining as a counsellor/therapist after shifting across from a different career track? What factors led to your decision? Are you glad you did it? What advice would you give?

Nearlyhadenough Sun 11-Sep-16 18:27:29

Simply - don't.

I completed 4 years of training last year at a cost of approximately £20k. I was well aware that there would be little or no paid employment at the end of it (unless you are willing to set up on your own, but the costs are huge, even if you can get fee paying clients), but I was doing it for the skills rather than a new career. The biggest complaint on the course was that no-one had been told about the lack of opportunity.

You have to find a counselling placement - this in itself is nearly impossible. Places that offered counselling have no funding so many have closed, those few that remain rarely take students.

The courses are relatively easy for colleges to run and bring in a fair amount of money. Yes, we do need counsellors, but we now have too many. And not many private clients can afford £35+ per session.

This is country wide - big issue discussed in the BACP journal all the time.

Unless you have lots of time and money to spend training, to do voluntary work (if you are lucky), then go for it. If you need to work for a living, counselling may not be the right career.

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