The thing with counselling is it's insanely competitive. Do an advanced search for threads about counselling/counsellors on this board and you'll find loads - every man and his dog wants to get into it. This is not by itself a reason for not doing it, of course, but something you need to be aware of. It's why counselling courses are so expensive (universities aren't stupid, they know there's lots of money to be made from all the wannabe counsellors out there who are prepared to pay whatever the university charges).
I started training when I was 30, did 4 years training and have been working 7 years - it's the best job I've ever had. In fact it's not a job, it's just a way of being that I get paid for.
The job does bring great sadness and great rewards - it's very difficult working with children as victims of abuse or terrible parenting but it is amazing watching and being part of people getting well.
Human resilience, the strive to actualise against some terrible odds (I worked in a centre for DV victims) is amazing to watch.
It's very gritty, in a way that looks bloody easy from the outside
Thanks. Have you been a counsellor long? Everything I read makes me realise I could never have got my head around lots of this until I had a few years under my belt as an oldie!
That makes me think I could have something to offer. My current main interest is self harm/ self sabotage which appears to be a growing problem. However, I am sure that studying will highlight other areas of interest.
A lot use it for personal development but also it goes in stages so you can finish a qualification (at Certificate level) if that's all your work needs - health care profs often do just level 3 as that's a skills based course.
To go on to level 4 and 5 is usually for those who want to be counsell
1. Yes 2. You find you're drawn to certain areas and attract certain types of work - for me it's addiction work and (separately) children - so I work in a school a couple of days, an addiction organisation one day, and one day privately 3. You practise on each other at colleges and universities, this gives you a really good grounding, you also observe each other - there are plenty of psychotherapy sessions on YouTube including some of the 'greats' - Yalom/Rogers/mearns 4. Yes, different courses have different hours requirements - I went for 4 years.
I have been planning a career change, and it has been suggested to me by two people, both very well respected in their field and very knowledgeable, that counselling might be something that I could so well and enjoy.
I am interested, so have enrolled in a course part time, so I can continue to work to get a better feel for it, without resigning or anything drastic.
Anyhow, I know pretty much every role and profession is represented on MN, so i wondered if anyone could tell me if:
* they can earn a living in the role * if they have a particular specialist area rather than a general counsellor *did anyone allow you to observe sessions as a student or is that not something that happens * were you obliged to have some counselling yourself as part of training
Or any other fabulous advice, would be very welcome. Even if it is 'run for the hills1"