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Is anyone a Counsellor?

(9 Posts)
frankie3 Thu 09-Oct-08 15:04:14

I am thinking of training to become a counsellor. Does anyone have any advice on this, as I do not know anyone who does counselling?

There are a lot of courses around and I am unsure of the best one to do. I have a degree, but in a completely unrelated subject, and would like to do a part time course in a local college, or distance learning with support.

Thanks, if anyone can help me.

wannaBe Thu 09-Oct-08 15:13:22

I'm not a counsellor but I did start down the road of training to be one.

Firstly, it's a fairlly long, expensive and very emotional process. And it is something you don't necessarily have control over - counselling chooses you not the other way around, and if at any time your tutors think you will not be a suitable counsellor they will tell you and there your study will end. Only 10% of people who start out on counsellling courses actually go on to become counsellors.

It depends on which kind of course you end up with but at some point during the course you will have to go into therapy (for which you will have to pay) so as to ensure that you deal with any issues you have in your own life before being faced with these in a client-counsellor situation, and also to gain empathy with the people you will be counselling.


frankie3 Fri 10-Oct-08 17:35:08

Thanks for that - I had no idea that I would need therapy! The courses do look expensive, which is why I do not want to make a mistake. Does anyone know of anywhere where I could volunteer to get some experience of what it would entail?

fullmoonfiend Fri 10-Oct-08 17:45:43

also, in terms of paid work afterwards - few and far between.

I work in a related area and spend most friday afternoons hearing qualified counsellors who have spent thousands of pounds on training and years of study, therapy and (sometimes) marital breakdowns, desperately bewailing the lack of actual paid, regular work using their counselling skills

Saz36 Tue 14-Oct-08 19:48:45

Hi - I trained as a counsellor a few years back. I did it as a sideline to my full time job and have only ever done it in a voluntary capacity. The training was hard and emotionally tough. I don't remember it being very expensive but then I did it at an organisation who trained counsellors as part of their counselling charity. There are a number of agencies around who do that. Its definately worth trying to chat to someone who works in the field before you train. Depending on what sort of counselling you go into you will have to have counselling yourself. The requirement varies and on my course it was only 12 sessions (I don't think thats anywhere near enough). I know a number of people who work as counsellors and it seems that jobs can be few and far between - especially when you are starting out. I guess it depends where you live though.
On the upside I have found it amazing work - far more fulfilling than anything else I have ever done work wise. Its a real priviledge.
good luck if you decide to do it.

beanieb Tue 14-Oct-08 19:53:07

Am interested in the fact that you have to have counselling yourself. Does it matter at all if you have already been in counselling?

Also what do they cover when they counsel you?

giggleBirthdayWitch Tue 14-Oct-08 20:01:10

I've done the training.
I think the opportunities for voluneering and the types of training on offer depends a bit on the area you are in. I did the basic course then the one year level2 course (4hrs per week) then the two years to do the diploma... which i still haven't finished due to having DD hmm. Am going to have to do it in the next academic year or my entitlement to complete it runs out, ouch!!

Near us is a centre where you can train whilst being a 'volunteer' / counsellor in training, which reduces the course fees significantly; however as you'd imagine, places at centres like this are over subscribed to say the least.

Placements are actually quite hard to come by, as anyone in real need of counsellor input can't have amateurs let loose on them. Although a different arrangement completely, you may wish to look into the Samaritans, or CVS in your area. Neither are counselling per se but you would get some idea from either of these.
I have used my work situation as a manager to get all of my 'placement' material, as with colleague co-operation and guaranteed anonymity, I have used de-brief sessions and appraisals or supervisions as my assessment of my counselling skills.

Like the others, I've done it as an evening course whilst working elsewhere. Bursaries are scarce for this type of course.

Saz36 Wed 15-Oct-08 19:00:34

I had been in counselling beforehand and I just had to provide written proof from my counsellor. As it happens though the course brought up so much stuff that I did end up going back to have some more counselling later in the course anyway.
In counselling you cover whatever you think is relevant to you. However its not unusual to go in thinking that you are going to address one particular area and realising that there are other things to address - if that makes sense.

turquoise Wed 15-Oct-08 19:07:20

Also consider your options for employment once you've qualified - the govt/NHS is moving Heavily towards CBT as the counselling panacea - although most BACP training etc will be psychodynamic/humanistic/integrative etc - much deeper.

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