Updated: Mar 29
In this series of blogs I talk a bit more about my background and who I am. Part 1 looks at my journey as a counsellor.
MY JOURNEY AS A COUNSELLOR ...
It may not come as a surprise to you that I had counselling before deciding to train as a counsellor.
In fact, this is very normal and I would be very surprised if I met a counsellor who had never had any counselling before embarking on it as a career.
I mention this fact as I feel it is helpful for clients to know that we are all human and we all have times in our lives where reaching out for some professional support can help. It helped me so much it inspired me to train to help others.
And so, back in 2011 when I was working as and International Volunteer Coordinator & Mentor for an education charity, there came the opportunity to go to college once a week to study a counselling skills course. I jumped at the chance, as it was a great opportunity for me to develop my own interpersonal communication skills.
The course, which ran for 6 months, covered NCFE levels 1 and 2 of counselling skills. As part of a group I learned some of the basics around active listening, congruence, empathy and being non-judgemental. It was a very hands-on course where we simulated a lot of practice listening sessions with each other as well as learning some basic counselling theory.
I loved this course so much that later down the line I decided to go back and do the NCFE level 3 course in 2013. Equivalent to an A-level, it was much more work and provided me with a deeper understanding of a range of different types of counselling. With a small group I enjoyed continuing to practice my listening skills through a series of assessed simulated counselling sessions with peers. The course also involved putting together a portfolio, writing essays and doing a group presentation about counselling.
I began to learn more about what it took to train to become a qualified counsellor and was very much aware that my journey was only beginning.
In 2014 I began my 2-year post graduate diploma in Humanistic Psychotherapeutic Counselling at The University of Brighton.
I was aware that there were easier ways to qualify, by doing a level 4 college course, or even a degree in counselling, however taking the most academic route felt right for me. I wanted to be immersed in the theory and pushed to think at master's level. To do this I wanted to study at a university which ran a postgraduate BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psy