When I began my studies to be a counsellor – over 13 years ago now – we were required to be in therapy throughout the course of our diploma. It was strangely one of the most debated aspects of the course with some students feeling it was not a necessary part of the studies. And the debate rolls on to this day.
Navigating the Divorce Course safely
I think it is essential to experience therapy if you want to be a therapist. The counselling training is demanding: mentally and emotionally. The fact that it is often called the Divorce Course gives you an idea of how unsettling and life-changing the work can be. To sit with a client, to feel their pain but not get lost in it; to travel their journey of self-discovery and acceptance but not try and ‘do it’ for them; to be open to life stories of trauma, abuse and despair and not drown in them, you need to have worked on your stuff, you need to be wholly present with and for the client.
Emma has offered me a safe space to explore the many emotions, conflicts and vulnerabilities that have been uncovered during my counsellor training. Her approach has challenged me and enabled me to process so much about myself and my relationships with others. As a result of this I have felt empowered to make positive changes to my own life and my way of being. I’ve relished every moment of what continues to be an amazing journey of self-discovery!Antony – Trainee, Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
Learning to sit with ambiguity
Being in therapy as trainee counsellors helps us better understand our clients’ perspective. It reinforces the need to be patient, to sit with uncertainty, to explore but not push. I believe you need to have gone to your darker places and made peace with them; and you need to have a way of continuing to do this as you develop and grow and change.
Counselling training can surface blind spots and unspoken trauma. The very balancing of academic work, trainee client work and research with the demands of life outside of college can create stress and anxiety. Personal therapy provides a crucial support mechanism for trainee counsellors as they juggle different demands and begin to explore their way of being a counsellor.
Personal therapy is a tuning of the therapist’s most valuable instrument…the therapist’s own selfIrvin Yalom, psychiatrist and author of The Gift of Therapy
Concessionary rates for students
I love working with counselling students. I enjoy how the work runs on many levels with the context of the training being a clear aspect of the work. I know it’s financially challenging to be in counselling when you are training – you are already having to invest in the course, in supervision and potentially having to take time off work and / or finding childcare. It is not an easy ask. But the rewards are significant.
If you are studying to be a counsellor – or know someone who is – and are looking for a counsellor, do get in touch. I offer concessionary rates to trainee counsellors and students in general.