BACP in Therapy Today has a section called Analyse me – the counsellor. This gives counsellors an opportunity to share more about their work and what drives them to be a counsellor. I thought I would share my questions…..
Why did you become a counsellor?
From an early age, I had a passionate desire to help people in Africa. This led me to studying a Masters and working as a Community Water Engineer. I worked for various agencies, such as Oxfam and Medicins Sans Fronteries as a humanitarian aid worker. This took me to amazing places in Continue reading →
When I first began my counselling diploma at Sheffield Hallam University in 2003, I never knew how much I would be more aware of myself or how it would change my thinking or who it would affect the way I interact with my peers, friends and colleagues. I did not imagine that becoming a counsellor Continue reading →
A positive relationship between supervisor and supervisee is important. Millar, Holloway and Henderson (2014) say that encouragement is at the heart of a counselling supervisory relationship. They emphasise the need to build an equal relationship. So how is a positive relationship between supervisor and supervisee achieved?
I have seen various developments and changes within counselling profession over the last 15 years. More courses are available, British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) membership has vastly increased and more counsellors are becoming private practitioners. Counsellors and organisations have to market themselves and approach their counselling work with a business head. Online Continue reading →
The other month, I was in a meeting of a social group. One member (who I shall call Katie) was told the group that they were physically unwell. The general response from the group was advising Katie to take it easy with a few people offered to help her out with her set tasks. Another member (Harriet) mentioned they suffered from anxiety. Alarming, rather than asking Harriet how they could best support her with her anxiety, a member suggested that they should put themselves in a situation where they feel anxious to help them overcome it Continue reading →
Should counselling and Psychotherapy be regulated?
This question started for me when I was training to be a counsellor back in 2003. It was often debated amongst my peers as there were some who against regulation. I have always been in favour of regulation and was disappointed when it was decided by Health Professional Regulation not to regulate counselling. Instead a new Accredited Register (AR) scheme for health care professionals was launched by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) at the end of 2012.
Lately, a colleague Amanda Williamson who herself suffered abuse whilst being counselled (and successfully got the said person struck off the BACP register) and Philip Dore’s website Unsafe Spaces have re-opened the debate on counselling regulation. You can read Amanda’s stance for regulation here.
Self-awareness grows over a period of time and with exploration. My self-awareness has been shaped by my life experiences, through the help of counselling and through self-reflection. This has helped me to learn to understand myself, my reactions and understand my own values. In my early twenties I experienced a traumatic bereavement and I will demonstrate how this life experience shaped me as a counsellor. Continue reading →
In order for a counsellor to remain focused on the client, self-disclosure during a session is not encouraged. Self-disclosure is sharing information with your client that they would not know about you. It is generally felt that self-disclosure of a counsellor may get in the way of the client’s journey. The counsellor’s past and issues, if disclosed to a client, may ruin the trust between the counsellor and the client or it may influence the client in their decision making.
It is often confusing hearing about different counselling models that counsellor’s use – Person-centred, psychodynamic, Transactional Analyse, integrative counselling etc. Which one will work and how do you choose? I personally feel each model has its own value and can work for all types of different problems. The important part is that the counsellor is committed to their counselling model and their values. I am an integrative counsellor. Often my clients say to me that initially whether they feel heard and connected to the counsellor helps them decide whether they continue with the counselling. So what is integrative counselling? Continue reading →