The core experience of our training programmes
The skills that you will be learning are central to helping and counselling - they are also relevant to all forms of human relationship, whether personal or professional. Many of these skills are the basis of good communication and include awareness of body language, reflective listening, the judicious use of questions, problem clarification, challenge, feedback, etc. Some of the skills are closer to being values or basic human attitudes such as empathy, acceptance and authenticity - which need to be developed rather than learned.
An important element of counselling courses, therefore, focuses on personal development and insight. This often leads to a degree of sharing and a quality of human contact that is unusual and quite precious. It is quite common for students to feel at the end of the course that it is this aspect that they have valued most.
Academic ability and relevant prior qualifications are important but so to is a more general ability to make the learning personally and professionally meaningful. A training in counselling is unlike most other trainings in that it is more about process than content, more about the whole person than just intellectual functioning, more about relationship than skills and problem-solving, more about 'felt-meaning' than just cognitive understanding.
It would seem to be a human tendency to polarise ideas and even parts of ourselves in a way that encourages exclusivity: either this or that.... therapeutic counselling is about helping to bring apparently irreconcilable opposites into some kind of relationship with each other.
Perhaps the fundamental requirement to be an effective helper is an interest in, and capacity for relationship in all its complexity and shades of intensity. Additionally, it requires a genuine commitment to self-exploration and discovery, so that denied aspects of our-selves can be recognised and reclaimed, and thereby allowing for a fuller, more healthy way of relating both internally and externally.
• Have an interest in training as a helper and perhaps later as a therapeutic counsellor?
• Want to be able to use counselling skills effectively in your work or voluntary setting?
• Want to improve your communication skills?
• Want to learn more about people and relationships?
• Want to develop greater confidence and self-awareness?
• Feel prepared to risk something of your self in this process of learning and discovery?
If you feel that you can relate to all of the above on a motivational, emotional and academic level then you may be ready to undertake a counselling training programme with us.
Please download our document "What it might be like to train as a Therapeutic Counsellor", this also includes a helpful questionnaire to assist you in making your decision.