For the past 3 years I have been training to become a Counsellor attending monthly sessions with my course provider, reading countless books on different theories and techniques and completing as much learning as I could to try and prepare me for the start of my counselling placement and my first client. I have thought about how my first session would go a million times in my head, how organised I would be, how ready I am and how I could not wait to make a difference and help people.
Then COVID 19 happened and that derailed things for a while. All of the learning and preparation to start a placement seemed to have been for nothing as I could no longer start and put my skills to the test to prove to myself that I can do it and that I am ready to see real clients with real issues.
So I threw myself into lots of online learning and keeping myself busy completing my assignments, itching to start somewhere and put everything I learnt in practice then out of the blue the opportunity with BCS Mental Health Service came up which was a welcome surprise and something to get my teeth stuck into.
The induction process was seamless, and I have felt really welcome and part of the team since day one. It is good to be able to rely on people that have such great knowledge and experience especially when we are working in difficult times. The way BCS have been able to transition offering an online service so easily is testament to their drive and desire to help as many people as they can which is a great ethos to have.
Currently I am working with a mixture of clients which has been a great learning curve for me and is so different to what I thought it would be. As much as I am learning about how to be the best counsellor I can be, I am learning a lot about myself and areas that I need to work on as I become more experienced. Regular supervision is offered and gladly received by me as it gives me the chance to chat through anything I need and get some useful tips and advice to make sure I am doing the best thing for the client. I really like the open-door policy we have and feeling supported all the time really helps when you are the resident newbie!
The best piece of advice is to breathe, take your time and go where the client takes you. Simple but effective!
All in all being a student counsellor in lockdown has been a positive experience and I have learnt so much so far, I can’t wait to carry on this exciting journey and am really glad Toby, Kat and James saw something in me to give me this amazing opportunity!