Choosing the right placement is critical to your training. It is important that you will get to see clients whilst you train. This might sound obvious but in some drop in centres you might find that you sit on your own for three hours awaiting clients who never appear. That might satisfy your befriending hours (see each institution for their requirements) but it would obviously not be sufficient for level 1 counselling.
It is also critical that you choose the appropriate placement that offers good group supervision. Supervision is essential that not only provides you with support but also helps the client by virtue of the feedback you receive from others in the group.
Sometimes I wonder whether the extension of the big society is a form of slave labour. I say this because some students are now having to pay for psychiatric placements in order to satisfy the requirements of their course. Indeed one is often required to pay for one’s own induction and or supervision, even for befriending and level 1 placements.
Help Counselling offers short term counselling and is based in Portobello Road, Notting Hill Gate, London. The service started as the Virgin funded student help line but now offers low-cost, both short and long-term counselling for people who need support in negotiating a crisis. The service helps people undergoing difficult aspect of living in addition to those who wish to consider their life patterns and choices and celebrated its first year anniversary as a registered charity in March 2012.
’The Caravan Drop In‘ is a service provided by therapists in training from the CCPE and it operates out of a caravan provided by St. James’s Church in Piccadilly. The caravan has been a feature of St. James’s courtyard since 1982 and indeed will be celebrating 40 years in September 2012. Counselling at the Caravan is offered by volunteers who are undergoing professional accredited training, most are training with the CCPE. Group supervision is strong and robust which might also be a consideration when seeking placements.