Becoming a counsellor
I'm a trained receptionist but I really want to be a counsellor. I would love to travel and help kids but I have no idea how to go about doing it. How do I get into this sort of work?
Many people consider changing their career path at some point or another, and it doesn't need to be as daunting as it sounds.
- Good communication skills;
- An ability to establish trusting relationships;
- An ability to put clients at ease, to listen to them and reflect on what they've said;
- To be patient, tolerant and sensitive;
- To take an empathetic and non-judgmental approach;
- To be self-aware and be able to reflect on your own thoughts, feelings and values.
As you're in the early stages of developing this career route you could consider testing the waters first. You could try various evening courses at local colleges, giving you a taste of what becoming a counsellor will be like. The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) suggests taking a taster course. This is because "counselling training requires self-examination which can cause some difficult feelings and students may be unwilling to confront them".
As you'd like to combine travelling and working with children with counselling you may find it helpful to volunteer in this sector, for example with a helpline or mentoring children. Volunteering can give you experience in the sector, and a better idea of what it's like to work with children. It can also give you the chance to develop your skills and gain valuable work experience.
If you do choose to explore this career path further, the BACP provides information about counselling training and you might find it helpful to call learndirect on 0800 100 900. learndirect is the national learning advice line and can give you further information and guidance.
Question answered by bss