If you have qualified as a counsellor/psychotherapist and want to build on your experience to develop a portfolio of counselling contact hours, perhaps to accrue hours towards your professional accreditation, you may want to consider our Associate opportunities.
Although we are unable to offer these posts as remunerated opportunities, we do offer fortnightly in-house supervision (at no cost to the Associate) for all your work with the service, as well as the opportunity to gain experience in a friendly and supportive team of experienced counsellors in a thriving Counselling Service which holds BACP Accredited Service status.
- The potential to accrue counselling hours towards professional accreditation
- The experience of working as part of an established, busy, dynamic, accredited Counselling Service
- An opportunity to work with a wide range of clients and a variety of issues as presented by students and staff in Higher Education
- In-house supervision for one hour per fortnight
- Invitations to in-house training events throughout the academic year
- NB the Associateships are offered on an unpaid basis
- A minimum of 150 hours of prior experience of face-to-face counselling with individual clients (we would recommend that a significant proportion of the work is with adult clients )
- A completed recognised professional qualification in counselling to Diploma/Foundation Degree level or equivalent
- Ability to work with the diverse range of clients from the Warwick University student and staff cohort
- Aptitude for engaging in dynamic, effective working alliances; creating appropriate therapeutic contracts, including predominantly focussed, brief work, particularly some single sessions or one-plus-one session structure contracts
- A commitment to offer one day per week (or equivalent) during University academic term times and vacations throughout the academic year, to include up to 5 client-contact hours, and on alternate weeks, an hour for administration and one hour of supervision.
- A willingness to work within a multi-model team in the specific organisational context of the UCS
Q: Is it necessary to work as an Associate during university academic vacations as well as term times?
A: The Associateship runs for the full calendar year (rather than only academic terms) from early October. The UCS offers an all-year-round counselling service for staff and students so Associates working in vacations as well as term-times can build up their contact hours towards accreditation at a faster rate. Annual leave time can be negotiated.
Q: How do I know if working as an Associate in HE is right for me?
A: Read through the personal reflections of other Associates to get a clearer understanding of what to expect. The HE context is unique in that it means you will be required to 'think university support' rather than solely 'think individual client' and you may have to liaise with other support services across the university. You will be asked to consider your suitability in the application form and also at the interview which we see as a mutual process of assessing that the associateship is right for you. We strongly recommend an informal discussion with Monique, the Deputy Head of Counselling who is responsible for the Associate programme, before submitting an application.
Q: Is there anything I can do to understand the context of the work of an Associateship at the UCS?
A: Short-term Counselling in Higher Education: Context, Theory and Practice edited by David Mair (Publisher:Taylor & Francis Ltd; ISBN: 9781138794139) published November 2015 is recommended by current associates.
Q: Is there the opportunity to take on paid work after an Associateship?
A: An Associateship can offer you a way to develop your counselling experience so you will be in a good position to apply for paid positions, either in Warwick University Counselling Service or any other organisation. The skills acquired through counselling at the UCS may allow you to demonstrate a range of sought-after competencies such as a capacity to work to brief, focussed contracts and to work efficiently with a range of presenting issues.
Q: What does a typical day's schedule look like for an Associate?
A: The day is very structured which helps the containment of the varied and full client contact. Each day everyone will be scheduled with one new client, so case management skills are developed quickly, but there's plenty of support with this from the whole team.
*supervision will alternate each week with an admin session - time to catch up with emails and general administration duties.
The UCS will endeavour to be as flexible as possible to set up a specific day of the week that is suitable. It may be feasible to work 2 half days, or an afternoon and an evening (as the UCS runs an evening service during term time on Tuesday and Thursday evenings until 8pm) - there is space to indicate your availability on the application form - we then match your availability with room and supervisor availability to draw up a schedule for the academic year.
Short-term counselling was a new way of working for me, initially I thought I would struggle however being able to work flexibly and integratively with the students gave me the confidence to use my different counselling approaches from humanistic and CBT to holistically with some psycho-educational work thrown in as and when required.
I enjoy working with a variety of clients, both students and staff, who come from a range of backgrounds with a wide variety of presenting issues"
My typical day is five fifty minute sessions, allowing ten minutes in between clients for note-writing. Also there is an hour's session of clinical supervision fortnightly which alternates with an hour's admin. session"
Quotes from Associates
See more personal reflections