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Personal Reflections

Personal reflections of trainees on a non-clinical placement with the UCS

I am currently studying for my counselling degree and recently completed a period of work based learning within the UCS with the aim of giving me an insight into the workings of a counselling agency. I found my time there very informative, rewarding and invaluable. All of the staff members are very friendly and welcoming and willing to share their vast knowledge where appropriate. I was made to feel part of the team from the moment I started working there and felt that I was contributing in a small way to ensure that the service ran smoothly. The agency is geared to providing a safe, secure, calm and welcoming environment for clients and confidentiality is at the centre of their policies and procedures. It is a service that I would definitely utilise as a client if I felt the need and it is definitely an agency that I would aim to work at in the future if there was an opportunity. I can't speak highly enough about my time there.

Pete Teasdale

During my work-based learning contract have learned how the University of Warwick Counselling Service (UCS) has constructed its network of policies and procedures emphasising the client’s interests as a priority.

As part of my experience with UCS I have discovered how the procedures correlate to its legal and ethical requirements and this has helped me to reflect on my learning to date and to link the policies and procedures to the person -centred theory and the BACP Ethical Framework

During my time with the service I have been in close contact with the reception and the routines and procedures that they follow have taught me a great deal about how they are an invaluable link to the counselling staff

My time at the work -based learning service has been extremely rewarding and has helped me to reflect on my development as a counsellor so far. It has been amazing to be part of the environment that the service has created. There is a feeling of warmth and care for each other amongst the staff, for clients there is a welcoming calm which radiates from the reception through to the therapy rooms. The waiting room contains helpful support contact numbers, colouring books, interesting articles and anonymous notes from previous clients. All these things help to make a client feel wanted, cared for and not alone.

Janice Adkins

"Doing my work-based learning at the Warwick Counselling Service has been a hugely rewarding experience. As a first year student, one of my course requirements was to have 30 hour’s work within a counselling service- not as a counsellor, but to get a feel for how working in a counselling environment feels.

Spending my 30 hours with Warwick has really opened my eyes to what a great service looks like; I was struck by how highly pro-active & well organized the service is- there’s a lot of thinking that’s gone into every aspect of the work done here. Along with that, there’s a real sense of the whole team working really well together- the admin team and the counsellors are very collaborative, and it feels like everyone who works here has a real interest and stake in the service (and for the six weeks I’ve been here, that’s included me!).

I’ve found everyone to be really warm, supportive and accepting. For a student considering approaching Warwick, I’d suggest it, it’ll give you a really good insight into what a well-run, forward thinking practice can look like, but one which is also open to your feedback and ideas and is very keen and geared up to work with trainees. I would highly recommend the service to you!"

Chris Daniel

I thoroughly enjoyed my 30 hours of Work Based Learning (WBL) at Warwick Counselling Service. From my very first meeting with Monique and the team I felt welcomed and completely supported.

The placement has increased my understanding of how a counselling service is delivered and managed from an administration point of view, highlighting the importance of what happens 'behind the scenes' to ensure the clients have a seamless experience when they arrive.

I have had the opportunity to shadow the reception staff and take on duties such as inputting data from evaluation questionnaires; preparing attendance certificates, shredding confidential waste, reviewing the service website and setting up the meeting room for various student workshops. I have increased my awareness of confidentiality, ethical principles and professional boundaries and it has been really beneficial to see how these policies are integrated in a real counselling environment.

This experience has provided a great deal of essential background knowledge which will be extremely valuable when I start my Counselling Placement in year 2.

Julie Hughes


"I thoroughly enjoyed my 30 hours of Work Based Learning (WBL) at Warwick Counselling Service. From my very first meeting with Monique and the team I felt welcomed and completely supported.

The placement has increased my understanding of how a counselling service is delivered and managed from an administration point of view, highlighting the importance of what happens 'behind the scenes' to ensure the clients have a seamless experience when they arrive.

I have had the opportunity to shadow the reception staff and take on duties such as inputting data from evaluation questionnaires; preparing attendance certificates; shredding confidential waste; reviewing the service website and setting up the meeting room for various student workshops. I have increased my awareness of confidentiality, ethical principles and professional boundaries and it has been really beneficial to see how these policies are integrated in a real counselling environment.

This experience has provided a great deal of essential background knowledge which will be extremely valuable when I start my Counselling Placement in year 2".

Julie Hughes - 1st Year student - Counselling and Psychotherapy

"I would like to thank Samantha Tarren and the UCS team for giving me the opportunity to complete my non-clinical hours at the UCS and making me feel so welcome.

As a young budding counsellor I feel it is vital to gain as much working experience as possible. Although my placement at the university was non-clinical I have still found my time spent here to be valuable and educational. I was situated in the reception and completed such duties as meeting and greeting clients, checking the UCS website, sending out service evaluation questionnaires and collating data from the feedback i received.

I found that meeting and greeting clients and talking with other members of the counselling team gave me a real feel for the counselling environment and a good opportunity to use some of my counselling skills, recalling on one time in particularly when a student arrived for a session in extreme distress and it was my responsibility to help calm her until her counsellor was available.

As well as sending out Service evaluation questionnaires to clients i also receive them, read them and then allocate them to the correct counsellor. I found this was the most beneficial aspect of my duties at the university. This is because i could read comments from clients therefore becoming aware of the range of issues clients at the university bring, what worked for them or what they found useful and also where they thought there could be improvements to the service.

I have found everyone that I have worked with at the UCS admirable, warm and helpful. My time at the UCS has been a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone starting out as a counsellor."

Yelena Jeffrey

 

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at University Counselling Service; it is my first experience working in a counselling service and has certainly given me some preparation for my future in counselling. All the members of staff have been so welcoming and hugely supportive of my journey through counselling training inside and out of the University Counselling Service. I have been included in a number of tasks through my time here and was lucky enough to be involved in the National University Mental Health and Wellbeing day and I have done some research into specific issue pages and client feedback of the service. I am truly grateful of my non-clinical placement at the university and will be sad to leave."

Beth Candler


"I found the opportunity to work in a non-clinical role at the University Counselling service stimulating and enjoyable. There is plenty of variety with a great opportunity to gain insight into the running of a lively, interesting service. I learned so much from interaction with all colleagues who engaged with me as very much part of a team. It was super to see how the students relate to the service at first hand. In particular I enjoyed the opportunity of speaking with students regarding the on-going programme of workshops run by the service, and also to gain insight into student feedback regarding these. I now have a very useful model to envisage with regards to a busy, dynamic service’.. Furthermore, I have been able to relate discussion with staff to some of my course-based issues."

Julie Sewell

"I was looking forward to my first experience of working in a counselling service, and for me so far it has been rewarding, informative, a valuable insight in to a professionally managed counselling service within an educational setting. All the members of staff are welcoming, supportive and I feel valued as a member of the counselling service team. My role has offered me the opportunity to learn and look at the counselling process from the very start, beginning with the registration process through to issuing clients with the confidentiality agreements, including interaction with the clients using the service. I have particularly enjoyed researching the “Specific Client Issues” on the web page and seeing how the statistics can impact on the services available. The placement has offered me the opportunity to reflect on the theory studied at college and see how it translates in to practice. I will leave having thoroughly enjoyed working at a busy and vibrant service, my first comparative counselling model.

Lyndsay Goulding

 

First year students on a Counselling Foundation Degree