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Meet The Counsellors – Sarah Interview

Written by on December 5, 2019

“It’s about helping that person through that day and hopefully they feel like facing the next one!”

► How long have you been working as a counsellor?

I started November last year so around about a year now.

► What led to you considering counselling as a career and what qualifications are required?

Initially the reason I wanted to become a counsellor was because I’ve accessed counselling for me in the past. Ive had some bad things happen to me and counsellors have helped me hugely. The previous job that I was doing I found that it was lacking because I couldn’t help people the way I wanted to help people. Obviously in order to be qualified you have to be at level 5 which is a two-year foundation degree.

► What happens in a typical counselling session and how long does it last ?

Sessions last 50 minutes, that’s what we call the counselling hour and I’m person-centred trained so basically what that means is that the client comes in, has a seat and they bring whatever it is that they want to bring to talk about. Solely person-centred counsellors will literally paraphrase and summarise. That’s not the way I tend the work, I tend to work with however the client wants to go forward.

► Are sessions confidential for example would you talk to somebody’s doctor beyond the referral process?

We would never talk to somebody’s doctor, it is purely confidential and the only way that it’s not confidential is if somebody was to declare they are at risk of any harm, harming themselves or somebody else but that is contracted at the beginning.

► Do people recover with counselling?

► How many sessions are needed?

► What difficulties may be present?

I think that depends on the person, some people are going to go through their lives and go up and down and you know depression will hit, come to counselling and they start again. Some people will recover, some people can get better in 5,6 sessions. Some people might want years and years and it really does depend on what’s happened in their lives and other medical factors too.

► What is the most rewarding aspect of counselling for you and what are the main challenges?

Most rewarding is whenever I see anybody out of the room and they say thank you very much – that is what it’s about – it’s about just helping that person through that day and hopefully they feel like facing the next one and the next one. The challenge is it’s very tiring and I get exhausted so after a day of counselling I generally sleep a lot!

► How would somebody know if they needed counselling and how can it help them?

That’s a very personal thing as well I think, if you become aware that you are feeling particularly down or if you have some bad memories that you feel like you can’t shake, you need some help with – from my point of view that would be the point where I would decide to go to counselling but again it’s different for everybody.

► What is the difference between counselling or appointments with a psychologist or psychiatrist?

There could be construed as a bit of power difference there, I would say counselling is more of a -for want of a better description, We’re on the same level as you, we’re here to help, there’s no power difference. I think it’s a gentler approach.

► How did you become aware of or discover Anxious Minds?

Through one of the ladies who was already counselling here, she was a colleague at college and she recommended Anxious Minds to me.

► Can you describe your experience as a volunteer counsellor for Anxious Minds?

Firstly I love it! I absolutely love it there! it’s a spiritual place, I’m comfortable and I feel accepted and needed but also extremely supportive. If there’s ever something that you come across where you’re concerned about somebody or you’re not sure if you’ve done the right thing, there’s always somebody available there to support you and make sure that you don’t take that home and worry about it for the weekend.

► How has Anxious Minds helped shape your opinion on counselling as a career?

It’s made me even more determined to carry on, my intention is still to volunteer at Anxious Minds as long as I can, obviously I will be intending to do some work of my own as well but I’ll always intend to give something back.

► What would you say to other counsellors considering volunteering for Anxious Minds?

Get your C.V in and don’t be afraid to push! you will get as many hours as you need so don’t sit there just with one client for weeks on end – say I need more, I’m ready for more.

► What would you say to any potential clients considering beginning counselling sessions at Anxious Minds?

I would say that we are like one big family, we’re very accepting and very professional and we have good outcomes for people and we care!

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