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My Experience as a Trainee Counsellor 
 

Securing a placement whilst on a Counselling course can be a stressful time. It is the culmination of three years of study where a student counsellor can turn the theory & skills they have learned into practice and start to help people with their own mental health journeys.

It is stressful because there is competition for places, criteria to be met and placement specific training to complete. We have 100 hours of counselling to deliver, and monthly Supervision – where we work through our caseload with a qualified, more experienced therapist - to complete alongside it. As students, we often have the financial implications of travel costs, Supervision, childcare and working placement hours into our weekly job schedules.

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I feel incredibly lucky to be able to contribute to the success of Trauma Healing Together, and I am thankful for their experience and knowledge in helping me develop as a therapist. The selection process was rigorous, and their standards are high, as you would expect when working with trauma survivors. A series of interviews, a group interview and completing Trauma specific in-depth training were all required before being allocated clients.

My experience so far at Trauma Healing Together in Perth has helped make this stressful situation a lot easier to navigate. The moment I read their person specification, and what the placement offered students, I knew I wanted to work there. It is an extremely attractive offer for any student counsellor with Trauma specific training, free supervision, group supervision and all my clients attending therapy on the same day. This is all organised by the extremely welcoming, knowledgeable, and patient team who all share the same vision of offering free, accessible, and effective counselling to trauma survivors.

 

That vision is already looking forward to the coming year with an eye on growing the charity by securing new, bigger premises, creating several new job roles, acquiring new activity partners, and increasing their social media presence.

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to contribute to the success of Trauma Healing Together, and I am thankful for their experience and knowledge in helping me develop as a therapist. The selection process was rigorous, and their standards are high, as you would expect when working with trauma survivors. A series of interviews, a group interview and completing Trauma specific in-depth training were all required before being allocated clients.

 

The team at THT live and breathe trauma recovery because it is often misunderstood and used as a general term for other mental health issues. Trauma can develop at any time - in adulthood from long term, sustained abuse, in childhood through emotional neglect, or by having an intense, one-off experience like a car accident for example. These events leave psychological wounds that can last for decades and are brought to the fore by triggers known and unknown like it happened yesterday. Trauma Healing Together’s mission is to change this perception of trauma through training and awareness, and equip survivors with the skills to live full and meaningful lives despite it.

What THT offers clients is extraordinary. Their flagship Pathways To Hope programme offers 24 free sessions of therapy running alongside 16 weeks of group wellbeing activities like creative writing, yoga, arts & crafts, photography, and fencing (swords, not planks). These are delivered by external local partners, and I have seen first-hand how much they mean to clients. Reducing isolation & loneliness, increasing confidence, trying new things outwith their comfort zone, learning tools to help deal with troublesome thoughts. The Japanese art of Kintsugi – where a small dish is broken up and stuck back together with glue inlaid with gold was particularly poignant. One client said it showed beauty can be found despite the cracks, and that damaged things can be built back better than before.

There is so much I haven't mentioned. The gingerbread houses, the office dogs, the silly conversations, the beautiful Perthshire countryside on the train in, or the weird snacks brought back from Thailand. But if you are a student counsellor looking for the perfect mix of professional development and an encouraging, patient  team, I cannot recommend Trauma Healing Together enough.

If you are interested in applying to become a student counsellor, please complete our application form which you can find here.

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