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During your Certificate programme, you will do a 70-hour placement in a church setting, as part of the Formation module. The aim of this placement is not just to experience a church different from your own, but specifically to explore how pastoral care is organised and supported, and how the church makes use (or not) of counselling services. This placement will be arranged individually with you, in the light of the experience you already have, and your particular interests.
During your Diploma and Degree programmes, you need to undertake a counselling placement or placements where you will see clients for a minimum of 50 hours in each programme, building up to 150 hours in total for the Degree. To help our students achieve this, we have our own Counselling Service based in nearby Watford (Watford Christian Counselling Service), where our students can see clients and receive supervision. In the nature of things, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to achieve all your hours there, but many of our students find that a placement at WCCS gives them all they need. WCCS is also BACP-accredited as a service.
If you are doing the course part-time, then you will normally need to fulfill the placement requirements in the year in which you are doing the Counselling half of the programme.
Careers in Counselling
As waiting lists for free or low cost counselling grow and the general public becomes more aware of the benefits of counselling, private practitioners are more in demand. This private work can combine neatly with part-time or voluntary work.
Many of our graduates go on to set up their own counselling practice, with a few of them pulling knowledge, skills and resources together to form partnerships. Those not yet ready to set up their own practice may find counsellor vacancies in a variety of settings, such as schools, further and higher education, organisations for people with disabilities, in the workplace, youth work, alcohol, drugs and AIDS agencies, GP Practices and other general counselling services. People trained in listening and counselling skills are also employed by many telephone helplines.
In addition, many churches are beginning to realise the benefit of having a counsellor on staff, or of co-operating with other churches to establish a Counselling Service in their locality. God seems to love counselling, because it reflects his heart of grace.
Proposed Government Regulation of Counselling and Psychotherapy
For updates on the proposed government regulation of counsellors and psychotherapists, please visit www.bacp.co.uk/regulation .