18 Sept 2007

Counselling Time: Lesson One

Well my first night back at college has been and gone, its going to be hard going to college in the dark( by dark i mean night)! but as i am a creature of the night i am sure i will adapt.
I am lucky because most of my group from the first two levels have come up to the diploma stage too, although i do look forward to getting to know the new folk.

The course i am doing is a NCFE Diploma in Counselling, it will be over two years and i will be going to college two nights a week. It is made up of five units, which then each have their own mandatory elements:

Unit 1. Make use of a theoretical base.
Unit 2. Work with the process and practice of counselling.
Unit 3. Integrate professional issues into practice.
Unit 4. Integrate personal development into practice.
Unit 5. Make effective use of supervision.

Sounds hard but don't forget you will be learning along with me, whether you like it or not.

The first class started with Rose the tutor shuffling us about so we weren't sat next to people we knew and then chatted with our neighbours to find out what motivated us to do this course. Then one by one we had to talk about that neighbour to the rest of the class, not something i really feel comfortable doing but i love finding out others life stories. It is amazing what people pick up about you in such a short space of time and how they sum you up.
The rest of the time was spent discussing our the book list (very long), references and personal action plans.

Oh and also some Great News! I passed the Exam from the level 3! So no need for resits.

Click Read More for Personal Action Plan Homework, don't be scared, i have to do it too.
Go on have a read!

Personal Action Plan

Whatever you write this time, you will keep coming back throughout the course (or year or life). The purpose of counselling students doing one is too monitor changes and on-going self development.

I always find it difficult to cast into stone what i actually want to achieve with my personal development and normally put a half hearted response about losing weight. So lets see if i can be a bit more honest.

What would you like to achieve in your personal development during this course?
There are several things i would like to achieve in my personal development during this course. The number one thing is time management, by that i mean organising my life so that instead of thinking about the things i need to do, i set myself deadlines in which they need to be done.
Keeping up a certain level of fitness has become more important to me as well, as this also encourages me to be more social and get out the house more.
I would also like to be more open and honest about how i am feeling instead of bottling it up.

What do you consider might hold you back in your own personal development?
The biggest thing that will hold me back is myself and how i manage to do the course as well as everything i need to do, other factors include my mums ongoing health problems.

Why do you think that personal development would be of value to you when using counselling skills or in the role of a counsellor?
I think personal development enables you to be better a better counsellor because if you are constantly working on developing yourself, it is easier to understand were the person you are counselling is coming from especially when they need to work on their personal development.

What do you think might be the effect of your personal development on how you work with clients?
I think the effect on the work with clients will improve but it might also highlight the areas in which you have problems and it might be more affective to refer that client on to another counsellor while you work on that area.

What do you think might be the effect of your personal development on significant others in your life (e.g. friends and family)
I think as my confidence grows and i will be getting out in the world more and will struggle to balance time for friends and family. Hopefully my friendships will last the distance and i don't lose any friends.
How do you experience working in group situations? How do you think you are experienced by group members?
I use to feel very nervous when working in groups but now i see it as an opportunity to get more than one point of view and people always see things differently which really helps me. I still feel somewhat nervous and uncomfortable but i hope this is something that will improve even more. I think people see me as friendly and willing to participate in group discussions.

There is my personal action plan for the course, i wonder how much it will change in two years!
It will actually change over the next few weeks as i try and think of some realistic goals to stick to.

Whats the biggest thing you want to change about yourself?


  1. Well done, we all knew you would pass, have faith in yourself x x x

  2. Great news, Claire, congratulations!
    Where do I sign up for exams after I've done this course with you? One of the dogs just summed up my life for the rest of the class (2 canaries, a 4-year-old, umpteen dust-rabbits and MB), and he got everything right, with a couple of digressions.