I began my placement with Marches in August of 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic.
I had completed my Post Graduate Certificate in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy
at the University of South Wales and had started my final road to becoming a qualified
psychotherapist having progressed onto the Post Graduated Level 7 Diploma in Integrative
Counselling and Psychotherapy with the same University. However, due to the pandemic
everything had retreated online, both lectures and client sessions, therefore over the
summer I had embarked on a great deal of tuition for working online with 80 hours of
workshops with Counselling Tutor, which proved invaluable.
Initially I attended business meetings with MCS gaining a flavour of the organisation and the
passion of those involved in its successful running, fulfilling its mission to provide quality
counselling services at affordable cost, for those in need within the district of Hereford. I
also started attending group supervision at this time although at this point I was without a
client. The group had a mix of both students further along the path than myself and
counsellors with many years experience behind them and all their contributions and
insights, questions and points to consider were pure gold. I was made to feel most welcome
and the group was expertly held by my supervisor.
I started out slowly, initially seeing just the one client online. I then gradually added more
clients, holding around 4 to 5 clients per week over the following summer and gradually
whittling down those 100 practice hours needed for qualification. I was offered clients that
feel within my competences and as I gained more experience was encouraged to spread my
wings and move outside my comfort zone, seeing clients I might otherwise have turned
down and gained a great deal of knowledge and experience in doing so, beginning to find
areas of interest such as working with the neuro-diverse, relationships and anger issues.
I have had the experience of offering CPD with my supervision group to those within the
organisation, on the online working environment, pros and cons, which prompted
reflections and discussions from all those that attended. Although somewhat nerve racking
at the time I found this a very useful experience and a warm welcome into the counselling
profession, being treated as a professional although still at a fledging stage in my career.
I gradually added face to face working into my practice in line with MCS’s COVID protocols
which allowed the organisation to ease back to this way of working with due regard to
everyone’s safety and Government advise. I now offer clients a blended practice.
I am currently in the position of having completed my hours, graduating and qualifying and
having successfully found employment working as a Lead counsellor. I will be forever
grateful to MCS for the opportunities they have afforded me, their support, clear
communication, (thank you to those in the office, you know who you are!) timely writing of
reports, answering queries, initiation into the world of business etc. and it is with deepest
regret that I cannot continue to support MCS at this present moment in time and hope that
in the near future it may once again become possible for me to do so.