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Counselling placement: Julie’s story

Hi I am Julie, a student on placement at TCA Perth. I started my counselling training in 2019 on the COSCA skills course at TCA. In 2020, I went on to do the COSCA further steps course and started a part time diploma in ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Groupwork’ at Glasgow Centre of Therapy. My course requires 80 hours of one-to-one client work and 20 hours of group work, which I am very fortunate to be completing at TCA. I was able to start my individual client hours from January 2021 and I have nearly completed them after a year. I started my group work hours at the beginning of 2022 and should be qualified by the end of the summer.

Portrait photograph of Julie

The counselling placement is essential to enable students to qualify as counsellors. The team at TCA are very supportive and flexible and there are always qualified counsellors available for any questions. The COSCA counselling students at TCA are supportive of each other, we share learning tips and there is a lovely friendly atmosphere. TCA also paid for additional training for all the students to attend which specifically focusses on changing behaviour. This was hard work on top of client work and course work but has been so valuable.

I’m really enjoying the variety of client work that I’m doing, some face to face hours, some over the phone and some virtually by Zoom. The variety of options allows counselling to be more accessible, convenient and potentially safer for some client groups. I believe that the flexibility available from TCA is partly responsible for my high client return rate.

Although the client is with me for 50 minutes, each session is planned in advance and then reflected on afterwards. This is all discussed every month with my supervisor, adhering to confidentiality. This means that clients are in safe hands with a student as they really get assisted by two therapists, not just one.

We run self funded COSCA accredited counselling courses, which include the option of a counselling placement within TCA. The next course will be in January 2023. If you would like to find out more and note your interest, please email Susie McKimmie: susie.mckimmie@alcoholtayside.com