"My placement taught me how to build a therapeutic relationship through play."
Amy talks about the important role of play in helping to understand what's happening in a child's world.
"Alongside being a mum of two young children, I work part-time as a maternity support worker and I'm also studying for a degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
"As part of my course, I had to complete a minimum of 100 hours of counselling. I attended a talk that Place2Be ran on placement opportunities, and I knew straight away that I wanted to apply for the Counsellor on Placement role.
"The presentation that Place2Be delivered was full of enthusiasm and passion for helping children's lives, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. The numerous Continuing Professional Development opportunities were also very appealing.
"Once I started my placement, I learned to trust in the counselling process and not to underestimate the power of building the therapeutic relationship through play.
"Working with children is very different to adults. When you are in a Place2Be counselling session with a child, it is play orientated. This means that a lot of the work that you do involves using metaphors and symbolism. "Play helps us to open up possibilities on what might be happening in the child's world. It is really important that you work at the child's pace; for some children it may take longer to trust, so building a good relationship is vital.
"The skills that you learn on this placement are invaluable. Knowing that you are supporting a child in some way is so rewarding. Having an insight and understanding of a child's inner world is fascinating and also helps identify issues in adult work too.
"Place2Be offers good-quality ongoing training, and support is always available. The supervision you have with your School Project Manager straight after your sessions is extremely helpful.
"Part of being a counsellor is self-care, and these supervision sessions allow you to explore anything that may have come up for you that day. If there are any issues that arise in-between you can also contact your supervisor for support.
"I plan to continue working with Place2Be and would like complete training in delivering Place2Talk sessions - where children book an appointment to talk to a counsellor about anything that is worrying them. I am also interested in applying for the Mental Health Practitioner role once I've qualified."
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