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Chonda's story

Chonda's story

My placement opened lots of doors to fulfilling work

Chonda shares how her counselling training helped her to reflect on her own past experience, and understand the importance of early intervention to support children.

"I used to work as a corporate administrator within a private firm in the Caribbean, but I often felt unfulfilled. Supporting others is important to me, and it brought me joy when I mentored children in my local church. I decided to study a psychology degree and then moved over 4,000 miles to the UK from my home in the British Virgin Islands to pursue a master’s degree in counselling.

"I applied for Place2Be’s Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills for Working with Children. The reflective part of the training brought up so many emotions from my past that I had never dealt with, and this led me to seek out my own therapy. This really helped to heal those old wounds of low self-esteem. When I reflect on this time, I realise how important it is to intervene early and support children.

"I was absolutely petrified when I started my school counselling placement. I often wondered if I had what it took to be a good enough counsellor. One of the first children I saw was a nine-year-old boy who struggled with abandonment issues. Toys would be scattered all over the place each week as he processed his emotions. I discussed my worry of being unable to “contain” his emotions with my supervisor, who helped me understand the importance of allowing him to express himself in this way and not fearing it.

"After completing my training, I returned to the British Virgin Islands. My experience with Place2Be opened so many doors professionally. I worked with a non-profit organisation helping children affected by domestic violence, and supported looked-after children through social services.

"Six years later, I decided to return to the UK and was inspired to reapply to where my professional journey began - Place2Be. I got offered a placement at a primary school in east London. I am currently working with three very different boys to help them get the support they need."