"The support and training I received was really valuable and put me at ease."
Susanne talks about her journey towards becoming a counsellor, and the invaluable support she received.
"I discovered I had a passion for child therapy while I was at university. Through the books I read, I learned that supporting young children through counselling could help to reduce the number of people who suffer from mental health conditions in adulthood.
"I wanted to gain some counselling experience working with children and young people and saw a Place2Be poster at my university that was advertising counselling placements. After speaking with the university counselling coordinator, I was encouraged to apply for a Counsellor on Placement position.
"The interview took place at Place2Be's head office in London. The process was understandably rigorous given that I would be working with vulnerable children, but I found the experience really interesting.
"I requested a placement at a school that was close to my home – I was aware that this was an unpaid role and I didn't want to incur too many additional costs. I was very happy when I got this placement - it was ideal for me as I could fit my counselling around my other commitments.
"Before starting the placement, I received valuable training on the various ways of working therapeutically with children. This included play techniques and other creative methods. We also learned about the importance of safeguarding and how to report issues within a school environment.
"It was great to meet other counsellors and share experiences. Speaking to Place2Be staff also provided me with a greater understanding of how the organisation worked.
"The school induction I attended before starting my placement helped to put me at ease and settle my nerves. When I started at the school, everyone was very welcoming and I soon adjusted to my new role. Place2Be's School Project Manager in particular was incredibly supportive.
"During my supervision sessions, my School Project Manager encouraged me to develop my skills and I felt I could openly discuss any concerns I had with my clinical work without judgment. I was also given the opportunity to reflect on my process which was helpful.
"The support I was given, alongside the ethos and values of Place2Be, has encouraged me to pursue a career as a School Project Manager at Place2Be."
Susanne is now an Assistant School Project Manager at Place2Be.
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