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Training as a child counsellor in a Place2Be school

Training as a child counsellor in a Place2Be school

Adele New

Adele New

Adele develops and delivers Place2Be’s Art Room projects, as well as looking after the Place2Be Staffroom, an online community for school staff who have trained with us. She is currently training as a child counsellor with Place2Be and is a Counsellor on Placement in a Place2Be school.

Adele is training to become a child counsellor with Place2Be. She completed our Introduction to Child Counselling Skills (Level 2 Award) and Intermediate Child Counselling Skills (Level 3 Certificate) courses. Adele is now a Counsellor on Placement within a Place2Be school. We sat down with her to learn more about the day in the life of a child counsellor, as well as to learn about her experience of training as a counsellor with Place2Be.

What is the typical day of the life of a child counsellor on placement?

I generally see three children throughout the day, and between each child I have a break so that I can write up any notes from the session. At the end of each day, I have supervision with my clinical supervisor so that I can talk through anything that I’m holding onto or want to discuss.

Why did you decide to become a child counsellor?

I decided to become a child counsellor because I previously worked in education. Here, I really saw a need for support, in terms of the children’s wellbeing and the pressures that they were facing growing up.

I wanted to do something that really made a difference. Adele

I also liked the idea of working in schools, where I could work directly with children and really see them thrive and reach their potential. I wanted to do something that really made a difference.

What qualities do you think make a good child counsellor? 

I would say the qualities that make a good child counsellor are empathy, and really being able to understand the emotions that someone is going through. Also listening, active listening in particular, is really important. Active listening is being able to be there with a child and not only listen to what they’re saying but observing how they’re feeling. It's also making sure you're really taking in every element of what they’re saying.

Another important skill for child counselling is authenticity - really being yourself and being true to yourself. Going into counselling isn’t just about acting as a counsellor. You’re still yourself and showing your emotions, but you’re just doing that in a contained way to help and support the child.

Could you describe your counselling journey and the counselling training you've completed? 

I used to work in education and when I started working for Place2Be, I realised that I was interested in the clinical side of things. I started off doing the Place2Be Taster Day and immediately realised that I wanted to become a child counsellor. So I went on to do the Place2Be Level 2 Award, the Level 3 Certificate, and then I applied to become a Counsellor on Placement.

It was a very easy decision for me; I absolutely loved what Place2Be stood for and their values, and I really enjoyed the work of child counselling.

What did you learn on the Level 2 and Level 3 child counselling courses?

During the Place2Be Level 2 and Level 3 courses, I really learnt a lot about myself and understood my own emotions much more than I ever had. I really understood what it means to be a child counsellor and that it isn’t something that just happens overnight; you gradually develop your counselling skills, and you really have to know yourself in order to support others.

How did the Level 2 and 3 child counselling courses differ?

I would say the Level 2 course is really getting to grips with Place2Be’s therapeutic approach and understanding how to use creativity and play.

The Level 3 course is more focused on the theory and really understanding how to link the theory, your skills and your practice, and then translating that into the Place2Be room with the child.

What were the trainers like?

I got so much support from my trainers during my Level 2 and Level 3 courses. Whenever I needed help with something they were always there to support me. There was no judgement there, and they really created a safe space so that everybody in the group felt comfortable to share. They held the group so we could go through the process without judgement and not feeling too exposed whilst we were learning and understanding ourselves.

They really created a safe space so that everybody in the group felt comfortable to share. Adele

Place2Be offers Counselling Placements in schools across England, Scotland and Wales. Every year over 1,000 counsellors and therapists take up one of our Counselling Placements, providing one-to-one support to vulnerable children and young people in schools.

Learn more about becoming a Counsellor on Placement with Place2Be

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