Counselling Placement (Internship)

A counselling placement at The Awareness Centre (TAC) will quickly grow your client hours, develop your expertise in short-term and long-term work, and offer you first class weekly supervision. It’s an exciting, challenging and rewarding placement for counsellors, psychotherapists and counselling psychologists working towards qualifying and/or becoming accredited.

But it’s much more than that. There’s a reason why we call our counselling placement an ‘internship’. Our counselling placement builds your confidence and experience of working with diverse client groups. It will equip you with a generic way of working with clients that you can adapt anywhere. It teaches and models good practice management. The training and support we offer will help you become confidant in your practice as a therapist. In short, a counselling placement with TAC will prepare you to work as a therapist within an organisation and/or your transition into private practice.

Clinical Supervision

One of the highlights of the placement is the quality of group supervision we offer. Your supervision group will sustain and nurture your practice and help you work through issues with challenging clients. Your supervisor will sign off your client hours, and can write a report to your training institute if required.


We also provide a three day training programme facilitated by experienced psychotherapists and trainers. Training covers clinical assessment, risk assessment, working with clients within the NHS (short term), working with clients within HMP Brixton (short term), working with clients long-term in our Low Cost Counselling Service, good practice management and working towards private practice. You will be awarded a CPD certificate for 18 hours for completing this training.

The Awareness Centre (TAC) offers three counselling placements:

  1. Counselling placement in the NHS: This placement involves working short-term with clients for 6 or 12 sessions, depending on client complexity and level of risk. TAC is contracted by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and works in partnership with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) to provide the NHS counselling service within GP surgeries in Lambeth. You would see three or four clients per week within a GP surgery.
  2. Counselling placement in HMP Brixton: This placement involves working short-term with inmates of Brixton Prison for 6 sessions or 12 sessions, depending on client complexity and level of risk. TAC is contracted by NHS England to provide the counselling service in HMP Brixton. You would see three clients per week at the prison.
  3. Open-ended counselling placement at TAC: This placement involves working long-term on an open-ended basis to clients within our Low Cost Counselling Service (LCCS) at The Awareness Centre. Clients pay for this service, according to how much they can afford. A placement within LCCS helps you learn about good practice management, including note-taking and handling fees, and allows you to develop long-term therapeutic relationships with your clients. You would see up to four clients per week during a weekday morning or afternoon, Friday evenings, or Saturday or Sunday daytime. TAC is open seven days a week.

We ask you to commit for two years to our placement. Typically you would do eight hours a week – working with the NHS or HMP Brixton plus LCCS. You may be able to do just one of the placements (NHS, HMP Brixton, or LCCS) for up to four hours a week, depending on availability at the time you apply.

Read what other therapists say about their experience on counselling placement at TAC:

  • How my counselling placement at The Awareness Centre prepared me for private practice

    How my counselling placement at The Awareness Centre prepared me for private practice

    I am a UKCP-registered psychotherapist with a busy private practice in Clapham and Purley. I’m also an NHS clinical team leader. Looking back, I doubt I would have hit the ground running so quickly in my first year in private practice had it not been for my counselling placement at The Awareness Centre. If you’re aRead more →

  • Memoirs of a newbie

    Memoirs of a newbie

    Originally, when I took to writing on this blog, I was asked me to write about my experience as a placement/trainee counsellor – I have slightly digressed in my other blogs, so I thought it was about time I obeyed the boss and gave some attention to this area. So here I am writing inRead more →

  • Ten things to consider when looking for a clinical placement

    Ten things to consider when looking for a clinical placement

    Being a counselling/psychotherapy student can be a lonely and scary world. You have no social life, are up to your eyes in college, counselling, supervision, essays, case studies etc… and on top of that, the pressure to find a clinical placement that provides you with the hours, experience and the satisfaction that you need, canRead more →

How can I be considered for a counselling placement?

To be considered for a counselling placement at TAC counsellors, psychotherapists and counselling psychologists are required to:

  • Have at least 65 clinical supervised hours working with adults in a one-to-one setting.
  • Experience of working clinically within other counselling organisations, agencies or charities.
  • Have been in personal therapy for a minimum of one year.
  • Continue in personal therapy throughout their time at TAC.
  • Be working towards BACP accreditation or UKCP/BPS registration.
  • Have an Enhanced DBS, which TAC will arrange if required.

Offers of placement are made subject to a three-month probation period, within which you will be monitored, supported and mentored in all aspects of this rigorous but rewarding placement.

You will also be invited into a one-and-half-hour induction process at TAC and a one hour induction process at one of the GP surgeries or HMP Brixton. You will learn how to use both of our diary systems for the NHS and Low Cost Counselling Service, and be briefed on all paperwork requirements.

We are also interested in candidates who can offer counselling in our Addiction Counselling, Anger Management Therapy, Bereavement CounsellingChild & Adolescent Counselling, and LGBT Counselling services and in a second language to support our Multilingual Counselling Service.

What people say

As a volunteer counsellor at Brixton Prison, I would like to urge other counsellors to take up on the unique opportunity available through The Awareness Centre.  I have found supervision there to be excellent providing valuable insight for clinical work as well as personal awareness.  Fellow working colleagues are warm, welcoming and supportive.  If you are up for a challenge and willing to work wit…
D.S, London

How do I apply for a counselling placement at The Awareness Centre?

Our application process is swift and straightforward:

  1. Apply online. Download the application form by clicking on the ‘Counselling Placement Application form’ button at the top right of this page. Complete and return by email to
  2. If you meet our criteria, the counselling manager will speak to you about slot availability (NHS, HMP Brixton and LCCS)
  3. You will be invited to attend a group interview.
  4. You will receive an offer of a placement via email. Please respond within 24 hours.
  5. Training and induction will be arranged.