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 on the verge of 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 the therapist you’re meant to be. In short, a counselling placement with TAC will prepare you to work in the ‘real world’ as a therapist as you transition into private practice.

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.

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 six 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. They pay £15 if they are registered and receiving most benefits, including working tax credit, registered disabled, pensioners and students. They pay £30 if they are on low income. 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.

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.

We currently accept applications from counsellors, psychotherapists and counselling psychologists who study at the following training institutes:

  • Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education (CCPE)
  • CPPD Counselling School
  • Gestalt Centre
  • Goldsmiths College
  • Metanoia
  • The Minister Centre
  • The New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
  • Psychosynthesis & Education Trust
  • Roehampton University

We may also consider counselling and psychotherapy students from other training institutes.

What people say

I attended two training days with Ruth and found her to be sensitive to participants’ needs and able to fulfil students’ learning requirements. Ruth’s delivery was clear, highly efficient and effective, presented at a comfortable pace, allowing time for questions and answers. I have no hesitation to recommend Ruth’s training services: she has a gentle and caring manner, which instantly puts others in a…
Dorothy Sun

Clinical supervision during placement at TAC

The supervision we provide at TAC is often cited by trainee therapists as one of the highlights of their placement. We provide group supervision at TAC on a weekly basis with an accredited psychotherapist and qualified supervisor. There is no cost to placement therapists for supervision.

The supervision provided is at a ratio of two hours per month. Training organisations and/or accrediting organisations may require a higher ratio of supervision. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that your make yourself aware of individual supervision requirements for your course and for BACP/UKCP accreditation/registration, and seek additional supervision where appropriate. All additional external supervision arrangements are subject to approval by The Awareness Centre.

There will be up to five supervisees in each group, and you will work with the same supervisor and group to support both your short-term and long-term clinical work. Your TAC supervisor will take primary clinical responsibility, and your course or private supervisor will take secondary responsibility.

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. Attend group interview.
  4. Receive offer of placement via email. Immediate response required.
  5. Training and induction arranged.


Training Days

Once accepted onto our counselling placement, you will need to enrol onto our training days before starting your client work at TAC. This training costs £150 and 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

You will be awarded a CPD certificate for 18 hours for completing this training.

Training Dates:

This three-day training is for practitioners on counselling placement at TAC. Once you have been accepted on placement, please register to attend. Please ensure you book on the earliest date for Day 1 and complete both days within six months of starting placement at TAC.

You will also be invited into a one-and-half-hour induction process at TAC and a 30-minute induction process at one of the GP surgeries or HMP Brixton. You will also learn how to use both of our diary systems for the NHS and Low Cost Counselling Service, and be briefed on all paperwork requirements.

Day One

Sunday 20th September 2015, 10.00am to 5.00pm

Day Two

Sunday 18th October 2015, 10.00am to 5.00pm

Day Three

Sunday 22nd November 2015, 10.00am to 5.00pm


£150* Three days inclusive (*non-refundable)

Book your place on the three day Clinical Practice Training

Please complete the contract below. Select one date for Day 1 and one for Day 2 to complete your booking. Please ensure you book on the earliest date for Day 1 and complete both days within 6 months of starting placement at TAC.

Please note: You must complete the Day One training before you can attend Day Two’s training.

Day One - Select Date:

Day Two - Select Date:

Day Three - Select Date*:

First Name*


Your Email*

Telephone Number*


  • I understand the nature of the commitment that I am undertaking.
  • I accept my place on this three day training.
  • I will pay my fee of £150 in full by debit/credit card.
  • Once my fee has been paid this will not be refundable if I decide not to do the training.
  • Payment must be received on acceptance of placement.
  • I accept that I may not attend the training under the influence of alcohol or
    non-prescribed drugs.


This is a digital signature - by typing your name here and submitting this form you are agreeing to the terms and conditions above


PayPalYou will now be directed to PayPal to make payment.