Counselling placements at The Awareness Centre

Are you looking for an honorary therapist role in a counselling placement that challenges as much as it supports you?

Ready for 4 weekly client hours? Want to learn what life is really like as a therapist? Keen to stretch yourself and prepare for private practice? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Being an honorary therapist on placement with The Awareness Centre will teach you many things you won’t learn on your course. Wherever you are in your development, we can help turn you into the therapist you’re meant to be. Choose our NHS counselling placement and you’ll learn how to work in a focused, effective way with a diverse client base – as well as gaining the experience of working alongside a multi-disciplinary team within IAPT.

Choose to work as an honorary therapist in our low-cost counselling service placement and you’ll learn how to provide a full clinical assessment to work long term with clients, which is excellent preparation for working in private practice. With the support of first-class supervision and training, in both the NHS and low-cost placements you will learn the rigours of good practice management.

We take on counsellors, psychotherapists and counselling psychologists who are starting out with client work, or who are on track towards qualifying and/or becoming accredited with BACP, UKCP or BPS.

What’s unique about TAC is that we offer a three-level placement, depending on where you are in your development as a therapist. Here’s what each placement level involves:

A Level 1 Counselling Placement is for trainee therapists who have completed their foundation year and are starting their counselling or psychotherapy diploma, but who have not accumulated many client hours.

      • You are a student counsellor, psychotherapist or counselling psychologist in the first year of your diploma course.
      • You are a student counsellor who needs to accumulate generic counselling hours to enrol onto your Psychosexual & Relationship therapy course.
      • You have a letter from your tutor or college to say you are ready for clinical work on voluntary placement at TAC.
      • You have been in personal therapy for at least a year, and will continue in therapy throughout your placement with TAC.
      • You can work within the Low Cost Counselling service. Some therapists may be able to work within the NHS Counselling service.
      • You will join a fortnightly supervision group at TAC.
      • For the first four weeks you will gradually build your clientele of two – four clients per week.
      • You will move onto Level 2 placement once you have accumulated between 25 – 65 clinical hours at TAC.
      • You will complete a TAC training course on managing risk and good practice management and developing your skills in clinical assessment.

A Level 2 Counselling Placement is for trainee therapists who have accumulated 25 – 65 supervised client hours.

      • You are a student counsellor, psychotherapist or counselling psychologist in the second year of your diploma course.
      • You have accumulated 25 – 65 face-to-face supervised client hours within another counselling organisation, agency or charity.
      • You have been in personal therapy for at least a year, and will continue in therapy throughout your placement with TAC.
      • You can work within the low-cost counselling service and/or the NHS counselling service, seeing up to eight clients per week.
      • You will be in a weekly or fortnightly supervision group, depending on how many clinical hours you do.
      • You will move onto the Level 3 placement once you have qualified and are working towards accreditation. However, if your TAC supervisor thinks you are ready to move to Level 3 before you have qualified this will be accepted by TAC management.
      • You will complete a TAC training course on managing risk and good practice management and developing your skills in clinical assessment.

A Level 3 Counselling Placement is for therapists who have over 65+ supervised client hours and are working towards qualification and accreditation.

      • You are a student counsellor, psychotherapist or counselling psychologist reaching the end of your training or working towards accreditation.
      • You have accumulated 65+ face-to-face supervised client hours.
      • You are in personal therapy.
      • You can work within the low-cost counselling service, the NHS counselling service, or within HMP Brixton, seeing up to eight clients per week.
      • You can work with couples within our low cost counselling service (only students on a Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy training).
      • You will be in a weekly or fortnightly supervision group, depending on how many clinical hours you do.

Our placement is like an internship where you can graduate to the next level by building your experience and confidence in working with diverse client groups within our three counselling services:

  1. Our Low-Cost Counselling Service offers therapy on an open-ended basis at one of our counselling centres in Clapham or Tooting. The amount clients pay depends on their income. Working as an honorary therapist in our low-cost service 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 can see up to four clients per week on daytime slots Monday to Sunday, and on Friday evenings. This is suitable for level 1, 2 and 3 placement therapists.
  2. Our NHS Counselling Service involves seeing up to four patients a week on a short-term basis within GP surgeries in Lambeth and Wandsworth. TAC is contracted by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG).  We work in partnership with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) to provide our NHS counselling services. This is suitable for some level 1 therapists, level 2 and 3 placement therapists.
  3. Our Prison Counselling Service involves working short-term with inmates of HMP Brixton for 6 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 can see up to three clients per week at the prison. This is suitable for level 2 and 3 placement therapists.
Placement Training September 2018
Placement training at The Awareness Centre

How to apply for a counselling placement at TAC

  • Apply online. Complete the online application form by clicking on the ‘Counselling Placement Application form’ button below.
  • If you meet our criteria, the Counselling Department will invite you to attend a group interview and speak to you about slot availability for our NHS and/or LCCS placements.
  • If successful, you will receive an offer of a placement via email. Please respond within 24 hours.
  • You will need an enhanced DBS, which TAC can 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 rewarding placement. For any related enquires for a counselling placement please email Cat Allen, cat@theawarenesscentre.com or call 020 8673 4545.

What our placement counsellors say

The Awareness Centre has been a great platform for me to start my counselling and psychotherapy career. The team have been very supporting and the fortnightly supervision has really helped develop me into the kind of therapist I want to be.
Kate, SW19

Supervisors

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

  • Short-Term Work On Our NHS Placement Can be Very Rewarding

    Short-Term Work On Our NHS Placement Can be Very Rewarding

    Two placement therapists talk about their experiences of working with NHS clients. Lisa Mainz, who is in the second year of a Masters in Gestalt psychotherapy at Metanoia Institute, first heard about The Awareness Centre when she had just moved to the UK from the US. “I’d moved here so recently from the States, andRead 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

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