Trainee and associate placements

The Counselling Service at London Metropolitan University has an established Trainee and Associate scheme, providing a number of clinical placements for:

  • Counsellors in the advanced stages of training.
  • Counsellors who are qualified and wish to gain experience in Higher Education and accumulate hours for accreditation.

We welcome applicants from a variety of theoretical orientations (in counselling, psychotherapy, psychology) and from diverse personal and cultural backgrounds. The scheme offers an opportunity to gain work experience in the context of an inner-city institution of Higher Education, which has a culturally diverse population and a high proportion of 'mature' (21+) students.

Recruitment Year 2021-22

Our recruitment for the following academic year has now been completed. The induction for placements will be held on the 30th September with the placements commencing on the 4th October.

The Counselling Service is based in the Holloway Campus and provides both remote and in-person services. The Counselling Service is one of four specialist Student Services, also including:

  • Disabilities and Dyslexia Service (DDS)
  • International Student Support and Advice
  • Student Money and Accommodation Advice (SMAA)

The therapeutic approach of the Counselling Service is best described as integrative and relational (with an awareness of what is co-created in the relationship between client and counsellor). Our practitioners come from a variety of training backgrounds and the team currently consists of one full-time service manager post and four part-time counsellor posts.

The team is committed to the Equality Act (2010) and the BACP Ethical Framework (2018) which inform our work with representation, difference, and oppression. Across the Service, counsellors operate in a variety of time-limited arrangements, including: single sessions and periodic reviews. Normally the Service offers six sessions, but can, in some circumstances, consider extending this to nine or twelve sessions depending on the circumstances and the nature of the work with a student. University mental health provision is generally of an ongoing and periodic nature, with a lower level of face-to-face contact. Counselling and Mental Health provision include considerable co-operative work with other parts of the University.

We are interested in receiving applications from Trainees and Associates who can meet the following basic requirements:

  • An ability to volunteer for one full day each week (either 9am-5pm or 10am-6pm). This includes one hour per week for clinical supervision. 
  • The ability to volunteer in person or remotely via an online platform (e.g. Teams) or over the phone.
  • Our aim is to provide an experience that realistically reflects the Higher Education environment. Therefore, we offer you the opportunity to see up to five ongoing clients and to join in other activities in the University if you wish to. Activities will be in line with your strengths and interests and could include: day-to-day administration, group facilitation, student induction events, Open Days, Freshers Fair. Where appropriate, training in these areas will be provided.
  • A willingness to engage across the University, e.g. making contact with others (lecturers, tutors, Student Services) who are involved with the students experience.
  • Placements run for a full year, usually beginning in September/October and ending in September of the following year, but occasionally advertised at other times as well. We ask that applicants are able to commit for one calendar year and that as far as possible they arrange holidays or other training out of academic term time, i.e. during Christmas, Easter, Summer.   If this is likely to be problematic for you, please raise this prior to the interview.

At the end of the placement year, you can ask to be considered for a further year s placement if you wish, or if you are able to move from a trainee to associate role..

Should there be any issues of concern during your placement, we will discuss them with you, and may also need, where appropriate, to discuss them with your training organisation.

It is the policy of the Counselling Service not to offer placements to students or employees of the University unless they are already working within Student Services and would not be subject to conflicts of interest in the role.

Supervision is provided by permanent counselling staff, usually in groups of 2 and working integratively and relationally. While every effort is made to ensure that supervision coincides with placement times, it may require attendance at a different time/day from counselling practice, however, this is rarely necessary.

1. Trainee Counsellor 

Trainee counsellors are those who have not yet completed full counsellor training. To be considered you must meet the following criteria:

  • To be in the second year of a BACP/UKCP/BPS approved or RQF accredited Diploma course or equivalent;
  • Have some counselling experience (as a practitioner) is preferable though not essential;
  • Have experience of personal counselling or therapy (either individual or group). All trainees must be in personal counselling for the duration of the placement.

Trainee counsellors who are in the advanced stages of training may be eligible to apply for Associate Counsellor placements. You may do so if you meet the requirements of an approved Counselling Diploma: (a) at least two years part-time duration; (b) 400+ hours taught time; and (c) includes the basic elements for BACP recognition (see section 5.1 Recognition of Counsellor Training Courses, BACP).

2. Associate Counsellor 

Associate counsellors are those who have already qualified. Associates will have the opportunity, if agreed, to take part in counselling assessments, for which training is provided, and to take on clients with more complex needs/circumstances.  When coming into an associate role the volunteer will not immediately fulfil all the aspects of the associate role, as it will take time to know the ropes of our service and to acquaint themselves with the University.

  • You must have completed a BACP, UKCP, BPS approved or RQF accredited Counselling Diploma course (preferably within the past two years) and be seeking experience of working in Higher Education;
  • Have a minimum of 100 hours of counselling experience (as a practitioner), during or after training; 

Have experience, preferably ongoing, of personal counselling or therapy.

Please refer to the guidelines and use the application form below to complete your application. Successful applicants will be invited to an interview.

Section A - as the Counselling Service uses a blind recruitment, this section is accessible only by staff not participating in the actual shortlisting and selection process.

  • Dates and times: Please indicate clearly which days and times are you available for the placement, e.g. Mondays 9am to 5pm; Tuesdays 10am to 6pm etc. Please only apply for a placement if you are able and comfortable to offer a full day throughout the duration of the placement.
  • References: Please obtain and include two references (not just names): (a) one of which, if you are still in training or recently qualified, should be from your training organisation; and (b) another from someone who knows you well professionally or vocationally, e.g. a supervisor, manager, tutor. Please do not send the application until the references have been obtained.

Section B - this is the main body of the application seen by staff involved in the shortlisting process.

Personal Introduction: Please give a brief statement (no fewer than 250 - 300 words) introducing yourself in a personal way, giving the information which you think might be helpful to us in getting to know you. Please do not make any reference to counselling, mental health, your job or your professional life.

Qualifications: Please describe your counselling or mental health training so far, making reference to all courses completed or being completed and giving details of the areas specified in the 'details of training' box. Please provide details of other non-counselling or non-mental health qualifications you may have which you deem relevant to the role - qualifications in practical skills, RQFs, HNDs, degrees, diplomas etc.

Details of training: In answering these points, please give most attention to your present or most significant training.

  • Where the training was completed. Please give the name and address of the institution/training centre.
  • When the training was completed.
  • Theoretical orientation of the programme.
  • Degree to which programme was experiential and/or theoretical. Please give a brief summary of the theoretical and experiential components.
  • Make clear the stage you are at in your training and if all assessment work has to date been completed.
  • The date at which you expect to qualify or the date you qualified.

Personal counselling and other personal development activities: Please give details of personal counselling or psychotherapy which you have received, with approximate dates, making clear: (a) duration; (b) theoretical orientation; and (c) whether individual or group. Please make clear if you are currently in counselling or psychotherapy. Please provide details of other personal development activities with which you have engaged.

Practical Experience: Please give details of your counselling experience (as a practitioner) or experiences working/volunteering with mental health issues.Please mention how many hours have you completed, in what setting and with what types of clients.

Other skills and abilities: Please describe what other skills and abilities you could bring to the role. These need not have a direct relationship to Counselling or Mental Health. They could include any of the following: administrative skills, experience of facilitating group work, teaching experience, experience of giving talks to groups of people, coaching skills and others you may be aware of.

Higher Education: Please tell us about (a) what attracts you to or interests you in a placement at London Met University and (b) to counselling in Higher Education.

Representation, difference, and inclusion - London Metropolitan University is one of the most ethnically and socio-economically diverse HE institutions in the UK. Our students and staff come from over 140 different countries. They have different economic backgrounds, ages, family situations, ethnicities, religions, identities, abilities, and disabilities. The richness of conversation and multiple perspectives that this diversity brings has an unparalleled energy but can also give rise to discrimination and oppression. Counsellors in the Service follow an approach to counselling which embraces a positive view of identities and relationships. 

With the above in mind, please tell us about your thoughts, feelings and experiences in relation to representation, difference, inclusion and the role of power dynamics in the counselling relationship. Describe the implications of these for your role as a counsellor (between 300 - 350 words).

Professional memberships: Please give details of any professional memberships, membership of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy), BPS (British Psychological Society) or equivalent bodies. Are you familiar with the BACP Ethical Framework, and are you willing and able to offer counselling in accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework?

Other Information: Please give any other information you would like to give in support of your application? This can include any relevant lived experience that has drawn you to this placement and plans for your current and future learning and development.

Section C - This information will not be shared in relation to the process of shortlisting, but will be accessible to those who are arranging the interview, so that proper provision can be made.

Accessibility needs and other requirements -  Do you have any accessibility needs or other requirements that would help increase your confidence/remove barriers in undertaking interview or the placement itself, e.g. assistive technology or adjustments, physical space adjustments, additional training, etc.? These needs, requirements and/or considerations could relate to neurodiversity, education, disability, or other factors that the Counselling Service could consider to make this placement opportunity more accessible to you.

Section D - Monitoring Data (Optional)

Submission of this information is optional. You will find a comprehensive explanation of why we request and how we use this data on the application form itself. Please feel free to complete as little or as much of this section as you wish to and feel comfortable with. Choosing not to answer any or all of these questions will not result in your application not being considered.

1.  The recruitment and induction of volunteers for our October 2021 intake will be online, with interviews being held over Microsoft Teams in June/July.  

2. Our volunteers are currently offering online and telephone counselling, and it is not clear when we will be able to return to offering face-to-face sessions. So, applicants must state in their application whether they are willing and able to offer counselling online or via the telephone. We will offer access to online counselling training and additional support from within our service, but it would be helpful if applicants state whether they have any previous experience or training in offering remote counselling via telephone or online. 

3. Applicants will need to inform us of whether they have the facilities to offer counselling safely and securely online. This would include:

  • Access to a computer that can run Microsoft Teams and perform administrative tasks online 
  • Access to a good broadband connection.
  • A private space in which to conduct sessions in confidentiality.
  • The University has extended its commitment to providing needed equipment, so as for our Counsellors to be able to provide services remotely to students and staff. If you have a specific need and/or requirement, you will have the chance to inform us during the induction process.

If you'd like to apply, please download our Placement Application form and send it to us by email, to:

studentservices@londonmet.ac.uk

(attn: Victoria Allison)

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