Study tips for training to be a counsellor

Training to be a counsellor can be both challenging and rewarding and you’ll find yourself going through highs and lows along the way. You’ll also learn a lot about yourself throughout your journey.  At the start of the new academic year, we thought it would be helpful to share some of our top study tips with you.  

Recording your hours

Try to keep on top of recording your client and supervision hours – this will save you a lot of time when it comes to putting together your final portfolio. It can be helpful to be aware of the template you need to use for your final portfolio – you can find this in Google Classrooms. 

Reflecting on your process

Your reflective journal will help you process your thoughts, behaviours and emotions. If you get behind with your journal and start to feel overwhelmed, it can help just to write something about your process in the here and now and return to it later. Starting is often one of the biggest hurdles. 

There are several approaches you can take when you’re reflecting on your personal development. You might find it helpful to think about: 

– What’s happened? – This is usually a statement about an interpersonal relationship 
– What was my internal response? – Think about your physical and emotional response 
– So what? – What meaning did you apply to what happened?  

Working with the unknown

You’ll be working with the unknown, which can often provoke anxiety. Practice tolerating your fear of the unknown. Remember, this is a vital part of your learning about the human condition. 

Notice and explore your anxiety

For some people, a natural response to anxiety is to seek to avoid classes or assignments. Notice this in yourself and try to explore what’s going on for you. 

Maintaining your boundaries

Think about the personal and professional boundaries that you want to have in place at the start of your journey and try to maintain them.  It’s important that you remember to look after your needs.  

Comparing yourself to others

Don’t compare yourself with others and if you do, try to look at and explore what’s going on. Every student is on their own journey – we all have setbacks as well as times when things just seem to fall into place. 

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