It is that time of year when counselling students in Devon and Cornwall begin thinking about their level 4 courses. It is sometimes quite appealing to stay with the training provider you have become famliar with during your level 2 and 3 courses, however it is well worth taking a moment to really think about whether this is the right option for you.
To help you make the right choice, we offer the following tips to help you ensure you are investing in a training course that will meet your needs, not only during the training, but later in your work as a qualified counsellor too.
1. Ask for our information leaflet on the differences between different level 4 courses. You might think that all level 4 courses are the same, but they are not. Each level 4 course will differ greatly in terms of the content of the course, the theories it teaches, the amount of credits that it carries and the progression route it forms part of.
2. Check the success rates of the provider you are thinking of applying to. Don't be afraid to ask about their external assessment process and how many candidates pass first time. It is worth checking that the provider you are considering actually has a good pass rate. However, do not be fooled by a provider claiming overly high pass rates. This could mean that good standards are not being maintained. It is of course possible, that not everyone will qualify from the course and this may not be a bad thing!
3. Think about the style of counselling you are thinking of learning and what suits your personality. For example, if you are naturally a solution focused kind of person, you may be better suited to a course that teaches a Cognitive Behavioural Approach. If you think that you would like to work in a very client centred way, then you may want to train in the Person Centred approach. However, if you feel you would like to learn something of a range of theroies and enjoy variety, you may like to select a course that offers an integrative course.
4. Find out about the course tutors and don't be afraid to ask to meet them to discuss the course they are offering. Check out their personal experience of working in the field of counselling and teaching. Make sure that the tutor is both a good counsellor and a good teacher. The two do not necessarily come together.
5. How much are you getting for your money? Courses are a big investment financially. What will the course you choose offer for your money. A key question to ask is how many guided learning hours your provider may be offering. Again, there is a great difference, ask for our information leaflet as it explains this in more detail.
6. Are you ready? Check this out with yourself. Ok, you may have completed a level 2 and 3 course, so academically you may be. But what about personally. It is worth making sure that you are in a good place in your life, emotionally and that you are well supported with regard to child care etc. You will enjoy the course more if you are in the right place mentally, emotionally and physically to be able to give it your all.
Devon and Cornwall Counselling Hub offers a no obligation free career and course consultation service. Upon request, we will discuss your aims and goals and discuss which courses might be best for you, even if that is not one of ours. If you would find this helpful, just drop us an email and we will be in touch.