My Counselling Journey-Lori Thackham

One of our 2019 Level 5 graduates explains her counselling training journey and offers valuable advice to those entering counselling training.

I am just completing my level 5 training with the Devon and Cornwall Counselling Hub (DCCH) and have been reflecting on my journey…

I became interested in counselling when I trained as a Thrive practitioner in a primary school. The Thrive training was exciting and informative, but I then became hungry to learn more.

I decided that enrolling on a level 2 counselling course was the next step. Before I knew it, I had completed my level 2 and 3 training and then it was decision time, the next level would mean training to be a counsellor and was this the right thing for me to do?

I looked around for level 4 courses without much luck and then found the DCCH. I applied and went for an interview where I was impressed with what was on offer, the integrative approach matched how I felt about counselling, ie, that it was about making connections which made sense of thoughts and feelings and the Hub’s level 4 course offered me an opportunity to connect what I already knew with what I felt and what I wanted to learn.

"The experience I have had on the level 4

and 5 course has been excellent".

The experience I have had on the level 4 and 5 course has been excellent. The courses offered broad and in-depth learning about counselling and the feedback from the tutors has always been extremely constructive and helpful. The Hub was supportive all the way through the placement process and I was lucky enough to gain two very good placements with Counsellors Southwest CIC and Young Devon. I was extremely nervous about the whole process, but when I look back now it was all relatively straightforward. My advice to others would be to think about an area you would like to work in, research it and then plan to apply for placements in that domain linking the skills and interests you have to what will be required.

"I am learning all the time and love what I do".

When I finished my placement hours for the level 5 course with Counsellors Southwest, I was offered paid hours on their Intern Scheme. I had always been interested in the logistical side of how the agency operated and enjoyed asking questions and gaining feedback about the different queries and situations that arose and this curiosity lead to me being offered the role of Assistant Clinical lead at the agency; a role which involves assessment, processing referrals and dealing with any queries. I have also continued counselling clients. I am learning all the time and love what I do.

"I am in a very fulfilling job"

If you asked me if I would do anything differently now I have had the experiences I have, I would say ‘no.’ I have worked hard, followed my instincts and have been open and curious. The journey has been exciting and challenging in equal measures and I have arrived in a place where I am in a very fulfilling job with opportunities to keep learning and building my experience.

If you are thinking about embarking on a similar journey, be curious, open; ready for excitement and challenge along with hard work – you never know, it may lead to a fulfilling new career.

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