• Clare O'Brien


Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Is it fair professional counsellors are expected to work in voluntary roles?

Today I’ve seen another two adverts for a volunteer Counsellor. It seems Counsellors are expected to work voluntary. Is this the same for other professions?

I completed five years of counselling training. This began with a one year evening class in counselling skills at Newcastle College. I then enrolled at Durham University to complete a further one year course, a day a week in further counselling skills. In 2000 I completed a three year part-time Masters Degree in Counselling at Durham University.

I became a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. In 2003 I gained Accreditation with this organisation, after completing many hours of counselling and forty hours of personal therapy. In 2009 I was awarded Senior Accreditation status after achieving all of the required elements.

I continue to be a member of the BACP and pay my yearly membership fee. I adhere to their Code of Practice and Ethical Framework. I complete a minimum of thirty hours Continued Professional Development each year. I maintain and pay for my Professional Civil Liability Insurance annually. Every month I meet with my Counselling Supervisor and pay accordingly. I now have twenty years’ experience in the Counselling profession.

Am I overreacting to feel it is an insult to see so many jobs for Volunteer Counsellors?

I haven’t seen adverts for volunteer nurses, physiotherapist, accountants, solicitors, estate agents, teachers, police officers etc.

Why aren’t Counsellors given the same respect as other professions?

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