• Clare O'Brien


Updated: Feb 5, 2019

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