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Becoming a counsellor

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Hi Forum,

Bit of a long post but please stick with me, Dec 2019 I left a job at NHS 111 due to stress, I'd only been there a few months, as I was searching for jobs the pandemic started to take hold, Jun 2020 my mother had
a brain haemorrhage and as she was vulnerable person anyway, I became her full time carer, only been getting carers allowance since. My circumstances have changed were I can now get help with my mothers care, so I would like to progress myself back into paid work, and I am looking to become a counsellor (I've heard male counsellors are in short supply) and it's something am passionate about.
But the cost of some of the training courses are vast, having been only getting £69 a week, my money is extremely tight and I am wondering if anyone could advise me on how I could get help and support to achieve my new career path.

I am degree educated, graduated in 2:1 in business and management. I live at home supporting my mum. 

Really appreciate anyones help/advice.x 
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 33,408 Forumite
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    You would probably need to look at an introduction to counselling course as a starting point. Anyone can technically call themselves a counsellor, with no qualifications  but any employer is going to want to see accredited qualifications. 

    I’m guessing you’re not eligible for a student loan dud to your previous degree? I think there are exceptions for some courses but counselling doesn’t seem to be one of them. Have you tried speaking to the National Careers Service to look at any pathways.
    Otherwise you’re going to be into the realms of bursaries and grants. 
    You could look at the open university carer scholarships? Too late for this year but possible in the future?

    https://www.open.ac.uk/courses/fees-and-funding/carers-scholarship-fund

    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,938 Forumite
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    What about being a telephone volunteer for the Samaritans or Child-Line?
  • Purplelady65
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    There is a shortage of counsellors and also CBT therapists. Have you thought of looking for a job within mental health NHS trusts? Some do pay for their staff to study for qualifications so this might be an entry route into this area of work. 
  • JReacher1
    JReacher1 Posts: 4,652 Forumite
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    You could consider training to be a life coach? That’s similar to a counsellor. 

    Other option is to get a part time job at somewhere like tesco to earn some money to enable you to afford the training. 
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,990 Forumite
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    edited 22 August 2022 at 6:38AM
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    bigguy201 said:
    Hi Forum,

    Bit of a long post but please stick with me, Dec 2019 I left a job at NHS 111 due to stress, I'd only been there a few months, as I was searching for jobs the pandemic started to take hold, Jun 2020 my mother had
    a brain haemorrhage and as she was vulnerable person anyway, I became her full time carer, only been getting carers allowance since. My circumstances have changed were I can now get help with my mothers care, so I would like to progress myself back into paid work, and I am looking to become a counsellor (I've heard male counsellors are in short supply) and it's something am passionate about.
    But the cost of some of the training courses are vast, having been only getting £69 a week, my money is extremely tight and I am wondering if anyone could advise me on how I could get help and support to achieve my new career path.

    I am degree educated, graduated in 2:1 in business and management. I live at home supporting my mum. 

    Really appreciate anyones help/advice.x 
    Nothing of course stops you, me or anybody else setting up as a counsellor tomorrow and advertising for clients! It is not a regulated "profession".

    There are two major "professional" bodies in the UK, the UKCP and the BACP and a whole raft of smaller ones. All of course exist, to some extent at least, for their own benefit. Both of the major bodies get, shall we say, a "mixed" press.

    Assuming you are ultimately looking for a salaried job then it is really a case of finding out what qualifications appeal to organisations who employ counsellors and trying to obtain one of those.

    If you are going down the self employed route then it is more a case of finding training that will give you confidence to practice, as it is unlikely that private clients will really know one qualification from another. 

    At the very least you should have some professional indemnity insurance so it would be worth finding out what is necessary in order to get adequate cover.

    There are good, professional counsellors out there. However that are plenty of complete charlatans too! 
  • bigguy201
    bigguy201 Posts: 24 Forumite
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    What about being a telephone volunteer for the Samaritans or Child-Line?
    Well I needed money to support myself really, I love volunteering but it won't pay the bills.
  • bigguy201
    bigguy201 Posts: 24 Forumite
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    There is a shortage of counsellors and also CBT therapists. Have you thought of looking for a job within mental health NHS trusts? Some do pay for their staff to study for qualifications so this might be an entry route into this area of work. 
    Am not sure I understand, you mean they'd train you for the job that you applied for? Or you work as something else then get training on the job.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 33,408 Forumite
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    edited 23 August 2022 at 7:58PM
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    bigguy201 said:
    What about being a telephone volunteer for the Samaritans or Child-Line?
    Well I needed money to support myself really, I love volunteering but it won't pay the bills.
    It’s a start though, and it shows you’re properly interested if you are looking at scholarships or bursaries. I got the job I have now, in part, because volunteering showed I was serious about a career change following redundancy. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • bigguy201
    bigguy201 Posts: 24 Forumite
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    JReacher1 said:
    You could consider training to be a life coach? That’s similar to a counsellor. 

    Other option is to get a part time job at somewhere like tesco to earn some money to enable you to afford the training. 
    Lol, not sure I could be a life coach, can barely hold my own life together. 
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