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Table of Contents

  1. Welcome to the C-SAP mini-site!
  2. Introducing the theme of the mini-site - domestic violence
  3. What do you already know about domestic violence? Try this quiz to find out...
  4. Surprised by some of the answers to the quiz? Here's an opportunity to find out more about domestic violence...
  5. Now you know more about domestic violence, what about volunteering in this field while you're at university? Why not consider working on a domestic violence helpline...
  6. Want to know more about how you might volunteer in the field of domestic violence? Read Damian's account here...
  7. More on volunteering in the field of domestic violence while you're at university... Why not consider outreach work with young people?
  8. So what's it like volunteering in outreach work? Here's an interview with Kirsty, who volunteers for Safe and Sound; and a piece by Lesley, who worked with women and girls involved in prostitution...
  9. A link to a key way of finding volunteering opportunities near where you're located...
  10. Counselling: spotlighting a career route you might take after volunteering in the field of domestic violence and starting to study for postgraduate counselling qualifications...
  11. Real-life case studies of careers that might develop from volunteering in the field of domestic violence or related areas...
  12. Emily's experiences of working part-time while a Sociology student
  13. Doing outreach work with children - A discussion of work done at Nottinghamshire Domestic Violence Forum
  14. Being a Service Manager for Refuge and Children's Services - BA (Hons) Social and Cultural Studies graduate, Jennifer, talks about her career
  15. Joining the Police - An interview with Tracy, a Chief Inspector
  16. Being a Training Officer - Diane talks about her work at Safe and Sound, Derby
  17. Working for an Offender Learning and Skills Service Project - An interview with Katie, who has a BA (Hons) in Sociology and Criminology and is currently studying for an MA in Criminology
  18. From Nursing to Counselling, via the Prison Service - Daphne talks about her career
  19. Managing a Voluntary Sector Organisation - Yasmin talks about her role at Derby Women's Centre
  20. Called to the Bar - An interview with Georgina, a Barrister
  21. Working as a Journalist - An interview with James, a Deputy Editor of a national newspaper
  22. Teaching as a Career - An interview with Christina, who has a BA (Hons) Politics and a PGCE in English and Citizenship, and is now a Head-Teacher
  23. Getting Elected as a Local Councillor - An interview with Stephanie, who did Combined Honours in Sociology and English and has an MA in Gender Studies
  24. Getting Elected as an MP - An interview with Sally Keeble MP, who has a degree in Sociology
  25. A link to a key careers website...
  26. If the material in this mini-site has affected you, here are organisations that can offer help
  27. Conditions of use

Counselling: spotlighting a career route you might take after volunteering in the field of domestic violence and starting to study for postgraduate counselling qualifications...

The effects of having encountered domestic violence can endure long after the survivor has escaped the abusive situation.

Survivors may seek counselling to help them move forwards.

Work through the material in this section to explore counselling as a career.

The section starts with bullet points giving indications of what makes a good counsellor. You'll need this as background material for the task that follows.

This material was written by Tracey Adams, Counselling Co-ordinator at Derby Women's Centre.

Then you'll watch 2 role-plays of a counsellor working with a woman client who has left a relationship where she encountered domestic violence.

Photo: a small amount of money
© Deborah Lee, 2009

The back-story here is that: the client is worried about herself and about her teenage daughter. She has moved her family (2 young boys and a 14 year old daughter) to a new area to escape domestic violence. While she's relieved not to be in an abusive relationship now, she is living on benefits, very lonely and feels that her daughter is blaming her for taking her away from their previous financially-comfortable lifestyle.

The role-plays are acted by volunteers who read and discussed the back-story before starting the role-playing.

While this is not (for reasons of confidentiality) a real counselling situation with a real client, the volunteer playing the client is drawing upon real situations that real people face.

At the end of the section you'll find some selected follow-up reading you might do if you're interested in counselling as a career...

What skills and qualities do you need to have or acquire if you want to be a good counsellor?

  • You need to have respect for clients
  • You need to be able to challenge clients
  • You need good listening skills
  • You need to have empathy
  • You need to be non-judgmental
  • You need a genuine interest in the welfare of others
  • You need the ability to form helping relationships
  • You need to be self-aware, mature and stable
  • You need to be able to self-care
  • You need to be able to make use of your own life experience
  • You need to realise your own power as a counsellor
  • You need to be able to respond effectively to feedback, whether it is positive or negative
  • You need to have a sense of humour
  • You need to be able to admit it when you've made a mistake
  • You need to have awareness of the influence of aspects of personal identity, such as gender, culture, age, sexuality and religion
  • You need to have awareness of the dynamics of prejudice and oppression
  • You need to recognise the importance of confidentiality and adherence to professional body ethical principles

In this next section, you'll watch two fictionalised role-plays of two counsellors responding to a woman client. They are intended to show the sorts of skills counsellors need in action. Working from the information you've just read about 'what makes a good counsellor?' and your own interpretations of how far you would feel comfortable being the client in the two fictionalised role-plays, note down what you think works and what doesn't work in each role-play.

You will then be able to compare your thoughts with responses given by a fully-qualified counsellor.

(You should note that the role-plays are around 2/3 minutes in length. Counselling is obviously longer in real-life! Here we're providing a snapshot of counselling, so you can consider if it might be a career for you...)


the player will be placed here
the player will be placed here

* you may need to install the Silverlight plug-in to view the video, follow the onscreen instructions*

And here's how a fully-qualified counsellor feels about these two role plays.

Tracey's responses to Scenario 1 (PDF document)

Tracey's responses to Scenario 2 (PDF document)

Were your views similar to hers?

What do you learn about counselling from hearing her views on these role plays?

Interested in exploring further? Have a look at some selected follow-up reading...

Berne, E (1964) The Games People Play. Ballantine Books

Casement, P. (1985) On Listening to the Patient. Tavistock: London

Clarkson, P. (2004) Gestalt Counselling in Action. Sage: London

Clarkson, P. (2008) The Therapeutic Relationship (2nd Edition). Whurr Publishers Ltd

Corey, G. (2008) Theory and Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy (International student edition). Thomson, Brookes/Cole Publishers USA

Erskine, R. G. (1993) Inquiry, attunement, and involvement in the psychotherapy of dissociation. Transactional Analysis Journal, 23, 184-190

Erskine, R. & Trautmann, L.R (1996) Methods of an Integrative psychotherapy. Transactional Analysis Journal, 26, 4, 316-328

Erskine, R. & Moursund, J. P (2004) Integrative Psychotherapy: The art and science of relationship. Thomson, Brookes / Cole Publishers USA

Feltham, C. (1995) What is Counselling: The promise and problems of the talkingtherapies. Sage: London

McLeod, J. (2009) Introduction to Counselling (4th Edition). Open University Press, England

Mearns, D. & Thorne, B. (2007) Person Centered Counselling in Action (3rd Edition). Sage Publications Ltd. London

Rogers, C. (1957) The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 21, 95-103

Rogers, C. R. (2004) On Becoming a Person: a therapist view of psychotherapy. Constable and Robinson Ltd

Stewart, I. & Joines, V. (1987) TA Today: A new introduction to transactional analysis. Whurr Publishers Ltd

Thorne, B. & Dryden, W. (Eds) (1993) Counselling: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Open University Press

Westbrook, D., Kennerley, H. & Kirk, J. (2007) An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: Skills and Applications. Sage: London

Yontef, G. (1993) Awareness, Dialogue and Process. F.E. Peacock, Publishers

Zinker, J. (1978) Creative Process in Gestalt Therapy Vantage Books, USA





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