Home > Counselling as a Career > Voluntary Counselling Opportunities

Voluntary Counselling Opportunities

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 12 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Counselling Voluntary Experience Career

Counselling is often considered as a second career, and due to the training involved many people continue working whilst studying to become a counsellor. Counselling involves the wellbeing and support of others, and this vocation generally appeals to individuals who may already work in a supportive role of some sort – perhaps in teaching, nursing or social work.

Although the amount of paid employment, in the field of counselling, may be on the rise there are still many qualified counsellors seeking full-time positions. There are part-time job options available, for professionally trained counsellors, as well as the opportunity to provide counselling services within the voluntary sector.

Vacancies Available

Counselling openings are available in a wide variety of different areas. These include within education, General Practice, the workplace and organisations offering specialist services like drug addiction or eating disorder counselling. These positions are widely advertised but unfortunately there are not sufficient career opportunities available to provide employment for the growing number of qualified counsellors.

Working within the voluntary sector however, offers an opportunity to develop skills or to refresh them. Agencies that offer specialist counselling services, select and train volunteers who go on to provide voluntary counselling within the organisation. As the training is usually free, the organisation will expect a certain level of commitment from the volunteer, in exchange.

Voluntary Vacancy Requirements

In order to be considered for a voluntary training placement it is important that an individual is able to demonstrate an understanding of the counselling process. It is therefore useful to have basic counselling skills training and an interest in your own ongoing personal development.

Many valuable skills can be picked up through the sort of training programme that a voluntary organisation can offer. These experiences will increase your level of understanding and will help you develop your natural qualities and attitudes. Working on a voluntary basis will also provide you with skills you can use to update a CV, and to gain future employment in the field of counselling.

Valuable Skills

Training for a voluntary position within an organisation will enable you to develop your key skills and will help you increase your counselling knowledge and specific practical skills. The training may also offer an opportunity to experience client contact situations.

Counselling from a community base provides a direct service to those in need of a supportive, trusting relationship. This may involve counselling individuals with specific problems like addiction. Many professional training courses do not cover the set of skills to work within a community, so a voluntary training course may also enable a counsellor to stretch their personal skills and to develop more of an understanding, as well as to open the door to more career opportunities.

Volunteering

Offering your counselling services is easy to do. Volunteers provide a valuable extension to the services an organisation already offers, and so the demand for volunteers is always high. If you contact an agency or organisation direct you will be able to have an informal chat about the placement requirements and training available. You will also be informed of the additional support, and supervision, that is available to volunteer counsellors. Thinking of counselling as a career? Why not take a look at the Career section here.

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I need some helpful tips. I am a second year student on a Diploma course. I live in Surrey and have access to London. I am looking for a trainee counselling placement. Has anyone got any ideas? I have been looking since October.
Trish - 12-Feb-17 @ 2:13 PM
JUMMY - Your Question:
I have completed a Degree course in Psychosocial studies and I would love to do some voluntary work in prison/mental health how do I go about it.

Our Response:
You can volunteer via the Samaritans - please see link here. Please also see Time Bank link here.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 17-Jan-17 @ 2:08 PM
I have completed a Degree course in Psychosocial studies and I would love to do some voluntary work in prison/mental health how do I go about it.
JUMMY - 16-Jan-17 @ 11:12 PM
I have done1-2 counciling and passed3 diploma counciling would love to do some volentary work in prison or mental health how do I go about it
Baby - 11-Dec-16 @ 11:11 PM
Jan - Your Question:
I completed a 3 year Counselling/Psychotherapy course in 2011 whilst still in full time employment. However having now retired I would like to know if there are any refresher courses available I could attend as I would like to apply my skills gained and put them to good use in gaining paid employment in the Kent area.

Our Response:
You could do some voluntary work with the likes of Relate, please see link here, or the likes of the Samaritans who will also train you up which would help further enhance your skills. Please also see Place2Be here. I hope these help.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 6-Dec-16 @ 11:03 AM
I completed a 3 year Counselling/Psychotherapy course in 2011 whilst still in full time employment.Howeverhaving now retired I would like to know if there are any refresher courses available I could attend as I would like to apply my skills gainedand put them to good use in gaining paid employment in the Kent area.
Jan - 5-Dec-16 @ 4:29 PM
Hi, I am a 51 year old man studying a Diploma at Level 4. In my life I have worked as a trainednurse and most recently, volunteered at Victim Support for 9 years where I was awarded ( at the palace) Volunteer of the year. I have vast experience supporting people, clinically and emotionally. I would love to have a placement with you to further my training please. Thank you Sam
Sam - 24-Nov-16 @ 12:35 PM
ez - Your Question:
I have a bsc honers psychology degree and looking to work in counselling, I work full time ( not in counselling) so I am looking into vulentreering one day a week ( my day off) to gain experience, field training and relevant study training.Please could you send me some information on positions in the Inverness/ Highlands area of Scotland

Our Response:
You would have to apply directly to the organisations you wished to volunteer for, and/or do your own research. We are solely an advisory website.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 22-Sep-16 @ 11:24 AM
I have a bsc honerspsychology degree and looking to work in counselling, I work full time ( not in counselling) so I am looking into vulentreering one day a week ( my day off) to gain experience, field training and relevant study training. Please could you send me some information on positions in the Inverness/ Highlands area of Scotland
ez - 21-Sep-16 @ 11:46 AM
Hi I'm currently training and would love to get advise on how to get in to a replacement. Do you have any opportunities you could advise into getting in a placement? Thanks Charlie
Charliw8 - 8-Sep-16 @ 11:20 PM
I'm a current psychology student completing my BSc in Psychology. I will be going into my 2nd year this September and want to find some volunteering opportunities in my area this summer. I am interested in child psychology, but also clinical psychology. Does any one know of any good volunteering opportunities, specifically in Essex? Thank you
Charlotte2 - 21-Jul-16 @ 12:28 PM
Done 1-2 counciling just passed diploma 3 what voluntary work could I do to get me experience
Nerdy - 18-Jul-16 @ 8:09 PM
I've got BA business psychology and HRM and MA Human Resources Development. I'm currently studying a diploma in life coaching and counselling. I've got experience in learning and development and training. I'd love to pursuit a career in counselling. Would you think I would be suitable for a voluntary role in counselling? Or I need more courses? Can you please give me your advise? Thanks.
Hana - 14-Jul-16 @ 1:24 PM
hello, im applying to do councelling at university , i have put in a application to be a listener for the samaritans, apparently you cant under go their training if your doing a councelling cousre does anyone know the reson why?
jojo - 10-Jul-16 @ 10:37 PM
Betty - Your Question:
Hello, I am studying Life and Work Skills at Crawley College in full time education but at the same time I would like to volunteer to train to become a counsellor although I have no experience on that. I want to be trained for it as well and I would like to do a free course about it online

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely you will find a 'free' accredited course in counselling online.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 22-Feb-16 @ 2:48 PM
Hello, I am studying Life and Work Skills at Crawley College in full time education but at the same time I would like to volunteer to train to become a counsellor although I have no experience on that. I want to be trained for it as well and I would like to do a free course about it online
Betty - 21-Feb-16 @ 10:42 PM
Hello, I am currently in my last year of a Psychology course. I want to apply for a masters degree in Applied Psychology (clinical specialism). However, in order to be successful in this application I need relevant work/volunteer experience. I am volunteering with childline, however, the requirements state that it needs to be something along the lines of shadowing clinical psychologists or something to do with mental health. I am based in Belfast and I have been researching online a lot to find something relevant to no success. Would you be in a position to give me any advice as to what I can do? Thank you
MZ1994 - 14-Jan-16 @ 9:09 PM
Izzy- Your Question:
Hello, Hope you're well. I am writing to you to gain work experience as I have completed my degree in Psychology and Counselling. I will be available to work for two full days out of the week.

Our Response:
I am afraid we are not a counselling organisation, we are a website writing about counselling opportunities.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 23-Dec-15 @ 12:06 PM
Hello, Hope you're well. I am writing to you to gain work experience as i have completed my degree in Psychology and Counselling. I will be available to work for two full days out of the week .
Izzy - 22-Dec-15 @ 11:49 PM
I am a level 5 student in a London counselling training school, I would like a get a placement with you if possible. I am still studying, I go to school Wednesdays and Thursdays
None - 14-Dec-15 @ 10:30 PM
Emma- Your Question:
Hi I have just moved to Sureey and am trying to find somewhere I can volunteer but seem to be struggling can you give me any info on finding somewhere?

Our Response:
You don't say what qualifications you have, or what your specialist area is, therefore it makes it a bit difficult to advise. However, the Samaritans is always a good option to consider, as it offers full training for its telephone counsellors.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 11-Dec-15 @ 11:38 AM
Hi I have just moved to Sureey and am trying to find somewhere I can volunteer but seem to be struggling can you give me any info on finding somewhere?
Emma - 10-Dec-15 @ 8:48 PM
I am a BSc graduate in Psychology and Counselling (2.2 in 2010) and have been volunteering in counselling for about 5 years now.I really want to work in the field to help with post graduate studies.How do I go about it? Thank you.
Counsellor - 8-Dec-15 @ 2:18 PM
Uzma - Your Question:
I need advice. I graduated last year in Bsc Psychology with Counselling, with a First Class Honours. I did a 6 month internship alongside Psychologists, where I assisted them in their paper work. I really enjoyed the research and counselling side to my degree. & I enjoyed scoring questionnaires, data-entry, filing, literature searches, audit tasks, etc during my Internship.Is there anything I can do with this experience ? I am struggling to find a job ? & have no concrete idea what my plans are for the future ?I am based in Bradford, UK.

Our Response:
Have you thought about extending your interest in this area and going on to post graduate study? You may receive funding or burseries to help if you managed to secure a first class honours degree. It would mean that you could explore further to see exactly what area you would like to specialise in. It may also be a good move if you have failed to secure a job, and would give you the option to stay in academia and research and continue doing the type of work you enjoy most.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 18-Nov-15 @ 12:23 PM
I need advice. I graduated last year in Bsc Psychology with Counselling, with a First Class Honours. I did a 6 month internship alongside Psychologists, where I assisted them in their paper work. I really enjoyed the research and counselling side to my degree. & I enjoyed scoring questionnaires, data-entry, filing, literature searches, audit tasks, etc during my Internship. Is there anything I can do with this experience ? I am struggling to find a job ? & have no concrete idea what my plans are for the future ? I am based in Bradford, UK.
Uzma - 17-Nov-15 @ 9:00 PM
Hi wondering if anyone can advise, I have a degree in Psychology and have spent 3 years working in camhs and 2 years working in adult acute mental health. I completed training with the nspcc and was a childline volunteer for a while. I am currently completing an accredited online course in cbt and would love to get I to counselling but am unsure of the way forward at the moment. I also work as a bank auxiliary nurse at present, any help and advise would be great. Thanks
Nikki - 12-Nov-15 @ 7:49 PM
Kay - Your Question:
Hi,I am looking to change my career and train to become a CBT therapist. I have a degree - although it is not directly related to CBT/psychology/mental health - but I do have experience tutoring young people with mental health problems in probation/prisons and pupil referal units. I am looking to do a 1 year full-time MA course in CBT in Sept 2016 - but I know I need to be working in the NHS/psychological field to do this. I was wondering if I would be able to get a local volunteer placement to help me complete my studies and give me the experience I need? Any advice is welcomed.

Our Response:
You would have to apply directly to the NHS, as they may have certain criteria you may have to fulfil in order to volunteer. Please see its volunteer page here .
TheCounsellorsGuide - 5-Nov-15 @ 12:50 PM
Hi, I am looking to change my career and train to become a CBT therapist. I have a degree - although it is not directly related to CBT/psychology/mental health - but I do have experience tutoring young people with mental health problems in probation/prisons and pupil referal units. I am looking to do a 1 year full-time MA course in CBT in Sept 2016 - but I know I need to be working in the NHS/psychological field to do this. I was wondering if I would be able to get a local volunteer placement to help me complete my studies and give me the experience I need? Any advice is welcomed.
Kay - 4-Nov-15 @ 8:50 PM
I would like to volunteer to help your cause and will also help me find even more peace within me I llove helping people I gained upto the theory in counselling started the diploma 2001 when my grand mother died and I buried myself in work instead of going back to my course I now want to try and find a way of being in thus type of sector to help me become more aware of things in a more congruent way.
lee - 25-Oct-15 @ 12:02 AM
I would like to volunteer to help your cause and will also help me find even more peace within me
lisa - 24-Oct-15 @ 11:55 PM
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