Student Counsellor Placements

For counselling students interested in a placement with us we offer the opportunity to work with a minimum of four clients per week in a professional and supportive environment. All new counsellors are attached to a team led by a Lead Counsellor, who will be their first point of contact for support and advice. We provide monthly group supervision and offer regular training and career development opportunities.

Our volunteers are required to:

Provide a current enhanced DBS disclosure (we can help with this if needed)

  • Hold membership of a professional body i.e. BACP;
  • Engage in individual supervision;
  • Provide a reference from their current or most recent tutor;
  • Be enrolled on a BACP accredited course and working towards a recognised qualification or hold a recognised counselling qualification and be working towards accreditation;
  • Have professional indemnity insurance;
  • Be able to commit to the Service for a minimum of 1 or 2 years, depending on the type of counselling;
  • Have been in personal therapy for at least 1 year.

“I started my placement with Care To Listen in 2012. Due to the variety of clients we see with different issues and from all walks of life I have gained an excellent insight in counselling. I have always felt supported throughout. I have taken a lot from the opportunities given and my experience with Care To Listen has provided a great foundation for my career as a counsellor.”

Kim Man, Counsellor, Care To Listen

As a current or future counsellor with us it is important that you are familiar with our Governance and Policy Documents. On commencing your placement with us you will receive our counsellor handbook and operational policy. These provide information about our policies and ways of working. You will also be expected to attend an induction session to learn about our administration and IT procedures. 


We hold assessment sessions for volunteer counsellors, at various times throughout the academic year, depending on vacancies arising. There are also opportunities for trainees to undertake Initial Assessments. We are especially keen to hear from experienced counsellors who are working towards BACP accreditation and would like to experience working with NHS/IAPTS clients. This is a voluntary role.

Your Career Pathway

Step one

Trainees often join us towards the end of their first year of training, whilst others join at more advanced stages and already have some client work experience. Most new trainee counsellors would start by working in our Low-Cost Counselling Service, managing a caseload of up to four clients per week.

Step two

The first three months of the placement is a probationary period at the end of which the trainee counsellor will be invited to meet with the Service Directors/Clinical Team Leader to discuss their progress and future goals. All new trainees are assigned to a team, headed by a Lead Counsellor. The Lead Counsellor will act as a mentor and ensure that all new joiners settle in, can find their way around the building and are able to get to grips with the admin procedures.

Step three

After completing 12 months with Care To Listen trainee counsellors will be expected to attend an appraisal meeting, where they are invited to discuss their progress in detail and encouraged to set new targets for the next year. Trainees who have been at Care To Listen for more than 12 months (last year of training) could have the opportunity to access training which will enable them to conduct Initial Assessments.

Step four

Once a student counsellor has accrued sufficient client work hours and has shown they have excellent admin skills they may wish to consider joining the (NHS)IAPTs counselling team. This work can be very challenging and requires counsellors to work in a specific and time limited way.