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Counselling Course

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  • Hi Becks,
    I'm just finishing 1st year in TP. I've found it to be a year of lots of learning and self-development- VERY challenging especially at an emotional level, but rewarding.
    Cost: Ring up and find out is probably your best option- I made a LONG list of Qs and interviewed the receptionist (Geraldine)- it's a lot of money so you need to know what you're investing in.
    Basically we're told that it's as follows for the moment: year 1 & 2 E6,000, Year 3 E8,000 (includes cost of supervision) and Year 4: 10,000.. so it's a very expensive course, on top of 140 hrs of personal therapy over the 4years which varies from E40-70 per hour.
    Hidden costs for year 1:
    A. Parking on Fridays! it's 2.90 per hour around Baggot St, from 1.30-7pm so that's expensive! Sat & Sun parking is free nearby. Onsite, there's a canteen with milk, tea, bickkies provided & you can bring lunches/soup to heat on premises (or go out & treat yourself!!)
    B. College books are pretty expensive too- but some are available cheaply on Amazon etc 2ndhand. The TP library is pretty poor, so you may have to buy books or copy/read in other college libraries (you can't borrow from them though- but some books are prob in your local library also.
    Can't think of other 'hidden costs' so far.
    As for time commitments, in Year 1, students group themselves into groups of 3 or 4 approx for study- based on geographical areas, (so you don't have to go to TP, which is important if you don't live in Dublin) for a minimum of 2hrs per month, after which you all sign a form outlining what the discussion consisted of each time.
    Peer counselling was scrapped this year for year 1 until 1 May, but from now on we're expected to meet for this in our self-appointed groups, for a half hr each as therapist, half hr as client about 3 times per month, for the coming year, even throughout the summer! (We combine study and peer counselling so that we just meet 3 times per month). some people meet early on Fridays to do some of those sessions if they don't live near each other. You can meet where you like, my group rotates so that we meet in each other's houses, you just have to meet somewhere that you can have privacy for the sessions. After May of 2nd year you start to meet clients (usually TP helps students to find placements, but I'm not 100% sure about this) so the peer counselling element ceases at that point. Then you have to "clock up" 100 hours of counselling over 3rd year, and again over 4th year, but I'm not sure of the finer points of years 2-4. I think people do these hours in their own time- I may look for parental leave or stg in order to do the counselling during hours that suit me! It will be a massive commitment particularly in Year 3, so I might look to work a 4 day week if possible that year in order to meet that commitment.
    Maybe people who have completed TP training will be in a better position to answer more of your Qs, but hope this helps. I'd advise you to ring up & find out what you need to know to help you make up your mind. Very best of luck to you in your decision!




  • Hi Becks,

    That's really good info above from Angelj! I've finished all 4 years with Turning Point, and it's very hard to imagine how it will all unfold- until you're actually doing it. Just know that it will consume your life, esp for year 3!

    Year 1 is finding your feet. Year 2 is getting used to all the therapy (personal, group & peer), and the different styles.

    Year 3 is INSANE. We had to maintain peer counselling on top of personal & group- but maybe that's changed as per Angelj's post. You need 25 hours of supervision on your 100 hours of client work (so a ratio of 1 hour supervision for every 4 client hours). This is arranged by TP according to geography, and you will be placed with one or more peers who are nearby. You don't get to choose your supervisor (which gets very contraversial!). TP will help arrange your clinical placement with you (unless you're somewhere very isolated), and TP students are highly regarded so that really helps. If you have a personal preference you can apply to do your placement in a center of your choice, but there are specific criteria. It's a good idea to plan ahead around work, I found it very difficult to balance childcare and work commitments for the entire year- obviously your placement commitment has to stay in place for the entire year. I did 3 hours on a Monday evening 6-9pm, and my supervision was every second Friday morning from 10-12md. It's doable, but it's exhausting.

    As for year 4, it's worth clarifying this. Can you exit after Year 3 with a Grad Dip? And can you split Year 4 into the Clinical & Masters years and do them separately? That will bring down the price of Year 4- some of us did the MSc, some did the Clinical, and only one did both together.

    If you really want to do it, go for it- your commitment will get you through to the end. If you're feeling half-hearted tread carefully, because it really will consume your life (and your finances!) so you need to be sure it's what you want! That said, I didn't give it a moments thought before I signed up, and it's one of the best things I've ever done. If I had thought about it I would have said there was NO WAY I could afford the time or the money needed. But I did! Somehow... I still don't quite know how! It's amazing to have it behind me though ;-)




  • Wel all. Just having a look through the prospectus at Turning Point. It says that prospective students should have a level 8 honours degree etc, does this have to be related to psychology?




  • Wel all. Just having a look through the prospectus at Turning Point. It says that prospective students should have a level 8 honours degree etc, does this have to be related to psychology?

    No definitely not, an undergrad degree is not an absolute requirement there is a process for those who don't have one. It's somewhere on the website, or phone them & ask :)




  • Hi I'm hoping some of you are still on here as it seems that you have great advice in regards to the various counselling and psychotherapy training courses. I have a BA hons degree in psychology from DBS having graduated in 2003 with a 2.2.since then I have become a mum of 3 children aged 2.5,7&8.
    Have been looking at the masters programmes in Tivoli institute and Turning Point for entry September 2018 but would love your advice on which course you think would be better?they both look great but wondering with a young family have any of you completed the course?I am not working so would have mornings free to study and do the therapy sessions,peer work etc.i guess I'm just worried that I might not be able to keep up with people that have less responsibilities than I have at the moment and should I wait until the children are a bit older?then again it's putting something I've wanted to go back and do on the long finger.is there ever a right time for this type of course?!would really appreciate any advice you have.thanks


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  • Hello,

    I'm personally not sure about the Turning point course, but I would like to share my experience of the psychotherapy world and my experience throughout my course and after. I suppose a bit of food for thought before making the big decision!

    My personal and professional experience of this career are not great tbh. While I love anything to do with Psychology/counselling/psychotherapy, it a difficult place to find work in.

    I have a degree in psychology from DBS and a Msc in psychotherapy from DCU. Please bare in mind that, in most cases even with a masters, in order to be a fully accredited Psychotherapist, you have to have an extra 450 hours post-college experience. Most of the time that involves a lot of voluntary work, and if you are in paid work and need to continue earning money, achieving those hours will take another few years. Plus you will be expected to fund your own supervisor (unless an organisation provides it for you) and engage in continuous professional development.

    Applying for jobs/volunteer work I found was a nightmare. You go looking for experience but it seems that every employer/organisation wants experience! No one seems to want to give you a start anymore unless you know someone in the field/organisation. So I was caught in a vicious cycle. Most Psychotherapists earn their living by working in private practice part time, and also work at something else part time to top up their income. Your last option is to open your own private practice, which then you have to think about running a business also. (bare in mind that, on average, on third of your clients are likely to cancel each week, which can potentially put huge financial pressure on you). From what I have seen, getting work in the public sector is highly competitive, requires full accreditation, extra courses and in some cases I have seen demands like min 10+ years experience.

    For me personally, I had to make a career change and I am in the process of doing that. Tbh I was just exhausted with all the demands and getting very little in return for it. Maybe I wasn't looking in the right places! The majority of my past class mates have also changed career, only 2 (out of a class of 11) got work as therapists because their work places were funding them and needed a therapist for their organisations.

    Sorry for being a big moan!!!!




  • Hi Loll09,

    Don't apologise, it's good to get the negatives as well as the positives!

    I come from a psychology undergrad and want to do counselling/psychotherapy but obviously the job prospects would be a concern. When did you qualify, and what are you planning on doing next - ie something completely different or still in the field of psychology? I wouldn't expect to walk into full-time work as a therapist after, but I do hope there would at least be related positions eg assistant psychology roles for a foundation I could build on.




  • I have an MSc in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy from DCU & Turning Point, and LOVED it. Turning Point is very well regarded when it comes to securing placements, attending interviews afterwards etc. I believe Tivoli is similarly well-regarded, and also seems like an excellent course, with lots of clinical and experiential components.

    I set up my own private practice once I'd completed my MSc. This was always my intention, and it has been going very well for me. I have a few different routes to get cash into my bank account so the occasional quiet months (ie summer) don;t hit me so hard! It's a great career for someone who wants to be self-employed, but if self-employment is not your goal, I'd be cautious about considering it as a career path. For self-development, go for it!

    The points above are also true in relation to relying on it for your bread and butter- there are no guarantees of full-time employment in the public sector (although i'd HATE to go back to working for any part of the HSE!), although I disagree on the one-third cancellations piece- thankfully I've never expereinced that! And whever I notice an increase in client cancellations I take it to supervision, and can always find something to restart the momentum!

    So in a nutshell- I did my training in Turning Point & DCU for 2010-2014, as a single mother to a 4 year old, and in full-time employment. I had to change jobs several times to facilitate the demands of 3rd year (fortnightly supervision etc), but somehow I did it, so yes it is possible, but incredibly challenging!! I've posted lots of times previously on this thread, so this comment serves as a reassurance that I'm still here, and still in practice!

    Hope that helps :-) <3




  • Thanks for the reply Fannymagee - and well done on getting to where you are, sounds like quite the journey!

    I just want to make sure I've a realistic idea of the job prospects, I know it's a tough slog and to be honest a lot of feedback has been very off-putting in terms of my chances of making anything of myself professionally in the field. It's good to hear from someone who made it out the other side successfully!




  • namrod5000 wrote: »
    This post has been deleted.


    How can I fake... umm.. how can I prove that I'm highly personally developed? Ha ha. I have a lot of self-soothing mechanisms. I think I'm pretty stable, like a table with 3 legs, maybe not 4 but certainly not 2. What kind of questions do they ask you on the interview?

    What kind of things can I do to prepare myself for the academic side of it? Are there books I can be reading?


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  • How can I fake... umm.. how can I prove that I'm highly personally developed? Ha ha. I have a lot of self-soothing mechanisms. I think I'm pretty stable, like a table with 3 legs, maybe not 4 but certainly not 2. What kind of questions do they ask you on the interview?

    What kind of things can I do to prepare myself for the academic side of it? Are there books I can be reading?

    Are you currently, or have you ever been in therapy for a decent length of time with an accredited therapist? That's the single best thing you could talk about in your interview, it shows you have an insight into what therapy is really about, as opposed to what you imagine it to be :)




  • fannymagee wrote: »
    Are you currently, or have you ever been in therapy for a decent length of time with an accredited therapist? That's the single best thing you could talk about in your interview, it shows you have an insight into what therapy is really about, as opposed to what you imagine it to be :)

    Thank you! I would love to do that, It's so expensive though. I don't think ordinary people can afford therapy. That's part of why I'd like to do this. What I mean is:
    1. so I could have a job that pays enough that I could afford things like this
    2. so I can also volunteer so more people can afford things like this

    These aren't the only reasons, of course.

    I'd feel guilty seeking out volunteers when I am not depressed or suicidal, people in those situations need it much more.




  • Thank you! I would love to do that, It's so expensive though. I don't think ordinary people can afford therapy. That's part of why I'd like to do this. What I mean is:
    1. so I could have a job that pays enough that I could afford things like this
    2. so I can also volunteer so more people can afford things like this

    These aren't the only reasons, of course.

    I'd feel guilty seeking out volunteers when I am not depressed or suicidal, people in those situations need it much more.

    Ok, well here's your first sample interview question so: if you've never experienced therapy, what makes you believe you'd be an effective therapist?

    What life experience can you draw on as examples of how youve developed your own self- awareness?

    I'm not being smart, and don't answer those on here(!), but they're some of the most basic questions they'll ask... Lots of candidates come to interview with no ability to demonstrate a real insight into what therapy is about, so putting your own words around those questions is a good place to start ;)




  • fannymagee wrote: »
    Ok, well here's your first sample interview question so: if you've never experienced therapy, what makes you believe you'd be an effective therapist?

    What life experience can you draw on as examples of how youve developed your own self- awareness?

    I'm not being smart, and don't answer those on here(!), but they're some of the most basic questions they'll ask... Lots of candidates come to interview with no ability to demonstrate a real insight into what therapy is about, so putting your own words around those questions is a good place to start ;)


    I'm also not being smart, but if I already believed I'd be an effective therapist I wouldn't need to do a course.

    Thanks for your help though! I'll think about those things. I've read a lot about this (reading is free) so I'm sure I'll have a good answer in this head somewhere.




  • Not all courses have a require personal therapy or knowledge of the field, lots of course have 100 hour foundation courses as entry points, however, at up to 1,200 euro I find them a rip off. DBS would be a well established under grad degree that you don't need a foundation cert for.

    There are many ways to show maturity and awareness st an interview, including journaling, reflective writing , reading psychology, counselling, self help books. It's called bibliotherapy.

    Most of these courses want your money, so unless you are very immuture you'll generally got in.

    Remember, your gonna be a student doing a degree, your not expected to know a huge amount, your there to learn about the subject, are doctors, social workers etc expected to know their field as well? I think not.




  • ****e! I already paid for a foundation course ha ha ha. ;)

    I'm not worried, the per hour price is reasonable, about the same as yoga would be, and I can do yoga free on youtube.




  • How can I fake... umm.. how can I prove that I'm highly personally developed? Ha ha. I have a lot of self-soothing mechanisms. I think I'm pretty stable, like a table with 3 legs, maybe not 4 but certainly not 2. What kind of questions do they ask you on the interview?

    What kind of things can I do to prepare myself for the academic side of it? Are there books I can be reading?

    Working as a psychotherapist is a very difficult profession and it is absolutely vital that you're stable and resilient. No person is perfect but in order to sit with another's darkness and pain I feel you must have Sat with your own. To be able to plumb your own depths and grow your awareness and insight is crucial for the role. Books are great and it goes without saying that your work will need tohave a theoretical basis but if I can give you some advice it would be to get yourself to a therapist. Also a foundation course is a good idea before jumping in to something more formal.




  • Persepoly wrote: »
    Working as a psychotherapist is a very difficult profession and it is absolutely vital that you're stable and resilient. No person is perfect but in order to sit with another's darkness and pain I feel you must have Sat with your own. To be able to plumb your own depths and grow your awareness and insight is crucial for the role. Books are great and it goes without saying that your work will need tohave a theoretical basis but if I can give you some advice it would be to get yourself to a therapist. Also a foundation course is a good idea before jumping in to something more formal.

    A therapist costs 50 a week, and it is obligatory to have one once I start second year of any of the courses anyway, I really can't afford to start early, I'm afraid. Even someone who isn't accredited costs 20 euro from what I've seen. Whatever course I pick is going to clear my bank account.

    I've already signed up and paid for a foundation course, and there are lots of free courses online offered by reputable universities, that's the best I can do without a lottery win.




  • Any good quality course will have group therapy and 1-1 counselling throughout, some courses only want you to do 50 hours throughout , they talk the good talk, but that's about it.

    I wouldn't be spending anything until you start, you'll be spending enough and if you pick a quality course you'll also have plenty of therapy.

    If you want to be a therapist you'll know, you'll feel that motivation and passion when you pick up a Rodgers book or psychodynamic book,




  • A therapist costs 50 a week, and it is obligatory to have one once I start second year of any of the courses anyway, I really can't afford to start early, I'm afraid. Even someone who isn't accredited costs 20 euro from what I've seen. Whatever course I pick is going to clear my bank account.

    I've already signed up and paid for a foundation course, and there are lots of free courses online offered by reputable universities, that's the best I can do without a lottery win.

    Unfortunately the cost can be prohibitive. The therapy can be viewed as an investment in yourself. In ways it's like medicine. So many potential doctors out there but they can't manage the fees :(

    Just be careful though. Makesure you get training that will prepare you sufficiently.


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  • dar100 wrote: »
    Any good quality course will have group therapy and 1-1 counselling throughout, some courses only want you to do 50 hours throughout , they talk the good talk, but that's about it.

    I wouldn't be spending anything until you start, you'll be spending enough and if you pick a quality course you'll also have plenty of therapy.

    You mean courses will offer free therapy?




  • Persepoly wrote: »
    You mean courses will offer free therapy?

    No the group process is free, I'm saying don't pay for the 1-1 therapy until you start the course, some is also peer to peer.

    I know someone who started their therapy before course started and wasnt allowed put it towards their hours.




  • dar100 wrote: »
    Any good quality course will have group therapy and 1-1 counselling throughout, some courses only want you to do 50 hours throughout , they talk the good talk, but that's about it.

    I wouldn't be spending anything until you start, you'll be spending enough and if you pick a quality course you'll also have plenty of therapy.

    If you want to be a therapist you'll know, you'll feel that motivation and passion when you pick up a Rodgers book or psychodynamic book,


    50 hours is a year of therapy though? Or I could do CBT, do homework over 2 weeks instead of one, get 2 years of therapy that way and really get the benefits. Am I being naive?




  • dar100 wrote: »
    No the group process is free, I'm saying don't pay for the 1-1 therapy until you start the course, some is also peer to peer.

    I know someone who started their therapy before course started and wasnt allowed put it towards their hours.

    Ah yes that's right.




  • 50 hours is a year of therapy though? Or I could do CBT, do homework over 2 weeks instead of one, get 2 years of therapy that way and really get the benefits. Am I being naive?

    Which would you prefer? Do you want to work as a CB therapist?




  • Persepoly wrote: »
    Which would you prefer? Do you want to work as a CB therapist?

    Well at the moment I'm completely enamoured of CBT, but I've never done any courses yet. Medical students start out thinking they'll work with cancer, Art students start out thinking they'll still love Dali in 4th year, psychology students assume they'll be working with humans more often than mice... You don't have any idea before you start a degree what kind of amazing world is going to be opened up in front of you and what kind of rabbit hole you'll go down...

    Short answer: Yes. I want to work as a CB therapist.




  • Well at the moment I'm completely enamoured of CBT, but I've never done any courses yet. Medical students start out thinking they'll work with cancer, Art students start out thinking they'll still love Dali in 4th year, psychology students assume they'll be working with humans more often than mice... You don't have any idea before you start a degree what kind of amazing world is going to be opened up in front of you and what kind of rabbit hole you'll go down...

    Short answer: Yes. I want to work as a CB therapist.

    BA in psychology with post grad in CBT in trinity is your best route, but very expensive




  • dar100 wrote: »
    BA in psychology with post grad in CBT in trinity is your best route, but very expensive


    Yes, I've looked into it, but I can't afford it. It is full time, so I couldn't work, which means I would need about 10,000 a year to live x 4 = 40000
    then then 2000 a year for fees ASSUMING i get the susi grant, if not then 7000 a year for fees
    that's 48,000

    (the reason the fees are so high is that i'm not entitled to free fees as I already have a level 7 undergraduate in basket weaving)




  • Turning Point and PCI offer CBT courses. I don't know anything about them myself but they may be worth a try?


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  • All the Counselling and Psychotherapy jobs on Indeed at the moment seem more interested in accreditation and experience than which degree or masters you have, but to get the experience and accreditation I take it from what I've heard here I need a very nice degree or masters.

    The two 4 year MA programs I've found that theoretically accept someone without a BA in psychology / counselling / social work are integrated and don't seem to have much emphasis on CBT, but I don't seem to have much of a choice. What makes the BA in counselling + MA in CBT from ICHAS route less good?

    Is it really that hard to get enough hours for accreditation when you are happy to work for free? Does volunteer work not count?

    It's 200 hours over 2 years right, that's 2 hours a week, even 500 hours over 2 years, still only 5 hours a week.

    If I do the BA and then if I'm not accredited when I start the ICHAS MA can the hours I work as part of the ICHAS course requirement also work towards accreditation?
    Yes, I've looked into it, but I can't afford it. It is full time, so I couldn't work, which means I would need about 10,000 a year to live x 4 = 40000
    then then 2000 a year for fees ASSUMING i get the susi grant, if not then 7000 a year for fees
    that's 48,000

    oh yeah I forgot to point out that 40,000 is just for an undergraduate, a Trinity MA would cost an extra... *if you have to ask then you can't afford it* fee not listed.


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