Counselling and Psychotherapy placements

Page last updated:
06 Sep 2021

Resources and guidance for Counselling and Psychotherapy students and placement providers.

If you can't find the information you are looking for regarding Counselling and Psychotherapy placements please contact Fazana Boston, Practice Learning Administrator:

Leeds Beckett University students - you can find additional information on your MyBeckett (portal) pages.

If you are a placement provider and are interested in joining our approved network of placements, then please contact us by using the contact details provided.

If you are a therapist or supervisor who is interested in joining our approved network of practitioners, then please refer to the criteria document to see whether you meet the required criteria to make an application. If so, and if you would like to apply then please contact us by using the contact details provided.

Your Practice Learning Team is here to help you undertake a suitable placement whilst on your course. 

If you can't find the information you need here, you can speak to one of the team via the contact details provided and get one-to-one support including information about what to expect on your placement or helping you to prepare for an interview.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

A.

Your Practice Learning Team hold Directories of placements, therapists and supervisors who are approved as suitable to work with students on the counselling diploma courses at the university. Students can log in and browse through the Directories, choose placements and individuals that they think they might like to work with and contact them directly to make arrangements.

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We advise you to look for a placement as soon as you accept a place on your course and try to make sure all arrangements are agreed with the placement organisation before starting. However you should only actually begin your placement once you have started your course and had a chance to discuss the course requirements in more detail with your tutor.

You must not start your placement until you have received DBS clearance and uploaded your placement details to In Place for final approval.

A.

InPlace is the university's online placement system which is where you'll need to upload details of your placement, supervisor and therapist for approval before you start working with them. It is also where you can view your approved supervisor, therapist and placement details and you'll be shown how to use this system during your induction.  

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Students can find their own placement which would need to be approved by the university using a Nomination Placement form available from the PLT upon request or from the Health and Social Care Practice Learning Team Website.  Students must not start a self-sourced placement until they receive confirmation it has been approved.

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Applying for placements is very competitive and very much like applying for jobs. It may take a few applications before being successful. Therefore we advise that students complete several applications with a view to securing one placement.

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The application procedure varies from placement to placement. As with applying for a job students will need to contact the placement organisation and find out from them what their application procedure is and their deadlines, if any, for applications. Some organisations have their own application forms whilst others request CVs or statements, some may have a formal interview procedure whilst others may prefer a more conversational approach. In Place provides a page of information on each placement for students to view that details any areas of particular specialism they work in and whether they have any specific requirements from students. This form is filled in by the placements when they apply to join our network of approved placement.

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Students will be expected to be able to talk about their experience and their understanding of counselling and to know how many hours they need to undertake on placement with clients. All placement organisations usually expect students to undertake research into the work of their organisation and to have an awareness of their client base and their needs. We have had feedback in the past from some organisations that some students have been unsuccessful in securing placements due to a lack of research so best to be prepared.

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The course requirement is that student’s complete 100 hours counselling clients. They will normally see a maximum of 3 clients per week at the beginning of the placement which may increase to 4 by the end of the first academic year and a maximum of 6 by the end of the second academic year.

A.

Once students have started placement they would be expected to complete their placement with that organisation and fulfil their agreement with them. However if they feel that the placement is not meeting their learning needs or is in breach of their agreement students should discuss this with their supervisor or course tutor who will help decide whether to change placements. If there is an issue with a placement it is important the university is aware of this so they can address the problem. Students may take on additional placements if they are able to manage that without it affecting their studies. If they wish to do this they should discuss it with their supervisor and course tutor first.

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Yes this is permitted, but only if the clients they see are completely unrelated to the day to day work they do otherwise. They cannot have dual roles with clients as per BACP ethics. If there is a question of ethical compromise, it needs to be discussed with the supervisor / placement contact or tutor.

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The BACP guild lines are that trainee counsellors are not allowed to count any hours towards the required 100 with any clients under the age of 16. This decision was made by BACP to ensure ethical and competent practice with children and young people.

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Placement and supervision need to run concurrently so whenever students start their placement they also need to start their supervision. Student’s therapy is separate from their placement and supervision so they can start this at any point during the course.

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The course requirement is that they complete 20 hours of personal therapy. Completing their own therapy is vital to developing the self-awareness and the understanding of the therapeutic process required to be an effective therapist.

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Selecting a therapist is a very personal decision. Whilst the PLT provide students with a list of approved therapists it is important that they choose their own therapist and identify someone that they would be comfortable working with.

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Students are required to choose a therapist from the Leeds Beckett University Therapist Network. If there are no suitable Network therapists within a reasonable travelling distance of a student’s home then the student can request for a new therapist to be added to the network. The therapist would need to apply to join the Network and their application be approved by the Network Coordinator. Students should fill in a Nominating Therapist/Supervisor Form which you they obtain from the PLT upon request or from the Health and Social Care Practice Learning Team website.

A.

Once students have started work with their therapist they will be expected to commit to the relationship and stay with that one therapist. Sometimes difficult feelings between the student and therapist can be an important and therapeutic part of the relationship and all involved are expected to work through any issues that arise within the relationship. However if students have concerns about the therapist or their professional conduct or something is worrying them about the relationship it is important that they discuss this with their supervisor. If any difficulties persists then students can raise this with course tutors who will help them to make a decision to continue or change therapist. Students should always consult with their supervisor and course tutor before ending the relationship or changing therapists.

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The course requires students to have fortnightly one-to-one supervision whilst they are undertaking placements. This must be at the ratio of one hour of supervision to every eight hours of client work (this includes DNAs (Did Not Attend) and cancellations). The course requirement is consistent with the BACP supervision requirement for therapists in training.

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A settling in period of a few weeks at the beginning of the supervision period is allowed where students can opt to change supervisor but once after this point students will be expected to stick with the relationship. The supervisor is there to challenge as well as to support students in their role as trainee counsellor and as with the therapy relationship sometimes difficult feelings between the supervisor and student can be an important part of the relationship and they will be expected to work together through any issues that arise. However if students have concerns about the supervisor or their professional conduct or something is worrying them about the relationship it is important that this is raised with the course tutor who will help them to make a decision to continue or change supervisor if appropriate. Students should always consult with their supervisor and course tutor before ending the relationship, or changing therapists.

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Therapists will work with students to look at and explore their own history and feelings and the ways that they impact upon their life and personal relationships. This relationship is completely separate from the placement and is for the purposes of personal development and understanding of the therapeutic process.

Supervisors will support students professionally in their role as trainee counsellor. They will meet with them to discuss their experience on placement and any issues that arise or impact upon their work with clients. Supervisors are also therapists who have achieved supervisor status through completion of specific training.

A.

Students are required to choose a supervisor from the Leeds Beckett University Therapist Network. If there are no suitable supervisor therapists within a reasonable travelling distance of their home then the student can make a request for a new supervisor to be added to the network. The supervisor would need to apply to join the Network and their application be approved by the Network Coordinator. Students should fill in a Nominating Therapist / Supervisor Form which they can obtain from the PLT upon request or from the Health and Social Care Practice Learning Team website.

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There can be no dual relationships in either the counsellor-client or supervisor-trainee relationships. If there are any factors which compromise the integrity or independence of the supervisor in regard to the trainees work, then they need to be outlined, discussed with the course tutor and if need be a new supervisor must be sought.

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Yes. The only consequence of taking time out is that if students apply for accreditation later down the line, the BACP only accept 450 hours completed within a 6 year time frame. If some of those earlier hours go over the 6 year limit, they cannot be counted in your total. But this doesn't affect the course requirements for 100 hours.

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