Getting the Most out of a Counselling Course When You Don’t Want to Be a Counsellor: Elaine’s Journey on Counselling and CBT Level 4

Are you someone who’s always wanted to study counselling but feels like you don’t have the time or the qualifications to become a counsellor? Or maybe you’re just looking to enhance your communication skills and gain a better understanding of how people process things. Whatever your reason, there is no doubt that studying counselling can be beneficial in many areas of life, from personal relationships to work. In this article, we’ll explore how to get the most out of a course when you’re busy, just like our former student Elaine, who found a way to balance her full-time job and personal life alongside her studies.

Why You Don’t Need to Become a Counsellor to Benefit from Counselling Courses

Elaine has a background in nursing and currently works as a program manager in the NHS. She shared her experience in choosing to pursue the Counselling & CBT Diploma Level 4.
“I did this course even though I knew I didn’t want to be a counsellor. I’ll be a life coach with NLP skills. But what this course gave me was a background of all the different theories that feed into your communication skills, the problems that people develop, and how they process things. I wanted to visit all of that and have a qualification that said I had. It absolutely made me go back and look at things in a different way. I found it very useful, it did exactly what I wanted it to do.”
Studying counselling can provide you with valuable techniques and concepts to enhance your skills, which can help you out in a few areas of your life, including your personal and professional relationships. Counselling courses can help you to:

Improve your self-awareness: Counselling courses focus on helping individuals gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their emotions, and their behaviours.

Develop effective coping strategies: Taking a course in counselling skills can equip you with practical tools and strategies to manage stress, anxiety and navigate difficult situations more effectively.

Enhance your communication skills: Counselling courses emphasise the development of active listening, empathy, and assertiveness skills. Improving your communication abilities can foster healthier and more fulfilling relationships with partners, family members, friends and colleagues.

Resolve conflicts: Counselling courses provide individuals with conflict resolution skills that can be invaluable in your day-to-day life.

If you find yourself in a role where you’re dealing with lots of different types of people or find you have trouble handling difficult conversations, a counselling course could help.

How To Find Time for Studying When You’re Busy

Balancing work and study can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Elaine was able to complete the diploma while working full-time as a programme manager in the NHS, and also coping with personal challenges following the loss of her mother.
“I’m someone who is fairly driven, but it was a hard time in my life. My mum died, and I wasn’t finding downtime very easy. So I was throwing myself into studying as a distraction,” she said.
To make the most of her time, Elaine would study in the evenings and weekends, and read multiple sources for each topic to ensure she had a deep understanding of the material. She also noted that setting realistic goals and deadlines helped her stay on track.
If you’re considering studying while working, it’s important to set aside dedicated time for your studies, and communicate your goals and needs with your employer. It’s also important to take breaks and prioritize self-care, as burnout can be a real risk when balancing multiple commitments.

How To Get the Most Out of the Course Material

Studying online can be overwhelming at times, with all the theories and concepts to absorb. However, Elaine had a strategy for getting the most out of the course material.
“I read the book that was sent out to me, and I would just go online and read 4 or 5 different sources for whichever the topic was for notes, and then answer the question. That’s what I did for all of them.”
This is a great strategy for getting the most out of the course material. Reading multiple sources for each topic ensures that you’re getting a well-rounded understanding of the subject matter, and it can also make the material more engaging.

The Importance of Receiving Feedback

Receiving feedback is an essential part of any learning process, and the Counselling & CBT Diploma Level 4 was no exception. Elaine noted that while most of the feedback she received was positive and supportive, there were also instances where she missed the point or didn’t meet the criteria. However, instead of becoming discouraged, she used the feedback as an opportunity to improve her work and better understand the material.
“I got straightforward and to the point supportive feedback. I also got feedback on units I passed, which I liked, because it was kind of not necessary, but it was helpful, and it worked for me,” she said.
Receiving feedback can help us identify our strengths and weaknesses, learn from our mistakes, and ultimately improve our skills. It can be difficult to receive criticism, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a personal attack. Instead, feedback should be seen as an opportunity to grow and develop.

Using CBT Skills in Other Professions

While CBT courses are often seen as a stepping stone into a career in counselling, it can also be beneficial for those working in other professions. Elaine noted that the skills she learned in the diploma have been helpful in her current role as a programme manager in the NHS, and she plans to use them to better support her clients in the future.
“At the moment, I’m still setting up the programme. So I’m not getting out to meet my clients very much. Once I do, I will definitely use the skills I learned on the course,” she said.
Effective communication skills, problem-solving skills, and the ability to understand and process emotions are all important in a variety of professions. By gaining a deeper understanding of these skills through a course, you can improve your overall effectiveness in the workplace.

Final Thoughts

While pursuing a career in counselling may not be feasible for everyone, there are ways to gain a deeper understanding of the theories and skills that underpin the field. The Counselling & CBT Diploma Level 4 is one option that can provide valuable insights into communication skills, emotional processing, and problem-solving, and can be completed in a relatively short amount of time.
Whether you’re considering a career change or simply looking to improve your skills in your current profession, taking a course in counselling and CBT can be a valuable investment in your future. By balancing work and study, seeking feedback, and applying the skills you learn in other areas of your life, you can take meaningful steps towards personal and professional growth.
To learn more about the counselling courses we offer, click here.
To explore our course catalogue, follow this link.

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