Information for Volunteer Counsellors

The Carers Federation Counselling Service offers Counselling to Carers, former Carers and those in the wider community suffering from anxiety, and non delusional depression.

Working within Tiers one and two of mental health provision – (providing a service to those presenting with mild – moderate mental illness) the aim of the counselling is to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression and for clients to realise their individual potential, thus improving the quality of social and interpersonal relationships. For carers a major outcome has been defined as “Prevention of Carer Role Breakdown”

Delivery model

Our service offers up to 26 counselling sessions (18 as an average)- This can be extended after review and assessment of ongoing need.

Our counsellors work a non directive integrative way, seeing the core conditions of person centred therapy as a necessity within their therapeutic relationship.

We have defined a flexible structure which consists of three stages:

The First stage – weeks 1-4 – Relationship building – Information Gathering:

  • Exploration of the basic history relevant to the situation.
  • Building a relationship based on the core conditions.
  • Exploration of how has conditions of worth been conceptualised within the present disruption.
  • Exploration around clients self concept
  • Exploration of Where is the client’s locus of evaluation.
  • Exploration of client’s previous coping strategies

The Second Stage – weeks 5 -14 – Psychological Contact.

  • Re-focusing the locus of evaluation
  • Exploration of insecure relational attachments.
  • Exploration of characteristic behavioural patterns.
  • Recognition of a movement in Psychological and cognitive processes
  • Beginning to take ownership of feelings – Developing an awareness of incongruence’s.
  • To begin to re-assimilate experiences and integrate them more fully into awareness.
  • A movement towards autonomy and self determination.
  • A re-evaluation of their true potential within the situation.
  • Development of management of own depressive symptoms.

The Third Stage – weeks 15-18 -Final sessions – often fortnightly – can be extended if assessed as appropriate.

  • Consolidation of movement /skills/clients management of their own depressive symptoms.
  • Clients movement in locus of evaluation (external to internal if appropriate)
  • Movement towards a more fully functioning way of being
  • Recognition of support networks/support in a crisis
  • Celebration and reminder of client’s movement towards autonomy.
  • Recognition of the ending of therapy.

Our Expectations of New Volunteer Counsellors in Training

  • You will need to have completed at least 180 hours of counsellor training.
  • You need to be on a course that requires a minimum of 100 hours placement.
  • You need to have a supervisor approved by the Carers Federation Ltd, funded by yourself.
  • You need to be able to commit to a minimum of 2 hours at the beginning of your work with us, leading to 3 to 4 hour commitment.
  • After your first year, and internal training, there is an expectation that you will undertake some work with young people as required.
  • All counsellors require DBS check before commencing work with clients.
  • Attendance at monthly team meetings is a necessary part of your personal development and commitment to the team.

If you are interested in finding out more about a counselling placement at the Carers Federation, please email or or phone 0115 962 9310.