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Working as a Volunteer Counsellor at Way In

Way In values its volunteers and the significant contribution that you make to the successful running of the agency. In fact, without our volunteers the agency would not exist. It is therefore very important that we provide you with all the support that you need to carry out your role effectively.

The service we provide

Way In offers 50-minute individual counselling sessions to young people, both on-site at the agency’s premises in Chesham and within primary and secondary schools and some GP surgeries across the county. (See Appendix A for a current list of schools and GP surgeries using Way In services.)
Individual counselling sessions provided within the agency are free, although donations from long-term counselling clients are encouraged. Schools receiving Way In counselling pay service fee. Counselling is open-ended; however, counsellors review progress with their clients every 6 sessions.  Family counselling sessions can also be arranged.
Counselling appointments are currently offered at the following times at the Way In premises in Chesham:

Day                                                        Times
Monday                                               4.00pm        -      6.00pm
Tuesday                                              3.30pm        -      8.30pm
Wednesday                                        3.00pm        -      5.00pm
Thursday                                             5.30pm        -      8.30pm
Friday                                                By appointment                                

Qualifications and supervision

As a Way In counsellor, you will either be a trainee on the second year or above of a recognised Counselling or Psychotherapy Diploma course – usually Person-Centred or Integrative -- or else a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist.
All counsellors are required to abide by the BACP Code of Ethics, which includes engaging in regular individual supervision – 1.5 hours per month as a minimum – even if you have a period without any clients. (See Appendix B – BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy for more details.) Way In has a list of approved individual supervisors. Due to funding challenges, all counsellors must currently fund their own individual supervision fees.
As a Way In counsellor, you must also attend monthly group supervision here at the agency. Sessions are free and last for 1.5 hours. They count towards supervision requirements for training courses (check with your training institution on how this is calculated.) There are currently 3 groups running, catering for counsellors who prefer either daytime or evening sessions – details on the noticeboard.  Please try to commit to attend one group on-going and attend whenever possible. It is advisable to see different group and individual supervisors.

Continuing professional development

Attending additional training events is not compulsory but we try to provide a comprehensive range of free or subsidised training events here at the agency and hope that you will find some subjects that inspire you. Recent events include:  An Introduction to CBT, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Suicide and Working with Families. Once qualified, it is a BACP requirement that counsellors complete 30 hours of CPD each year. As a Bucks County Council-affiliated organisation, all Way In staff – paid and voluntary -- must regularly update their Safeguarding training. This training is therefore compulsory for all counsellors.