The GCS Associate Programme
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The Associate Counsellor Programme
The associate programme includes a counselling placement, curated workshops, time-limited training and supervision.
Who is the programme for?
The associate programme is intended for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists who wish to develop a range of skills and capacities that are important in moving towards independent practice or working in an organisation. Applicants should have achieved, or be about to achieve, a diploma-level qualification and be committed to developing their psychodynamic practice.
The programme runs for one calendar year and comprises a supervised counselling placement with our adult open-ended counselling service alongside our programme of taught workshops. It is usual to begin the programme in September, but we will consider applications in January.
Eligibility and Benefits
Our associates will receive discounts on all of GCS’s CPD workshops and short courses and become part of a community of practitioners. This experience can be invaluable in becoming established within the counselling profession and navigating the transition from trainee to independent practitioner. Associates are eligible to apply for employed positions within the service, such as intake assessment work and roles within the training team.
Associate Counsellors will be eligible to apply for employed positions within the service, such as intake assessment workers and roles within the training team. Associate Counsellors will also receive discounts on all of GCS’s CPD workshops, reading groups and short courses and become part of a community of practitioners. This experience can be invaluable in becoming established within the counselling profession and navigating the transition from trainee to independent practitioner.
GCS has extensive experience in working with and supporting counsellors as they work towards professional accreditation. The associate programme exists so that diploma-qualified trainees can gain enough counselling and organisational experience to apply for accreditation with professional bodies and GCS will give help and support to associate’s as they apply for accreditation or registration.
The supervised counselling placement offered in the programme provides an opportunity for diploma-qualified counsellors to achieve the post qualification client hours required for individual accreditation by BACP.
GCS is a member institution of BPC, recognised by BPC as a ‘gate-keeper’ of high professional standards. On satisfactory completion of this programme associate counsellors who have trained in psychodynamic counselling may be proposed by GCS to BPC as registrants.
There are three workshops scheduled per term on a Friday afternoon. Subjects range from working with risk, complex trauma and diversity. These workshops are held by a range of trained and accredited staff with experience and expertise in their area of delivery.
As part of the associate programme, GCS supports associates in completing time limited training. This training is aimed at individuals who have trained in open-ended psychodynamic work but wish to undertake time-limited work. The training is held over three Saturdays and provides a qualification which enables associates to work for the GCS Counselling Service in a time-limited capacity.
Supervised Counselling Placement
Associate’s are expected to manage a caseload of at least four clients per week and will have the opportunity to work with a range of clients and presenting problems. Fortnightly counselling supervision is provided as part of the programme for 20 weeks of the year. Placement opportunities
will be available in open-ended and time-limited work (when appropriate training has taken place).
Associate counsellors will be in group supervision with GCS staff counsellors led by qualified supervisors. Supervision groups are held at various times during the week, and suitable arrangements will be made when you are offered a place. If there is a need or requirement for individual
supervision this can be discussed at interview. Please note that a different fee applies for individual supervision.
Registration & Fees
Associates are expected to attend at least 80% of the sessions. Prolonged absence due to illness or for other reasons may necessitate withdrawing from the programme.
GCS operates an entirely paperless distribution of counselling
documentation. We also make much use of our secure internal email system for communications, counselling placement and other service matters. It is therefore important that you have access to IT, email and printing facilities. Please speak to us if this will be difficult for you in order that we know what further support to offer you.
GCS operates a complaints policy. Complaints should be in writing addressed to the Chief Executive and will be dealt with in accordance with the complaints procedure, a copy of which is available on request.
GCS operates an appeals policy. A trainee accepted onto the associate programme wishing to appeal against a training decision during their training should put this in writing addressed to the Chief Executive and it will be dealt with in accordance with the appeals procedure, a copy of which is available on request.
Working with GCS
A counsellor handbook giving details of the counselling service and administration will be issued to associates.
- GCS reserves the right to cancel an associate programme at any time if there are insufficient numbers of trainees to make the course viable.
- GCS reserves the right to terminate or extend the training agreement with a trainee in the event of the trainee not meeting the requirements of the associate programme and/or those of GCS.
- GCS reserves the right to refuse the offer of a place on the Associate Programme
- GCS has Complaints and Appeals procedures.
- Offers of a counselling placement are made subject to a satisfactory DBS check.
Application and Selection
Fees: 2021/2022 (TBC)
Applications and References
Send applications to the GCS Training Co-ordinator ([email protected])
Applications should include the following:
- Log of client work to date
- Log of CPD activity during the last year
- Details of any previous involvement with GCS apart from any training courses listed in your CV.
Letter to include:
- Details of current counselling skills and capabilities
- Areas you consider you need to develop
- How you see the professional role of a counsellor and what it entails
- Experience of working within an organisational setting, especially administration and working relationships.
- Why the GCS associate programme
If you have not previously trained or worked at GCS, please provide the details of one referee (preferably a supervisor) willing to comment on your counselling capability.If you are a GCS trainee or graduate, reference will be made to your most recent supervisor.
- Have successfully completed, or be about to complete, a Diploma in Counselling and be committed to developing their psychodynamic practice.
- Have a minimum of 200 supervised client hours.
- Evidence a sound level of counselling competence with the capacity to deepen their skills.
- Evidence the ability to hold both long-term and complex clients within a caseload
- Demonstrate the ability to use supervision to develop counselling and theoretical understanding.
- Demonstrate competence in managing the administrative tasks associated with counselling work.
- Offer availability for a caseload of at least 4 clients per week.
Applicants may be asked to attend an interview.
Conditions of acceptance
On accepting an offer of a place on the programme the associate will be required to pay a registration fee of £100 which is a non-returnable deposit deducted from the course fee.
The balance is payable either in full at the start of the course or in three termly payments, payable at the beginning of each term for which a £35 surcharge will be added.
In the event of an associate not taking up an accepted place the registration fee and any other fees already paid are non- refundable. If an associate withdraws from the programme part way through the year, the full fees for the year are payable.
If GCS asks an associate to withdraw from the programme the fees paid up to and including that term are nonrefundable. In the event of an associate anticipating or experiencing difficulty in meeting financial obligations to GCS, he/she should contact the Head of Training as soon as possible so that a mutually appropriate solution can be sought. An award cannot be made if there are any outstanding fees unless an acceptable arrangement for the deferred payment has been made with GCS.