Over the course of your training you will need to gain clinical experience through attending a number of placements at which you will work with clients on a one-to-one or group basis. We believe that this experience forms an integral part of a trainee’s development as a counsellor, psychotherapist or counselling psychologist.
Preparing for your first Placement
You need to start thinking about placements by the second term in your first year of training, i.e. if you started the course at the beginning of the academic year in September, you should be beginning the process of finding a placement by February/March at the latest. You should find out when potential placements interview trainees and ensure that you make your application in good time. You also need to think about how to make a good impression when you are applying for a placement. If you are applying to a placement outside of Metanoia Institute make sure that your CV is up to date and that you have relevant information available on the Institute and on the course that you are pursuing. You also need to think about appropriate references. Finding a suitable placement can often take longer than people think. Remember also that once you have been taken on by a placement you may need to wait for suitable referrals.
You should also discuss with your Primary Tutor whether you are ready to start seeing clients. Training as a psychotherapist is a personally challenging process, and not all trainees will be ready to begin seeing clients at the same time. You may need a reference from your Primary Tutor in your applications to placements, so you need to make sure that you discuss this in a tutorial.
Make sure that you obtain the list of Metanoia-approved Primary Supervisors for your department from your Academic Co-ordinator. You will need to make a private arrangement with a Primary Supervisor in addition to attending the supervision provided in your placement.
As a first placement you will have two options; you can apply either apply to Metanoia Counselling and Psychotherapy Service, or you can search for a placement with an external counselling/psychotherapy organisation.
Metanoia Counselling and Psychotherapy Service (MCPS)
At Metanoia we have an in-house clinic – the Metanoia Counselling and Psychotherapy Service (MCPS) - which offers placements to our trainees and provides psychological therapy in a confidential and professional setting to the community at a lower cost.
MCPS is currently one of the largest providers of counselling and psychotherapy in London Borough of Ealing, offering short and longer term therapy to over 300 clients per year, engaging over a hundred practitioners in training placements and a number of assessors.
The placement offers professional support for both practitioners and prospective clients. The clients have an initial assessment with one of our assessors (students in advanced stages of their training) before being referred to student practitioners. Students may apply for a placement within the Clinic during their second year of training with the approval of their primary tutor. Practitioners are asked to make a commitment to work in the Clinic for one year, and see up to three clients per week.
The Metanoia Counselling and Psychotherapy Service also functions as a research clinic within the Metanoia research centre. The Research Clinic conducts ongoing routine outcomes evaluation of Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Psychotherapies, Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology, Person Centred and Humanistic counselling, within the existing clinical service.
Evaluation is conducted by using standardised sessional measures contained within the IAPT toolkit for depression and anxiety (PHQ9 and GAD7), global distress (CORE 10), impact of external events (VIII-E revised), Cooper – Norcross Inventory of Preferences (C-NIP) and working alliance (ARM-5).
While most external placements require you to have a minimum level of experience before you apply (generally measured in supervised clinical hours), some placements will take practitioners with little or no prior experience.
You can find an external placement using the placement resources (see below). You are also welcome to find a placement independently. If you choose to do this please let Lia Foa – our clinical development officer – know which placement you have found so that she can check that it meets Metanoia’s requirements.
You are expected to be in placements throughout your training. At least three different placement settings should be experienced over the duration of your course, including both long-term and time-limited work. Once you have some experience you can begin to choose placements to suit your interests. It’s a good idea to gain experience with a range of different clients during your training.
We have several excellent resources to help you find placements (our placement handbook, database, mailing list and more). Please email our clinical development officer – Lia Foa – who will be able to direct you towards our placement resources.
You can find our online Placement forms in the helpful links on the left.