How can you become a Counsellor


Image via Flickr creative commons from Alan Cleaver

Counselling psychology  like many modern psychology specialities originated around World War II as the U.S. Military has a strong need for vocational placement and training. As far as rewarding careers go, if you are good with people then you need not look any further than a career in counselling. Counsellors help people to explore their emotions that are often related to their experiences. This helps clients reflect on how these experiences can affect their lives and may offer insight into an alternative means of dealing with these issues. Counsellors do not typically give advice, more that they help clients to reach their own conclusions and decide their own course of action. There are many different models of counselling depending on what institution you work within. Some experiences and situations almost all counsellors will find themselves in include;

–        establishing a relationship of trust and respect

–        encouraging clients to discuss sensitive or embarrassing subjects

–        actively listening to their clients and emphasising with their situation

–        accepting without bias the issues raised by the client

–        challenging any inconsistencies they notice the client saying or doing

–        undertaking personal therapy

Counselling jobs are extremely varied and it is guaranteed that each day will be totally different and new challenges will arise constantly. Currently there is a swell in demand for counsellors and psychotherapist. Whether you choose to train in counselling or psychotherapy mainly depends on what work you see yourself doing in the future. If you wish to work somewhere such as a GP practice or school where you will be dealing with issues such as health problems and depression then chances are you may wish to train as a counsellor. Alternatively, psychotherapists will deal with more private individual based therapy over a longer term with clients. Psychotherapy training takes longer, and you will be required to undergo your own personal therapy, counsellors are also advised to but may not be required to. A British student can typically expect to find themselves studying to become accredited for up to 3 years, whereas psychotherapy can take up to 5 years. There are also introductory courses available that may help you deciding whether counselling is the right path for you. Lasting about 80 hours covers many modules related to counselling and is ideal for people with little to no prior experience or knowledge of counselling. More information on the different specialities available can be found at the counsellors guide or for more advice for counselling students visit BACP. Online learning centres such as NCC Home Learning offer a wide range of courses including an amazing counselling course.

There are many different types of counsellor, from marriage counsellors, grievance counsellors to therapists dealing with sexual health or mental health problems. You will not really need to decide what area suits you best until you are on a course, chances are you will find your niche while learning. You can perform a test online that may help you decide what kind of counsellor you should be, check it out here Alternatively if you want to find an accredited counsellor near you there are a many directories or search engines online such as the counselling directory.

Counselling really can cover an extremely large range of topics including career counselling,  credit counselling, crisis management, emotional therapy, existential counselling, genetic counselling, intervention, postvention, relationship counselling, suicide intervention and telephone counselling to name just a few. It is truly a diverse and wide ranged career path with many options available to those willing to train. If you enjoy helping people and are a good listener capable of viewing topics as objectively as possible then counselling may be for you.


Staying Safe With Ladders – The Top Five Rules


Image via Flickr creative commons from thisreidwrites

Ladders can be dangerous. The first thing you need to know is that all ladders are weight rated – do not exceed this limit. They are one of the most common agents involved in falls from height and account for more than a quarter of all falls.

Before doing anything, you have to make sure you have the right ladder for the job – companies such as Slingsby Ladders have a wide range for every need.

Reaching something in the centre of the room will obviously require something along the lines of a stepladder. If you are cleaning gutters, an extension ladder might be the right one for you. There are even specialty ladders which bend to help you get to hard-to-reach place – but they are probably for the more advanced worker.

The different types of ladders are designed to keep you safe. Using the wrong one or ignoring some important safety tips can result in a trip to the hospital – or potentially something more serious.


Before going up your ladder – whether it is a lean-to or a stepladder – you should make sure it is all in good working order. Make sure the legs are secure and the ladder feet are not worn-down and attached correctly. Also, wear shoes with non-slip soles.

As pointed out by the government’s health and safety division, the ground should also be firm and level. The maximum safe ground side slope is 16 degrees and you should check this with a spirit level once the rungs are in place. The maximum safe back slope is six degrees. You should then have a strong upper resting point – not plastic guttering – and the floor you are resting the ladder on should be clean and not slippery.

The 1-4 rule

If climbing a ladder isn’t something you do regularly you may not be familiar with how dangerous it can be if not angled properly. Here you have to remember the four to one rule. For every four feet of height you have to climb, move the base one foot away from the wall. A good rule of thumb is also to never stand less than three rungs from the top of a stepladder and four from the top of an extension ladder.

Height is also important for stepladders. If using one to get on a roof, it is best if the ladder extends around three feet beyond it.

Don’t overdo it

You should keep work to a short duration – half an hour at the very most. When working with a ladder, do not carry overly heavy loads. Up to 10kg is the most you should consider. Move materials with extreme caution so as not to lose your balance and don’t exceed the maximum weight of a ladder.

Never overreach, keep both feet on one rung while working and make sure the majority of your waist stays within the stiles at all times. A good way to measure this is to keep your navel or belt buckle in between.


Make sure you keep your ladder in top condition, even if you are not using it regularly. There are various things you should look out for with each type of ladder. All should be inspected for broken or frozen joints or latches.

Aluminium ladders should be checked regularly for cracks or broken welds. Before the first use look out for burrs and rough spots. If you are using a wooden ladder, make sure you are inspecting for cracked wood, splinters and rot.

Wood ladders can be protected with linseed oil or clear sealant, but never paint a wooden ladder. It can hide imperfections.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you’re not sure, or wary of the height you may have to climb, you should always get someone to help by holding the base of the ladder.

If you’re still not certain, get a professional to do it. It may not be as cheap, but it will be safer.

How To Approach Your Employer About Unsafe Working Conditions


Image from Flickr creative commons via Alan Cleaver

Health and Safety At Work laws don’t simply oblige employers to provide a safe working environment for their employees – they also place a duty on employees to report any conditions or practices where they work which they consider might contravene such laws.

That means that no employee should be afraid to raise their concerns. After all, the responsibility for ensuring that people can go about their day-to-day tasks without fear of being injured is best met by collaboration between workers and their bosses.

If you’re an employee and want to raise a concern about standards of safety, you are likely to have a couple of options, and the one which applies to you could well depend on the size of the organisation for which you work.

In a large company, there is an obligation to appoint a person to take charge of health and safety issues, and this person should be your first point of contact when you have a concern to raise. And no matter how senior they are, they have a legal duty to investigate your worries, then let you and all your colleagues know what they intend to do about the issue you have brought to their attention.

But the very fact that the person with such responsibility may also be the one who has direct authority over you might make you reluctant to raise your concerns for fear that you might be considered a ‘troublemaker’.

If this is a possibility, what you’ll need is evidence to back up your concerns. So rather than going in alone, a good idea is to tell as many of your colleagues as possible about your concerns, and ask them whether they’d be prepared to back you up.

In the absence of a nominated health and safety representative, in a medium-sized company, you should have someone with responsibility for administering first aid. This person might be a useful ally in you making your case, so have a quiet word with them, and see what they think about the situation with their ‘first-aider’s hat on’.

If you’re a trade union member, you should also speak to your workplace representative, as they will be prepared to support you when you make your representations to your bosses.

If you have little luck in getting your employer to change the unsafe working practice or conditions you complain about, you should first of all say that, if nothing is done you will report them to the local enforcement agency – in most cases the local city or county council, or unitary authority.

But at this stage, you may also want to approach a specialist solicitor, as they will be able to tell you more about the procedures for getting changes made which could help prevent an accident at work. Of course, it is always preferable to be able to do this without recourse to the law – but ultimately, the Health and Safety At Work Act is in place to ensure that everyone can enforce their right to go about their work in a place where the risks to them doing so safely are fully appreciated, and dangers are eliminated as far as possible.

A report of unsafe conditions or practices has to be taken seriously, so although the law is in place to back up anyone wishing to express concerns, a responsible employer will want to avoid any case getting that far, and so should investigate all issues thoroughly, and tell everyone what they do to address them.