Nick Pandya’s counselling career began when he started his training with us over 10 years ago he has since gone on to become a Centre Head at our Bedford office and before that our St Albans centre.
My training as a psychodynamic counsellor began as a passing interest in the therapeutic process through the introduction to counselling course at the foundation’s Bedford centre. The experience from this course very soon developed into a passion to learn more about the psychodynamic model of counselling, which has had a positive influence on the lives of millions of people suffering from emotional pain.
It was a no-brainer for me to enrol on the follow-up, one-year certificate course.
Here the encounter with the experiential group provided another challenging learning experience. The agenda-free groups are conducted by a Group Analysts who takes no other part in the course. The groups are intended to help students to support one another through the course, to reflect in an unstructured way on their experience of learning, and to increase their capacity for self-awareness in relation to others on the course. The groups are aimed at facilitating the development of students as reflective counsellors and to encourage the self-reflection central to the psychodynamic approach.
This group experience had the most profound effect on me. From then on it became inevitable that I would stay on for the Diploma and then the Advanced Diploma in psychodynamic counselling. The training courses delivered on a part-time basis, allowed me to fit the studies around my daily life.
The courses were well run with a good balance of practical and theoretical threads woven together. I had not been sure at the beginning of the course that psychodynamic counselling was the right model for me but the subject matter totally fascinated me and has become an integral part of who I am and how I now work. Moreover, I met a lot of good, kind-hearted people and we had some fun along the way.
My clinical placement at the Counselling Foundation’s centre in Luton provided me with a breadth of experience working with people from the multicultural community. The powerful interactions in the consulting room surpass anything I could have learned in the classroom. I was able to take the theories and strategies I have been taught in my seminars and apply them in a clinical setting, guided by a very supporting supervisors who contained my anxieties and enabled me to raise my clinical game.
That said, let me say that five years of attending seminars, clinical sessions, supervisions and weekend workshops is a gruelling undertaking that at times was extremely taxing both physically and emotionally.
But each and every week there were rewards, sometimes through new personal insight, or through a new shared group experience and of course through gaining of more knowledge and appreciation of theory.
If deciding whether or not to join this course be aware it will require, dedication, perseverance, resilience and a double scoop of bravery. But the rewards are well worth the efforts.
The quality and depth of the teaching combined with regular therapy developed my self awareness and has given me many skills, such as an interest in questioning things, the ability to challenge situations, the confidence to rely on my thoughts and perceptions, the ability to question myself with vital skills and technique to practice as an independent psychodynamic counsellor.
Graduating with The Counselling Foundation’s Advanced Diploma has been one of the most difficult, exciting and rewarding journeys of my life. I have no doubt that training as a psychodynamic counsellor was the right decision for me and I am satisfied that the choice of the study at The Counselling Foundation made it a very fulfilling and precious experience.