In 1993 I was doing the leaving and decided I would like to be a psychologist. However my life took a different path and it was not until later in life that I started this journey. I walked through the doors of IICP for first time in September 2014 with my life lessons in tow. On the first night, we were asked for one word to describe how we had found the first Certificate class, mine was ‘arrived’. I truly had arrived at where I feel I was meant to be.
I completed the Certificate and knew I needed to continue. I am now in my second year (three including the cert) and just about to begin my clinical placement which fills me with fear and excitement all at once. Year one of the Diploma/Degree was challenging for me as I had not written an academic paper in years and always found it difficult. Luckily I had completed the Certificate and this laid the foundations. I would encourage anyone considering qualifications in Counselling and Psychotherapy to start with the Certificate in IICP. It gives you a feel for the area and you can see if it’s for you or not. Also, when you commence the Diploma you have a good grounding from the Cert.
This road so far has been life changing for me as a person. Why? You get to know yourself very well. Undergoing your own personal counselling is part of the course and such a well worth part. It is the best money you will ever spend on yourself, the chance to talk about yourself for one hour a week! I feel like it was getting my handbag and emptying it out and trying to put it all back in again! You need to know yourself very well in this area so that you can sit opposite any client you may have in the future and be genuine. There are times that you feel overwhelmed however you will work through it and come out the other side, take it from someone who knows!
For any person reading this and considering joining the IICP family I can highly recommend it. Some tips I would give are don’t panic if you have never written an academic paper, the lecturers are superb and on hand to assist and even do a workshop on it. You will make friends in your class that you will have I believe for life. Start reading books that interest you, if you find a book that you feel is going over your head put it down and find one you can keep up with and you can return to the others later. Plan and don’t leave assignments to the last minute! Find someone who can proof read what you write, four eyes are better than two! Finally enjoy the learning, be true to yourself and ask for help and most importantly take heed of the words ‘self-care’.