Manchester Mind

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A day in the life of a counsellor… Aiofe

Two people sitting together having a hot drink

I start work at 9am. I log into my computer, turn on my phone and catch up on emails and messages.

A part of my job is booking clients in for initial assessments for the counselling service, some have got back to me over the weekend, so I confirm their appointments and book them in.

At 10am I have a remote counselling session, it’s the sixth session with this young person, so we complete some assessment questionnaires and look back over our goals for therapy. The sessions last 50 minutes and then I have ten minutes to complete notes.

I have an initial assessment appointment, this is the first time the person will talk in depth about what has brought them to counselling, and it’s important to get a good idea of their expectations to ensure we are the right service for them. Also, to be reassuring and kind as it can feel like a lot for a person to start this process. We talk about logistics, when they can attend sessions, what has brought them to counselling. We also complete a risk assessment, asking about self-harm and suicidal ideation. If they answer yes to these questions we will explore this more, complete a safety plan and ensure they feel supported and safe while on the waiting list. The assessment ends with me asking outcome questions for them to understand where they are now and then I do the same when they are on their last counselling session.

I then have some more time for admin, contacting people to book in initial assessments and updating the database. Afterwards I have a mentor meeting with a volunteer counsellor, checking in and ensuring they feel supported while working with Manchester Mind.

Time for a lunch break– this is important to step away from my desk and take some time for myself to eat lunch and get a cup of tea.

At 1pm I have a face to face counselling session, it’s nice to have a mix of remote and in person sessions. After this session I do some check-in calls with people on the waiting list, reassuring that they are still on the list and that we hope to have a counsellor available for them soon. I confirm their availability in case it has changed. I do 5 of these each week. I then have two more initial assessment appointments, these are usually telephone calls.

A busy yet productive day!

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