RB Mind works with many people who volunteer their time to help our service users, staff and projects. Find out more about RB Mind services by reading our volunteer case studies. If you would like to volunteer, please contact us for more information.
RB Mind’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Service provides one to one counselling for those in need. The service is made up of 25 Volunteer Counsellors who currently supports 60 people. The team is supported by our Counselling Service Co-ordinator, Bill Austin, and our Counselling Service Officer, Rozen Rauf. Here we talk to two of our Volunteer Counsellors, Maggie and Louise, to find out about what they do and how talking therapies can help people.
After clients are initially assessed, they are assigned a Volunteer Counsellor for either a block of 12 weekly sessions or for an open-ended period of time depending on their needs. Each counsellor has a mix of clients from different backgrounds and with varying types of problems.
“The range of clients is great, it has been a great learning experience and can often be challenging,” says Maggie who joined as a Volunteer Counsellor in September this year.
Each Volunteer Counsellor is in turn supported by the wider RB Mind Counselling and Psychotherapy Team through clinical supervision.
“Mind has a very welcoming and supportive team and Bill [Austin, Counselling Service Co-ordinator] is always available to talk to about any concerns I have,” Louise says. She started as a Volunteer Counsellor in 2009 having studied psychology at Birkbeck University and is now on placement from Regent’s College where she is studying psychotherapy.
Her thoughts are echoed by Maggie. “There’s definitely a supportive atmosphere here, if you have any concerns then we are encouraged to raise them through supervision with Bill after sessions with clients.”
As part of ongoing support, Volunteer Counsellors can undertake further training opportunities and courses both within RB Mind and externally. “There is a friendly atmosphere and I’ve got to know a few of the other counsellors which helps the learning process,” says Louise. “You feel you are part of something and that you are included even as a trainee.”
Providing emotional support is part of a Volunteer Counsellor’s role, Louise concludes: “It’s really about providing a space for people, where they feel safe.”