Volunteer Counsellors

This is an initiative which is in the early stages of implementation, we are recruiting for our free counselling service which will go live in September 2021.

Do you want to develop your counselling skills and enhance your experience? Do you enjoy giving something back and making a difference to others?

At CALIA, we offer support to anyone affected by Borderline Personality Disorder. The emotional impact of a diagnosis, and the difficulty of living with severe symptoms, is often overlooked and clients can feel distressed and isolated. Having the opportunity to work therapeutically with someone can make a big difference. We will offer our free service to anyone affected by BPD – including loved ones who are caring for a BPD patient – in the UK over the age of 18.

As a Volunteer Counsellor with CALIA, you’ll be a vital part of our team, working alongside other dedicated professionals to help make a real difference to people in need of support. Our volunteer counsellors will enable those in need to access free professional counselling. Volunteers are integral to our work and we would love to welcome you to our team.

Clients will be able to self-refer, and professionals who will also be able to refer to the service include GPs, health professionals, workers in social care, drug and alcohol services, services working with people who are victims of domestic abuse and charities working across the UK.

Key Responsibilities

  • To provide online one-to-one counselling to men and women over the age of 18, providing an appropriate counselling contract with the client and conduct regular therapeutic reviews with the client;
  • To work within the ethical framework and quality standards of the BACP;
  • To maintain appropriate records in line with professional standards and GDPR, to supply appropriate information to statutory agencies if requested (for example, for safeguarding or legal proceedings);
  • To complete assessment, outcome and evaluation forms for all clients, and to submit these to the volunteering coordinator regularly;
  • To source and arrange own clinical supervision, a minimum of 1.5 hours per month to be arranged by the volunteer and shared with CALIA;
  • To participate in monthly one-to-ones with the volunteer coordinator;
  • To make appropriate referrals to agencies such as local services, refuge, housing and other suitable agencies;
  • To pass on any disclosures from clients relating to the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults as soon as possible
  • To comply with CALIA policies around confidentiality, GDPR, safeguarding and any others deemed necessary to this role.

Skills Experience and Abilities

  • Qualified counsellors: have a recognised professional counselling or psychotherapy qualification, over 100 hours of one-to-one client hours, and must be registered with BACP, BPS or UKCP;
  • Student counsellors: a minimum of 30 one-to-one client hours, and a registered member of the BACP, BPS, UKCP or equivalent. The student should be studying to achieve at the minimum level a diploma in counselling or psychotherapy, but could also be studying a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate in counselling or psychotherapy;
  • Able to work independently;
  • Excellent listening and communication skills ;
  • Have a non-judgemental and non-discriminatory attitude;
  • Sensitive to different cultures and customs;
  • Access to a secure internet connection and a pc;
  • Commitment to attending regular meetings and one-to-ones;
  • An understanding of, and/or experience of, BPD, either lived or professional;
  • Knowledge of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults;
  • A good knowledge of computer literacy skills – Microsoft Word, Outlook and Zoom;
  • An enhanced DBS is required for this role, if you do not have one we can arrange one for you.

Expected Hours/Times

We ask all volunteers for a commitment of one year, volunteering a minimum of one day per week seeing 3-4 clients each week. Days/hours worked can be flexible according to your commitments.

What you can expect from us

  • An in-depth induction and initial training
  • Full insurance cover
  • An enhanced DBS
  • Flexible volunteering around you and your schedule
  • Regular one-to-ones
  • Regular online social activities with other volunteers
  • References after a successful volunteering period
  • International Volunteers Day (5th December) celebrations

Next Steps

To apply, please download and fill in our application form:

Volunteer Counsellor Application Form

If you have any queries, please contact volunteering@calia.org.uk.

Recruitment Process:

  • Application
  • Interview
  • Two references
  • ID check
  • Enhanced DBS
  • Induction session

We want you to feel involved in all aspects of our work and to have an amazing experience during your time with us. Everyone who volunteers with us is accepted for who they are, regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation , disability, race, faith or belief, socioeconomic background. In line with our commitment to equality and diversity, and to reflect the diversity of our clients, we are particularly keen to see applications from BAME and transgender people.

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