263 – NCS Membership Benefits

263 – NCS Membership Benefits

Passing Your Recorded Skills Session – Breaking Confidentiality in Counselling

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In Episode 263 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly are back with this week’s three topics:

  • Firstly in ‘Theory in Practice’ we look at passing your recorded or observed skills session.
  • Then in ‘Practice Today’, Rory and Ken take us through what happens if you have to break confidentiality.
  • And lastly in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Camilla Firth, the head of member services, and Kate Mahoney, head of professional standards from the National Counselling Society about the NCS’s membership benefits.

Passing Your Recorded Skills Session [starts at 02:47 mins]

Counselling Foundations is sponsored by

Counselling Skills Academy

Learn counselling techniques by seeing counselling skills used in real sessions by qualified therapists.
Real sessions - real-life presentations - real skills.

Being assessed is a stressful time for any student, but in this section, Rory and Ken offer some tips that might help to take some of the pressure off:

  • Remember that it’s natural to be nervous, it’s a challenging experience.
  • The secret is practice.
  • If it’s your first experience with recording it’ll make it more nerve-racking – try practicing with recording beforehand.
  • Start recording and listening back to your skills practice.
  • Meet up with peers and colleagues over Zoom and record your practice.
  • Evaluate your own skills sessions.
  • Welcome feedback and mistakes, you can learn a lot from them.
  • Try out a number of different skills.
  • The more you understand what happens when you apply a skill and understand what the skill asks of you, the easier you will find it to apply that skill.
  • The more you know, the less you fear.
  • Try working with people you don’t know that well – this gives practice of being observed.
  • Look at the criteria of what they’ll be looking for in the session – checking your endings etc.
  • If you're recording anything – see about using college equipment so that data can be disposed of correctly.
  • Know how many skills you need to demonstrate – using one skill won’t be enough, even if you use it very well, and using too many may make the session feel disjointed and counsellor-led.
  • Work in a triad (a listener, a speaker, and an observer) – make sure you get the speakers feedback first to prevent it being tainted by the observers.
  • Take note of the skills you use and their purpose, make note of its role within the actual practice session, what affect did it have?

A handout on Recording Counselling Skills is available for download in the green button above.

Breaking Confidentiality in Counselling [starts at 23:45 mins]

It’s likely that at least once during your practice you will be required to break confidentiality, and it’s important that you are prepared for this.

The key moments of this section include:

  • Deciding to break confidentiality requires clear thinking.
  • Look into what your contract says, legally you’re required to break confidentiality in the event of terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering, and harm to self and/or others.
  • It’s important that you make your exceptions to confidentiality clear in your contract and in your first session with your client – make sure they understand the contract they are signing.
  • The Caldicott Principles are an example of the steps you should take when breaking confidentiality. You should only use information that is required, sharing the absolute minimum.
  • Harm to self – when it comes to self-harm, it is up to you to decide where you draw the line and at what point you should share this information. You may just question the client to ensure they are doing this safely (using clean instruments etc.), you should also consider why the client is telling you this. Is it possible that they want you to tell someone?
  • The aftermath of breaking confidentiality: you will need to rebuild your therapeutic relationship. Be honest – let them know it was out of concern for them.
  • Does your agency have requirements on breaking confidentiality that are different to your personal ones? Make sure you add these to your contract.
  • Ensure you’re writing in your notes if you have broken confidentiality, detailing why you chose to do so etc.
  • The damage of not sharing can be worse than the damage of breaking confidentiality.

NCS Membership Benefits [starts at 42:22 mins]

The National Counselling Society is proud to sponsor Practice Matters.

NCS are really excited to have launched their Children and Young People Therapist Register for counsellors working with the younger age group.

To find out more, visit nationalcounsellingsociety.org or simply click the button below.

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Camilla Firth and Kate Mahoney from the NCS (soon to be the NCPS) about the benefits of becoming an NCS member.

The main points of this discussion include:

  • To get on the NCS’s accredited register (AR), you need a level 4 Ofqual qualification (or equivalent), a placement of at least 100 hrs, have been full-time for over a year or across 2 yrs part time, and you must’ve been taught in the room with a tutor.
  • Why is face-to-face training important?
    • It will help when you come to building that therapeutic relationship with a client – evolving skills such as active listening and empathy.
    • It’s important to have trained tutors on hand to give you really good support and feedback as you work on these skills.
    • It’s easier to develop clinical judgement and respond to non-verbal queues.
    • You can work on your self-awareness and self-reflection skills.
    • You can meet peers, colleagues and supervisors who are a rich source of development.
  • When applying to be a member of the NCS AR, student memberships are usually dealt with quite quickly – they just need to check you are on an appropriate course.
  • Applying as a newly qualified counsellor may take longer (approx. 6 weeks) – your application needs to be individually assessed in terms of public protection.
  • If you're already a member of another membership body, the process can be quicker as you would’ve already been vetted.
  • It is estimated to take anywhere between 2-6 weeks.
  • What are the NCS membership benefits?
    • Being on an accredited register means potential clients know your practice is safe and ethical.
    • Access to exclusive CPD e.g. live events run by experts.
    • Professional support e.g. with ethical queries.
    • Reduced fees for students on supervision and personal counselling.
    • A regular magazine.
    • Online resources.
    • You can apply for a Totum card to receive discounts.
    • You can apply for enhanced DBS.
  • If you earned your qualification overseas or many years ago, you can still apply. However, your application may require more attention.
  • If you earned your qualification overseas, it will be checked to see where that lands in relation to a UK qualification, and whether this matches the criteria of the NCS’s AR.
  • This process is similar with those who earned their qualification a long time ago. As new safeguarding and requirements may have been brought in since you earned your qualification, the NCS will look into evidence of your practice and how you have been using your qualification since it was earned.
  • Each application is looked into individually.

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