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Struggles in resuming my career in counselling

Updated: Mar 4, 2023

Voluntary role Vs. Paid role

In the process of relocation, if we could resume our career, it could be a mental relief. However, it is quite difficult for us who work in the industry caring for people and demanding for language expression.

To be honest, the problem in the industry is quite similar across the globe. There are agencies expecting registered counsellor to be their volunteer. I am not surprised. It is good to be a volunteer. I am volunteering for different organisations too. Some argues that this kind of volunteering posts eliminating paid vacancies in the market. Some of the agencies even expect voluntary counsellor do more than counselling. In such situation, we need to ask, “What makes me want to be a volunteer? What am I expecting? What kind of support do I need from the agency? What do I need to commit?”

The truth is, there are not many vacancies in the NHS required registered counsellor, nor schools and agencies. Accreditation might be helpful, be CBT therapists, clinical or counselling psychologists are preferred.

Setting up private practice Vs. Joining a platform

Before I came to the UK, I come across a recruitment advert from a counselling platform. The recruitment team is very responsive and asked me to register in their website when I arrive.

I received referral link from a therapist, and calls from headhunters regarding this platform. After reading the terms of agreement and salary scheme, I don’t feel comfortable with it and withdrew my application.

It is just one of the case. This kind of platform for private practice is new to us. We need to learn more about it, but not just focus on the opportunity for stable customer income as stated. There are discussions among therapists on social media regarding the strategies of these platforms. Recently, the BACP published a feature regarding it in their monthly newsletter. I am glad that it is put under the spotlight finally, and I hope the discussion would continue to raise awareness not only among therapists but also potential service users.

Though number of vacancies are comparatively more than that in Hong Kong, and it seems like there is a market for private practice, if you decide to resume or start your career as a counsellor in the UK, these are the scenes of the industry for you to consider.

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