Joe Deans - MSc Integrative Counselling & PsychotherapyJoe Deans – MSc Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy

“I chose to study at Newman because I had heard that similar courses around the West Midlands were not as robust and thorough as Newman University’s. I wanted to do a course that would give me the best preparation and training to be the best that I could be.

I started the course for two reasons the first being to improve my skills in case working, in particular having the skills to allow people to ‘open up’ about a personal issue and the skills to ‘close it up again’. The second reason was to change my career. I was made redundant from a youth worker position in 2011 and had been working fixed term and part time roles since. I felt it was time to change career into an industry that would sustain employability now and for the future.

The course was not what I expected. I just wanted the skills to do a job, but what I have found is that the personal development element is just as vitally important as the professional development. Because you are working with people who are bringing personal issues, I’ve learnt that a deeper understanding of yourself is key is providing therapy to adults. The course has exceeded my expectations.

The staff in the Counselling and Psychotherapy department have always been supportive and available to guide you through any complexities you may be experiencing. It is important the staff model best practise that is expected of me as a student to mirror out in the profession. All staff have been incredibly supportive and understanding and have a strong grip of the skills and competence needed.

I have made good use of the academic support staff here. Obviously being a mature student, sometimes grammar and critical analysis is a little rusty when completing assignments. The team provide training to all students, provide one-to-one meetings and, mentoring is also available.

I have tried to expand my development too by being a student rep for my final year, which involves raising the voices of the course students to tutors and I have also managed to be involved with a society called NEST which promotes student entrepreneurship.

My plan is to set up a private practice before I complete my final year of university and I would like to, in the next two years post qualification, be trained in providing clinical supervision.

I would also like to set up an organisation/charity that provides Counselling/Psychotherapy to the local community as well as provide some sort of training to young people/families/adults around some of the issues that I have been trained in.

I would advise that taking time out to reflect and think is a part of my learning that I feel I wish I had done more of. Reflecting aids with developing your formulation and your integrative approach to clinical practice. Clinical practice is at times rewarding, humbling, challenging and, can be life enhancing for clients and for you as a trainee psychotherapist, I wish I had chosen this field earlier in my career.”

Georgina Watts - Counselling student

Georgina Watts – Integrative Counselling Foundation Degree 

“Newman was my local university and I found that it was the most appropriate university course to meet my needs.

During my time at Newman I have been very well supported by staff throughout the university and have had the opportunity to undertake a clinical placement within Newman Health & Wellbeing; a centre aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals within the local community, workplace, schools and colleges.

I have also had the chance to become a member of BSeen, an enterprise initiative which gives you advice and guidance if you are considering working for yourself or looking to make a difference.

Upon completion of my course I have the aim to become a self-employed Counsellor and Workplace Wellbeing Entrepreneur.

My advice for any future Newman students would be get involved and fully immerse yourself in the Newman Experience.”

Colette Simpson – Integrative Counselling Foundation Degree

“I was working in the hospitality industry as an Assistant Manager before I decided to take the leap and return to studying for a change in career. I had never been to university before and had worked in hospitality since leaving sixth form.

Whilst on a gap year teaching in India and Nepal I felt that I wanted to do something more meaningful with my career choice and coupled with personal experiences, decided my preferred route would be counselling.

I joined Newman University as a mature student on the Counselling Foundation Degree which enabled me to continue working and support my studies.

I felt the course at Newman was perfect for me as they not only looked at your qualifications but considered you as a person and how you would fit onto the course. I was nervous to return to university as a mature student as I was 27 and it had been 9 years since I was last in education, however, my counselling course had a mix of ages and people from different backgrounds which was great. The atmosphere at Newman is brilliant; you are taken seriously and everyone is seen as important.

I experienced some difficulties at home with various members of the family falling ill and requiring my care, yet Newman was able to offer the support I needed to continue with my studies. I juggled working 30 hours a week, attending lectures, going on placement and caring for my family to achieve my Foundation Degree in Counselling.

The Foundation Degree prepares you in a rounded way; it has an academic and vocational balance and is in the welcoming environment of Newman.

Since graduating from Newman University I have returned but this time as part of the staff team at Newman Health & Wellbeing as the receptionist for the counselling service. I love the university so much that I could see myself working here and that is exactly what I’ve done.

I hope to progress into counselling roles at the university and continue to develop my skills along the way.

Take your time; going to university at 18 years old isn’t for everyone. I’m glad I took my time to choose the right course for me.”

Kavan McDaid - psychology and counselling studentKavan McDaid – Psychology and Counselling Studies BSc (Hons)

“From the first Open Day that I attended at Newman I knew that I wanted to go here. The community feel, the amount of social spaces, and the size of the campus really appealed to me. I chose to study Psychology and Counselling Studies as I wanted to understand how to treat the mind as well as understand how it works.

The course has exceeded my expectations as I have learnt a lot more about myself while studying than I thought I would. The mix of different assessment types really keeps us on our toes but where would the fun be in learning without a challenge or two?

Newman is such a friendly place and the staff here care. There is no doubt in my mind that the staff here want me and my peers to succeed. With support ranging from careers to academic development, I have never felt without a safety net below my feet at all times. The lecturers push me to strive for the highest grades while ensuring that I stick to my limits.

When it comes to extra activities at Newman, it’s what I am regularly associated with. From running a society and being part of one, to being a student ambassador. In addition, to running elections for the Student’s Union and always making the student voice heard as a course rep and then a Student Academic Rep I have also taken part in a student-staff partnership project giving valuable experience in several ways! The partnership project looked at surrounding data engagement monitoring; if I hadn’t come to this uni and done this specific course then I doubt that I would have been able to take part in such important and unique research. It has benefited me so much and gave me hands on experience in what it is like to do psychological research.

Newman lets you be you but also helps you develop yourself. You discover what type of student that you are when you go to university but Newman helps you build on that, it pushes your limits and hopes to fill you with the confidence, skills and memories that , when put together, make the best student experience.

My main goal is to be a counsellor within a school, teaching coping mechanisms and supporting children that are struggling more than others. When I graduate, I plan to go into a learning mentor role and then do my Masters to become fully qualified.”

Marcus Johnson - Counselling studentMarcus Johnson – Integrative Counselling Foundation Degree

“I chose to study at Newman because I liked the location, the size and it was a good step back into education. I completed the Introduction to Counselling course at Newman and wanted to extend my academic career so chose to study the Foundation Degree.

I love the University, it feels great to be a part of it and I have found all of the staff that I have met on my journey so far incredibly helpful and patient. The library times are very flexible and tutors are able to give you support. The Academic Support and Dyslexia teams at the University are fantastic.

I have supported 3 students and one lecturer so far with research projects and will continue to do so when and where I can. I am currently involved in a dyslexia project with a lecturer who is studying for their doctorate and I have agreed to be involved with another Masters student through my work placement.

I would like to continue studying after I have completed the FD. I love being educated and ideally I would like to help counsel people with addictions and provide support for children of alcoholic parents.

I will always promote the University to potential students as I feel completely empowered since I became a student here. The University has helped me to grow and I feel like I am learning every day.

It’s an incredible journey and I would also say to any potential student, to step outside of the box and try and get involved in anything that the University is promoting. There are workshops and so many events, just being a part of it is so incredible. You meet new people and network within different departments.

Since being a student at Newman University I have experienced so many wonderful opportunities already. Just get involved and you never know where the next door may lead to…”

Tynika Blake - counselling and working with studentTynika Butler – Counselling Studies and Working with Children, Young People and Families BA (Hons)

“I want to be a professional counsellor and my course at Newman is a stepping stone towards becoming one. I studied at Newman in 2010 and I thought it was a really good university. My friend had also studied a similar course to what I was looking at and recommended Newman to me.

The course has more than exceeded my expectations; I have really enjoyed every year and every aspect of my course. The Working with Children, Young People and Families (WwCYPF)part of my course has challenged my thinking and I have truly loved it.

Newman is an excellent and supportive university. The staff are friendly and helpful and the support I have received from my lecturers, library staff and student support has been amazing. All of the staff are approachable and I have never encountered a negative experience with any staff member at Newman.

The biggest support I have received is when I needed an extension on an assignment. The staff at Newman helped me to be practical and realistic about my new deadlines. My lecturers were helpful in tutorials and assignment guidance; I also appreciated that if you were struggling you could speak to lecturers freely without judgement.

In my second year I completed a placement which was good because you can feel de-skilled when you are studying and not working in the field. I decided to continue to volunteer being a mentor after I finished my placement hours and I’m still mentoring now.

I don’t regret coming to study at such a late age, it was the best decision I have ever made. I never thought about doing a Master’s at the beginning of this course I was happy just to get an Undergraduate Degree, however, now I’m excited about the prospect of doing my Mater’s and becoming a professional counsellor.”

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