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From civil servant to counsellor, how the Access to HE Diploma continues to change lives.

14th April 2021 Date of publication

Lorraine Ross 49 (pictured right), is well on her way to becoming a fully qualified counsellor with an ambition to help clients with mental health issues.

“I worked in the Civil Service for 20 years and I decided that I wanted a career that was more fulfilling and one which helped people in a more hands on way. I have always got more from helping people and so this career seemed a natural progression”. In 2018, Lorraine decided that a complete change of career was needed and took the brave decision to leave the civil service to take up study full-time so that she could “fully commit to the course”, she says. Now in 2021, Lorraine is only weeks away from completing the foundation degree in counselling to take her to the next stage which began a few years ago by making the bold move to return to learning.

The Access to HE Diploma is a course specifically aimed at adults who may or may not have any previous qualifications but want to pursue a career which usually requires students to progress to HE first, and Lorraine had heard about this from a friend and decided to find out more. After some research, Lorraine enrolled on an Access to HE Diploma (Counselling) at Sunderland College and has never looked back. This specific course is for adults who want to become qualified counsellors and so, in addition to personal and academic development, the course introduces students to the basic counselling knowledge and skills required to progress to HE to become one.

Slightly daunted at first, Lorraine quickly discovered that it was definitely the right choice, “The access course gave an excellent introduction of what is required to become a counsellor. The course allows you to make a firm decision on whether this career path is for you. I would highly recommend the course to anyone considering counselling as a profession. I gained knowledge around what it takes to become a counsellor, and what to expect from being a therapist.”

So what is Lorraine’s advice to anyone wanting to follow in her foot steps to become a counsellor or therapist? “You must want to help others, this is not a selfish career path. You must have a passion for saying hello to people at their lowest and saying goodbye at their highest. It really is a listening career where thoughts and words matter”

In relation to Access to HE generally, Lorraine has this top takeaway, “The course really changes you and I guess it should. The personal development part of the course was incredibly enlightening into me as a person, how my words, actions and behaviour affect others. It is definitely something I will carry with me throughout my life both personally and professionally”

To find out more about the Access to HE Diploma (Counselling) and other diplomas generally, please contact One Awards.

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