In episode 78 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes offer tips on using quotations in assignments. ‘Practice Matters’ looks at reasons why clients may ‘disappear’. Last, the presenters discuss what it means to have an assignment referred.
Using Quotations in Assignments (starts at 2.18 mins)
Tutors like to see students using quotes in assignments as this shows you have read around the subject. It is a way of backing up your own experience and views.
Ken and Rory offer tips on finding and using quotes:
- Use the index of the book as a starting point, looking up the particular concepts you are focusing on.
- Don’t assume you understand a quote without setting it in context – look up where it has come from, and read what comes before and after.
- If you find quotes online, make sure they are from an authority source (e.g. Wikipedia is not a reliable source).
Counselling Tutor is proud to announce a new quotes section on our website. There, we include quotes that we have checked out, and present each as an attractive graphic.
Why not join the discussion on Facebook to let us know your favourite quote? Don’t forget to provide the full reference too, and we might use it on our website.
When Clients Never Return (starts at 10.37 mins)
It can be very concerning and frustrating for counselling students when clients ‘DNA’ (do not attend), but there are many reasons why this happens, for example:
- health reasons
- not being able to afford to take time off work
- not being able to pay the travel costs to get to counselling
- having to care for children or other dependants
- not being ready for counselling
- feeling fear and shame
- moving house
- experiencing transference (i.e. when you remind them of someone from their past)
- just not having the time.
For some clients, one session is enough: simply having the opportunity to offload and feeling heard can be enough.
If you are faced with a DNA, try to use the time constructively – for example, you could read, make notes or go for a walk, so supporting your learning and preparing you for your next client. Also, do try to retain unconditional positive regard for the client: we never know what is going on in other people’s lives.
Getting Assignments Referred (starts at 14.29 mins)
Ken and Rory both experienced getting assignments referred when they started counselling training. This can bring back difficult memories of receiving ‘fail’ marks at school, but a referral is not a failure: it simply means that you have not fully covered what is needed to meet the particular criterion. It is usually not a reflection on your intelligence or aptitude.
A referral should always give pointers on where the gap is between what you have provided and what is required, so you’ll know exactly what you need to do to pass.
When writing counselling assignments, the most important thing is to provide exactly what the awarding body is asking for. The first step is to understand the academic language used in the criteria. If you are a member of the CSR, you can listen to Rory’s lecture, ‘Cracking the Criteria’, which comes with its own slide pack and links.
If you are working on your external portfolio for the ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling – the final set of assignments for this popular qualification – you might find it useful to use our External Portfolio Key.