COVID-19 Special 01 – Counselling during the COVID-19 Outbreak

COVID-19 Special 01 – Different Ways of Counselling during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Dealing with Disruption for Students – CPCAB Response to the Virus

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In this first COVID-19 Special of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes respond to the fast-changing situation. The three topics, especially the different ways of counselling during the COVID-19 outbreak, have all been chosen to reflect topical areas for students of counselling and psychotherapy at this challenging time.

 * BACPAC practice management software for counsellors and psychotherapists is a sponsor of the Counselling Tutor Podcast.

Get a 30-day free trial of BACPAC and a 30% discount by using the discount code CT2020

Dealing with Disruption for Students (starts at 2.40 mins)

We find ourselves in extraordinary times, and colleges and other learning institutions are closing their doors for unknown periods. This can leave learners feeling abandoned and worried, facing great uncertainty.

Moreover, the isolation and the loss of bonds – such as the camaraderie of peers – is an additional challenge.

You may well have many unanswered questions: here at Counselling Tutor, we can’t know all the answers straight away, but we can help you find out, working with ethical and awarding bodies to gather information that will be relevant and useful to you.

Do make sure that you’re a member of the Counselling Tutor Facebook page, as that’s where we’ll be posting any breaking news.

It’s also a great place to connect with tens of thousands of like-minded people interested in the world of counselling and psychotherapy: students, qualified counsellors, supervisors and tutors.

Ken reminds us that – apart from sleep, nutrition and exercise – social connectedness and continuing learning are both important elements of any plan to maintain good mental health.

The Facebook page is a great place to gain that feeling of social connection, and the Counselling Study Resource (CSR) can support you to maintain and build your knowledge during closure of face-to-face learning.

Based on years of experience of providing online online counselling lectures and resources, we have supported thousands of students to meet their study goals over many years.

With streamable lectures and other online resources mapped to your course criteria, CSR can help support your self-directed learning through this challenging time. In this way, you can keep on top of your studies and continue to progress, building your knowledge and skills while also self-isolating or practising social distancing.

Given the financial hardship and uncertainty faced by many people at this time, our management team has been looking at concession rates for those who are struggling.

Existing CSR members will be receiving an email about this; if you are not yet a member and feel the standard price is not currently affordable, do email us to enquire about these special rates.

For those for whom the concession is unmanageable, we will be putting on free lectures by guest lecturers, as well as regular Facebook Live broadcasts, for all.

Check-In with CPCAB: CPCAB Response to the Virus (starts at 19.25 mins)

Rory talks to Kelly Budd (Head of Qualifications) at CPCAB (Counselling & Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body) about its response to the COVID-19 situation.

Kelly answers a number of questions:

  • Can I still sit my exam at the time planned?
  • What happens if I can’t sit my exam due to self-isolating?
  • Can mock and real exams be taken online?
  • Can I use telephone and online counselling towards my placement hours?
  • What happens if I can’t finish my placement hours within the usual timescale?
  • Can I still see clients face-to-face if we both wish?
  • Can my college continue to deliver course content remotely?

You can find more information about CPCAB on its website, including frequent updates about its COVID-19 response.

Counselling Tutor will also be offering access to the CSR for CPCAB learners at a special rate. CPCAB is the UK’s only awarding body run by counsellors for counsellors.

Different Ways of Counselling during the COVID-19 Outbreak (starts at 30.25 mins)

This is an unprecedented time in counselling training, with many agencies stopping offering face-to-face sessions. You may be called upon to provide offer online or telephone counselling during the COVID outbreak.

Before agreeing to do this, it’s vital that you think about your response: can you do so ethically and safely?

Key actions to support your decision on offering online or telephone counselling during the COVID-19 outbreak include:

  • checking the information available through your ethical body; for example the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s competencies for this
  • discussing the situation with your clinical supervisor
  • checking with your insurer that you are covered for working in this way
  • ensuring you have permission from both your agency and tutor.

The Counselling Tutor team – together with counselling Tamara Howell, who practises online – are producing a special course on telephone and online counselling. This is being fast-tracked so that it will be available very quickly, and at cost (£49.99, in contrast to many similar courses that often cost over £1,000).

If you feel you need to time to learn more about working in these new ways before starting to do so with clients, you could offer them shorter holding sessions in which you can touch base with them, while you develop the skill set you need to work therapeutically with them online or by telephone both safely and ethically.

Links and Resources

*Check in with CPCAB is proudly sponsored by CPCAB, the only awarding body run by counsellors for counsellors.
To learn more about CPCAB qualifications and to get more detailed information on today's podcast topic, visit

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