Lewisham Counselling and Counsellor Training Associates — Broadway House, 15-16 Deptford Broadway, London SE8 4PA

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We are delighted that many of our previous students have taken the trouble to write about their experiences at LC&CTA and hope this random sample of 10 accounts will be helpful to prospective students.

What our students say …

Debra Tweed

Qualified Counsellor

I have attended a number of Continued Professional Development Workshops held by LC&CTA. My experience has been beneficial and rewarding in terms of being provided on-going opportunities to further develop my skills and professional awareness. The background experience of LC&CTA tutoring staff provides a constructive learning environment which is supportive and encourages a sense of freedom to explore a range of personal and professional development issues that are stimulating and informative.

Emma Whelan

HPD in Counselling Student

Being a student at LC&CTA is a constantly changing experience - a process, not a destination! It is challenging, tough and engaging. It is authentic and demanding. I have met incredible people; these people and being part of the HPD group has facilitated great learning for me. For me studying at LC&CTA has gone beyond all normal learning parameters - it has been life-altering; it has been, and continues to be, a privilege.

Mo Lishmoma

As a white woman, when Chris Brown spoke to a racially mixed group of students about her inherited racism, it was so healing for me to hear it openly acknowledged. It means a lot ... and also it means the white students don't just switch off defensively (as they might if a black person was speaking about racism). I've grown personally from taking the HPD course. I can communicate more honestly and openly and I can feel and express my anger much more appropriately. The growth continues. I'm also looking at my attitude towards and relationships with men and I am looking at my blackness, my whiteness and other things and issues raised by the course. Because I'm mixed race there's so much about race, identity, anger ... so much 'stuff' to explore. I just wanted to tell you and share my appreciation of the course. And for Chris' braveness in flagging up the issue of my whiteness (though I'm not visibly white it's still part of who and how I am). I fly the LC&CTA flag regarding diversity, multiculturalism and the mixedness of the course all over the place. I also share with people that it's not an easy process to study at LC&CTA and that Chris is charismatic and volatile woman!!! But I also want to share my love and appreciation for all that I experienced, the good the bad and the fucking horrible; in all its dimensions!!! Another thank-you and blessings is due to Linda Hafez as a Supervisor she is good at what she does and is a very good woman.

Cemaliye Deran

I would describe my training at LC&CTA’s simply; ‘it was life changing’ and a journey I will never forget. The experience was extremely challenging at times, as any real personal growth entails, but it gave me profound insight into the potentials life has to offer me. The benefits I now reap are ones of personal maturity, freedom, and professional competency.

Martin Williams

Schools Counsellor Qualified 2008

Being a student at LC&CTA has been a journey of self deliverance and empowerment. I found the course very challenging in a positive way. The guidance which is given by the tutors is excellent; if you prepared for the challenge you will have found the course uplifting.

Martin Williams qualified in 2008 now works as a sessional counsellor for the Enrichment Team at Lewisham College and as a Mentor for the Stephen Lawerence Centre in Deptford.

Henry Sycamore

The most important learning I had was how to be strong in myself, trust my experience and find my own inner resources. I also discovered who I am and found a new confidence in myself. I got sick of hearing its a process and trust the process but these statements proved to be true. I found a place in LC&CTA in which I could really discover and be me without external expectation. It was this experience that allowed me to begin and continue to flourish as person and a professional with a bright future as I see it.

Tony Donohue

Qualified 2009

I would like to say what a wonderful experience my course has been. It has truly encouraged an organic change in my process and subsequently, in my life. I am coming away from my training at LC&CTA a transformed practitioner and much improved man. In an amazing way, things will never be the same again!

Tony Donohue is currently taking his Masters Degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy and continues to work as a counsellor for a South London Agency.

Joy Blake

Making the decision to join an LC&CTA counselling course was a life changing experience for me. I cannot imagine my life now without the additional knowledge I have gained since starting from Introductory level to Diploma level. I have experienced a long and challenging journey towards finding myself and at times I struggled against my being, but I was able to receive the support to meet my needs from the LC&CTA Team. I know I am in a place today where I feel good about myself and how I interact with others, through the process of self awareness and reflection on self.

Selina Jane Brown

I chose to study at LC&CTA to complete my professional training as a Person-Centred practitioner. For me the journey of in-depth self reflection has been a process that has changed and enhanced my lived experience. During my study one of the most important decisions I made was to opt to work as a Study Supporter; to have the chance to work directly alongside LC&CTA's highly experienced teaching team was not only valuable in terms of my own academic learning, but it enhanced my personal and professional development. However, more importantly for me I have felt humbled to be included in the journeys of self-exploration and discovery that other students went through; whether their journey was one of pure self-development to support an existing professional role, or whether their journey was being taken with the intention of pursuing the qualifications needed to practice as a professional counsellor. My journey of self-development at LC&CTA has been one that has filled my life with many potentials and continues to do so. I have decided to take my teacher training on LC&CTA's new Teacher training Programme that starts in January 2013 so that I may continue to be part of the courageous journeys LC&CTA's students undertake.

Angela Sweeney

HPD in Counselling, Qualified 2008

What is it like to be trained by LC&CTA? In a nutshell, it is CHALLENGING! From day one I have been challenged to examine myself - to unpeel layer upon layer to reveal who I am, to shed labels, to shed prejudices, to look at myself and others differently. There is no place to hide at LC&CTA! For me this has been an extremely challenging process of becoming and a real journey toward self-acceptance. LC&CTA tutors are truly committed to turning out counsellors who reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. This is a huge strength and I am immensely grateful for my group - a wonderful bunch of colleagues from all walks of life who challenge and support me week to week.

Angela Sweeney qualified in 2008 set up and works as the Agency Manager of Quaggy Community Counselling Service.

Carol Gordon

As a former student of LC&CTA I have found that the material provided i.e. tutorial information, guidance and support quite dynamic, structured, informative and concise. It has enabled me to recognise and understand in terms of theory and skills the importance of re-evaluating my beliefs, values, morality, sex, religion, race, gender, motives, barriers and my conditionings; which has facilitated me in gaining new insights of self as well as being able to work more effectively and ethically with my clients. My initial thoughts when reflecting back on my experience on the course is just how surprised I am by the depth of information and learning of the theories and concepts covered; and in being congruent, many of these issues would have never occurred to me at all in advance of the course, hence I am very grateful to have been able to grow within the diverse dynamics of LC&CTA. Thank you LC&CTA.

Lorraine Marie Forrest

HPD Class of 2012

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, I have embarked on a new life and will never be the same again! Over the past four years as a student at LC&CTA I have learnt so much about myself and other people. The change in how I perceive myself and relate with other people has been noted by colleagues, friends and family. I am far more self-aware now, with healthier self-esteem, personal boundaries and a stronger internal locus of evaluation. It wasn’t easy though; some self-revelations were very painful. Although committed to qualifying as a person-centred counsellor, I was primarily focused on my personal growth and found that the experiential learning at LC&CTA in research and community groups was invaluable!

Kate Comens

HPD in Counselling Student

What an incredible journey. I have laughed, cried, marvelled, been scared and amazed. I have been held and have held. The tutors and my wonderful peers have facilitated me to explore so many facets of my life and the lives of others. This has been a very difficult, painful, emotional roller coaster, but such a rewarding experience. I have delighted in the learning theory, been challenged in the skills and academic elements, but throughout have been supported by the LC&CTA Team to stretch myself, face my doubts, grow, and move towards becoming a fully functioning person.

Jyoti Joshi

HPD in Counselling Student

I have been on an incredible journey since I began my Counsellor Training. I have cherished every moment of the process. I have been able to get in touch with my true self and become whole and able to appreciate what life brings my way. On my journey I have been supported well by my tutors and my student group on the HPD course. I have been challenged but have also been emotionally held by my peers which encouraged me to go further into self exploration. I have learnt a whole new way of appreciating the positives and negatives in life. All this would not have been possible without the unique training offered by LC&CTA.

Siobhan McCalla

Doing the Diploma in Person Centred Counselling at LC&CTA has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. This course is tough, it's life changing and I can not recommend it highly enough.

Dominic Kemp

I have been at and LC&CTA since last September and I am currently on my Intermediate Person Centred Approach course. This is a great place to study. We're treated as individuals and gain not only a qualification but greater insight into self and others. I look foward to doing the Level 3 course starting in September 2012.

Lyla Smith-Abbas

Qualified 2009

I was introduced to person centred theory by a work college who was undertaking LC&CTA’s HPD course, he swore it would change my perspective on life … and it has. I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for! It has NOT been easy to explore who I am - and why I am the way that I am; facing myself and exposing myself to others (metaphorically speaking!) has been hard. I have definitely been challenged and my growth has exceeded my expectations; I have grown much closer to understanding, knowing and really loving myself. The support of the LC&CTA Tutor Team has been invaluable - I have felt fully held throughout this course and felt safe knowing there was always someone willing to listen when things got tough. I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions I’ve laughed, cried, felt alone, felt love and expressed great anger! However, this has helped me develop an inner strength and gain an awareness of myself that I didn’t have before. I’ve also had the great privilege of working with a group of amazing peers who have made my journey incredibly special and unforgettable.

Lyla Smith-Abbas qualified in 2009, works as a Drama Therapist and as a Counsellor for LC&CTA as well as currently being engaged in setting up an exciting Diversity Counselling project which is seeking government funding.

Winsome Pryce

HPD in Counselling Student

I didn't quite know what I was letting myself in for when I decided to study again and become a mature student at LC&CTA, I was fearful and lacked confidence. I soon learned that my fears were something of the past and my Course Tutors were helping me to develop my confidence. I have had to work hard at putting in what I want to get out of the Course and this has definitely not been an easy thing for me to do, in fact, quite difficult at times. LC&CTA have always encouraged me to do more than I thought I was capable of in both my personal and professional life and supported me in times of difficulty.

Jacqui Neil

Qualified 2009

I’m coming to the end of my studies vastly different from how I begun. I’ve acquired skills and knowledge which have equipped me for being a good (moving towards excellent) counsellor. I say this whilst being aware that there is still a lot for me to learn in terms of the profession and learning about myself. Studying at LC&CTA has been a rollercoaster ride for my emotions and for me as a person. I have been stretched in ways that I could not have imagined and parts of the journey have been hard, challenging and painful. However the things I have achieved from each experience resulted in euphoria, I do not regret, in fact I am grateful that I decided to study here. The tutors have been a very important part of the whole process. Both Juanita and Chris and their team have facilitated my learning in both practical and personal ways; supporting me when I’ve needed it and not allowing me to get away with the things that in the longer term would hinder my professional and personal development. When I started studying it might as well have been French the tutors were speaking; I did not understand a thing and never thought I would. I did not believe that I could actually counsel a cat, let alone another person in need. Now everything makes sense, I’ve learnt a new language and I am counselling effectively with positive results for my clients.

Jacqui Neil is considering embarking on teacher training in order to become a counsellor/trainer in the fullness of time and is currently working as a counsellor in a South East London agency.

Wesley Freeman Smith

Put simply, it has been an incredible journey. The Diploma course under leadership of Juanita and Chris was deeply involving, challenging, and enriching. I look back in awe at where I was when I began in comparison with where I am now. Change is not always easy, and change is not always fun; throughout the course I have come up against things which are difficult. But in a reflection of the theory that underpins the whole experience, even at it's most challenging there is an eventual understanding that the direction all along has been toward personal growth and higher awareness. The tutors possess great insight into people - insight that at critical moments on the course has proved invaluable. In my experience person-centred counselling is the opposite of the caricatured 'nodding dog therapist'; it is a deeply relational process that requires the therapist to extend his/her whole being in response to the client, and is far from passive in this pursuit. The real learning for me as been here, in fostering a trust in and rapport with my own visceral, emotional, and organismic experiencing to the service of the therapeutic work. Needless to say I am now on wider journey that I am only just beginning, but LC&CTA has helped lay the foundations - by showing me all I can achieve and facilitating the confidence in me that I can do it.

Carey Buchannan

Qualified 2010

I found that at LC&CTA I was helped to experience the person-centred approach in practice and not kust in theory through the way that the tutors interacted with me. I was also encouraged to explore my potential to relate to others fully. I am just at the beginning of my journey as a qualified counsellor but my experience at LC&CTA has helped to give me confidence to pursue my dreams more and more in the future.

Carey Buchannan works one evening a week as a counsellor for a community project in Clapham Junction that focuses on issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships and sexuality amongst other things; she will be starting a part time post with this Agency in a few weeks. Carey also works with Place 2Be at a school in Southwark and continues her employment as a social worker for 2 days per week.

Paul Cilia La Corte

HPD Class of 2012

My experience at LC&CTA was of a growing self awareness that has allowed me understand myself and others much more clearly and profoundly. I was able to distinguish attitudes that I had unconsciously picked up from others that prevented me from expressing what I truly felt. As a consequence I feel increasingly in tune within myself and responsive to the world around me.

Linda Harvey

My experience of LC&CTA has, so far, been a challenging journey of learning and self development. The learning is predominantly Person-Centred, however, it was good to learn of other approaches i.e. Existensialism, CBT and the Psychodynamic Approach; this gave me a greater understanding of the different counselling theories. The research project I was involved with was very challenging for me, however, I learned a huge amount from this experience. The residential weekends were enjoyable but very self-enlightening. It also presented a time to bond further with my peers and tutors, plus the food was great! LC&CTA has also given me more opportunities to learn through many workshops that I have found to be extremely useful and helpful. I was also trained to help with Interviews for the lower grade courses and have worked on the Reception Desk which gave me the chance to see more of how the organisation works.

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