Training diary of a volunteer – Sessions 7 & 8

Volunteering with us is a great way to contribute to the community while gaining some serious self-satisfaction – believe us, there’s nothing more enhancing that helping people and seeing your work make a real difference.

But what about the training to become a volunteer counsellor? We asked one of our trainees, Libby Clifton (pictured), to make a diary for us, to explain her thoughts and feelings throughout the process.

In this penultimate instalment, we learn how shocked Libby was at some of the realities of sexual crimes.

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Session 7

Session Seven was also quite harrowing for me.

The information on FGM was new knowledge for me and it was quite disturbing to see what girls and women have to endure in certain cultures. I was self-aware that there were gaps in my knowledge around this subject.

I felt more comfortable with the Mental Health Diagnosis section however more from a medical perspective than a counselling one so I did need to read the Social trauma model and its notes.

Most of my peers were asking questions too so this reassured me that I was not alone in my lack of knowledge.

I found the session on exploring intimacy very informative. It was an excellent exercise in which you experienced what it is like to tell a total stranger intimate detail on your own sex life.

This exercise was brilliant in how it illustrated how a client’s feels telling a counsellor their trauma. I will be mindful of this feeling when I start to see clients.

Session 8

Session Eight started with a Skills session and tag counselling which was new to me. I felt very nervous about this but felt proud that I completed this session.

I was paired with another peer and she gave some positive feedback. The Independent Sexual Violence Adviser’s (ISVA) talk was fascinating about pre-trial therapy and her role within NRC.

For me, the fact that the previous week she had been shocked by a survivor’s story (despite working at NRC for many years) was indicative of the endless ways people can be unpleasant to others. Thus, this part of the training was crucial as we learnt the role of the ISVA and how we would need to liaise with her in the future.

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