Treetops Hospice Care offers placements to student counsellors working with adults and/or children and young people. Katie Catley shares her experience of her placement with the Counselling and Emotional Support team.

“I completed my placement whilst studying an MA in Counselling Practice following the children and young people’s pathway at Nottingham University. I heard about Treetops before I started the placement course and I knew it was popular.

The training is amazing

“The training is amazing and Treetops allows you to go at whatever pace you like, so I could pick up as many clients as I felt comfortable with.

“The resources here are amazing. All the things in the children’s rooms for example – you don’t get that at every placement. I show the young person around initially so they know what’s available to them. I think if they are getting a bit stuck with language to describe their emotions, or if it’s a bit too intense for them to talk and look at someone face to face, it’s an easier way of interacting and building a relationship. It can help explore greater depths of emotion too.

“There’s a sink which means we can do painting and all sorts of arts materials. There’s the capacity to do memory jars and memory boxes, games, postcards – all sorts of things which can be used to start conversations.

The belief that the staff have had in me has been a huge thing

“My clients have mainly been pre-teenagers so 11, 12, 13, and 14 years old. There’s also been the opportunity to work with children who have a parent or someone close to them with a life limiting illness.

“The belief that the staff have had in me, has enabled my own self-belief to grow and that has been a huge thing for me. I’ve felt emotionally ‘held’ all the way through as I’ve met with these wonderful young people who are exploring their emotions as they’ve lost somebody. There’s an atmosphere of togetherness and as a volunteer I feel like I’ve been cared for all the way through.

“It’s been wonderful. I would definitely recommend the placement to other people. It’s been a huge part of my growth as a counsellor.”

Further information about student placements can be found on our website here.