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Becoming a counsellor / therapist


Becoming a counsellor / therapist

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Hope4eva
Hope4eva
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Hi all,

I will shortly receive a criminal conviction for sexual offences and my guess is that I'll be on the sex offenders register for 10 years and also receive a SHPO for the same length of time (internet offences). My whole life has turned upside down but I want to start working now to get back on track. 

I'd like to work towards becoming a counsellor and become a member of the BAPC (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). I know I have a lot of the personal attibutes to be an excellent counsellor and would be prepared for the years of study that career would require. Also, having had a long time to reflect on the causes of my offending behaviour I believe that I would have a valuable insight into various social-psychology factors that trigger certain behaviours.

Does anyone here know whether it's possible for me to pursue this career path given the criminal conviction I'm likely to receive?

Regards,

Hope4eva
Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
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Hope4eva - 21 Oct 17 7:20 PM
Hi all,

I will shortly receive a criminal conviction for sexual offences and my guess is that I'll be on the sex offenders register for 10 years and also receive a SHPO for the same length of time (internet offences). My whole life has turned upside down but I want to start working now to get back on track. 

I'd like to work towards becoming a counsellor and become a member of the BAPC (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). I know I have a lot of the personal attibutes to be an excellent counsellor and would be prepared for the years of study that career would require. Also, having had a long time to reflect on the causes of my offending behaviour I believe that I would have a valuable insight into various social-psychology factors that trigger certain behaviours.

Does anyone here know whether it's possible for me to pursue this career path given the criminal conviction I'm likely to receive?

Regards,

Hope4eva

Hi Hope4eva

Welcome to theForum.

Depending on where you chose to study, universities and colleges will usually ask that you disclose details of any unspent convictions. Sadly many can be very risk averse and you may be refused entry onto a course. However, having a good understanding of the reasons for your offending and demonstrating that you've sought help to overcome this will certainly go in your favour. The colleges/universities will want to be assured that you'll be able to get work placements if necessary and also that you'll be able to register with BACP. 

BACP will also require disclosure of any unspent convictions, for both student and full membership.  

As colleges/universities and BACP consider applicants with a criminal record on a case by case basis, it's difficult to give you a definitive answer but without a doubt, going into this kind of work will not be easy with a criminal record. Before you invest too much time and money in training, you may want to make some provisional enquiries with BACP and local colleges/universities. 

Hope this helps but if you need any further information please feel free to give the Unlock helpline a call.

Good luck

Debbie  

Need Unlocks advice? Visit our self-help information site or contact our helpline
Hope4eva
Hope4eva
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Deb S - 23 Oct 17 8:57 AM
Hope4eva - 21 Oct 17 7:20 PM
Hi all,

I will shortly receive a criminal conviction for sexual offences and my guess is that I'll be on the sex offenders register for 10 years and also receive a SHPO for the same length of time (internet offences). My whole life has turned upside down but I want to start working now to get back on track. 

I'd like to work towards becoming a counsellor and become a member of the BAPC (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). I know I have a lot of the personal attibutes to be an excellent counsellor and would be prepared for the years of study that career would require. Also, having had a long time to reflect on the causes of my offending behaviour I believe that I would have a valuable insight into various social-psychology factors that trigger certain behaviours.

Does anyone here know whether it's possible for me to pursue this career path given the criminal conviction I'm likely to receive?

Regards,

Hope4eva

Hi Hope4eva

Welcome to theForum.

Depending on where you chose to study, universities and colleges will usually ask that you disclose details of any unspent convictions. Sadly many can be very risk averse and you may be refused entry onto a course. However, having a good understanding of the reasons for your offending and demonstrating that you've sought help to overcome this will certainly go in your favour. The colleges/universities will want to be assured that you'll be able to get work placements if necessary and also that you'll be able to register with BACP. 

BACP will also require disclosure of any unspent convictions, for both student and full membership.  

As colleges/universities and BACP consider applicants with a criminal record on a case by case basis, it's difficult to give you a definitive answer but without a doubt, going into this kind of work will not be easy with a criminal record. Before you invest too much time and money in training, you may want to make some provisional enquiries with BACP and local colleges/universities. 

Hope this helps but if you need any further information please feel free to give the Unlock helpline a call.

Good luck

Debbie  

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it. Once the conviction is spent, say it's an 18 month sentence (as a random guess), then I can apply for university without having to declare a conviction? Or will I still have to declare it as it will probably always show up on a DBS check?

Thanks,

Hope4eva
AB2014
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Hope4eva - 26 Oct 17 1:20 PM
Deb S - 23 Oct 17 8:57 AM
Hope4eva - 21 Oct 17 7:20 PM
Hi all,

I will shortly receive a criminal conviction for sexual offences and my guess is that I'll be on the sex offenders register for 10 years and also receive a SHPO for the same length of time (internet offences). My whole life has turned upside down but I want to start working now to get back on track. 

I'd like to work towards becoming a counsellor and become a member of the BAPC (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). I know I have a lot of the personal attibutes to be an excellent counsellor and would be prepared for the years of study that career would require. Also, having had a long time to reflect on the causes of my offending behaviour I believe that I would have a valuable insight into various social-psychology factors that trigger certain behaviours.

Does anyone here know whether it's possible for me to pursue this career path given the criminal conviction I'm likely to receive?

Regards,

Hope4eva

Hi Hope4eva

Welcome to theForum.

Depending on where you chose to study, universities and colleges will usually ask that you disclose details of any unspent convictions. Sadly many can be very risk averse and you may be refused entry onto a course. However, having a good understanding of the reasons for your offending and demonstrating that you've sought help to overcome this will certainly go in your favour. The colleges/universities will want to be assured that you'll be able to get work placements if necessary and also that you'll be able to register with BACP. 

BACP will also require disclosure of any unspent convictions, for both student and full membership.  

As colleges/universities and BACP consider applicants with a criminal record on a case by case basis, it's difficult to give you a definitive answer but without a doubt, going into this kind of work will not be easy with a criminal record. Before you invest too much time and money in training, you may want to make some provisional enquiries with BACP and local colleges/universities. 

Hope this helps but if you need any further information please feel free to give the Unlock helpline a call.

Good luck

Debbie  

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it. Once the conviction is spent, say it's an 18 month sentence (as a random guess), then I can apply for university without having to declare a conviction? Or will I still have to declare it as it will probably always show up on a DBS check?

Thanks,

Hope4eva

I would expect you to have an enhanced DBS check for this type of study if there is a work placement involved (there might not be). If it is an enhanced DBS check, then the conviction will never be filtered, so you'd always have to disclose it. In the circumstances, it might be better to approach the BACP first, because if they approve you, it makes it harder for the university to reject you, especially if you can arrange your own work placement.
NigelV2
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I studied an Art course and had to declare an unspent conviction (similar type), they were supportive and could see I had moved on since offending. 

Would it be useful to check if BACP would be OK with you first, at least you could then go to a uni and say that you have already checked with the professional body.

One thing to point out is that if you are given a SHPO, then the conviction will not be spent whilst that order is in place.
tellyon
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Hope4eva - 21 Oct 17 7:20 PM
Hi all,

I will shortly receive a criminal conviction for sexual offences and my guess is that I'll be on the sex offenders register for 10 years and also receive a SHPO for the same length of time (internet offences). My whole life has turned upside down but I want to start working now to get back on track. 

I'd like to work towards becoming a counsellor and become a member of the BAPC (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). I know I have a lot of the personal attibutes to be an excellent counsellor and would be prepared for the years of study that career would require. Also, having had a long time to reflect on the causes of my offending behaviour I believe that I would have a valuable insight into various social-psychology factors that trigger certain behaviours.

Does anyone here know whether it's possible for me to pursue this career path given the criminal conviction I'm likely to receive?

Regards,

Hope4eva

Hi,

I am a psychotherapist registered with the UKCP. I haven't committed sexual offences, but I do have a prison record for GBH sec20. I can't speak for all colleges but it  wasn't an issue with mine. There was however a lengthy assessment for all potential students. My conviction wasn't spent when I did my training.

It is worth thinking that you haven't even received your conviction yet, so it is early days yet. Where I trained we were required to have been in therapy for, at minimum, a year before applying to train, and then required to be in weekly therapy throughout the course. I had been in therapy about 4 years before applying. I continued my own therapy for 13 years. It is important that you work very deeply with your own issues before you even think of putting yourself in the position of therapist. That would be the case even if you had no history of offending.

Integrity is VERY important for therapists and I can't imagine you going through a full training without you talking honestly about this issue, your history, fears, life problems etc., so check out with any potential college at interview, otherwise you will only get into problems later on and /or fail to be properly entering into the training (which is always deeply personal).

A fair percentage of therapists in training want to train because they have had therapy due to a difficult past. You will likely encounter fellow students who have been victims of sexual assaults etc., so expect that. Also, some therapists in training may have had convictions, drug problems etc. etc.

Many of the older established training institutes are private colleges and will have their own views on the matter, and their own criteria. e.g. even your age can be an issue for many institutes! I guess University based trainings will serve much larger bodies of students and so might be more risk averse.

Placements? Mmm..
Placements may be an issue as they will likely want a DBS check, and if there is a requirement for a psychiatric placement (mandatory for UKCP)  then most psychiatrists work within the NHS and will be very risk averse about working with you.

You might possibly find more success with some specialist units that deal with treating offenders eg. the Caswell Clinic. I ended up doing my placement with a drug rehab centre (the director was also an ex. con!) Organisations that work with people who have offended in some way will be less likely to 'pigeon hole' you... but you must be willing to expect some disappointments.

I suggest you contact https://www.stopso.org.uk/  this is an organisation for therapists that work with sexual offenders or those who are worried they might offend. They will likely know more about the law in this area and will likely know people who may be sympathetic about what you wish to do.

Don't give up!
good luck.
Edited
8 Months Ago by tellyon
GO


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