A New Career in Counselling Davina Stephens took a big decision to change her life by training as a psychotherapist, and you can do the same this April. Davina’s Story “I was living in New York, Hong Kong and then London pursuing an exciting career in international banking. It was very different to working at Tavistock Relationships. But, after starting to raise a family, I felt it was time for a new direction and a chance to find a role that was equally rewarding, although in a very different way." "I had worked full time in the positions of vice president of a major Wall Street investment bank, managing director of a trust company and senior analyst and portfolio manager of a hedge fund. It was a fantastic career, but it was not what I wanted to continue to do at this next stage of my life.” So, early last year after much thought and research to find “an area which would challenge me intellectually while incorporating something I would enjoy and find rewarding”, I decided to turn an interest in psychotherapy into a new career. I found the idea of relationship work with both couples and individuals intriguing. Tavistock Relationships is internationally recognised for its research and training in couple relationships, so it made sense to take a course at an institution that is at the top of its field. Thinking practically, I also noticed that if I pursued further postgraduate training at Tavistock Relationships, the route to accreditation took less time and the ability to work with clients came sooner than some other training alternatives. In the long run, it seemed to have the potential to be very rewarding and challenging work, and further training would be cost effective in terms of my time, overall fees and the possible date of starting to earn an income”. I particularly like the fact that Tavistock Relationships sources clients for students, so I did not have to go out and find my own placements for clinical experience — which others said can be “very difficult” — and that all experience and supervision was done in house. The Tavistock Relationships Introductory Course provided the perfect avenue to discover if working with couples was the way forward, “The theory seminars were excellently presented, informative, engaging and utilised modern films and role-play alongside the reading assignments. Participating in a self-reflective group gave space for thinking and discussing our motivations for being interested in this work, and keeping a personal journal provided a very individual base for discovering if this direction was for me. The course confirmed my strong affinity for the work and I subsequently went on to the MA in Couple & Individual Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy.” You can follow the route Davina took – along with hundreds of others Davina now works as a counsellor seeing couples and individuals at Tavistock Relationships, and is not the only student looking for a new direction. “Our introductory course is popular with people from a wide variety of career backgrounds looking for a more rewarding and flexible career in counselling and psychotherapy,” says Maureen Boerma, director of training at Tavistock Relationships. We have former actors, lawyers, health workers and bankers who have enrolled onto our course and have continued to study with us to become trained counsellors and psychotherapists. Our students gain satisfaction from helping couples in distress and from knowing that they can benefit children by helping parents who are struggling with difficulties in their relationship. In addition, the training can improve personal and professional relationships for students through developing interpersonal skills and a greater self-awareness through increasing their knowledge of underlying relationship dynamics.” You do not need any previous experience of working with clients and you can study part time to see if a career in couple counselling is for you. You will study at the internationally renowned Tavistock Relationships which, in addition to providing relationship counselling and therapy services to couples and parents throughout London, delivers accredited professional training up to master's level. Tavistock Relationships’ Introduction to Couple Counselling and Psychotherapy is the first step to becoming a qualified couple counsellor. It aims to help develop a basic knowledge of couple relationships and an awareness of human relationships. It offers an enjoyable way to learn about couples with highly experienced tutors. After completing the introductory course, students are eligible to apply for the programmes in couple psychoanalytic psychotherapy and couple and individual psychodynamic psychotherapy. The PGDip component of the psychodynamic pathway is accredited by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Psychoanalytic MA pathway is accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).