The Best Things about Studying Counselling and Psychotherapy

I’ve written at length about my feelings around ending my second year at Edge Hill and moving into my third, but it has largely been very general around my academic experience as a whole. One thing I haven’t offered is my unique perspective as a Counselling and Psychotherapy student, so today I’m going to share my favourite things about my experience so far!

  1. Personal development. The change in myself as a person has been enormous, just by taking part in the course. This is different for everyone but I feel so much calmer, self-assured and confident in who I am. The process wasn’t easy, it took a lot of self-reflection and work on myself but the results are incredible.
  2. Professional placement. It feels really daunting to suddenly begin counselling real people in a real setting when you begin the second year of this course, but I am so grateful that it is a required aspect of my degree. Not only is it adding credibility to our qualification, but it also stands us in a brilliant position to gain employment when we graduate.
  3. Renewed sense of purpose. I am fairly confident in the generalisation that every student has moments where they wonder if they can carry on. Deadlines mount up, the work gets hard and life gets in the way sometimes. But, on my course, having that voice in the back of your head that reminds you that you are doing this to help people in need is so, so powerful. Especially when the media is full of stories about declining mental health resources etc.

If you ever have any questions about my specific course, please do feel free to ask! I could talk about it for hours.

Sam x

Top Tips for Applied Health and Social Care Applicants

As I work on the final pieces of coursework to complete my second year at university, I can’t help but notice all of the buzz around interviews and applications. It feels so strange that two years ago I was interviewing at Edge Hill and hoping my application for BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy would be accepted!

When I accepted my offer to study at Edge Hill, my programme leader from the Applied Health and Social Care Department sent out lots of recommended reading and advice to prepare for my course. As a prospective Counselling and Psychotherapy student, one of the recommendations was that we start a journal of thoughts and feelings as this is a big part of our course that forms part of some key assignments. They provided prompts and advice to get us started.

The reading list was admittedly intimidating, but it isn’t intended to be! It’s likely that you have never read academic texts of that nature so please don’t freak out. You will be shown how to read and interpret these in a Study Skills module in semester one. Read the ‘abstract’ of a few papers and make notes, find excerpts and free chapters of your core textbooks online and make notes on those, too. It may differ on other AHSC courses, but I did not buy any books until I got to university in September and clarified which ones would be most useful. They can come at a huge cost so it is best to wait to see what can be borrowed from the Catalyst and which books you will use so frequently that it’s worth buying.

If you are feeling lost or lonely, search ‘Edge Hill Freshers’ on Facebook and put a call out for people starting on your course. We gathered up a few of us and started a group chat that is still used to exchange ideas, deadlines etc two years later. It made a world of difference having some familiar faces to meet up with and walk into the lecture hall with on day one. Some of those people are now my closest friends! For questions on workload, study tips or what kind of assessments to expect I highly recommend searching your course on The Student Room where past and present Applied Health and Social Care students can answer your questions in a casual, neutral space.

Good luck in your application – I might see you around the Health and Social Care building next year!

Sam xo

My Experience in the Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre

What is it?

The Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre is the building used by Health students. We use it to learn practical skills before we go out on placement (such as drawing blood, practicing CPR, and so much more ). It only opened in October 2019, so everything is very new.

When I applied for Edge Hill University, I was interested in the Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre based on details alone. Initially, there were no pictures of what the building actually looked like, so stepping inside for the first time was a surreal experience. While our clinical experience in the Foundation Year is limited, we’ve made great use of the building so far!

But what it’s it really like studying there? I’ll be sharing my experiences to give you an idea as to what you can expect.

What does it look like?

Aesthetically, it looks and feels like a hospital. This is comforting; I feel like this will help with placement as it’ll be a familiar setting.

What’s in it?

The ground floor has multiple beds for patients of different identities. They blink, breathe, respond to your voice, and there’s even a birth simulation. The other week, we saw how medication affects a patient’s heart rate. It’s very versatile and realistic, and I can’t wait to use it more.

The first floor has a simulated flat for home visits. A few weeks ago, we had a lesson in there. We had to identify any hazards or clues around the house to get an idea as to how the patient lives. For example, if they have an empty fridge, you may wonder if they’re properly eating.

The floor is home to the anatomy room, too. With models of body parts and a state-of-the-art Anatomage table (think of a massive elongated iPad, with human bodies you can freely dissect, with some case studies which can show what happens during an injury). It’s a great way to be more hands-on with your learning!

There’s so much more, including a Radiography room, ultrasound facilities, an operating theatre, to name a few!

Closing words

I’ve had a great experience here (and on my course!) and I can’t wait for the years ahead of me when I can use the facilities a lot more often.

Public Lectures, Research Seminars and More!

Throughout the year, Edge Hill University hosts a number of public lectures. These are can be in subjects such as my own, Biological Sciences, or others, such as Education or History.

Banded archerfish (Toxotes jaculatrix). Lithograph, published in 1884.

Recently, my personal tutor and department head of biology, Dr Paul Ashton, gave his inaugural lecture titled “Contemplate an Entangled Bank” after the opening to the final paragraph of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Paul’s lecture was on the culmination of his work to date, from lime trees to sedges.

The Biosciences Department also hosts research seminars typically at lunchtime, as well as public lectures in the evening. Previous research seminars from this term were on biogeography (the origin of the Lusitanian flora), a rare genetic disease (Fanconi Anaemia), and how plant-atmosphere interactions shine a light on the origin of flowering plants. Although the schedule for 2018’s public lectures is not yet released, check back HERE for details! I attended Dr André Antunes’ talk, “Living on the Edge: Life in high salinity environments” last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also of note for the department is “ENTO’18: The Good The Bad and the Ugly” – an annual entomological conference which this year is being hosted at Edge Hill University during the 29th to the 31st of August.

The Geography department also holds public lectures in the Geosciences building, the most recent two being a lecture on coastal vulnerability to climate change and rising sea-levels, and perceptions of “Globalisation, Sustainability and Culture” in regard to “the Identities of old/new Empires and their colonies.”

Conferences and talks are held by the Faculty of Health and Social Care in their own building, as well as the Tech Hub and the Manchester campus – particularly for open days, where the Operating Department Practice programme is held. Conferences are also held by the faculty, such as the Digital Ecosystem event.

Education students have an interesting research seminar scheduled for early 2018 on January 11th – The Teaching and Learning of Britishness and Fundamental British Values, by Dr Sadia Habib, who has also published a book on the topic. Past seminars and lectures have included teaching in South Africa, lesson study, and educational responses for the future.

The Department of Performing Arts also has had many events throughout the year, two workshops of which were on Mindfulness and Butoh in Dance Movement Therapy. Another inaugural lecture was held by Professor Stephen Davismoon earlier this month.

Finally, students of English, History and Creative Writing have enjoyed lectures on The Politics of the Neo-Victorian Freak Show, how the illustrations of Sherlock Holmes affected the success of Doyle’s success, and “what it meant to be a girl in the late Victorian period and how women editors played a role in shaping the modern girl,” in a paper reading by Dr Beth Rodgers.

As you can see, Edge Hill University offers numerous lectures across the board of courses! I’ve found that attending these talks for my subject has allowed me to get an idea of which topics I find enjoyable both inside and outside the curriculum.