My 1st Week on a Masters Course

The Residential Weekend

It came round to the morning of making the journey to my chosen university where I would begin my MSc in Counselling Psychology. The rest of the week I had felt absolutely fine, actually more excited than anything else. The morning however brought with it a familiar feeling of nausea and the most intense butterflies as my anxiety levels rose. I absolutely hate the not knowing part. My mind was begging the questions: ‘What if I can’t hack driving on the motorway?’ ‘What will happen when I get there?’ ‘What if something goes wrong?’.

The reality was, I could drive on the motorway. People were there to help point me in the right direction on campus. And things did go wrong (mostly due to my lack of organisation), but every situation had a solution. This very lesson is something I still need to learn and accept. Overall, I had a lovely weekend where I met some great people and it was totally confirmed that this is the right course for me. Something that has stuck in my mind was being told to ‘take care of ourselves over this next year’ as doing a Masters, especially in Counselling, is going to be ‘challenging and hard work’. Being on a course that takes mental wellbeing so seriously is of huge comfort to me. I even did a workshop where we meditated, how many Masters courses can you say do that?!

1st “Intensive” Week

The week definitely lived up to its name! I’ve been commuting to and back from Stoke-on-Trent, attempting (and often failing) to stay focused in lectures 9-5 whilst also coming to terms with how demanding this masters is going to be. However, saying that, I have left there every day feeling 100% sure that counselling is for me. I’ve been completely in awe of the wisdom the lecturers, who are counsellors themselves, have to share with us.

I think what has actually been the hardest part so far is having to focus on ourselves as individuals. We’ve been encouraged to share as much, or as little, as we want about subjects that can be quite tender. I found myself one day this week leaving uni feeling a little emotionally drained. It was harder than I anticipated to really focus on myself in such depth and in ways that I hadn’t really done before. However, I know that this is all part of becoming a Counsellor and it’s so important to be self aware. I really have had the opportunity to appreciate this concept even more throughout the week. Although, haven’t quite perfected it yet…

I think it’s also important to share, particularly with those who want to pursue counselling themselves, that we have been told we WILL change as people over the following year. I find this thought both scary and exciting. It’s so easy to get stuck in our ways, persist with our detrimental habits and forget that your thoughts, feelings and beliefs aren’t fixed! I personally am very guilty of this, especially because of the OCD where it’s basically like one big, unhelpful, annoying habit. I have spent such a big part of my life believing that I must do what it tells me. To challenge this in an environment that isn’t in a face to face counselling session is something I’ve not really done before.

So there we are, my first lot of insightful thoughts from the very start of the Counselling course! I’m now going to get in those fleecy PJ bottoms, eat a massive Chinese and sleep (how I have missed you) until it all starts again Monday!

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