Counselling courses give Isabella dream career

University Centre South Essex alumni, Isabella Barrand, studied several counselling courses at the centre to secure her career in the sector.

Isabella, 26, from Leigh, started her journey in 2015 with an Access to Higher Education (Counselling) course, followed by an FdA Counselling and finally topped off her studies by gaining a first class BA honours degree in counselling.

She now uses her education to support others in her role as the Transition and Therapies Practitioner at Richard House Children’s Hospice in east London.

The position consists of three main aspects: managing the transition of young people to adult services and ensuring respite placements are suitable for their needs, providing therapeutic and emotional support predominantly to the families of the children in its care and providing pre and post bereavement support to the loved ones of end of life children in its care.

After not doing great in her A-levels after school and working for a few years, Isabella got another shot at education with the centre’s Access course. At age 22, she decided to pursue a career in counselling.

Isabella said: “The Access course was focused and practical, the guidance you receive means you walk into your degree with a full expectation of the content and motivation that is needed to be successful. 

“The level of expertise in my counselling degree was second to none, the knowledge, demonstrations of skills and care for the students meant that we were all fully supported to venture into the world as safe, ethical and eager therapists.”

She added: “I am immensely proud of my achievements and being able to work therapeutically with children and families. Now I manage the therapy services at Richard House and I am able to develop content to educate others on areas such as managing mental health, bereavement and promoting well-being.”

For more information about the Access courses at the Centre, visit www.southessex.ac.uk/access-to-higher-education