Placements for counselling and therapy trainees

Cambridge Counselling Service offers placements to students of counselling and therapy who are looking to build up their practice hours. We call the trainee counsellors we work with ‘associate counsellors’. Associate counsellors tend to see clients who are paying our lowest rate (rate 5).

We are unusual in that associate counsellors working at Cambridge Counselling Service operate in a similar mode to the fully qualified counsellors who are members of CCS: independent contractors working directly with their clients. The associate role includes managing payments from each of your clients and organising the work along similar lines to having a private practice (including using the payment from your clients to then pay for the room usage at CCS and pay for a contribution towards your supervision costs). All associates at Cambridge Counselling Service arrange and pay for their own supervision with their own choice of supervisor to fit their training organisation requirements, although we can suggest supervisors from within our network if needed.

We have been working with associates since 2010 and a number of associates at Cambridge Counselling Service have gone on to become full members of CCS, when they have achieved registration or accreditation.

We usually ask that placement counsellors have previously completed least 60 hours of practice before they apply to us. For this reason, most of our associates come to us as their second or third placement. However, we will consider trainees looking for a first placement (or trainees who have less than 60 hours practice) if they have previous experience in mental health and well-being work or a related field (eg social work, coaching, teaching or nursing) and/or if they have a good reference from a training organisation we know (eg Metanoia, Matrix, Re-Vision, Karuna, London Gestalt Centre and others).

All associates need to be student/trainee members of a suitable training organisation and/or student members of an appropriate recognition body (UKCP, BACP).

New associates start working with us at quarterly intervals: in September, January, April or July each year. The room times available for associates tend to be 6-9pm during the week or weekend day times; other times do occasionally come up, although this is the exception rather than the rule. We ask for a commitment of minimum of three clients per week for at least one year, although many of our associates see more clients than this and work with us for several years, up until they have sufficient hours for full BACP, UKCP or HCPC registration.

If you are interested in discussing a placement please email over your CV in the first instance with a cover email, to