What has LIFE-FORCE been up to during 2014?
As the LIFE-FORCE Counselling Service approached the end of 2014, there were 24 Team Counsellors working on the premises, plus 11 Student Counsellors on Placement. During this year we said goodbye to Carole Heddle, Wendy Lockhert, Christina Court and Kath Moore wishing them well in pastures new, and said a very warm welcome to Elizabeth Scott, Rosie Smith and Kate Swallow. In the office we welcomed our new Clerical Administrator Carole Vickers. During 2014 BACP launched a new voluntary Register for Counselling and Psychotherapy which is approved by the Professional Standards Authority and we are pleased to confirm that all our team members are now listed on this professional register.
During the Spring, all Team Counsellors attended an annual meeting during which interesting recently attended CPD courses were shared between members. The focus of the Centre policy updates was a presentation on the importance of the initial assessment and the requirement for counsellors to complete a Therapy Assessment Form for all new client referrals.
Due to our long opening hours we are happy to say that last year LIFE-FORCE did not have many clients who were kept waiting longer than a few days to see a counsellor, but those clients who did have to wait a little longer were seeing one of our mature trainees on placement at LIFE-FORCE which has become a very popular service due to its low cost. As well as being open every weekday morning our office continued to be staffed four afternoons each week, so that we were able to take new client referrals and answer queries in person rather than clients having to leave messages on the confidential answer-phone.
Throughout the year LIFE-FORCE continued to work closely with other statutory and voluntary organisations, such as Beacon House Ministries, a local government organisation and some local GP practices in the area, who are pleased to be able to refer clients to us for counselling and to whom we can refer clients to for specialist help if required.
In January, May and September LIFE-FORCE held three successful Open Days for potential counselling students. Our Counselling School remains popular with students from all walks of life. Not only does LIFE-FORCE provide students with an onsite library and IT room, students also have access to all of their essential forms and course handouts from a secure area on the LIFE-FORCE website.
Martin Chester of Therapeutic Creative Solutions ran his Supervision Training Course for professional qualified counsellors again this year which proved to be very popular. LIFE-FORCE continued to support our team counsellors by hosting an ongoing professional CPD group throughout the year, facilitated by Pam Miller. We also hosted an HSE Approved Emergency First Aid at Work course taught by Tony Johnson, which we run every year, along with several courses ran by individual practitioners including Mindfulness and Steiner Study Group. Ari Badaines Ph.D returned to facilitate the annual CPD weekend Gestalt training course at the Centre.
One of this years summer building maintenance projects involved the redecoration of the Georgian windows in the Emerald and Coral rooms and the replacement of the secondary double glazing units which are now a lot easier to maintain and open, which makes airing and ventilating the rooms easier for all therapists.
We are very pleased to announce that LIFE-FORCE celebrated its 20th Anniversary on Tuesday 16th September 2014. We received lots of kind cards, gifts and congratulatory messages on the day which were much appreciated.
On Thursday 23rd October our Marketing Administrator, Karen Waddy and two of our Team Counsellors, Christine Harrison and Melanie Skeet, ran an information stand at a Cancer Research Fundraising Event named The Pink Party put on by Ellisons Solicitors at Wivenhoe House, Colchester. They handed out leaflets and discussed the Counselling Service as well as the Counselling School with many of the invited guests. Ellisons thanked LIFE-FORCE after the event for our participation, and for helping them to raise £600 for Cancer Research. We hope to be able to attend their next Pink Party in 2015.
LIFE-FORCE are proud to announce we achieved BACP Endorsement for our Working With Couples Course , which will be run by Paula Isgrove and Ian Rattray during February and March 2015.
We continued to seek out new advertising options and were actively involved with highlighting our online presence through our regularly updated website and multiple regularly updated online advertisements for our services. We continued to embrace online social networking and created a Blogger account which has had 340 views so far. Our Youtube video has had almost 900 views to date and our Facebook Business page remains popular, with almost 150 likes. We have 335 Twitter followers and our Wordpress blog has had 1,150 views, with nearly 50 followers.