Studied online Counselling Studies and Skills University Diploma

Image: Online University Diploma in Counselling Studies and Skills course Emma DanielsEmma is a Mindfulness Practitioner from Belper, Derbyshire. She discovered her passion for counselling around 10 years ago when she was working as a part time dispenser in a pharmacy, and realised that she just wasn’t meant to be there. Emma made a decision to study her Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications through local evening classes, but unfortunately couldn’t make the final exam for her Level 2.

However, this wasn’t the end of the road for Emma’s counselling dreams as she found a course available for her to study at the University of Derby Online Learning. Emma handed her notice in to the pharmacy she worked in two years ago and enrolled onto the University Diploma in Counselling Studies and Skills, which enabled her to gain her Level 5 Qualification in counselling.

Emma found that studying part-time online was the best option for her. With no campus attendance required she was able to balance her own health needs while having time to undertake voluntary work.

“I’ve had nothing but a positive experience with the University of Derby Online Learning”

After completing her Level 5 studies with UDOL, Emma felt that she wanted to put her academic experience into practice and was in a great position to apply for a student placement. She gained a position within the Elm Foundation; a local service to help and support those who are affected by Domestic Abuse. She gained the position as a Mindfulness Practitioner, and has been in this post for almost a year now. In addition, Emma has also used her counselling skills in a variety of local voluntary organisations such as WISH, Derbyshire Adult Appropriate Service, and Cruse Bereavement Care.

After completing her Level 5 qualification, Emma is now half way through her Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Approaches BSc (Hons) Top-Up degree with UDOL. She is due to finish her studies in April 2018, and has already been accepted to study her MSc Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy degree with the University of Derby at their Derby Campus.

A day in the life of a Mindfulness Practitioner

Mindfulness for me starts every day, at home, with me. It is part of my life as much as eating and sleeping. I began my journey when I was searching for help with my own health. I found mindfulness. I began to practice right away, and as I began to learn more, I knew how much this way of life was going to change my life, and it did. I felt a deep desire to learn all that I could, to gain a qualification so that I could spread the word and share this magic with others.

As a result, I now volunteer as a mindfulness practitioner for an organisation working with victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. I feel so deeply privileged to be able to work with such inspiring people as the service users of the organisation. I run 6-week mindfulness courses, in which I deliver mindfulness for beginners training that I have created myself. The service users are given a workbook each week with the weekly topics, and within each session the topics are also delivered via a PowerPoint presentation. This enables the service users to engage within the sessions as we discuss the topics and what it means to them. They can then take away their packs knowing they have access to their gained knowledge for their continued mindfulness journeys.

Topics covered within the course are ‘what is mindfulness and what are the benefits?’ ‘boundaries’ ‘gratitude and self-care’ to name a few. During each session we would also complete a formal mindfulness practice such as a body scan meditation or a mindful eating practice. The feedback I receive from the end of the 6 weeks is always so positive and heart-warming. The service users feel empowered and hopeful of how mindfulness will continue to change their lives for the better.

Mindfulness enables us to live our lives through a clearer view. It removes our perception of fear, judgement and self-criticism. It allows us to be present, moment to moment, enjoying and receiving everything each moment has to give us. It rewires and strengthens areas of our brain which gives us peace of mind, compassion, empathy, acceptance, attention and so much more. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for our physical and emotional well-being, and is available for anyone, anytime.