Counselling is recognised as a mature profession that sees a number of people drawn to the career at the transitional-stage of middle life, yet there is little known research into why.

My research aims to explore and appreciate what life experiences and motivations led counsellors to choose the career at this particular stage in the lifespan. By participating, you will be contributing to a surprisingly under-researched topic where new knowledge may broaden our understanding of how the profession is perceived, how one’s life history might prepare us, and whether our motivations for choosing the profession are realised, or changed.

ME: I am a middle-aged student in my final year of my BSc (Hons) counselling degree at the University of East London’s School of Psychology.


  • Are you a qualified counsellor (minimum 1-year) who entered the profession (including training) when you were aged between 40-65-years? Note: all genders are welcome & very much appreciated. All theoretical modalities are also welcome.
  • Are you a current member of the BACP, UKCP, NCS or other recognised UK body?
  • Do you have access to a PC/Laptop & are familiar with audio-visual platforms?
    Note: While the study recognises that people may psychologically transition into midlife earlier/later, Erik Erickson’s widely acknowledged age-approximation of midlife is used to identify the age-range.

Your participation will involve:
A semi-structured 1-2-1 45-60 minute interview with myself (the researcher), conducted online using Microsoft Teams, from a confidential space/time of your choosing. The interview questions will be sent to you in advance of providing your consent to allow you to reflect on them prior to our time together.

Your time & contribution to this research is very much appreciated as it helps toward developing & improving our knowledge of the profession.

Unfortunately, no incentive, or travel reimbursement is available for this project.

Ethical approval for this research has been approved by the School of Psychological Research Ethics Committee at the University of East of London.

For more information, or to express your interest please contact:

Shelley Hart