As a competent and experienced counsellor or psychotherapist you will constantly reflect upon your thoughts, feelings and responses. For Criterion 7 we want you to tell us about an experience or activity that has increased your self-awareness and how you have used that in your work with clients.

There needs to be a traceable link between:

  1. the chosen experience or activity
  2. the reasons for choosing it
  3. how you made use of the related self-awareness in your practice

The criterion is divided into three sub-criteria with a total word limit of 900 words. It's up to you how you use this between the sub-criteria.

Set out your text clearly, showing the sub-criterion number - 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 - next to the evidence you're presenting.

7.1 Describe an experience or activity which has contributed to your own self-awareness

Tell us about just one experience or activity that has increased your self-awareness. It doesn't matter when this took place and it could be any kind of experience from your own therapy to life or life changing events, personal development activities or post qualifying training.

You can use supervision training as long you clearly focus on the self-awareness you found within it that you've taken into your work as a therapist.

7.2 Provide the reason or reasons for choosing the experience or activity

Tell us why you've chosen this experience or activity in terms of developing your own self-awareness. It could be you decided to go for personal therapy or attend a personal development group. Or you may have decided to describe a personal life event because it has been significant for your practice.

Applicants sometimes describe their training in mindfulness, for example, and how personally
rewarding they found it. This works for criterion 7.2. However, they then describe how they taught mindfulness techniques to their clients. This does not work for criterion 7.3, because it is a technique or intervention, not the use of your enhanced self-awareness.

7.3 Show how you use the self-awareness in your practice.

Describe how you use your greater awareness of self in your work with your clients. You need to tell us about the enhanced thoughts, feelings and responses derived
from your experience or activity, and how these inform the quality of your presence with your client.

For example, you may describe a life event such as loss, how from that you became aware of feeling helpless and lost, and how you've reflected on it. Then describe how you now use the awareness that you've acquired about yourself in your work with your clients.


How could self-awareness impact on my practice?

As a practitioner, you must be able to be quite reflective about what you know about yourself when you go into the counselling room. Are you aware of how your own thoughts, your views, your personal constructs, are going to impact on whatever it is that the client brings? If you're a reflective practitioner, you're going to be able to hold onto that and either name it and use it in the counselling room or keep it separate from the client's bringing. You may process it in supervision later, but that really is a fundamental part of being an effective practitioner.

How many activities need to be documented?

We just want you to choose one activity.