Joanne Yassine is in the second year of the BSc (Hons) Systemic Counselling, a three-year part time course. Until recently, Joanne had spent 26-and-a-half years as a trading standards investigator within a local authority and latterly, managing an investigations team covering the whole of Wales.
"I am currently a volunteer counsellor at Cardiff Metropolitan University working with students of all ages who present with a variety of issues such as anxiety, depression and bereavement.
The best thing about being a counsellor is the opportunity to provide clients a space to talk about their problems without being judged; also I feel privileged that clients place so much trust in me.
I have been interested in counselling for a number of years and decided I wanted a counselling course that would both challenge and nurture my naturally inquisitive personality.
The Family Institute is very well respected amongst the counselling community and provided me with the opportunity to study a variety of counselling methods and theories.
The lecturers all provide us with a variety of learning experiences from hands-on counselling simulations and discussions, which are recorded for us to keep, to reading seminars which are discussed as a group to enhance our learning experience.
They provide us with a fun and relaxed learning environment with lots of anecdotal evidence to support their lectures. The Systemic Counselling course is very challenging and is a big commitment on time, as are the assessments we undertake each year. With this in mind, I feel that the lecturers, whilst being serious and challenging our thinking, want to also provide us with a warm and welcoming learning environment. They also provide us with as much or as little support as we need or want individually.
I really appreciate the fact that Billy Hardy (my academic tutor) is available for me when I need to talk through an assessment or get some advice on work I have to complete. Also that Kieran provides me with advice and guidance when I need it, either about my practice development or my learning.
I am looking forward to my third and final year and all of the challenges that come with it! I have learnt a great deal about myself and spent the last two years confused - but in a good way! My long established thoughts and beliefs are challenged and some of them are changing because of it."