Dr Sheila Spong, Head of Counselling and Psychotherapy at USW, introduces you to the counselling courses we offer at the University.
"I've been involved in the world of counselling and counsellor training for more than 30 years and I'm still fascinated by this way of helping people with problems they are experiencing in their lives.
Being a therapist is about working with another person to help them find their own best way forward, and I'm very much aware that different therapy approaches suit different people.
At USW we have a really wide range of counselling and psychotherapy courses teaching different types of therapy. Some are part-time, some full-time; some undergraduate and others are postgraduate and aimed at people who have already studied for a degree or now have considerable professional qualifications and experience.
What I believe all the different counselling and psychotherapy courses have in common, though, is that they strive to produce the very best therapists - those with flexible and enquiring minds, the ability to really listen, a depth of feeling for other people and the capacity to work with their distress and pain.
I'm particularly interested in how we can use research to understand more about counselling and psychotherapy, and I teach on the Masters research and dissertation module at our Newport campus - the final part of several of our counselling and psychotherapy Masters courses.
At this stage of the course, each student designs and completes a small research project into whatever they most want to find out about. This is a tremendously exciting and creative part of learning (as well as very demanding) as it allows the students and their tutor to push our knowledge a little bit further.
If you are thinking about training to become a counsellor or psychotherapist, you might find it helpful to read an introductory book such as Jonathan Ingrams' Thinking of Becoming a Counsellor?
Do book to come along to one of our Open Days (for our full-time undergraduate programme) or Open Evenings (for our part-time and postgraduate courses) where you can meet the course tutors and get advice on what might be right for you."