INFORMATION PACKAGE 2015 TELEPHONE COUNSELLING COURSE

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1 INFORMATION PACKAGE 2015 TELEPHONE COUNSELLING COURSE We welcome your inquiry regarding the Living Proud telephone counselling course and your interest in becoming a part of the National QLife volunteer team. This package provides information about the role of a Living Proud QLife telephone peer counsellor and about the course to help you make an informed decision about whether you wish to commit to the training program. Included is information about: Living Proud and the QLife project (see About Living Proud & About QLife) The role of a Living Proud QLife peer counsellor (see Duty Statement) Making the decision to do the course (see Requirements) The Introductory Training Program (see The Training Program) Dates the Training Program will be offered (see Training Course Dates) An application form (also available online) Being a QLife volunteer telephone counsellor at Living Proud can be a challenging and emotionally demanding. However, it does offer the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to build a stronger and more enriched LGBTI community as well as directly assisting individuals in need of support and information. You also get to be part of a dynamic team of volunteers and there are many opportunities for further personal and professional development and to help with other c services, such as events. Becoming a telephone counsellor will require a significant commitment of your time and energy. The full training program includes the completion of the 6 week introductory course followed by a number of supervised calls and additional training modules. Counsellor training also represents a large investment of Living Proud time and resources and, as such, we are looking for trainees who will complete the course and become counsellors with us for at least a year. Closing Date for Application: After reading the following information please send your completed Application Form to Living Proud by 20 February There is an Application form at the end of this document or online Please note places are limited. We will contact you to let you know if your application is successful.

2 About Living Proud Living Proud Inc (formerly Gay & Lesbian Community Services of WA Inc) has been providing support, information and resources to the Western Australian gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans* and intersex community for over 40 years. In fact, we are the longest running organisation of our kind in the Southern Hemisphere. As WA s main LGBTI community service our focus is on providing essential services to the LGBTI community, including the QLife peer teleweb counseling service, health and wellbeing initiatives and community capacity building. We also offer a number of training options for professionals including the Opening Closets Mental Health training and other half and fullday workplace training in order to improve accessibility for LGBTI people. We also have a successful history of running funded projects, often in partnership with other community groups. About QLife QLife is Australias first nation-wide peer counselling and referral service for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people. QLife began in 2013 and is an initiative of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing s Teleweb project, led by the National LGBTI Health Alliance in collaboration with Australia s already existing state-based LGBTI counselling organisations. The evolution of QLife marks an exciting chapter in the life of these member organisations comprising hundreds of volunteers and staff members Australia-wide. QLife is a national collaboration between the following: Living Proud LGBTI Community Service of WA (formerly Gay and Lesbian Community Services of WA); Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association Queensland; Switchboard Victoria; Twenty10, which incorporates GLCS NSW; and volunteers in South Australia The QLife project is overseen and supported by the QLife team based at the National LGBTI Health Alliance in Sydney. This collaboration means that rather than only taking local calls Living Proud QLife telephone counselling volunteers now operate under the National QLife helpline and calls may be received from other states during shift times. QLife also offers support via online chat from operated by peer volunteers who have completed both the volunteer telephone counselling course plus additional training. In order to deal with the demands of a national service volunteers have access to a shared database, current computer and phone systems and an online environment to help maintain the connection between the national volunteers. Additional ongoing support is also provided to volunteers by having access to a local Volunteer Coordinator, extensive training, professional development opportunities and clinical supervision.

3 The Duty Statement of a Ratified Counsellor The Living Proud QLife peer counsellor is a voluntary role within Living Proud, providing a professional and ethical peer counselling, referral and information service to clients via telephone and/or online chat. Ratified (Living Proud Board approved) counsellors: Provide peer-based telephone and/online counselling, referral and information to lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people and to the general public. Maintain statistical records for the Living Proud QLife database. Keep appropriate files and reports on client interaction, support and referrals provided. Participate in the Living Proud Qlife educational and training process. In addition, experienced counsellors supervise probationary counsellors who are completing counselling and information calls towards their ratification as a telephone counsellor. We recognise that people choose to become Living Proud QLife telephone counsellors for many and varied reasons and we would like to see as diverse a group of people as possible in the course. The following, however, are the requirements that must be met by applicants. Requirements 1. To participate as a Living Proud QLife counsellor, counsellors must identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Queer or have other personal experience of being same sex attracted or sex or gender diverse. This is a contractual requirement of the QLife project. 2. Trainee Counsellors must already be or become members of Living Proud. 3. Trainee Counsellors must agree with and abide by the Living Proud Constitution, Mission, Objectives and Policies & Procedures (e.g. Code of Conduct). 4. They must sign a Declaration of Confidentiality, Volunteer Agreement and Police Clearance form. 5. They must demonstrate a commitment to training, to a probationary period of supervised counselling, and to be on the counselling roster for a further 12 months as a Ratified Counsellor. 6. They must hold positive and contemporary attitudes towards human sexuality and gender diversity. Necessary Attributes In addition to the requirements, necessary attributes for becoming a peer counsellor include: Strong verbal communication skills A professional approach to service delivery Well-developed professional boundaries and self awareness The capacity to embrace difference, uncertainty and diversity Open-mindedness and a willingness to be challenged about one's own beliefs and assumptions A willingness to learn and change

4 An understanding that one cannot "solve" other people's problems but can offer options and support others' decisions The Training Program The telephone counselling training program consists of three content-based foundation modules, which are designed to assist volunteers in understanding the needs of callers, followed by six weeks of basic counselling skills. The training focuses on building core skills and knowledge necessary to undertake supervised brief supportive telephone counselling in a professional and ethical manner. The training program is designed to engage highly motivated people in order for them to progress to the Living Proud QLife peer counselling service relatively quickly. It is also suitable for people who have previously completed the Living Proud counselling course and wish to update their skills and volunteer once again. The course is structured to encourage active, independent, learning processes consistent with an adult learning environment. To achieve this, the course utilises multiple training formats, including didactic presentations, illustrative activities, small and large group discussions and active skills training. Although there is a wide coverage of theoretical concepts, the emphasis is on experiential learning. Training Course Dates Completion of the following three modules are required as part of the overall Living Proud QLife Peer Telephone Counsellor training. Where possible these modules must be completed prior to commencing the 6 Week Counselling Skills Course. In the event that it is not possible to attend a module on the dates offered please talk to Bella as soon as possible to discuss alternative arrangements. All sessions will be held at centrally located training venues in West Perth and Perth. Module 1 Confidentiality, Ethics & Boundaries Date: Tuesday the 3 rd of March. Time: pm Venue: Freedom Centre, 93 Brisbane St, Perth This module provides an understanding of the appropriate conduct and ethical concerns for volunteers working on the QLife peer telephone counselling and information line. Completion of this module is required before volunteers can commence listening in to calls on the QLife line taken by an experienced Living Proud QLife counsellor. Module 2 Understanding Callers Date: Tuesday the 10 th of March Time: pm Venue: City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi St, West Perth

5 This module examines the range of beliefs, attitudes and behaviours which may present in calls and how telephone counselling volunteers can be better prepared to respond respectfully. Module 3 Diverse Sexuality and Gender Dates: Tuesday the 17 th March Time: pm Venue: Freedom Centre, 93 Brisbane St, Perth This module introduces a contemporary understanding of sexuality and gender and how to work appropriately with callers. 6 Week Counselling Skills Course Dates: 24 th & 31 st of March, 7 th, 14 th, 21 st & 28 th April Time: These sessions will run from 6pm to 9pm Venue: TBA Completion of the 6 Week Counselling Skills Course is required as part of the Living Proud QLife Peer Telephone Counselling Training. Attendance at all sessions is expected. This is an introductory course into basic counselling skills in order to prepare volunteers for working on the QLife peer telephone counselling and information line. On completion of the six week counselling course trainees will then commence taking calls under the supervision of an experienced Living Proud QLife Counsellor. Trainees will be ratified as Living Proud QLife Peer telephone counsellors once they have completed a set number of calls demonstrating competence. Summary and Action The purpose of this package is to provide sufficient information for you to make an informed decision about committing to train and volunteer as a Living Proud Qlife telephone counsellor. If you believe that you have the opportunity and commitment and meet the criteria, please complete and submit the application form bellow or online at If you have questions about the information contained in this package, the training process or other volunteering opportunities at Living Proud please contact Bella Broadway, QLife Volunteer Coordinator & Living Proud Manager, on or Thanks again for your interest in volunteering with Living Proud.

6 Telephone Counselling Course 2015 APPLICATION FORM Full Name: Preferred Name: Address: Postcode: Home: Work: Mobile: Date of Birth: Gender: Dear Applicant, The following form is to help us to determine your suitability to enter the Living Proud Telephone Counselling Course and to assist us in preparing this year s course. Please respond to all questions in Parts A to C. There are no right or wrong answers and no trick questions; we simply want your personal, considered, responses to the questions and scenarios presented. Part A 1) What do you believe to be the main issues faced by people when they come out as same sex attracted?

7 2) What do you believe to be some of the issues which may be faced by people who are transgender or gender diverse? 3) What do you think the role of the Living Proud QLife peer telephone counsellor is? 4) What skills do you think are important in the telephone counselling process?

8 5) What do you see as the important qualities and values for a telephone counsellor to have? Why are these important? Part B Please read each of the following sample calls carefully and list in point form what you believe the caller s issues to be and how you might respond. (Note: There are no right or wrong answers, just respond honestly based on your current understanding). 1) Caitlin is 15 years old. She rings to say that she can t stop thinking about her best friend and that she is happiest when she is staying over at her house on the weekends. Some of the kids at school have been teasing and bullying her and calling her a lezzo. She is scared that maybe she is a lesbian and asks you if she is. How do you respond?

9 2) Josh is a 32-year-old married tradie. Josh tells you that last night he was caught giving a blow job to another man in a public toilet and was arrested by a police officer. Today he calls you for help. He is distraught and petrified his wife will find out what happened. How can you help? 3) Ross is 45 years old and has been with his partner Clive for 20 years. Ross is very distressed because Clive punched him on the weekend. How can you help? Part C 1) Briefly outline why you wish to complete the Living Proud training course, and what you hope to gain from completing the training program and volunteering with Living Proud.

10 2) List any relevant skills and experience you believe you will bring to the training course. Include any relevant qualifications and training, voluntary or paid work, and any past or present involvement in the LGBTI community. 3) Are there any other comments you would like to add to your application or questions you would like answered? Thank you! We will get back to you shortly to let you know if your application has been successful. Please return your completed form to: to: Living Proud City West Lotteries House 2 Delhi Street WEST PERTH WA 6005 If you have any questions please contact: Bella Broadway on or

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