I was delighted to be selected for training, though a little worried about whether I would be OK. Six years on, I am now thinking of training as a supervisor. I have found the work tough at times, but thoroughly rewarding, seeing couples and individuals in deep distress or fear gradually coming through this. It has been an education for me, and a privilege. (Susan)

Become a Relationship Counsellor

Please note we do not plan on running another training course for this route until 2026

Marriage Care is looking for empathic listeners who would like to train and volunteer with us as relationship counsellors.  This is a life-changing opportunity to train and volunteer within a supportive, nurturing and inspiring community and make a world of difference to couples and families. Our Certificate in Relationship Counselling (CRC) will equip you with all the skills, knowledge and practical experience you need to counsel couples safely and effectively.

The CRC training course consists of 19 months of academic content delivery and assignments, and 160 hours of counselling delivered face-to-face via webcam and in-person. The training is being offered free of charge thanks to the contribution of Marriage Care’s volunteer training body, funding from ACCORD NI and the Northern Bishops Diocesan funding and a contribution from couples who attend Marriage Care’s marriage preparation programme. Phase One will be held over four weekends starting in April 2024. In-person weekends will be held in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Trainees will be required to pay their own travel expenses in Phase One (with the exception of flights from England or Wales to Belfast).

A non-refundable deposit of £200 will be payable within 14 days of selection in order to secure the place, and successful candidates will be invited to donate £40 per month toward the cost of accommodation and meals for the duration of the course. Marriage Care provides ongoing CPD, Supervision, local /regional support, travel expenses and insurance for our counsellors and in return asks for a commitment to providing two counselling sessions per week. This role would require an enhanced DBS check which is funded and facilitated by Marriage Care.

Whilst applicants will not need any previous counselling qualifications or experience counselling, we will assess the suitability of candidates on a range of factors including relevant work or voluntary experience, life experience, personal qualities, skills and capacity as well as their desire to commit to volunteering with Marriage Care. 

If you are interested and would like to apply, please read through the ‘CRC 2024 Recruitment Information’ booklet below. Then, click on the ‘Apply Now’ button to complete our application form. Applications close on Monday 8th January 2024. When applying, you may want to have your relevant certificates and photo ID (e.g.: passport or drivers licence) ready to upload. However, this can be done after submitting your application. You will then be invited to an interview with your Centre Coordinator. If successful, you will be required to attend a National Selection Day event which will be taking place on Saturday 17th February 2024 (venue TBC). Selection Days are a mandatory stage of the recruitment process where you can meet with other applicants and learn more about Marriage Care.

If you are already a qualified counsellor you can find out more about our other recruitment routes here.

CRC 2024 Recruitment Information

If you would like to find out more about volunteering with Marriage Care, watch our ‘Volunteer Stories’ video below!

Available downloads