Counselling Courses

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Counselling Courses overview

Counselling is the professional administration of psychological assistance. People in this field are expected to be exceptionally attentive listeners whilst being articulate themselves. Postgraduate counselling courses tend to cover a broad range of topics, ranging from general counselling theory to leadership and optimal communication techniques. This makes them an ideal way to pursue a fulfilling career in counselling or improve upon an existing one.

Theories of counselling began their development in the 20th century, most notably with the work of Sigmund Freud famed additionally for his theories on psychotherapy. Modern psychologists and counsellors grapple with the work of Carl Jung in addition to Freud in an effort to better understand the mind.

While psychologists focus more on research and specific clinical practice, counsellors are focussed most on helping others in various capacities. No matter the specialisation, counsellors do much to alleviate the psychological suffering of others through strong communication.

Is counselling for me?

Counselling is for people with a passion for helping others. Remaining composed and supportive of clientele despite whatever hardships they might be facing is crucial to success in this field. If you would like to use your empathy, confidence and emotional fortitude to help others in a fulfilling and engaging career, this postgraduate study is for you.

Study pathway

There are a variety of study options available to prospective students of counselling, each designed for people at varying stages in their career.

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling and equivalent courses are perfect for graduate students without any prior knowledge or experience of counselling. These courses normally take six months to complete if undergone full time, or a year if taken part time.

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling and equivalents offer a more comprehensive knowledge, taking one year full time or two years part time to complete. Unlike diplomas in many other fields, experience is recommended but not required. Students can expect to expand upon their existing knowledge of counselling theory and broaden their communication abilities through group workshops. Institutions like the University of Adelaide tend to admit students so long as they hold a bachelor level degree.

The Master of Counselling provides detailed practical knowledge of current counselling techniques and knowledge. Students of these courses can expect to not only learn, but critically evaluate current methodology while undergoing professional placement. Courses like those offered by Monash University will feature up to 200 hours of professional placement and 50 hours of supervision, with weekly participation in discussion forums. Entrants can be from any prior bachelor level degree.

It is possible to study counselling at the PhD level, but often not as a dedicated program. Prospective PhD students must embark upon a Doctor of Philosophy with counselling as their major. Curtin University, as an example, provides the opportunity to undergo research into the field through their philosophy PhD curriculum.

Employment options

Careers counsellor

Knowledge of counselling can be combined with knowledge of career pathways to assist all manner of people in finding the right job for them. Counsellors interested in this field can look to companies like Kendal Drew, who value this ability. This line of work provides the opportunity to coach people in bolstering their prospects, boosting their confidence and utilising empathy to define the ‘right’ career.

Rehabilitation counsellor

Graduates wanting to help those at the darkest periods in their life can do so as a rehabilitation counsellor. By methodically meeting with and talking to people weaning themselves from addictive substances or behaviours, a rehabilitation counsellor can be the positive change they need. Trusted organisations like the Salvation Army are always searching for people with the right knowledge and disposition to help these struggling people.

Grief counsellor

The death of a loved one can be eased with a little help. As a grief counsellor, graduates can expect to assist the bereaved in coming to terms with their loss and accepting it. Charities like HammondCare require stalwart counsellors to help the emotionally vulnerable to find their strength once again.


A counsellor can seek employment in many other fulfilling areas; each require the general knowledge expected of all counsellors in addition to specialised knowledge learned on the job. The following are just some of these areas.

Advice for Counselling Courses

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Choosing a course

Millions around the world seek comfort from professional counsellors. Whether or not it’s a profession for you depends upon a few things.

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Study advice

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Funding & scholarships

Giving up a salary is one of the biggest costs in deciding to continue into postgraduate study, so any financial support provided to students is very important.


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