What is Counselling?
Counselling is a type of talk therapy facilitated by a trained professional called a counsellor. A counsellor provides their client with a supportive, nonjudgmental and confidential environment where they can explore any emotional issues they may be experiencing.
As a professional highly trained to listen, a counsellor's goal is to get to the root of the problem and help their client identify their innate capabilities for coping with the situation. They are not there to point out the shortcomings of an individual or offer advice. Their role is to help their clients realise their full potential to make their lives better.
Why Study Counselling?
Many people who walk the earth feign happiness to protect themselves and others. Little do they know that this can take a toll on their health later on in life. By taking up a counselling course, you can be the person whom others can talk to openly without worrying about being judged. You can be that one person who can help them overcome their problems and start living their lives genuinely.
Because of the high demand for counsellors in Australia, you can work anywhere you like after school. Your skills are very much needed in hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centres, mental health facilities, aged care facilities and social service agencies, among others. You can even work in private practice and focus on a specific area of specialisation such as marriage or child counselling.
What Does It Take to Study Counselling or Become a Practitioner of It?
Having good listening skills is the most impressive trait of a successful counsellor and the first thing that you need to develop on your journey to becoming one. In doing so, you will be able to help your clients resolve any problem or issue that they may be experiencing. As well as understanding the root of the problem, being open-minded, empathetic, sincere and authentic will also help you establish trust and rapport with the people who seek your help.
Course and Study Options for Counselling
The best way to get started in counselling is to learn the basics of the modality. Taking a foundation course will provide you with the basic skills and traits of a counsellor, as well as taking you through the different approaches to counselling.
A certificate course builds on the knowledge and skills that you obtained from the introductory course. It takes you deeper into the study and gives you an idea of what's in store for you in the advanced stages of the training. From here, you can work your way up to a diploma or bachelor's degree, which is where you get to combine classroom training with real-life counselling work as you will be required to undergo a job placement before graduation.
You can obtain your qualification in counselling through the fast route, which basically means studying full-time, or by taking fewer units and learning at your own pace. People who maintain a day job but want to earn a qualification in counselling prefer the second option. You'll be happy to know that many colleges and universities in Australia offer online counselling courses which afford busy students the flexibility to work their study time around their daily commitments.
How to Choose a School or Course in Counselling
The first thing that you should do when you're scouting for a counselling course provider is to check the offerings of a potential college or university against your goals. The institution must be capable of meeting your needs in respect of course outline, course fees, student loans and career outcomes.
While most individuals who enrol in a counselling course haven't completed any related degree, some have and are in search of a training program to satisfy their continuing education requirement. If this is the case for you, you may check out your range of options at the top of this page along with Australia's best certificate, degree and diploma-level courses in counselling.