Counselling is currently a major growth area in Australia, with counsellors of all kinds in demand country-wide. It’s a diverse field with several different areas of specialisation, including rehabilitation counselling, addiction counselling, marriage counselling, grief counselling, career counselling, school counselling, and mental health counselling.
In addition to qualifying students for careers as dedicated counsellors, counselling courses can also be applied to several related jobs, such as social work, nursing, community services, aged care, and even human resources.
Given the delicate nature of the job, the higher your qualifications the better, however, the minimum requirement to practice as a counsellor is a Diploma of Counselling. Depending on the course provider, you can choose to complete the course online or on-campus, or you can choose a blended learning format. Dedicated online course providers give students the ultimate in flexibility. As a rule, you don’t have to wait for registration dates, you can enroll whenever suits you and work at your own pace.
The great thing about TAFE counselling courses is that they provide a mix of theory and practical experience, so you are properly prepared for the real-world work environment. The comprehensive diploma covers essential counselling and psychology-related subjects, like leaning theory, identifying people at risk, counselling techniques, and the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, as well as practical modules, like case management, legal and ethical responsibilities, and occupational health and safety.
In many cases, the nationally accredited Diploma of Counselling can be used as a pathway to a Bachelor of Counselling degree. This highly-recommended qualification builds on the skills and knowledge gained during the diploma course and opens up even more doors in the private and public sectors. The course covers a range of subjects that, depending on the school, could include developmental psychology, counselling therapies, ethics and law, working with children, and research methods. Online, classroom-based, and blended study opportunities are available.
If you really want to get to the top of the game you should complete a Master of Counselling. Once again, you’ll build on the skills and knowledge gained during the bachelor course. You can choose to specialise in certain aspects of counselling, such as public health, social research, substance abuse, and gerontology, etc.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey (cited by the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors) counselling has a rosy future. For example, not only did counselling outgrow all other occupations in the survey by more than 200%, but it’s also expected to have the fastest growth rate over the next five years.
Some of the most promising counselling careers include:
These days, it’s very difficult for people to decide ‘what they want to be when they grow up’. Not only are the choices more varied today than they’ve been at any other time in history, but people also want to choose careers that will be personally as well as financially rewarding. Career counsellors help people – high school students, college students, and adults looking for a career change – assess their needs, their skills, their values, and their goals so that they find jobs that are the right fit.
There’s no doubt about it, modern families are complicated organisms. They’re fractured, extended, wounded, and under pressure from evolving societies, technologies, and economies. Family members live increasingly disconnected lives and it’s no longer as simple as the family that eats together stays together. Family counsellors work to repair broken bonds, improve communication and interpersonal relations, and minimise the trauma of unavoidable events, like divorce.
This extends beyond alcohol and substance abuse. Modern society has recognised a variety of addictions, including sex, gambling, food, and even gaming and the internet. Addictions counsellors help break the cycle of addiction, and instill healthy thought patterns, coping mechanisms, and behaviours in people who lead risky lifestyles.