||Overview of Psychology and Counselling
Psychologists and counsellors study emotions and behaviour and work with people to help with depression, anxiety, stress, substance abuse, disabilities, motivation, career development or productivity.
Studying a Psychology or Counselling qualification will enable you to develop a career in mental health work, refugee services, welfare therapy, family support services, youth work, outreach services, community health and women's health.
Studying Psychology and Counselling
Because of the delicate nature of these fields, most people feel more comfortable talking to a qualified psychologist or counsellor. An industry-approved qualification in psychology and counselling is necessary to work in government welfare fields and is becoming increasingly important to work in private fields.
However, more short diplomas and certificates are now recognised and a university degree is no longer the only way to enter the fields of psychology and counselling.
The most common university degrees in Psychology and Counselling are the Bachelor of Psychology, Bachelor of Behavioural Science and the Masters in Applied Social Science (Counselling).
Most Psychology and Counselling university courses take three to seven years to complete, including a minimum of 160 hours of supervised clinical work placement in a mental health service or practice. In order to become a registered psychologist, you must complete at least a Bachelor degree with four years of psychology.
There are also short-courses available at many institutions, such as TAFE, independent providers or universities, such as the Certificate in Mental Health, Certificate in Community Service Work, and the Diploma of Counselling.
These short-courses, usually one to two years of full-time study, are ideal for community work providing support services, including positions such as case workers or drug and alcohol counsellor. Many of these courses will be combined with a First Aid course, as well as a Prohibited Employment Declaration for those thinking of working with children.
Most of the above courses can be taken on-campus or in an intensive summer school, as well as via remote learning, for example online or by correspondence. Nevertheless, some time must still be spent doing practical work at a psychology or counselling practice.
Careers in Psychology and Counselling
For the past three years, the growth rate for the psychology and counselling occupations has been 23.1% (Australian Government JobSearch) and this is expected to increase over the coming years.
This means there are plenty of job opportunities for the psychology and counselling fields and many options for career development.
Skills needed in Psychology and Counselling
People studying psychology and counselling courses have strong compassion, listening, communication and empathy skills.
Psychologists and counsellors are people that worry about the welfare of others and want to improve lives and be a major positive influence by offering help and advice.
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