What is Counselling?
Counselling is a form of talk therapy which involves a counsellor and a client meeting in a safe, non-judgemental place to talk about the latter's emotional or behavioural problems and find solutions for it. A counsellor's job is to listen and understand what their client is struggling with so that they can help them develop effective coping skills and improve their mental health.
Counselling can help address a range of issues, including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, family problems, addiction, career dissatisfaction, grief and financial difficulties, among others.
Why Study Counselling?
Studying counselling will provide you with invaluable skills that will not only improve your relationships and life per se, but it will also broaden your career horizons. As a counsellor, you may opt to work in a community setting, hospital, school, private corporation, or you can set up your private practice and work in your own time.
What Does It Take to Study Counselling or to Become a Counsellor?
It's important to have a genuine interest in helping other people if you want to thrive in a counselling career. Empathy and compassion are also valuable traits of a counsellor which enable them to connect with their clients. Most importantly, you must have an insatiable desire to update your skills by keeping abreast of the latest industry practices.
You'll surely find the study of counselling easy and enjoyable, especially if you're naturally open-minded, a trait commonly found in successful counsellors.
What Are the Differences Between Studying Counselling Offline and Online?
Enrolling in an online counselling course gives you more flexibility to study from anywhere and at your own pace. Moreover, it's cheaper than classroom learning as it doesn't require textbooks; the learning modules are provided on the school's learning management system.
Online education is ideal for busy people, such as those who maintain 9-to-5 jobs or run the household. Signing up for an online course also spares you from the heavy traffic as you need not travel to and from school every day. However, if you're extremely sociable and prefer daily face-to-face interaction with your teachers and classmates, distance learning might not be suitable for you.
How Do You Choose a School or Course in Counselling?
Depending on your career goals, you can undertake a certification program, a diploma-level qualification or a bachelor's degree in counselling. There are even training programs which you can complete in the course of one weekend or two days.
Many schools in Australia offer blended learning which combines online and face-to-face instruction. However, the main factors to consider when choosing which counselling course to take and where to take it are your budget, schedule and long-term goals. It's also important that the course is recognised by peak bodies for counsellors such as the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and the Australian Holistic Healers and Counsellors Association (AHHCA).
To find an accredited counselling school within your area, take the time to read through the course providers listed on this page and contact them directly for your enquiries.