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Graduate Diploma of Counselling & Psychotherapy

The objective of the Cairnmillar Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy is focused attention and training in key therapeutic modalities and interventions. With its strong vocational emphasis, students learn how to integrate theoretical constructs, gain increased personal knowledge, increase their insight and understanding, apply advanced therapeutic techniques, and further develop their case conceptualisation, observational, and practice skills. A feature of the program is the introduction to the theory and the techniques of a brief integrative psychotherapy that incorporates concepts from the psychodynamic, cognitive, existential, and humanistic psychotherapies in a relevant and practical treatment method. The course includes an understanding of the professional ethical, legal, and professional issues associated with counselling and psychotherapeutic practice.

The course includes a supervised professional placement, with at least 40 direct client contact hours, at least 20 non-client contact hours, and at least 10 hours of individual and group supervision throughout the duration of the placement.

Location: Hawthorn East Intake: Semester 1 each year
Delivery:  Full Time and Part Time Fees:  Fee information can be found here
Duration: 1 Year Full Time or 2 Years Part Time FEE-HELP: Yes
CRICOS Course Code: 092968D
Course Duration and Structure

This one year full time program consists of 100 credit points, including 50 credit points from the Graduate Certificate of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Students undertake a total of eight units of study consisting of seven coursework units (37.5 credit points or 75%) and one placement unit (12.5 credit points or 12.5%).

Year One
DPc1 Brief Integrative Psychotherapy
DPc2 Ethics and Professional Development
DPc3 Counselling Placement
DPc4 Treatment Planning and Psychopathology
Admission Criteria

An Australian undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in teaching, social work, social sciences, psychology or counselling with at least credit (60%) average and relevant professional experience, and successful completion of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling and Psychotherapy with at least (70%) average.

For entry into the course, students are required to submit an application through the Apply Now page, with certified or original scanned copies of the following supporting documentation:

  • Most recent academic transcripts
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A 500 word personal statement outlining what factors have contributed to the application
  • Proof of residency/citizenship (e.g. passport, birth certificate, or citizenship certificate)
  • Two references, preferably with at least one academic, using the online HODSPA reference system. A guide on how to use the system is available here.

Successful applications will be invited to attend an interview with members of the School Teaching Faculty, providing students the opportunity to discuss any questions they have about the proposed course of study.

Recognition of Prior Learning

A student cannot be granted recognition of prior learning (RPL) in relation to previous professional experience. Credit or partial credit cannot be granted in recognition of knowledge or skills gained through work or life experience.

Graduate Learning Outcomes
  • The ability to understand and practice within the PACFA Code of Ethics and Professional Guidelines.
  • The capacity to relate in a facilitative way.
  • Understanding and capacity for human relatedness.
  • An awareness of the impact of the self on others within ethical guidelines and frameworks.
  • The capacity to be self-reflective and learn from experience.
  • The skills to undertake suicide risk assessment and management.
  • Alternative modes of working with clients, including telephone and real-time internet, incorporating potential security and confidentiality issues.
  • Knowledge and integration of the range of human diversity.
  • Understand the impact of gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, class, religion and ethnicity on therapy.
  • Respect and acknowledgement of indigenous history.
Career Opportunities

Graduates may gain employment in a variety of settings including the health professions, rehabilitation providers, human resource management, child protection, family support counselling and private practice.

Graduates of this program may be eligible to apply for direct entry into the second year of the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Professional Recognition

The course is part of the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy which is accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Graduates of the program will be eligible to apply for listing on the PACFA register as an Intern.