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Graduate Diploma of Counselling & Psychotherapy

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy provides students with training in key therapeutic modalities and interventions. With its strong vocational emphasis, it helps students learn how to integrate theoretical constructs, gain increased personal knowledge, increase their insight and understanding, apply advanced therapeutic techniques, observational, and practice skills.

The course includes theoretical knowledge of contemporary psychotherapies, including humanistic-existential approaches, the cognitive behavioural therapies, thorough assessment process and brief interventions, case conceptualisation and treatment planning, and development of professional ethical stance founded on the current ethical and legal regulations and best practice in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.

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 Code: CP082
Course Duration and Structure

This one-year full time, or two-year part-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 and one placement unit.

Year One
CPc1 Psychotherapeutic Theories and Models
CPc2 Person-Centred Counselling
CPc4 Facilitating Therapeutic Change
CPc5 Cognitive Behavioural Therapies
DPc7 Assessment Process in Counselling and Psychotherapy
DPc2 Ethics and Professional Development
DPc3 Counselling Placement 1
DPc4 Treatment Planning

For unit descriptions, please click here.

Admission Criteria

Entrance into the Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy requires:

  • An Australian Bachelor degree (AQF 7) in a related discipline (teaching, social work, social sciences, psychology, counselling or similar) with at least a 60% average marks.
  • An Australian Bachelor degree in any discipline with at least a 60% average marks AND relevant work experience or completion of The Cairnmillar Institute’s Introduction to Counselling Skills and Advanced Counselling Skills short courses.
  • A Diploma (AQF 5) or Advanced Diploma (AQF 6) AND at least one year of work experience in a relevant field.

To apply:

Prospective students are required to submit an application through the Apply Now page, with certified copies of the following supporting documentation:

  • Most recent academic transcripts
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A 500 word personal statement outlining the reasons for wanting to undertake the course
  • 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.

Prospective students who are short-listed will be invited to attend an interview with members of the School Teaching Faculty. This provides the applicant with the opportunity to discuss any questions they have about the course of study.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Students may only be given credit for any coursework if it is from a successfully completed approved course at the appropriate Australian AQF postgraduate level.

Graduate Learning Outcomes

Students who satisfactorily complete the course will have achieved advanced knowledge and skills in the following areas of study:

  • The ability to facilitate the therapeutic process according to established the client’s focused goals.
  • The skills to conduct risks assessment and apply crisis intervention skills and management.
  • Understanding of relational dynamics and capacity for effective human relatedness that facilitates change.
  • An awareness of the impact of the self on others and the development of relational intelligence, sensitivity, resilience and respect.
  • The ability to understand and practice within the PACFA Code of Ethics and Professional Guidelines.
  • Developed capacity to be self-reflective and learn from experience.
  • Acquired knowledge of applying alternative modes of working with clients, including the use of real-time internet platforms within ethical guidelines.
  • Awareness and understanding of the range of human diversity and social, cultural, economic and psychological contextual influences.
  • Respect and acknowledgment of indigenous history and culture.
Career Opportunities

Graduates may find employment in a variety of settings including community health and community services organisations, the health professions, rehabilitation providers, human resource management, child protection, family support counselling services, allied clinics and services, 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 Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy is accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

Students who wish to deepen their practice can go onto completing Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy.