Growing Demand for Graduates with Heart and Soul
Demand for counselling and psychotherapy services remains high as Australians continue to deal with the aftermath of the GFC, according to counselling and psychotherapy college, Jansen Newman Institute (JNI).
"A person's financial well being has a significant impact on their health and the recent loss of assets by many families has certainly taken its toll," says Margaret Ploskodniak, Clinical Placement Coordinator, Jansen Newman Institute.
"As a result, services, particularly in the not-for-profit sector, are experiencing a severe skills shortage for qualified counsellors. On the upside there is also a growing interest in counselling and psychotherapy as a career," she says.
Ploskodniak says it comes as no surprise that individuals looking to study at JNI often have significant life experiences behind them that attract them to the industry.
"Students at Jansen Newman Institute are motivated to help people and make a positive difference. Whilst the job is very intense and rewarding, it requires strong people, that can communicate and problem solve," she says.
Though she didn't know it at the time, JNI counselling and psychotherapy graduate, Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar, says her attraction to the industry came after dealing with the loss of a loved one.
"Part of my healing process involved seeing a counsellor who really helped me to find my way again. It felt like a kind of journey out of darkness, back into daylight.
"I felt I wanted to be a part of that process. To engage with people about their lives and help give them mean on a daily basis," she says.
Gabrielle now works as a counsellor and psychotherapist in her own private practice, One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy and co-facilitates telephone support groups at the Cancer Council NSW.
"The practical assignments and clinical work conducted through JNI are what drew me to the Institute and underpin a lot of the work I do now. By the end of the course I had gained the knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to begin working in the industry," she says.
Ploskodniak says there has been a growing awareness and acceptance of the industry, particularly since the GFC. However, recent recommendations by the Deputy State Coroner, Malcolm MacPherson, to the NSW Health Minister has also put pressure on those providing counselling and psychotherapy services to have recognised and relevant tertiary qualifications.
"JNI welcomes any additional regulations that ensures that training in counselling and psychotherapy is well monitored and that enhances the professionalism of the industry.
Ploskodniak says the reluctance to seek counselling has slowly disappeared over the years as people realise it's ok to ask for help. Once viewed as a service people turned to only when faced with a personal hardship, a more recent shift had been to look to counselling and psychotherapy to help prevent problems and find guidance.
"The Institute takes a holistic approach to education, interweaving solid theory and personal development with extensive clinical experience by industry practitioners. Providing the theory and tools to develop as a person and a therapist is at the core of the Institute, with students required to complete up to 130 hours of clinical work.
"Clinical experience is essential for all graduates to understand the impact they have on others. Students are required to look at themselves in relation to the client to maintain objectivity.
"Coupled with supervised practical experience, students develop their ability to 'be' with and really listen to a client," she says.
The skills gained through studying at JNI offers students a variety of career options including work in home and community care, not-for-profit counselling services and health, welfare public and private practices.
"We are constantly working with the wider community and established network of industry organisations and bodies to provide students with a strong knowledge base and qualified experience to help those in need," she concludes.
JNI's courses (with majors in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Community Services, Human Resources Management or Leadership Development) have been developed in consultation with leading academics and industry bodies, such as the Australian Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia and Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of New South Wales.
Applications for 2010 study are now open. On-campus and Flexible and Online Learning (FOL) courses include:
Bachelor of Applied Social Science with majors in Counselling, Community Services, Human Resources Management or Leadership Development
Bachelor of Counselling and Human Change (not available through FOL)
Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy (not available through FOL)
All Australian students applying for courses can apply for FEE-HELP. For more information please call the Jansen Newman Institute on 1800 777 116 or visit www.jni.edu.au