Graduate Video Testimonials
Video Testimonial - Jane Johnson

 

Four years ago I sat in a holiday unit staring at a selection of tablets that I, with a solid background in healthcare, was certain would take away all pain, permanently. I remember staring at the telephone in the room for an hour. Even now I do not know why I called 13 11 14 and spoke to Lifeline. The conversation was a turning point for me.

 

In February 2008 I was offered a role managing Lifeline Top End; a questionable honour as, at the time, it had lost its staff and funding and all that remained was a Board that believed in the service and a few trained telephone counselling volunteers anxious to continue to use their skills. I took the job on the basis that in six months I would have the service up and running, or would give valid reasons why the service was unviable.

 

Within 6 weeks I knew that the service was not only viable, but able to expand into new areas given the right opportunities and leadership. That same year I undertook the Certificate IV in Telephone Counselling so as to fully understand the requirements on volunteers.

 

I discovered a hunger for learning that I quickly fed with the AIPC Counselling Diploma. Now I am studying the Degree, have 31 Telephone Counsellors, 25 Counselling students, and operate as the NT Assessor for AIPC Diploma Students. I have found my raison d'être and want to make Lifeline Top End a centre of excellence.

 

Jane Johnson

AIPC Graduate

Executive Officer – Lifeline Top End

 


 

Video Testimonial - Lorne Ferster

 

Approximately 25 years ago, my life took a turn which led me down a road of marriage breakdown, loss of family, and much heartache. It also took down a new road of growth and learning about me, and what life was really all about. My journey led me to an agency which offers help to individuals and other family members affected by alcohol and other drugs. I was very hopeful that I might find some answers for myself.

 

It was during my participation in a group program as a client that I was approached by one of the staff. I was offered the opportunity of becoming a Volunteer Group Facilitator. Having enjoyed the experience of being in a group and recognising the benefits for myself and others, I did not even hesitate in answering in the affirmative. This happened to be the launch of an exciting and fulfilling career for me. I had not ever imagined or contemplated being involved in such an industry.

 

I learned so much through my practical experience as a Volunteer, both as a Group Facilitator and a Counsellor. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was keeping my eyes open for possible employment opportunities. At the same time, I began to realise that employers were looking for qualifications and tended to choose people with qualifications over experience without qualification. It was then that I noticed an Advertisement in the paper which caught my eye - you guessed it!! A Diploma in Professional Counselling. It was affordable and was a way of qualifying my experience. I have never regretted it.

 

I have been employed at the same agency for seventeen years and still loving the work that I do. My preference still is group counselling and I feel very blessed to be a part of so many people's lives which have been improved by the services we are able to provide. In addition, what is most rewarding is not only what I learn about and from others but what I also learn about me!!

 

Lorne Ferster

AIPC Graduate

Clinical Supervisor – Holyoake

 


 

Video Testimonial - Herb Koenitz

 

After 35 years in Corporate Life as a senior executive, I retired at age 55. After doing all the usual things such as traveling overseas and downsizing, I embarked on a period of study. I chose to do a Diploma course in Professional Counselling with the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors.

 

Having been a General Manager of Human Resources, I felt it was an area that i would enjoy, and be comfortable with. This proved to be true. I enjoyed the Course and the interaction with the other students immensely.

 

The course leaders were excellent and the quality of material that was provided was second to none. After Graduation, I set up a part-time private practice, with a business name of "Coffee Cup Counselling".

 

I marketed the Business as a way of receiving the benefits of counselling in a relaxed environment over a cup of coffee. Through word of mouth I gained many clients who came to me as a result of their friends referrals.

 

My clients' feedback was always positive and they seemed to respond to my relaxed style. I have gained an enormous amount of satisfaction from helping many people from all walks of life and am so glad that I chose AIPC to provide me with the qualification I needed to perform in my role as a Professional Counsellor.

 

Herb Koenitz

AIPC Graduate

Professional Counsellor

 


 

Video Testimonial - Kylie Mullen

 

I live in a small country town in NSW. Growing up with a physical disability, I was often bullied and ridiculed. This led me to suffer from low self-esteem and depression.

 

In my 20's I started reading some self-help books and "self-counselling" to a degree. My life began to change as did my self-worth. I began to think about other young children who were in the same predicament. I didn't want them to go through what I had been through. I saw the AIPC ad in our local paper and it felt so right.

 

I studied the Diploma and graduated in 2007. Straight away I opened my own counselling practice. My main clientele is children and young people. I also run a self-esteem group for children called KWC - Kids With Confidence. This group has had some amazing results!!! I have been called a "miracle worker" and "life saver" on many occasions.

 

In 2008 I won a business award for the best new business. I have not looked back since graduating from AIPC. My life has completely changed for the better, and I have loved being able to enrich the lives of others...

 

Kylie Mullen

AIPC Graduate

Director – Bright Days Counselling and Lifeskills

 


 

Video Testimonial - Angela Malone

 

One of my childhood dreams was to become a counsellor. I was young when I started a family and did not work until my children were of school age. I found myself always helping people. I felt that I was obtaining copious amounts of experience, but something was missing. I realised that the something that was missing was formal education and therefore started looking for the education that would best suit my needs. My jobs were demanding and my passion and hunger to learn more, was increasing.

 

After comparing the different organisations, I found myself drawn to a booklet which was sent to me through one of my enquiries. This booklet was a course prospectus from AIPC. It's title: "The ideal way for you to become a counsellor". The booklet was impressive. It had structure and I could follow what the Institute had to offer. It was basically what I was looking for. The booklet covered and answered a lot of my questions. For example: Can I study and still work? Can it help me improve my performance in my current job? Can this fit into my lifestyle? Is there flexibility? Am I going to be able to access tutorial assistance because I want to study by correspondence? Is this course cost effective? Is this going to help me establish my own private practice? All of these questions and many more were answered with a yes.

 

In realising that there was possibility in achieving my dream, I felt that I hit the jackpot. Wow, how exciting! I signed up in 2003 and successfully completed my Diploma in Counselling with three advanced study majors (Grief and Loss, Abuse, and Child Development and Effective Parenting) by the end of 2006. I was working, studying and maintaining a family. I was able to time manage things and grow at the same time.

 

The Diploma of Counselling gave me further insight as to who I was as a person and why certain people act the way how they do. It also gave me a better understanding with such things as: practical skills when working with people, the ethical and professional roles of counsellors, common challenges for clients and counsellors, how to communicate more effectively with people, how to establish client counsellor relationships and many other things regarding the counselling process. This is the world that I want to live in. The course subjects did not just apply to the learning experience; they could be applied to real life situations. I loved the learning experience. I felt that I was thriving and growing.

 

After completing the Diploma and the Advanced study Majors, I found that I was able to set up my own private practice, with confidence and a steady flow of clientele. This was great, but I did not want to take on too many clients as I did not want to set myself up to fail. I decided to tread carefully and get a feel of the business and enjoy my achievements whilst still committed to the high demands of case management and welfare work. I believed that my commitments and connections with the community would give me the continued experiential understanding of what people's current needs are.

 

Because I could see my life changing in a positive direction, I became a telephone counsellor with Lifeline in 2005, completed the Certificate IV in telephone counselling and facilitated groups, teaching new trainees how to become telephone counsellors. I am still involved with Lifeline as a telephone counsellor and enjoy the connection and voluntary commitment. Due to this involvement, I decided that I wanted more education and I wanted to learn more about Counselling so that I could make that final move into the counselling world. I felt that the next step was to approach AIPC to see whether they could offer me the opportunity to complete the Bachelor Degree in Counselling. My hunger increased and I hoped that I would be able to fulfil this dream. AIPC's course material is excellent; it is structured and is user friendly with information being specific. AIPC tends to meet the needs of people.

 

AIPC contacted me and advised me that they had the Bachelor Degree course on offer and asked whether I would like to apply. Oh my God! Yes, I hit the jackpot again. These people know how to deliver and I know that I will benefit greatly. How exciting. I was successful with my application and started my journey. The first semester subjects were sent out and my learning was to continue.

 

At the end of January 2007, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and was put in a position where my mortality was tested. I was not ready to die and I so much wanted to complete what I started out to achieve. I wanted to obtain my Bachelor Degree in Counselling, share my knowledge and experiences and to move fully into the counselling world. I was not going to give up.

 

By being faced with the fact that my whole world had just been turned upside down, I decided that I needed to think this through. Am I being tested? What can I do? What message am I getting out of this? The message was look at how you are living. I realised that something had to change. I was overworking in an extremely demanding environment, doing voluntary work and starting to study full time. Something had to give.

 

I decided to take time off work whilst undergoing tests, operations, and chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. This meant that I would put my life into the medical team's hands for twelve months and still undergo my studies. My studies would be my distraction. I continued to involve myself with the voluntary work at Lifeline, teaching new telephone counsellors and staying on the phones myself. This was my sense of staying connected to the community.

 

This was a huge adjustment for me as I was no longer working. Yes, I had to look at what I was doing and acknowledge the overload. I had eliminated a lot of stress and tiredness by not working, but the stress of cancer did not go away. I started my medical and study journey, and enjoyed being able to lose myself in the subject's literature that AIPC had forwarded onto me. This gave me great opportunity to further explore who I was.

 

Due to the fact that my cancer journey was underway and there were study requirements (attending mandatory residential), I found myself faced with a little problem. I could not attend the first residential. I was undergoing my second round of chemotherapy treatment and I was not allowed to travel on any aeroplane. I could not be in contact with the public due to the possibility of picking up a viral infection, hence the possibility of other medical problems. Because of my dilemma, I contacted AIPC and spoke with my subject tutor. She acknowledged my dilemma and agreed that I could submit my work via video.

 

What a caring and empathic person. This reinforced my belief that AIPC delivers and meets individual needs. My first year of study was great, exciting, frightening, harrowing and yet still disciplined. I was confronted with deep emotional, soul searching, and body image issues (hair loss and weight gain) due to medications and treatments. My family, friends, medical staff and AIPC were great supports for me throughout this journey. I was advised by some of the medics that 'I would get chemo brain and not be able to study or retain things', but I proved them wrong. I achieved good grades and was able to continue studying as well as attend the second semester at the end of the year. I was determined that I was going to beat this. I would do whatever I need to do to achieve my goal.

 

I returned to work at the end of the year and found that I had to readjust again. I loved my job, but did not like the long hours, the high needs of the clients, the physical demands on my body and the systemic constraints. The environment was aggressive and I wanted to move into the counselling world full time. I wanted to allow myself to study without having to deal with unnecessary barriers. I could see that I was back in the work hard and study hard routine. I time managed very well and was fighting an old habit. I was going to beat it because obtaining a Bachelor Degree was my preference and things had to change. I readjusted my hours to suit my study needs and felt that I had created a more realistic balance. I reminded myself to look at how I was living. Look at what my true goals were and to live my dream.

 

Whilst undergoing the final stages of completing the Bachelor Degree, I was offered a position of employment by management of my final practicum placement. I underwent formal interviews and was the successful applicant in an extremely important position (sexual assault counsellor). I am the first Counsellor to break into the service as workers are usually social workers or psychologists. The employers were impressed by the professional skill base and the knowledge that I have and I believe that this also attributes to AIPC's very well thought of and structured training techniques. I am asked by management to share my counselling skills and techniques with other colleagues so that they are better equipped.

 

I am living my dream! I have moved into the counselling world fulltime. I work as a part time sexual assault counsellor for NSW Health on the South Coast of NSW and am running my own private practice. I am involved with voluntary telephone counselling with Lifeline and continue to educate myself by attending ongoing training and supervision sessions. I believe that study will not end here for me as I am already looking at post graduate work. My difficulty is finding an institution as well structured as AIPC. And yes, guess what, nobody compares! I am in the process of negotiating my next course with AIPC.

 

On a final note, AIPC have made it possible for me to achieve my dream. Thank you. I have had some personal and environmental challenges along the way; I have persevered with sheer determination and believe that I truly have come out a winner! Live your dream and become the person that you wish to become! Believe in yourself and never give up!

 

Angela Malone

AIPC Graduate

Professional Counsellor

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In one week I went to four interviews and I was surprised, feeling I must write and let you know. AIPC is well known and respected in the industry. All of the Potential Employers could finish the AIPC letters: Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors and felt that the Diploma had value. They felt it helps develop empathy, client responsibility, with our support and to never sit in judgement of our clients, all essential ingredients in this industry. They all mentioned that AIPC was therefore worthwhile and relevant in Social & Community Work, with both Carers and Clients.

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Nicole Witham

As far back as I can remember I have always enjoyed listening to people discuss issues they have in their lives and now I am qualified to do this and get paid for it!

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Susanne Kessel

I completed the Diploma of Professional Counselling in 16 months.

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Caron Scard

My motivation to commence studies with AIPC came from the rewarding volunteer work I did as a telephone counsellor.

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For many years I had an interest in counselling, so I sent off for some information from the AIPC. There were challenges as I live in Alice Springs with no next door neighbour doing the same course. I found the AIPC’s study support team a huge asset to me and they were all very patient with my phone calls for HELP!

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