White Arrow Diploma of Counselling


Diploma of Counselling

Counselling is recognised as one of the most personally enriching careers.

As a counsellor, you’ll be doing what you love and have the security of knowing there are many opportunities for work and self-employment. There has never been a better time for you to become a counsellor.

AIPC is the largest provider of counselling courses in the country. We have specialised in counsellor training for over 30-years. We have proudly helped over 55,000 people from 27 countries pursue their personal and career interests in counselling.

Our Diploma of Counselling is a journey of self discovery, providing deep insight into why you think and behave as you do. And when you graduate, you will be extremely well prepared to pursue a career in counselling – employed or self-employed – enjoying our strong industry reputation and linkage.

Our Diploma of Counselling is accredited by the Australian Counselling Association, the peak national association of counsellors. This recognition provides substantial credibility to your qualification as you pursue your professional career.

The Diploma is extremely applicable to people from all sorts of backgrounds. Whether you are seeking a fresh start in a rewarding profession; or want to acquire counselling skills as an adjunct to you core profession – such as teachers, nurses, ministers of religion, corrective services officers and administrators.


12 months (full time)

Next Intake

Enrol anytime


18 Units

Course Delivery

Online, Full-time, Part-time, Self-paced


Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast & Northern Rivers, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth

Entry Requirements

Completed Year 12 or Completed a Certificate III qualification, or have at least 3 years of sufficient life experience (work or study), if over 21 years of age.

Course Recognition

Our Diploma of Counselling is a nationally recognised qualification, as well as being industry accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). ACA is the leading industry body for Counsellors in Australia. Upon graduation, you automatically qualify for membership to the ACA.

Payment Options

Reduced Upfront or Monthly Payment Plan via Credit Card or Direct Debit.

  • Course Structure
  • Study Majors
  • Investment
  • Student Support
  • Benefits

Unit Number


Unit 1

The Counselling Relationship

The unit introduces a structured approach to counselling to establish the client-counsellor relationship.

  • CHCCSL001
  • Establish and confirm the counselling relationship

Unit 2

Communication and the Counselling Interview

This unit involves the exploration and application of skills and knowledge required to use advanced interpersonal communication skills to facilitate the client-counsellor relationship in a counselling practice.

  • CHCCSL002
  • Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills

Unit 3

Supportive Decision Making

Students learn how to assist clients to clarify their goals, explore options and develop a course of action.

  • CHCCSL007
  • Support counselling clients in decision-making processes

Unit 4

Personality and Development Theories

This unit provides an introduction to key concepts and constructs underlying theories of personality and development. The unit explores the development of theories of behaviour and their application in the client-counsellor relationship and the counselling process.

  • CHCCSL004
  • Research and apply personality and development theories

Unit 5

Learning Theories

Unit 5 focuses on the application of learning theory in counselling practice, addressing the application and impact of social learning on behaviour.

  • CHCCSL005
  • Research and apply learning theories in counselling

Unit 6

Introduction to Counselling Theories

This unit provides an introduction to the main counselling therapies covered within the Diploma of Counselling.

  • CHCCSL006
  • Select and use counselling therapies

Unit 7

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Unit 7 focuses on the application of theoretical concepts, processes, knowledge and skills for the analysis and practical application of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy within counselling practice.

  • CHCCSL006
  • Select and use counselling therapies

Unit 8

Solution Focused Therapy

Unit 8 focuses on theoretical concepts, processes, knowledge and skills for the analysis and practical application of Solution Focused Therapy within counselling practice.

  • CHCCSL006
  • Select and use counselling therapies

Unit 9

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Unit 9 focuses on the application of theoretical concepts, processes, knowledge and skills for the analysis and practical application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy within counselling practice.

  • CHCCSL006
  • Select and use counselling therapies

Unit 10

The Counselling Process

This unit covers the counselling relationship and the process of counselling clients over a number of sessions.

  • CHCCSL003
  • Facilitate the counselling relationship and process

Unit 11

Brief Interventions

This unit includes strategies, processes and activities for brief interventions with clients.

  • CHCCCS014
  • Provide brief interventions

Unit 12

Loss and Grief Support

This unit covers responding to clients who are experience loss, grief and bereavement.

  • CHCCCS017
  • Provide loss and grief support

Unit 13

Case Management and Counselling for Individualised Support

Unit 13 provides students with information on all aspects of case management and encourages consideration of 'best practice'.

  • CHCCSM005
  • Develop, facilitate and review all aspects of case management
  • CHCCCS015
  • Provide individualised support

Unit 14

Counselling and Mental Health

This unit covers how to work respectfully with clients with mental health issues.

  • CHCMHS001
  • Work with people with mental health

Unit 15

Legal and Ethical Issues

This unit identifies counsellor responsibilities and client rights in the context of legal and ethical boundaries.

  • CHCLEG001
  • Work legally and ethically

Unit 16

Counselling and Crisis

Unit 16 covers how to identify, address and respond to crisis situations.

  • CHCCCS019
  • Recognise and respond to crisis situations

Unit 17

Diversity and Counselling

This unit gives the student the opportunity to reflect upon gender, culture, ethnicity, subculture, sexuality and ability and how they are each to be valued and respected within our community and a counselling context.

  • CHCDIV001
  • Work with diverse people
  • CHCDIV002
  • Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island cultural safety

Unit 18

Counselling and Personal Reflection

Unit 18 focuses on the need for counsellors to partake in supervision, professional development and reflective process in order to be effective within their counselling practice.

  • CHCPRP003
  • Reflect on and improve own professional practice


Some units require completion of a practical demonstration of skills in a simulated work environment.


The Diploma of Counselling is supported by a number of optional Advanced Study Majors. Advanced Study Majors allow you to study and gain advanced knowledge and skill in the specialised counselling area of your choice. The Advanced Study Major Program involves the completion of one or more optional Advanced Study Majors in addition to the Diploma of Counselling.

The Advanced Study Majors can be completed by either a home-study or face-to-face mode of study. Alternatively, students are also able to complete their ASM by attending a workshop. The Majors are specifically designed to provide you with a higher level of practical and theoretical knowledge in a specialised field of counselling.

The Majors are specifically designed to provide you with a higher level of practical and theoretical knowledge in specialised field of Counselling and you can specialise in any of the following highly relevant fields of counselling:

Abuse Counselling

Unfortunately, in today's society there is an increasing need for counsellor support for individuals and families who are victims of different forms of abuse. The Abuse Counselling Advanced Study Major provides a comprehensive insight into the subject of abuse and teaches the counsellor to deal with sensitive Abuse issues in a professional and practical manner. Topics covered in this Advanced Study Major include:

  • Defining different types of abuse and exploring the societal myths about abuse and abuse survivors
  • Exploring partner abuse and domestic violence along with common intervention methods and programs
  • The ethical and legal challenges and stresses of the role of abuse counsellor and how to address these challenges
  • How to develop a trusting relationship with clients who have been abused
  • Therapeutic techniques and approaches are explored
  • Recognising when to refer clients who have suffered abuse to another professional, and
  • Working with perpetrators of abuse.

Relationship Counselling and Conflict Resolution

The Relationship Counselling and Conflict Resolution Advanced Study Major presents you with a thorough exploration of the complexities of human relationships in such a way that appropriate counselling solutions can be directly related to relationship problems. The Major includes popular therapeutic approaches and counselling techniques, along with application to current significant relationship trends to give this Major a contemporary, hands-on and solution orientated approach. Topics covered in this Advanced Study Major include:

  • the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, and recognising indications and contraindications for relationship counselling
  • types of problems presented at relationship counselling
  • the differences between men and women's styles of communication
  • key principles for effective work with couples and ways of solving relationship problems
  • the process of relationship counselling including understanding client needs and concerns, applying the CUDSAIR Seven Step Model for Solving Relationship Problems and effectively terminating sessions with couples; divorce counselling and mediation
  • exploring the dynamics of same-sex relationships and guidelines for appropriate counselling practice
  • and professional and ethical challenges of being a Relationship Counsellor.

Introduction to Expressive Therapies

The Introduction to Expressive Therapies Advanced Study Major presents you with an introduction to an exciting and growing area of contemporary counselling – expressive therapies. Expressive therapies are approaches that incorporate creative processes (e.g., art, drama, movement, music, writing, play, etc.) into the counselling process. Topics included in this Advanced Study Major include:

  • The rise and evolution of expressive therapies
  • The efficacy of expressive therapies
  • Key approaches to expressive therapy and expressive therapeutic techniques (such as art therapy, music therapy, play therapy, sand tray therapy, etc.)
  • How expressive therapies can be used effectively with a different client groups
  • How expressive therapies can be used effectively with different client issues

Grief and Loss Counselling

The Grief and Loss Counselling Major is a very popular course that provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary for counselling clients who have experienced a significant loss and grief. All types of losses are considered along with the subsequent grief that occurs. The issues that accompany the loss of health, a loved one or a job must be confronted by all of us at some time or another. Topics covered in this Advanced Study Major include:

  • the types of loss that can result in a grief reaction
  • exploring reactions to loss and grief within the definitions of 'normal' and 'complicated' grieving; the similarities and differences between men and women's grieving behaviour
  • key models to explain responses to a significant loss
  • principles for assessment and intervention in working with people who experience loss and grief
  • practical application of skills in working with grief and loss clients, including self-evaluation
  • identifying and arranging effective referral for clients to another professional
  • and challenges and stresses in the role of Grief and Loss Counsellor.

Child Development and Effective Parenting

Parents perform one of society's most important functions - they raise the next generation. Unfortunately, however, we are rarely taught the skills required for effective parenting. The Child Development and Effective Parenting Major is based upon behavioural principles which when applied are highly effective in bringing about positive and healthy behaviours for both the parent and the child. The program includes an easy to follow, step-by-step approach to effective parenting which can be readily applied or taught to parents by the counsellor. Topics covered in this Advanced Study Major include:

  • what behaviours to expect from children at different stages and ages
  • effective methods for communicating with children
  • resolving conflict between parents and children
  • helping children to understand and deal with their feelings
  • anger management in children
  • the role of self, etc.

Mindfulness-Based Therapies

The Mindfulness-Based Therapies Advanced Study Major explores the key concepts of mindfulness as well as the central theories and techniques of a number of mindfulness-based therapeutic approaches. Topics included in this Advanced Study Major include:

  • The history of mindfulness and how mindfulness was first integrated into counselling practice
  • The efficacy of mindfulness-based therapies
  • The application of key mindfulness-based approaches (e.g., ACT, DBT, mindfulness-based CBT, etc.)
  • How mindfulness-based approaches and techniques can be used effectively with different client issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, stress, problem behaviours, etc.)
  • How counsellors can use mindfulness to enhance their own practice.

Counselling Clients with Addictions

The Counselling Clients with Addictions Advanced Study Major brings together theoretical analysis and a wide scope of information on drug classification. This combination allows you to build a solid foundation in counselling clients with addictions through identifying drugs (including alcohol) and their effects physically, psychologically and emotionally. Topics covered in this Advanced Study Major include:

  • Synthesise knowledge of biological, psychological and social considerations in the formulation of a theory of addiction
  • Determine the significance of contextual factors in the development and maintenance of addiction
  • Differentiate between drug categories by analysing the defining effects and symptoms
  • Classify psychoactive drugs
  • Utilise knowledge of psychoactive drug classification and effects to help prepare clients for the potential impact of detoxification/ withdrawal.

Family Therapy

The Family Therapy Advanced Study Major is specifically targeted to students who want to be able to shift their counselling focus to dealing with families effectively by applying family therapy concepts. Family therapy was brought together as a therapeutic framework by leading theorists that have driven this approach and its role in counselling today. Communication patterns between family members are identified and evaluated in terms of family structures and roles. Topics covered in this Advanced Study Major include:

  • The contributions of leading family theorists
  • The family structure and multigenerational patterns
  • Communication transactions in families
  • The fundamental tenants of Postmodernism
  • The influence of dominant social and cultural narratives on individuals and families
  • Narrative principles in the practice of family therapy
  • The use of narrative interventions in family therapy processes
  • The use of the narrative techniques in practice

The Majors are specifically designed to provide you with a higher level of practical and theoretical knowledge in a specialised field of counselling. You are able to enrol into an Advanced Study Major at the time of your enrolment into the Diploma of Counselling, or at any subsequent time. The advantage of early enrolment in an Advanced Study Major is that studies can be completed concurrently with your Diploma. There is also no limit on the number of Advanced Study Majors you can undertake.

The Advanced Study Majors can be completed by either a home-study or face-to-face mode of study. Studying your ASM via the traditional home-study option follows a similar process as to completing your studies for the Diploma. Students are sent a workbook and readings for the ASM and submit their assessment for marking

Alternatively, students are also able to complete their ASM by attending a workshop. Many students enjoy the interactive, practical workshops because they are a refreshing change from the traditional external study method and provide the opportunity to meet other students. Students also have the flexibility to change into this mode of study even after selecting the home-study option.

*Please note that whilst the Advanced Study Majors are highly relevant to specialty areas in counselling practise, by nature they do not form a part of the accredited curriculum.

Simply put, our Diploma of Counselling is the most competitively priced counselling qualification available in Australia.

At AIPC we have a payment method to suit every student. If you decide to pay for your course upfront you will enjoy a substantial discount, and you can concentrate on your studies without thinking about further payments.

If you would prefer to spread your payments, you can take advantage of our monthly payment plans over 24 months.

We always strive to keep tuition as affordable as possible, opening up quality education for everyone.

Course *
Reduced Upfront Payment
Monthly Payments **
Diploma of Counselling
$245.00 x 21 months
+1 Advanced Study Major (+1 Free ASM)
$255.00 x 24 months
+2 Advanced Study Major (+2 Free ASM)
$285.00 x 24 months
+3 Advanced Study Major (+3 Free ASM)
$325.00 x 24 months
+4 Advanced Study Major (+4 Free ASM)
$355.00 x 24 months

*The Diploma of Counselling includes 10 compulsory practical course elements which can be completed by attending ten seminar topics (eight 1 day and two 2 day seminars). Each day is just $140. If you are unable to attend the seminars in person, these practical components can be completed by demonstrating your skills on DVD/video (cost as per seminar attendance), or having a private assessor assess your skills ($20, plus assessor fee).

**Monthly payments can be made by Credit Card or Direct Debit.

For over 30-years AIPC has set the benchmark for service and support in external counselling studies. We are the only counselling educator to offer a complete external study support system that has been developed and refined over decades of research and continual student feedback.

Study Assistance with Degree-qualified Education Advisers

As a student you have unlimited access to the Institute’s Toll Free 1300 Study Assistance Line. Our Degree-qualified Education Advisers are available 9am and 5pm EST Monday to Friday to provide you with friendly academic support. Their focus is to support you throughout your studies so you can graduate in the time frame you set. This includes answering questions on assignment topics, personal coaching on assignment writing, and giving hints and tips on specific concepts. The Study Assistance Line is there whenever you feel you need a bit of extra guidance.

Practical Experience

The structure of the Diploma of Counselling ensures you graduate with sufficient practical skill so you can apply your counselling knowledge with confidence. The course includes a number of practical components that cover a range of topics including Communication, Counselling and Interview Skills, The Counselling Process and Practical Application of Counselling Therapies.


Because we have students all across Australia, and indeed the world, we provide a variety of flexible options to enable timely and effective completion of the practical components. Regular seminars give you the opportunity to apply the theory you have learned in contemporary counselling scenarios. They are also a great opportunity to get together with fellow students and participate in casework sessions under the guidance of a qualified Lecturer. Seminars are held regularly in most capital cities throughout Australia.


Students who may not be able to attend seminars for whatever reason, can elect to complete the practical components through alternate means, such as a one-on-one or small group session with a private assessor. We have private assessors in numerous regional areas across Australia.


Students can also complete their practical components by recording their demonstration of skills and uploading to us. We have guidelines available to assist students compile their recordings and develop effective role plays to demonstrate their skills.


Optional tutorials are a support service that is available at most Student Support Centres. Tutorials provide you with support on each written subject. They are conducted as a two-hour mini-lecture and will assist you in understanding theory, provide you with tips on how to structure your study timetable, help you successfully compile your assignments and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.


If you are unable to attend a tutorial, you can always call our friendly Education Advisers on the national Toll Free Study Assistance Line and have your questions answered over the phone – or just email your Tutor.

Institute Website

The Institute website is an extremely helpful study resource. Via the website you can access the My.AIPC Student Portal which is your link to numerous study support and e-learning functions. You can:

  • Download electronic versions of your workbooks,
  • Complete your activities and upload for marking,
  • Contact an Online Education Adviser for study assistance,
  • Access the Knowledge Base, a massive database of the most commonly asked academic questions, categorised for particular subjects, activities and concepts,
  • See when seminars are available in your area,
  • Plus much more.

Unique Resources To Expand Your Learning

The Institute has developed a comprehensive range of resources to help you expand your knowledge and practical skills throughout your studies and beyond.


As a student you receive a complimentary subscription to The Professional Therapist magazine. The Professional Therapist is a quality industry publication full of practical case studies and counselling scenarios to hone your skills and broaden your knowledge.


The Institute also has a large reference list of books and resources for students who wish to broaden their reading. This list covers the areas of Counselling, Psychology, Sociology and Behavioural Science.


Capitalising on the accessibility of the internet, the Institute has developed two websites to complement your studies. The Institute's Articles site at is an online facility where you can browse numerous articles on a variety of counselling topics. And Counselling Connection, the Institute's official blog, at, assists you with access the latest information about counselling and what's happening in the industry.


There are also numerous ways to connect to the Institute through social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Google Communities.

  • Study online from home and at your own pace, so you can fit learning around your lifestyle.
  • Maximise your investment and save thousands of dollars off traditional classroom programs.
  • Industry Accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).
  • Nationally Recognised training program.
  • Complete access to the My.AIPC Student Portal which contains all your course material, bonus resources, tutor contacts and video lectures and also facilitates assignment submission.
  • Dedicated study support system. We are the only counselling educator to offer a complete external study support system that has been developed and refined over decades of research and continual student feedback.
  • The Institute has been operating for over 30-years and remains the only exclusive national provider of counselling education.

You are fully covered by...

The Institute's Risk-Free

30-day money back guarantee

Zero Risk

Your enrolment comes with a guarantee that empowers you to enrol risk-free. if, for any reason whatsoever you decide you do not want to proceed with your course within 30-day, we will give you a 100%, no questions asked, money back guarantee.


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