Institute Inbrief - 05/02/2014
Welcome to Edition 196 of Institute Inbrief! Have you noticed anything different? Yes, we have re-designed our newsletter! We hope you enjoy the new look and this edition’s featured article, which examines the chief issues for counsellors working with intellectually disabled clients.
Also in this edition:
- AIPC Video Lecture Series (read more at INTOnews)
- MHSS Workshops: February/March
- Articles and CPD updates
- Blog and Twitter updates
- Upcoming seminar dates
Enjoy your reading!
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Bachelor of Counselling
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Bachelor of Counselling
AIPC is Australia’s largest and longest established educator of Counsellors. Over the past 22-years we’ve helped over 55,000 people from 27 countries pursue their dream of becoming a professional Counsellor.
The Bachelor of Counselling is a careful blend of theory and practical application. Theory is learnt through user-friendly learning materials that have been carefully designed to make your studies as accessible and conducive to learning as possible.
You can gain up to a full year’s academic credit (and save up to $8,700.00 with RPL) with a Diploma qualification. And with Fee-Help you don’t have to pay your subject fees upfront.
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- You will be supported by a large team of highly-qualified counselling professionals.
- Study externally with individualised personal support.
- Attend Residential Schools in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to hone your practical skills and network with other students.
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Psychology is one of the most versatile undergraduate courses, leading to many different career opportunities. And now there's a truly flexible way to get your qualification – with internal or external study options. It means working while you study is a realistic alternative.
Cost of living pressures and lifestyle choices are evolving the way we learn and Australian Institute of Psychology (AIP) is paving the way through flexible, innovative learning models:
- Save up to $34,800 on your qualification.
- Get started with NO MONEY DOWN with FEE-HELP.
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- Study internally or externally with individualised personal support.
- Enjoy a flexible and supportive learning experience.
- Benefit from less onerous course entry requirements.
AIP is a registered Higher Education Provider with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, delivering a three-year Bachelor of Psychological Science. The Bachelor of Psychological Science is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), the body that sets the standards of training for Psychology education in Australasia.
APAC accreditation requirements are uniform across all universities and providers in the country, meaning that Australian Institute of Psychology, whilst a private Higher Education Provider, is required to meet exactly the same high quality standards of training, education and support as any university provider in the country.
Diploma of Counselling
AIPC provides you with flexible course delivery modes
So YOU set the rules for how and when you learn...
AIPC’s accredited and nationally recognised Diploma of Counselling is designed so that you determine the manner and pace you study. You study entirely at your own pace (except of course if you’re receiving a government benefit such as Austudy) and you can start at any time, graduating in only 18-months.
Not only can you set the pace you study, you also determine the mode you want to study. You can study externally (at home with phone and email access to our counselling tutors); in-Class; online or any combination… all the time fully supported by our huge national team throughout our 8 Student Support Centres.
External learning means you can complete your entire course from the comfort of your home (or office, or overseas, or virtually anywhere). Your course comes complete with fully self-contained, referenced and professionally presented learning materials including 18 individual workbooks and readings. It really is as simple as working through the material and contacting us for support along the way. If you live locally to one of our support centres you can also attend tutorials to provide you with face to face contact if you wish (this option is ideal if you enjoy working more independently or have a busy schedule).
In-Class learning is a classroom forum where you learn with other students from a qualified lecturer. Classes are available in most main cities, at flexible times. In-Class is a great way for you to accelerate your learning, interact with other students and stay highly motivated. (This option is particularly suitable if you enjoy learning in the classroom environment with other students).
Online learning allows you to complete your learning entirely via your PC. You still receive all the high quality hardcopy resources (so you don’t miss out on anything!), but you’ll access all your learning materials and complete assessments online.
Any combination. Of course you don’t have to stick with one learning method throughout your studies. You’re welcome to use whichever method suits your needs and desires at the time. You may choose to complete one workbook in-Class, another online, then externally. Whatever is most convenient!
Learn more here: www.aipc.net.au/lz
Subscribe to the AIPC YouTube Channel for free access to the AIPC Video Lecture Series
We’re excited to announce our latest educational project: the AIPC Video Lecture Series. This engaging series showcases a collection of interesting counselling topics, hand-picked by our education team, and presented by Richard Hill (MA, MEd, MACA) – a regular speaker at mental health conferences in Australia and around the world.
The series consists of 10 videos (30-45min each), delivered weekly over a 10-week period. The series is available exclusively via the AIPC YouTube Channel. As a channel subscriber, you’ll have access to all videos at no cost, so you can watch the lectures from anywhere, and at any time.
Some of the topics include:
- A comparison of therapeutic approaches (or psychologies)
- Core principles and actions of Psychology First Aid
- Understanding and working with Will in therapy
- Psychological shadow
- Transference and projection
- Dealing with narcissists
- Supporting people with chronic pain
- Understanding and helping people with addictions
To access the series, simply go to our YouTube Channel (link below), and click the SUBSCRIBE button located on the right-side of the page, under the main banner. Once you have subscribed, just check your email every Friday morning, starting this Friday 7 February 2014, for updates on when a new video is released. As a subscriber of the AIPC YouTube Channel, you’ll also be the first to access future series and informative videos.
We also ask that you help us spread the word: we think many of your friends and colleagues may be interested in this engaging series. Simply email them the link to the page, and instructions above. Another way to share this resource is by posting the instructions and web address on social media – including Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Thank you and enjoy.
MHSS: Help those around you suffering mental illness in silence
Our suicide rate is now TWICE our road toll. Many suicides could possibly be averted, if only the people close to the victim were able to identify the early signs and appropriately intervene.
RIGHT NOW someone you care about – a family member, friend, or colleague – may be suffering in silence, and you don’t know.
With the right training, you can help that family member, friend or colleague.
Save $100 when you join an upcoming Mental Health Social Support workshop.
Upcoming workshops in February/March:
Ferny Grove, QLD: 08 & 09 February
East Doncaster, QLD: 06 & 07 March
Gold Coast, QLD: 22 & 23 March
Your registration includes the 2-day facilitated workshop; a hardcopy of the MHSS Student Workbook; and access to an online dashboard where you can obtain your certificate, watch role-play videos, and much more.
The Mental Health Social Support workshop is approved by several industry Associations for continuing professional development. Learn more: www.mhss.net.au/endorsements.
Once you complete the MHSS Core program you can undertake the MHSS Specialty Programs:
- Aiding Addicts;
- Supporting those with Depression or Anxiety
- Supporting the Suicidal and Suicide Bereaved
- Supporting Challenged Families.
Working with the Intellectually Disabled
Are you as a mental health professional aware of the needs of disabled clients? Do you know what generally constitutes “impairment”, “disability”, or “activity limitation”? Would you be aware of special considerations or needs that such a client might have in a counselling context?
There is wide agreement that it is difficult for people with disabilities to get any counselling at all, let alone that which meets their particular needs (WWILD, 2012; Raffensperger, 2010; Haj, 1991). In the past, there has been a general assumption that at least those whose disability was intellectual would not be able to engage in counselling; they were said to lack the cognitive ability and insight to be able to participate meaningfully in the counselling process. Moreover, counsellors have often expressed doubt about their ability to work with this group.
These two situations have combined to mean that people with disabilities (especially intellectual ones) have been excluded from mainstream counselling services. Yet, those living the experience of the “disabled” have a greater burden of discrimination, marginalisation, and exclusion from the community and its services than “normal” people. They are more likely to be exploited or become victims of crime, experiencing trauma and necessitating counselling support. Those who acquire their disabilities as adults are particularly vulnerable to trauma (WWILD, 2012; GoodTherapy.org, 2013).
In this article, we explore six important issues counsellors should consider – when working with the intellectually disabled – in order to maximise positive outcomes for clients. These include:
- Common myths which reduce motivation to engage the counselling process
- The counsellor-client power imbalance
- The need to do time differently than with non-disabled populations
- The need for extra support
- Processes of trauma, grief, loss, and bereavement
- Appropriate means of expression and style of counselling.
Common myths which reduce motivation to engage the counselling
As we elaborate on these myths, we challenge you to disidentify from the attitudes you would like to claim, and acknowledge any limiting beliefs you may have been led to adopt.
Myth 1: The intellectually disabled are unable to think. Reality: People labelled intellectually disabled may take more time to come up with an answer. Some are challenged to engage abstract thinking. But they do think (WWILD, 2012). Nartey (2007) reckons that this myth has had much to do with professional disinterest in working with this population; the fear that the client would not be able to think, reasoned the psychoanalyst, meant that he would not be able to form transferences, the basis of psychoanalytic work (Nartey, 2007).
Myth 2: People with intellectual disability cannot feel. Reality: People with disability have feelings and experience emotions in the same ways as people without intellectual disability.
Myth 3: People with an intellectual disability do not feel hurt or trauma from exploitation or abuse like non-disabled persons do. Reality: The intellectually disabled feel these things as acutely as any other person.
Myth 4: People with an intellectual disability are unable to communicate well in a therapeutic environment. Reality: The intellectually disabled can communicate in a number of different mediums if given the opportunity.
Myth 5: So-called “challenging” behaviours by the intellectually disabled are displayed because of their disability. Reality: Although intellectually disabled people sometimes engage in unique behaviours, the behaviours labelled “challenging” usually occur because they do not know how to express frustration, anger, or other strong emotions engendered from abuse or trauma. They need help to deal with that (WWILD, 2012).
A counsellor labouring under the illusion of any of these myths perpetuates the stigmatisation and marginalisation of the intellectually disabled which is already occurring; this happens partly because of the power imbalance.
The counsellor-client power imbalance
Counsellors are in a position of power when working with intellectually disabled people; keenly feeling that power differential can cause clients to miscommunicate, engage in challenging behaviour, or inspire them to be non-compliant. Ways to reduce the power differential, therefore, are crucial with this group. They can include:
- Including power-neutral positions in the environment and allowing the client to choose where to sit
- Avoiding unnecessary use of professional jargon
- Using labels of intellectual disability as little as possible with clients (as most do not identify with diagnostic labels, or even with being disabled)
- Considering moving the counselling session to a different environment, such as a park or café, or going on a walk
- Making sure that clients know it is ‘ok’ to ask for clarification when they don’t understand something (it is the mental health practitioner’s responsibility to ensure understanding; being able to do so reflects a therapist’s skill) (WWILD, 2012).
Doing time in session with the disabled
Most mental health helpers avow the importance of allowing the client the time needed to feel comfortable in session, build safety and rapport, come to grips with the problem, and work out appropriate therapeutic goals. The intellectually disabled person must go through the same process, but needs more time for it. The suggestion is that counsellors should allow double the time they normally would for the total duration of the therapy (Brown & Hooper, 2009).
This allows the disabled client the extra time needed to understand the task and the questions being put to them, to think about the questions, to grab relevant information from memory, and to find words (or another communication medium) to communicate their thoughts and feelings (WWILD, 2012). It is not about making an hour-long session into a two-hour one, however. Such clients may tire easily from the task of concentrating, and may be benefitted more by shorter, more frequent contacts.
Support: a broader issue
Counsellors are sometimes reluctant to take calls from clients in between sessions. With intellectually disabled clients, however, support between scheduled session times may be especially beneficial as clients grapple with session issues and come to understandings – or points which need clarification – in their own time, often after a session has finished (Raffensperger, 2010).
Too, while liaising with support people in the client’s life may be useful for counsellors of non-disabled clients, it is essential for those working with disabled ones. Family and friends who are in daily contact with the person are in a position to observe changes in the person’s behaviour and well-being. Such support people can offer useful information and clarification in situations where the client has difficulty providing precise or detailed information.
Hayes (2007) cites research to suggest that clients with intellectual disability have the best therapeutic outcomes when they have the support of family members or paid support workers to apply what they are learning in session to the “real world” outside of therapy. The therapist, then, must collaborate with such support people, allowing carers to come to sessions and facilitating them to develop the skills required to help create and support change in the client. Also, such training can help carers, whether paid or family members, to develop the attitudes which allow change to occur (Hayes, 2007).
As a professional working with a disabled client, you can encourage support people to aid the therapeutic process by:
- Helping the client to apply skills learned in session to the world outside of therapy
- Supplementing the client’s observation about what has and hasn’t worked “in the real world”
- Helping the client to recognise and celebrate positive change
- Enabling more productive and enjoyable relationships by learning new ways of interacting with the client
- Creating opportunities for client success
- Showing others (for instance: friends, teachers, and workmates) how they can support the client to maintain positive change (WWILD, 2012).
Processes of trauma, grief, loss, and bereavement
Trauma: Because so many people with intellectual disabilities have been abused psychologically, emotionally, or physically and thus experience emotional problems or secondary physical mobility disability, learning how to recognise the signs of trauma, grief, and loss in intellectually disabled clients is paramount. The indicators which identify whether a person is experiencing depression or other mental health issues are similar to those for the non-disabled population:
- Difficulty getting to sleep or waking early
- Lethargy; more time sleeping
- Restlessness and irritability
- Showing less interest in formerly enjoyed activities
- Losing or gaining weight
- Avoiding other people
- Loss of confidence
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness (adapted from WWILD, 2012)
Not only depression and anxiety, but also the following symptoms are responses – by both disabled and non-disabled people – to traumatic events:
- Flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive images or thoughts, and reliving the experience
- Problems with memory, attention, concentration, and/or problem-solving ability
- Poor decision-making ability
- Reduced ability to communicate
- Blaming themselves or others
- Changes in behaviour, either sudden or gradual
- Anger outbursts, destructiveness, or self-harm
- Physical illness or complaints about aches and pains
- Loss of bladder control
- Seeking reassurance
- Wandering or searching.
The intellectually disabled are not different from non-disabled populations in needing reassurance and normalisation; a key step in support is to help them understand that such reactions are normal to experience and that they are having them because they have been traumatised, not because they cannot cope (WWILD, 2102).
Grief, loss, and bereavement: Imagine for a moment that you have landed on a strange planet, one in which all the inhabitants – funny-looking though they are – are mathematical geniuses. They practically talk in mathematical formulas and theorems. While you used to do ‘ok’ in school back on Planet Earth in the subject of maths, you are no match for this culture. They quickly size you up and, seeing that you are not equivalently gifted to them in this aspect, begin to call you “retarded”.
Of course, you know that you are regarded on your home planet as a pretty good thinker and that you are normally a quick study, so this intractable characterisation leaves you feeling really anxious and depressed, especially because you will be staying on the planet for some time; you feel a profound sense of grief at how you are thought of. But what happens over time has you even more gobsmacked: you realise that the “natives” of this planet have come to believe that you are anxious, depressed, and grieving because that’s the way you normally are, that it’s part of your “retardation”. They don’t even consider for a moment that you might be reacting to their judgment of you.
For people with intellectual disability, the situation may be similar. The palpable sense of grief and loss can occur simply when the person comes into awareness that they are “different” from others. They may feel anxious and depressed that they cannot communicate or understand things in the way that “normal” people do. These types of losses are many and occur over a very long period of time, prompting some writers to claim that grief and loss are amongst the most significant yet under-acknowledged issues for people with intellectual disability (Riches, 2008). To make matters worse, there is a common assumption that people with intellectual disability are not capable of experiencing grief (Riches, 2008).
Continued negative evaluations of intellectually disabled people, by themselves as well as others, make self-esteem and positive self-regard highly difficult to achieve, as the labels “different”, “limited in capacity”, or “dumb” can be a major factor contributing to a sense of loss and the consequent depression. Unfortunately, the resultant behaviours are often seen as “challenging” and as part of the disability, and deeper causes are not considered (Blackman, 2008); thus, they are missed diagnostically, with only the “challenging” behaviour a focus.
Similarly with bereavement, family members and paid carers can wrongly assume that the intellectually disabled person is not capable of grieving because they cannot understand death. Compounded by the often-present social isolation, poor physical and mental health, and limited opportunities for appropriate expression of emotion, it is not surprising that intellectually disabled individuals may experience a prolonged anger born of grief (WWILD, 2012).
Because understanding the concept of death can be challenging for those with intellectual disability, it is important that they be able to participate fully in the rituals that take place for the deceased person. The disabled need to be able to come to terms with the characteristics of death: namely that it is permanent, that it totally causes the body to stop working, and that it happens to us all (MacHale, McEvoy, & Tierney, 2009). Research has shown that support people and carers are likely to overestimate the intellectually disabled clients’ understanding of death, which makes it harder to identify grieving, with behavioural changes attributed to other causes (MacHale et al, 2009).
You can help an intellectually disabled, bereaved client to grieve in a healthy way by:
- Making sure that carers and support people know about the client’s loss
- Helping the client access warm, caring, trusting relationships during their time of loss These key supportive relationships can form a solid basis from which to heal
- Aid the client in being able to view the deceased person’s body and to participate in funeral or memorial services or other grief rituals
- Patiently explain, over and over again, about death using methods of communication which work for the client
- Facilitate the client gaining possession of photos or other memorial items of the deceased loved one
- Assist the client to engage in memorial activities such as artwork, memory boxes, or the planting of special trees or shrubs to help the client cope with the loss and provide a positive connection to the person’s memory (Constellation Project Australia, 2010).
All of these strategies work best within an appropriate style of communication, one which allows the client the flexibility to communicate in ways that suit him or her.
Appropriate means of expression and style of counselling
While those with intellectual disability often struggle to tell their stories in a direct, linearly sequenced manner, remembering details and understanding cause-and-effect, they nevertheless have many means of communication at their disposal. We plant here the suggestion that mental health helpers can enhance therapeutic outcomes by allowing as “legitimate” many creative means of expression, in two categories: embodied expression and projected expression.
Embodied expression includes media such as dancing and music, acting, role play, use of masks, and characterisation, embodied games, and whole person movement. Projected expression includes art (e.g., painting and drawing), sand tray work with symbols, written stories and poetry, and drama which expresses the person’s story through an external character.
Such techniques are often highly beneficial for intellectually disabled clients because they do not depend for effectiveness on verbal communication, allowing instead indirect expression. Too, they work with both imagined and factual narratives (Upton, 2009).
If therapists can open themselves to the notion that the client’s story can be told just as validly through art, drama, or music, they can foster not only a closer therapeutic alliance, but also the consequent improved therapy outcomes.
In this article we examined the chief issues for counsellors working with intellectually disabled clients, including: popular myths which reduce counsellors’ motivation to engage counselling with the intellectually disabled; questions of the counsellor-client power imbalance; the need to proceed at a different pace than with non-intellectually disabled clients; the need for extra support; the ongoing issues of under-acknowledged trauma, grief, and loss; and (briefly) the issue of counsellors’ need to accept varying means of expression from the intellectually disabled, who are not always comfortable with direct verbal communication.
In closing, we may speculate about the considerable gains that could accrue for all disabled persons – whether intellectually or otherwise disabled – if the pervading attitude in the larger society were similar to that of the disabled themselves as described in the following quote:
“People with disabilities who consider them-selves successful generally accept their disabilities as one aspect of who they are. They do not define themselves by their disabilities. They recognize that they are not responsible for their disabilities, and they know that they are not inherently impaired. They do not blame others for their situation, nor do they have a sense of entitlement. Instead, they take responsibility for their own happiness and future (Do It, n.d.).
Another may have summed up the entire issue with this one pithy observation:
“God makes each one of us with an ability; society creates the “dis” (Do It., n.d.).
This article was adapted from the upcoming Mental Health Academy CPD course “Counselling the Disabled: Introduction to the Issues”. The aim of this course is to acquaint you with the issues which surround the counselling of disabled people.
Brown, F. J. & Hooper, S. (2009). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with a learning-disabled young person experiencing anxious and obsessive thoughts. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 13(3), 195-201.
The Constellation Project Australia. (2010). Intellectual disability and grief - for professionals
[website]. Retrieved on 30 December, 2013, from: hyperlink.
GoodTherapy.org. (2013). Chronic illness/disability. From the GoodTherapy.org website. Retrieved on 4 December, 2013, from: hyperlink.
Haj, F. (1991). Problems with counselling the visually handicapped. Future Reflections Winter/Spring, 1991, reprinted from the July, 1990, Braille Monitor. Retrieved on 4 December, 2013, from: hyperlink.
Hayes, S. (2007).Cognitive behavioural therapy for people with ID who are victims of crime – can it be accessed and does it work? Paper presented at the 5th World Congress of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies, Barcelona, 11-14 July 2007. Retrieved on 30 December, 2013, from: hyperlink.
MacHale, R., McEvoy, J. & Tierney, E. (2009). Caregiver perceptions of the understanding of death and need for bereavement support in adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 22, 574-581.
Nartey, P. (2007). Ethical issues in counselling and psychotherapy with people with intellectual disability. Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Health, 3(2), 1-12.
Raffensperger, M. (2010). Brainstorming collaborative solutions: Looking back at problems but moving forward to find collaborative ways to better support the emotional and mental wellbeing of people with an intellectual disability. Talk based on doctoral dissertation given at Disability Support Workers Conference, Melbourne, 2010. Retrieved on 4 December, 2013, from: hyperlink.
Riches, V. (2008).Unrecognised and unsupported: Grief among people with intellectual disability. Grief Matters, Winter, 48-52.
WWILD. (2012). How to hear me: A resource kit for counsellors and other professionals working with people with intellectual disabilities. WWILD Sexual Violence Prevention Association Inc: Disability Training Program. Department of Justice and Attorney General Building Capacity for Victims of Crime Services Funding Program. Retrieved on 3 December, 2013, from: hyperlink.
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The Institute has a list of recommended textbooks and DVDs that can add great value to your learning journey - and the good news is that you can purchase them very easily. The AIPC bookstore will give you discounted prices, an easy ordering method and quality guarantee!
This fortnight's feature is...
Name: Psychology, Themes and Variations, 9th edition
Authors: Wade, C. and Travis, Carol
AIPC Code: WEITIN
AIPC Price: $117.20 (RRP $139.95)
Filled with exciting, current research and practical ways that you can apply psychology to your everyday life. With the “featured studies” found throughout this book, you’ll get a birds-eye view of real psychology research in action.
Counselling an Adult with an Intellectual Impairment
Simone’s Employment Support Worker has arranged for her to receive counselling, with her consent, to assist her day and residential service provider to ascertain the cause of her recent behaviour change. Staff have observed that Simone is increasingly lethargic and withdrawn. An assessment by her GP eliminated any physical cause. The GP noted that while there was no evidence of depression, Simone seemed to be “troubled about something” and referred her to the Counsellor. Despite attempts from staff and Simone’s family to help Simone express her feelings and concerns, Simone continued to quietly deny that there were any problems.
Given that the purpose of the session was to assist Simone to identify her concerns so that her service-provider could then address the issues, no distinct therapeutic approach was used. The core conditions of counselling were applied, for example; empathy, unconditional positive regard, and respect for the client to foster a secure and comfortable counselling environment in which the client could safely explore and express her concerns.
Work-Life Balance: Ways to Restore Harmony
According to the Australian National Occupational Health and Safety Commission Report, December 2003, high stress levels lead to thousands of stress-related WorkCover claims every year. Cases of mental stress had by far the highest median (8.5 weeks) and average (16 weeks) time lost, and accounted for 29% of all new cases of disease. This is way above the median of 3.4 weeks lost and average of 9.3 weeks for all new cases of injury or disease.
Stress in the workplace is common and caused by many different factors and issues. Many problems may never be fully resolved and the amount of stress a person experiences is often determined by whether or not they can accept that some things in life will simply never be sorted out to their satisfaction. For instance, a person may feel stressed by the way they are treated by their employer, or the behaviour of a work colleague.
Mental Health Academy – First to Knowledge in Mental Health
Get unlimited access to over 50 hours of CPD video workshops and over 100 specialist courses, for just $39/month or $349/year. Plus FREE and EXCLUSIVE access to the 10-hour Psychological First Aid program ($595.00 value).
We want you to experience unlimited, unrestricted access to the largest repository of professional development programs available anywhere in the country.
When you join our Premium Level membership, you’ll get all-inclusive access to over 50 hours of video workshops (presented by leading mental health experts) on-demand, 24/7.
You’ll also get access to over 100 specialist courses exploring a huge range of topics, including counselling interventions, communications skills, conflict, child development, mental health disorders, stress and trauma, relationships, ethics, reflective practice, plus much more.
You’ll also get FREE and EXCLUSIVE access to the Psychological First Aid course ($595.00 value). The PFA course a high quality 10-hour program developed by Mental Health Academy in partnership with the Australian Institute of Psychology and the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, and framed around the internationally accepted principals of the NCTSN Field Operations Guide.
Benefits of becoming a premium member:
- FREE and exclusive PFA course ($595.00 value)
- Over 100 specialist courses to choose from
- Over 50 hours of video learning on-demand
- CPD endorsed by leading industry associations
- Videos presented by international experts
- New programs released every month
- Huge range of topics and modalities
- Online, 24/7 access
Some upcoming programs:
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
- Treating Depression in the Older Adult
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- A Constructive-Developmental Approach in Therapy: Case Studies
- Sitting with Shadow: Case Studies
- Emotionally Focused Therapy
- Drinking and Alcohol Related Harm among Adolescents and Young Adults
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Neuroscience, mirror neurons and talking therapies
Have you visited the Counselling Connection Blog yet? There are over 600 interesting posts including case studies, profiles, success stories, videos and much more. Make sure you too get connected (and thank you for those who have already submitted comments and suggestions).
Guidelines for developing an effective Counselling service website
A website or blog is one of the most significant investments a counsellor makes in their efforts to advertise their practice. However, all too commonly, basic rules are not followed and shortcuts are taken. The result is usually an underperforming site that could otherwise be an effective client recruitment tool. By applying a little more time, effort, investment and diligence at the front end, a useful and cost effective client recruitment tool can be established that requires only minimal ongoing maintenance.
The following guidelines have been produced to assist ACA (Australian Counselling Association) members create more effective sites. Whilst it is not exhaustive by any means, it can serve as a checklist to ensure you have the basics covered. Some of the steps may at first seem daunting, but once you have them in place they’ll serve you well into the future.
The latest issue of Family Matters presents a range of articles on how disadvantage and inequality affects families: https://bit.ly/Lq9oJz
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"The only disability in life is a bad attitude."
~ Scott Hamilton
Many students of the Diploma of Counselling attend seminars to complete the practical requirements of their course. Seminars provide an ideal opportunity to network with other students and liaise with qualified counselling professionals in conjunction with completing compulsory coursework.
Not sure if you need to attend Seminars? Click here for information on Practical Assessments.
Below are upcoming seminars available during the first semester of 2014.
BRISBANE (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 15-16/03, 24-25/05
Communication Skills I: 09/02, 05/04, 21/06
Communication Skills II: 01/03, 11/05
Counselling Therapies I: 22-23/02, 31/05-01/06
Counselling Therapies II: 12-13/04
Legal & Ethical Framework: 16/02, 04/05
Family Therapy: 02/03, 15/06
Case Management: 08-09/03
GOLD COAST (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 04-05/04
Communication Skills I: 15/02, 17/05
Communication Skills II: 15/03, 21/06
Counselling Therapies I: 21-22/03
Counselling Therapies II: 23-24/05
Legal & Ethical Framework: 13/06
Family Therapy: 14/02
Case Management: 10-11/03
SUNSHINE COAST (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 08-09/02, 31/05-01/06
Communication Skills I: 08/03
Communication Skills II: 09/03
Counselling Therapies I: 22-23/03
Counselling Therapies II: 12-13/04
Legal & Ethical Framework: 22/02
Family Therapy: 03/05
Case Management: 21/06
MELBOURNE (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 28/02-01/13, 08-09/3, 05-06/04, 09-10/05, 13-14/06, 28-29/06
Communication Skills I: 22/02, 02/03, 11/04, 11/05, 15/06
Communication Skills II: 23/02, 07/03, 12/04, 17/05, 21/06
Counselling Therapies I: 08-09/03, 12-13/04, 17-18/05, 27-28/06
Counselling Therapies II: 15-16/03, 26-27/04, 24-25/05
Legal & Ethical Framework: 08/02, 22/03, 26/04, 31/05
Family Therapy: 09/02, 23/03, 27/04, 01/06
Case Management: 15-16/02, 29-30/03, 03-04/05, 07-08/06
DARWIN (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 05/04
Communication Skills I: 15/03, 14/06
Communication Skills II: 15/03, 14/06
Counselling Therapies I: 12/04
Counselling Therapies II: 08/02, 21/06
Legal & Ethical Framework: 18/02
Family Therapy: 29/03
Case Management: 24/05
ADELAIDE (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 08-09/02, 05-06/04, 28-29/06
Communication Skills I: 29/03, 17/05
Communication Skills II: 30/03, 18/05
Counselling Therapies I: 15-16/02, 24-25/05
Counselling Therapies II: 01-02/03, 21-22/06
Legal & Ethical Framework: 03/05
Family Therapy: 04/05, 24/08
Case Management: 22-23/03, 14-15/06
SYDNEY (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 27-28/02, 14-15/03, 07-08/04, 02-03/05, 26-27/05, 27-28/06
Communication Skills I: 20/03, 29/04, 29/05, 25/06
Communication Skills II: 21/03, 29/04, 30/05, 26/06
Counselling Therapies I: 06-07/02, 27-28/03, 09-10/05
Counselling Therapies II: 24-25/02, 10-11/04, 23-24/06
Legal & Ethical Framework: 24/03, 12/05
Family Therapy: 26/02, 30/04
Case Management: 07-08/03, 16-17/05
LAUNCESTON (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 08/03, 13/06
Communication Skills I: 07/02, 16/05
Communication Skills II: 07/02, 16/05
Counselling Therapies I: 21/02, 27/06
Counselling Therapies II: 11/04
Legal & Ethical Framework: 21/03
Family Therapy: 05/04
Case Management: 02/05
HOBART (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 06/04
Communication Skills I: 16/03, 15/06
Communication Skills II: 16/03, 15/06
Counselling Therapies I: 13/04
Counselling Therapies II: 09/02, 22/06
Legal & Ethical Framework: 16/02
Family Therapy: 18/05
Case Management: 23/03
PERTH (9.00am – 5.00pm)
The Counselling Process: 08-09/03, 03-04/05, 07-08/06
Communication Skills I: 15/03, 10/05
Communication Skills II: 16/03, 11/05
Counselling Therapies I: 05-06/04, 14-15/06
Counselling Therapies II: 08-09/02, 12-13/04
Legal & Ethical Framework: 15/02, 18/05
Family Therapy: 16/02, 24/05
Case Management: 22-23/02, 31/05-01/06
Important Note: Advertising of the dates above does not guarantee availability of places in the seminar. Please check availability with the respective Student Support Centre.
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