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Copyright: 2012 Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors

Institute Inbrief - 03/05/2017


Welcome to Edition 269 of Institute Inbrief! The “Imposter Syndrome” - the chronic sense that we are a fake about to be exposed - occurs to 70 percent of us, including highly-accomplished people. In this edition’s featured article, we’ll attempt to understand this “syndrome,” providing you with some tools and strategies to overcome it.  


Also in this edition:

  • Tools for Your Personal Development
  • The Fine Art of Active Listening
  • A Case Using Brief Psychodynamic Therapy
  • CBT in a Nutshell
  • Social Media Updates & Much More!

Enjoy your reading!





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Diploma of Counselling


It’s time to start loving what you do!


We’ve been training qualified Counsellors for over 25 years. Overwhelmingly, the number one reason people cite as why they became a Counsellor – to start loving what they do. They were stuck in a rut doing something they had no passion for, and it was dragging them down.


If you want a deeper understanding of yourself, and to use that knowledge to assist others overcome their challenges and start enjoying life again – then counselling is likely for you.


Too often we get drawn into a career that offers little personal satisfaction. Counsellors are passionate about the important work they do. They’re often someone that friends and family naturally come to for assistance. And they get immense personal reward helping others.


If that sounds like you, then it’s time to start pursuing your passion:

  • Learn about yourself and help others lead better lives
  • Be employed in one of the fastest industry growth sectors in the nation
  • Self-paced training, so you can fit learning around your life
  • Flexible and supported training with quality learning materials

You can learn more here:



AIPC’s Community Services Courses


Helping You Help Your Community!


We’ve helped people from all sorts of backgrounds become counsellors, and now we can assist you in fulfilling your goal of working within the Community Services sector! From 2017, AIPC is delivering the following two new courses:


Diploma of Community Services (Case Management) – learn more


Diploma of Youth Work – learn more


There has never been a better time for you to become involved and invested in the Community Services industries. It is predicted, between the years of 2015 to 2019, that employment within the Health Care and Social Assistance industries will increase by 18.7% (, 2015).


By gaining a qualification in Community Services (Case Management) or Youth Work, you will be contributing to an industry that serves a very important purpose: to assist those with personal or relationship challenges. There is nothing more fulfilling than helping others overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. And there’s no better time to do that than now!


To learn more about these programs, visit


AIPC courses:


Diploma of Counselling


Diploma of Community Services (Case Management)


Diploma of Youth Work


Bachelor of Counselling


Graduate Diploma of Counselling


Master of Counselling



Tools for Your Personal Development


In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey wrote a great piece on the importance of ongoing, self-driven personal development: “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”


If you are undertaking any course of study – especially in counselling or another mental health helper-related discipline – you will likely come across one (or more) chapter, unit or section highlighting the importance of developing effective personal tools to deal with life’s challenges, and having a firm commitment towards your continued professional development.


To help you with your never-ending self-improvement journey, we’ve hand-picked short articles from our blog archives that explore wellness, personal effectiveness, and stress management. Click the links below to access each post:

More articles? Visit our Counselling Connection and the AIPC Article Library today!



A Guide to Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome


You hear the MC describing your achievements as you wait to speak. You feel sick, but it’s not just pre-performance jitters; you “know” that you do not deserve the praise you are receiving. “This is it,” you think. “Now they will find out that I am a fraud, that I don’t really know anything.”


Sound familiar? If your answer is “yes”, you are in good company. The “Imposter Syndrome” — the chronic sense that we are a fake about to be exposed — occurs to 70 percent of us, including such non-controversially acclaimed talents as actresses Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep, and Emma Watson, Nobel laureate Maya Angelou, and WHO Chief Margaret Chan. Even Einstein acknowledged that the “exaggerated esteem” in which his life work was held made him feel “ill at ease” and rendered him “an involuntary swindler”.


What is the Imposter Syndrome?


Identified in 1978, this psychological phenomenon (not a mental disorder!) prevents people from “owning” their accomplishments, despite external evidence of their competence. Those with the syndrome remain convinced that they do not deserve the success they have achieved, attributing it instead to “luck” or “a fluke”.


Here is the good news: to “come down with” Imposter Syndrome, you actually need to be a high achiever (or a perfectionist); “slackers” need not apply. Low achievers, those with low standards, and narcissists cannot be Syndrome victims.


The feelings and behaviours of Imposter Syndrome


The first clue that you might have the syndrome is the chronic feeling that you are a “phony”, despite ample evidence that you are not. Imposter Syndrome victims are diligent, working harder than most others, because they believe they need to compensate for not being genuinely competent. Beyond that, they believe that hard work will prevent others from finding out “the truth” about their “deficits”. Understandably, many victims resort to use of charm to gain approvals. The irony here is that, when they are praised, they believe it was because they were charming, not because they were successful! Syndrome women, especially, avoid displays of confidence because believing in their intelligence and abilities may cause rejection.


Imposter Syndrome victims are overwhelmingly anxious, with feelings of insecurity, a sense of being out of their depth, and full of self-doubt. They hold back their good ideas.


Overcoming Imposter Syndrome


You can escape this potential-denying condition. Here’s how.


Fake it (just a little). Yep, after all this discussion about you feeling like a fake, I am suggesting you go ahead and be one, temporarily. Stick your hand up for the higher position, the challenging competition, the demanding role, even if you don’t feel ready for it (hint: no one ever feels totally ready, but after doing it for some time, you’ll wonder why you ever doubted yourself). I know you won’t carry the fakery so far that you act unethically.


Let the compliments in. Own your successes; you didn’t get lucky by chance. This will be easier after you...


Look in an accurate mirror. Here you may realistically identify what you do well. This is easier if you have been able to...


Take stock of your success. Yes, I mean “stock” as in inventory: a frequently updated, written list of your skills, accomplishments, and experiences, to understand how you are successful and strengthen your capacity to internally validate yourself (what successful people do).


Be strategic with silence. There are really two rules here: (1) don’t suffer in silence. Rather, talk to a trusted friend, coach, or mentor about your secret fears, or expound at length into a journal/recorder. That way you stop the Syndrome tendency to isolate yourself in your fear. (2) Zip it up. This opposite rule applies to any time you are tempted to publicly “confess” all your failings out of nervousness or fear. Get a compliment? Just say, “Thanks” and shut up!


Focus on the value you bring, not on attaining perfection. Remember, if you have Imposter Syndrome, you’re a high achiever. Pat yourself on the back for not being mediocre; rather, you are committed to giving your best, which is different from being the best. Overcoming this thing requires some self-acceptance; you don’t have to be perfect to enrich others’ lives.


Comparisons are insidious; stop them!


Hang on to your ambitions, dreams, and goals. In fact, pursue them. This means you must risk exposure. Others will now see how talented and capable you are. The alternative? Living a life of boring mediocrity, of “settling” for less.


It takes courage to let go of self-doubt and pursue the life you really want. You risk exposure, falling short, and losing face. You could be “found out”. But what you really expose yourself to when you throw off the heavy robes of the Imposter Syndrome is a world of opportunity which is more congruent with your wholeness.


Written by Dr Meg Carbonatto B.S., M.A., and Ph.D.



Course information:


Diploma of Counselling


Diploma of Community Services (Case Management)


Diploma of Youth Work


Bachelor of Counselling


Graduate Diploma of Counselling


Master of Counselling



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The Fine Art of Active Listening


How well-developed are your communication skills? The Carnegie Foundation claims that personal qualities account for 85 percent of the factors contributing to job success. The Harvard Bureau of Vocational Guidance, meanwhile, notes that 66 percent of people fired from their jobs were fired because they failed to get along with people (Edith Cowan University, n.d.). The truth is, you cannot not communicate, and good communication is essential in developing positive relationships and a productive career – especially in counselling. In this article, we explore one of the most important skills in interpersonal communication, and one that is often the Achilles heel of poor communicators: active listening.


Click here to continue reading this article.



A Case Using Brief Psychodynamic Therapy


Wendy is a 54 year old woman who has two adult children and has been married for twenty-nine years. Her husband, Steve, has recently and unexpectedly informed her that he no longer loves her and that he wants a divorce. Wendy was shocked to hear this, and she now reports that she is constantly crying and feels extremely anxious. Wendy has not told anyone about this situation, although she and Steve have agreed to explain his decision to their children within the week.


Click here to continue reading this article.


More articles:



Mental Health Academy – First to Knowledge in Mental Health


Get unrestricted access to over 300 hours of professional development education in mental health, including specialist courses and on-demand videos.


Mental Health Academy is Australia’s leading provider of professional development for mental health practitioners. MHA’s all-inclusive memberships give you instant access to over 300 hours of learning – including videos presented by internationally-renowned experts in counselling, psychology and mental health.


Topics explored include: Evidence-based therapies, mindfulness, CBT, focused psychological strategies, children & adolescents, relationship counselling, motivational interviewing, depression & anxiety, addictions, trauma, e-therapy, supervision, ethics, plus much more.


Benefits of becoming a premium member:

  • Over 110 specialist courses to choose from
  • Over 100 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

Learn more and join today:



Have you visited Counselling Connection yet? There are hundreds of 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).


CBT in a Nutshell


We can broadly define CBT as a combination of cognitive and behavioural therapeutic approaches used to help clients modify limiting, maladaptive thoughts and behaviours, ones that are often inconsistent with consensual reality (Beck, Rush, Shaw, & Emery, 1979). The basic premise of CBT is that troublesome emotions are difficult to change directly, so CBT targets emotions by changing the thoughts and behaviours that are contributing to the distressing emotions.


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"Don’t let the force of an impression when it first hit you knock you off your feet; just say to it: Hold on a moment; let me see who you are and what you represent. Let me put you to the test."


~ Epictetus



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.


Seminar topics include:

  • The Counselling Process
  • Communication Skills I
  • Communication Skills II
  • Counselling Therapies I
  • Counselling Therapies II
  • Legal & Ethical Framework
  • Family Therapy
  • Case Management

Click here to access all seminar timetables online. 


To register for a seminar, please contact your Student Support Centre.


Course information:


Diploma of Counselling


Diploma of Community Services (Case Management)


Diploma of Youth Work


Bachelor of Counselling


Graduate Diploma of Counselling


Master of Counselling



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