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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone a counsellor or psychologist? Study and job advice

    Hello there. I'm curious about counselling and psychology and I'm thinking of starting back with study in this area but unsure what course to do and what career prospects are like??
    So anyone working and/or qualified in these fields, could you give me some info please? Eg courses you did, what area you've worked in and what you're working in now? Do you have your own business?

    My other question is about how to you keep not getting too involved or personally involved with the client? I'm a person that wants to try to help everyone, so I'm wondering if it would stress me out too much with feeling of helplessness IYKWIM....

    Welcome to add anything else I need to know.
    TIA

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    I have a Bachelor of Social Work but have never worked in the field other than as a disability support worker whilst studying. Don't know if things have changed now but I graduated during the recession & couldn't get a job - I was constantly told 'your application was great, we were very impressed. Give us a call when you've got 12 months full-time paid experience in the field & we will see if we have a position for you'. My voluntary work, paid casual work & work experience during the course were worth nothing. Then it got to the point, after about a year of unsuccessfully looking for a job, where I started getting told by employers 'oh you graduated a year ago & have never worked full-time in the industry. Obviously you don't really want to work in the industry then do you?' So to be honest I just gave up & went and re-trained and got a job in admin, where I've worked ever since.

    I don't want to put you off but just wanted to share my experience. All through my degree we were told that we would never have any trouble getting a job in the industry & therefore I found it extremely difficult to deal with when I wasn't able to.

    I also know friends had trouble getting jobs too - they were able to work for Department of Child Safety or Queensland Health, but no-where else would even consider them as new graduates.

    Sorry for painting such a bleak picture, hopefully some other people can give you some more positive information!

    I do know that people with a TAFE Diploma (ie Diploma of Youth Work, Counselling or Community Services Work) seem to be having success getting a job in the current climate, not sure why. Lots of them get jobs from their work placement. So maybe TAFE would be a better option that university.

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    I don't work in the field.....yet.

    But I recently read this and wished I had read it before starting my Psychology degree as so far it seems pretty spot on.

    http://arianalytics.wordpress.com/20...-psychologist/

    So after reading this I have a back up plan, which is nothing like what I originally set out to do. I now have 9 subjects/units to go of my undergrad and as I have completed stats and got really good marks my back up plan is Biostatistics.

    Psychology is a long road but worth it if that is what you really want to do.

    Good luck.

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    Lilahh  (10-06-2014)

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    Do you have a degree in another field? If you do, you can do a graduate diploma in psychology which is 2yrs part time and the equivalent of a 3yr undergraduate degree is psych. I'm doing this with CSU (distance) at the moment - in fact I should be studying for my stats exam right now lol!

    For psychology, if you want to go all the way and become a registered psychologist, you also need to do the post grad diploma and then masters + 1yr internship, or 2yrs internship instead of the masters. There is also now a registration exam. It's a lot harder than it used to be but I'm not deterred (yet!), just taking it one step at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cue View Post
    Do you have a degree in another field? If you do, you can do a graduate diploma in psychology which is 2yrs part time and the equivalent of a 3yr undergraduate degree is psych. I'm doing this with CSU (distance) at the moment - in fact I should be studying for my stats exam right now lol!

    For psychology, if you want to go all the way and become a registered psychologist, you also need to do the post grad diploma and then masters + 1yr internship, or 2yrs internship instead of the masters. There is also now a registration exam. It's a lot harder than it used to be but I'm not deterred (yet!), just taking it one step at a time.
    Good luck for your stats exam!
    I really enjoyed stats by the end of advanced research design

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerilee View Post
    Good luck for your stats exam!
    I really enjoyed stats by the end of advanced research design
    You WHAT?? Freak!!
    Lol, it's actually not as bad as I thought, but it's my first stats subject. I just get confused by the variations of the formulas - I have no problem knowing what statistical test to use in a particular situation or reading the SPSS output etc but the theory behind it breaks my brain,

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    I work in Community Health as an intake worker. We have many counselling staff. Our generalist/adolescent/children's counsellors must have social work degree, be reg psychologist or psychology degree plus counselling experience.

    Our DV outreach/ drug and alcohol staff can often be employed with relevant Diplomas

    I have a community services dip. and further training (provided by employer) in Single Session/crisis counselling for my role.

    When we refer onto private counsellors, we only refer to Reg. pychologists, or Mental Health accredited social workers.

    Your question about not getting to involved: This is an essential skill, and i have found clinical supervision (which is taken very seriously in out org.) really invaluable for learning the limits to my role, and how much effort I can realistically put into each client. And, importantly, how to go home and leave my work behind.

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    Hi PurpleFlower,

    I have a Grad Dip in Psych and didn't make the grade to get into honours, which means I have a huge HECS debt and absolutely no career options. It is a super competitive degree and they essentially take on way to many students without the places left for them to become qualified as psychologists. For instance, at Flinders Uni there are 12 places for Masters students (you need a Masters to practice) and 300 applicants each year.

    It's brutal. I have met some absolutely horrible people while studying, people who flat out say that they hate people but as they have excellent grades, will probably become registered psychologists. I've also noticed that those who are successful practitioners, essentially are counsellors who have also trained as psychologists so that their clients can get some of the medicare rebate.
    You are looking at a degree that is as competitive as medicine. However, I absolutely loved statistics and really enjoyed the analytical process! It is a very interesting degree and I don't regret studying it, I just wish that it was a bit more like medicine in that they assess the students personal attributes before letting them study the degree

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    PomPoms  (10-06-2014)

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    I have a bachelor of social science (counselling). I was going to do my grad dip in psychology but I am terrible at maths so the statistics put me off. I'm contemplating doing some form of further study still but unsure which direction.
    Since graduating, I have worked as a counsellor in a small DV centre, a youth worker in a residential facility, a foster carer support worker, and as a student counsellor at a university.

    It is hard to emotionally distance yourself, but it's important to keep your 'counsellor hat' on while at work and then take it off before you come home. I found it hardest when I was working in the residential care facility as I was with the kids 24/7 and some of their stories were quite upsetting as were their behaviours. You really need to practise good self care as there is definitely a high burnout rate in this industry, and a good supervisor and regular supervision really helps.
    Last edited by summastarlet; 10-06-2014 at 14:58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sodalimebitters View Post
    Hi PurpleFlower,

    I have a Grad Dip in Psych and didn't make the grade to get into honours, which means I have a huge HECS debt and absolutely no career options. It is a super competitive degree and they essentially take on way to many students without the places left for them to become qualified as psychologists. For instance, at Flinders Uni there are 12 places for Masters students (you need a Masters to practice) and 300 applicants each year.

    It's brutal. I have met some absolutely horrible people while studying, people who flat out say that they hate people but as they have excellent grades, will probably become registered psychologists. I've also noticed that those who are successful practitioners, essentially are counsellors who have also trained as psychologists so that their clients can get some of the medicare rebate.
    You are looking at a degree that is as competitive as medicine. However, I absolutely loved statistics and really enjoyed the analytical process! It is a very interesting degree and I don't regret studying it, I just wish that it was a bit more like medicine in that they assess the students personal attributes before letting them study the degree
    I wish they were more open or upfront about what happens after your 3 yr undergrad. It seems to be very difficult to get provisional psychologist positions that fulfil the supervision part of qualifying.

    I have only recently found out the difficulties with the process and am feeling so disheartened about it all. I am over half way through my under grad and am feeling really down about it all.


 

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