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What do counsellors do?

Photo: What do counsellors do?
Everyone faces personal challenges or issues during their lives. Counsellors are trained to assist people in working through their personal and emotional issues. They provide a safe and confidential environment in which clients can learn to work through their issues and develop strategies to address and resolve problems on their own. 

Counsellors usually engage clients on a short term basis to work through a specific problem such as:

• Relationship problems
• Anxiety or Depression
• Suicidal thoughts
• Sexuality and gender identity
• Personal growth and development
• Grief and loss
• Addictive behaviours
• Violence and abuse
• Workplace problems

What is the difference between a counsellor and a psychologist?
Psychologists are experts in human mental processes including emotion and behaviour. They are highly trained to use scientific methods and evidence based practices to diagnose and non-medicinally treat mental illness long term.

Qualification as a Psychologist in Australia requires a minimum of 3 years tertiary study in Psychology as well as years of supervised practice before gaining registration with the Psychology Board of Australia.

Counsellors generally assist clients in coping with issues on a conscious level which are more easily resolved through short term treatment. They can assist clients working through powerful emotional processes such as anger and grief, dealing with difficult life decisions or working through conflicts in their relationships.

While counselling is unregulated in Australia, to gain registration with the Australian Counselling Association a minimum level of tertiary education is required, generally either a Diploma or Graduate Diploma in Counselling. This course takes 1-2 years full time.  Click here to search for counselling courses online. 

What do counsellors earn?
The salary for a counsellor will vary depending on a number of factors including location, experience and type of counselling performed. On average, salaries for counsellors range from $50,000 to $90,000 per annum.

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