Counsellor

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Careers Counsellor
Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
Educational Counsellor
Rehabilitation Counsellor

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Clerical or OrganisingHelping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 4Skill Level 5

Counsellors assist people to identify and define their emotional issues and better understand themselves by explaining options, setting goals, providing therapy and helping them to take action. Counsellors provide information on vocational, relationship, social and educational difficulties and issues, and work with people to help them to identify and define their emotional issues through therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal therapy and other talking therapies.Future Growth Strong

Counsellors provide assistance and support to people experiencing emotional, social and/or educational difficulties or issues. Rather than giving advice or imposing solutions, counsellors encourage clients to talk through their issues, clarifying the causes and effects, and then to find their own resolutions. Counsellors assist people to identify and explore their emotions, better understand themselves and to consider alternative ways of acting. Most counselling takes part on a one-on-one basis, though sometimes counsellors can work with couples, families or small groups who are experiencing similar difficulties.

ANZSCO ID: 272113

Alternative names: Marriage Counsellor; Family Counsellor

Specialisations: Counsellors may specialise in working with a particular group, such as people from non-English-speaking backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or single parents. Alternatively, they may specialise in a service area such as health, drug and alcohol problems, accommodation, relationships, employment, grief and loss, stress management, child development or abuse issues.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • the ability to build trust and make people feel relaxed
  • strong listening and communication skills
  • the ability to challenge clients in a positive way
  • maturity, patience, and sensitivity
  • a non-judgmental attitude
  • empathy and caring.

Counsellor at work
(Source: International Career Institute)

Duties and Tasks

Counsellors may perform the following tasks:

  • work with clients to find solutions to emotional, mental and lifestyle problems
  • act as facilitators in group sessions
  • conducting counselling interviews with individuals, couples and family groups
  • work with other professionals such as medical practitioners, psychologists and social workers as part of a health management team
  • provide a safe and confidential environment to meet with clients
  • build a relationship of trust and respect with clients
  • encourage clients to talk about their feelings
  • listen, ask questions and check your understanding of a client's situation
  • help clients to find solutions by challenging their views and ideas where necessary
  • refer clients to other medical professionals where necessary
  • act as a facilitator in group counselling sessions
  • specialise in a particular area such as eating disorders
  • keep up to date and confidential records
  • assisting the understanding and adjustment of attitudes, expectations and behaviour to develop more effective interpersonal and marital relationships
  • presenting alternative approaches and discussing potential for attitude and behaviour change
  • act as intermediaries in conflict resolution

Working conditions

Counsellors often work in offices or specially prepared counselling rooms, though they may also visit prisons, schools, hospitals, community centres, medical practices, advice centres or client's homes. They work with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds, who can be experiencing intense and difficult emotions, such as anger, grief and anxiety. This work can be difficult and emotionally draining on counsellors, so they may be required to take regular breaks, debrief with a supervisor at the end of the day or be involved with a peer support group. Counsellors often work irregular hours, which can include evenings and weekends.

Many counsellors are self-employed and work from an office or home office.

Tools and technologies

Counsellors often take notes during counselling sessions, in some cases they may also record sessions using either tape recorders or video cameras. During initial counselling sessions they may use written and verbal tests to assist them in making assessments. Some counsellors, particularly those working with children, may use puppets, toys, cushions and art materials to help clients express themselves.


Education and training/entrance requirements

The Diploma of Counselling is offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia. The minimum entry level for membership of the Australian Counselling Association is an accredited VET level Diploma in counselling.

Many counsellors have a degree in counselling, psychology or a related field. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and maths would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
   

Employment Opportunities

Employment of counsellors is predicted to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Growth is expected as the population grows, and people seek counselling for an increasing number of issues, including health, drug and alcohol problems, accommodation, relationships, employment, grief and loss, stress management, child development or abuse issues.


Did You Know?

Drug-induced Deaths 2019
(Source: National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW)

Educational Counsellor
Community and Health

Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Educational counsellors help students develop social skills and succeed in school. Provides information and assistance to students, parents and teachers about a wide range of matters such as students' personal problems, learning difficulties and special requirements. Future Growth Strong

ANZSCO ID: 272115

Alternative names: School Counsellor, Student Counsellor,  School Guidance Counsellor,

Specialisations: University Counsellor,

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • the ability to build trust and make young people feel relaxed

  • strong communication skills, including listening

  • the ability to challenge clients in a positive way

  • patience, tolerance, and sensitivity

  • empathy and a non-judgmental attitude

  • the ability to work with students from all backgrounds.

School Counsellor
(Source: Your Career)


Duties and Tasks

As an educational counsellor, you would:

  • Conducts counselling interviews with students

  • Assists students in the understanding and adjustment of attitudes, expectations and behaviour to develop more effective interpersonal relationships

  • Presents alternative approaches and discusses potential for attitude and behavioural change

  • Contributes information, understanding and advice on the learning and behaviour of students, especially those with special needs, and assists parents and teachers in dealing with these needs

  • Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations

  • Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur

  • Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, and to resolve behavioural, academic, and other issues

  • Maintain accurate and complete records as required by laws, policies, and administrative regulations

  • Prepare students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks

  • Evaluate students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using a variety of tests or techniques.


School Counsellor
(Source: Orchard Manor School)

Working conditions

Educational counsellors generally work full time, although flexible or part-time work may be available. Educational counsellors work in private and public schools, as well as in tertiary institutions.

Tools and technologies

Educational counsellors evaluate students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using a variety of tests or techniques.

  
Education and training/entrance requirements

Educational counsellors can work at every level of education, although their job duties will vary.

Regardless of the schooling level at which you want to work, you would generally have to earn a master's degree. To undertake a master’s degree, you need to have first completed a bachelor's degree in counselling, psychology or a related field. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and mathematics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

Students and graduates may be eligible for membership of the Australian Counselling Association.


Employment Opportunities

Employment of educational counsellors is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as students seek counselling for an increasing number of issues, including family, health, or drug problems, accommodation, relationships, and mental health.

 

Careers Counsellor
Community and Health

Clerical or OrganisingHelping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Career counsellors help people plan and manage their careers. They offer assistance in making decisions about education and training and personal development, and may also assist in arranging work experience and internships. As career development is a lifelong process, career counsellors work with clients of all ages and may work in schools, TAFE colleges (or institutes of technology), universities, business organisations, government agencies and/or private practice.

Careers Counsellors provide individuals and groups with information about career choices and assist individuals with self-development. Career development practitioners help people of all ages to manage learning and work throughout their life. They provide information, advice and assistance relating to a wide range of matters, such as career planning and management, personal development and looking for work.Future Growth Strong

Career development practitioners may deliver a service to clients in conjunction with other professionals working in allied fields. They may consult with other agencies, accepting and passing on referrals where necessary.

ANZSCO ID: 272111
  
Alternative names: Career[s] Advisor, Career Development Practitioner,
  
Specialisations: School Careers Advisor,

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • able to motivate and inspire people

  • able to relate to a wide range of client groups

  • good communication skills

  • aptitude for counselling


Educational Counsellor
(Source: BACP)

Duties and Tasks

Career development practitioners may perform the following tasks:

  • works with clients on career, study and employment options by obtaining and examining information relevant to their abilities and needs.

  • use various assessment tools to help people identify their interests, skills, aptitudes and abilities, as well as work and lifestyle preferences, and relate them to the world of work

  • counsel individuals on education and career options

  • develop and deliver career education and work training programmes

  • help students find work experience placements

  • help clients with jobseeking strategies, writing resumes and applications, and developing interview skills and career portfolios

  • assist clients to market their capabilities to potential employers

  • assist clients to balance work with family needs

  • help clients to navigate career transitions

  • provide an information and referral service on education, training and employment opportunities

  • consult with teachers, community groups, government agencies, businesses and medical practitioners

  • prepare reports and maintain client records

  • undertake research in areas relevant to their professional roles

  • provides information and resources to assist clients with job-seeking skills.


Working conditions

Career counsellors generally work standard office hours. They have a high level of contact with people, including clients and industry contacts.


Tools and technologies

Career counsellors use a wide range of industry-specific tools such as books, websites (including career websites such as "On the Job") and attend professional development seminars and conferences.


Education and training/entrance requirements

You usually need a formal qualification in career development to work as a Careers Counsellor. University and Vocational Education and Training (VET) are both common study pathways. A University qualification provides industry recognition at the professional level and a VET qualification provides industry recognition at the para-professional level.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree in an area such as education, human resource management or psychology, followed by a postgraduate qualification in career development. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study.

Additional Information
   

To work in schools in NSW, you must obtain a Working with Children Check (NSW) or a Working with Vulnerable People Check (ACT). A National Police Certificate may also be required.


Employment Opportunities
  
Career development practitioners may work with students in schools and other educational institutions, with staff in industry or with the general public in private practice. Career development practitioners are employed by state and territory education authorities, independent schools and colleges, and other educational or training organisations. There are limited openings and competition for available places is strong.

 


Rehabilitation Counsellor
Community and Health

Clerical or OrganisingHelping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Rehabilitation counsellors work with clients who have emotional, mental and physical challenges to help them to live and work independently. Future Growth Strong

 

ANZSCO ID: 272114

Alternative names: Rehab counsellor;

Knowledge, skills and attributes     

To become a rehabilitation counsellor, you would need:

  • strong listening skills

  • an empathetic and supportive approach

  • problem-solving skills

  • an ability to work as part of a team or independently

  • report writing skills.

Rehabilitation Counsellor
(Source: Your Career)

 

Duties and Tasks

As a rehabilitation counsellor you would:

  • evaluate clients’ abilities, interests, skills, and state of health

  • create rehabilitation plans that fit each client's needs, goals and abilities

  • provide counselling and support to help clients manage or adjust to their disability

  • consult with other professionals, such as doctors, therapists, and psychologists, when developing rehabilitation plans

  • meet with clients to monitor progress and alter or develop treatment as progress is made

  • arrange for clients to obtain services such as medical care or career training

  • work with employers to integrate clients into workplaces

  • consults with clients to develop rehabilitation plans taking account of vocational and social needs

  • research and recommend resources, such as wheelchairs or computer programs, that help clients live and work more independently

  • advocate for the rights of people with disabilities to live and work independently.

Working conditions

Most rehabilitation counsellors work a standard number of hours per week, which may include evenings or weekends. You would work in a variety of settings, such as community rehabilitation centres, hospitals, aged care facilities or independent-living facilities.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a rehabilitation counsellor you usually have to complete a degree in health science or an allied health field at university, followed by a postgraduate qualification in rehabilitation counselling.

For entry to these degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, biology, chemistry or physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of a relevant bachelor degree.

Graduates may be eligible for membership of the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC) and the Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia (RCAA).

 

Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
Community and Health

Clerical or OrganisingHelping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Drug and Alcohol Counsellor provides support and treatment for people with drug and alcohol dependency problems and develops strategies that assist them to set goals and affect and maintain change. They also provide community education. Future Growth Strong

Drug and alcohol counsellors provide support and treatment for individuals and families that are experiencing drug and alcohol dependency problems. They provide confidential counselling and assist people living with drug and alcohol problems to set goals, develop rehabilitation plans and help individuals to create a positive change in their life. They may also educate the wider community about alcohol and drug abuse and promote healthy living.

Drug and alcohol counsellors may provide counselling face to face with individuals or groups, or over the phone via a telephone support line.

ANZSCO ID: 272112
  

Alternative names: AOD Counsellor, 
  

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • Knowledge of drugs and alcohol and their effects on the human body

  • High ethical standards

  • Non-judgmental

  • Adhere to confidentiality

  • Able to assess intoxication, overdose and suicide situations


Drug and alcohol counsellor
(Source: Your Career)

Duties and Tasks

  • Assess client needs in relation to treatment for drug and alcohol abuse

  • Conducts counselling interviews with individuals, couples and family groups.

  • Assists people in the understanding and adjustment of attitudes, expectations and behaviour.

  • Presents alternative approaches and discusses potential for attitude and behavioural change.

  • Consults with clients to develop rehabilitation plans taking account of vocational and social needs.

  • May work in a call centre.

  • Writes up useful and accurate case notes


Working conditions

Drug and alcohol counsellors may work for rehabilitation clinics, counselling services or community health clinics.

They may work from an office to provide individual or group counselling, or may be required to travel to visit clients. They may work within the community, in outreach vans or drop in centres where they deliver services and provide education. They may be required to work at night or on weekends.


Tools and technologies

Drug and alcohol counsellors may regularly use computers and office equipment to document and maintain records of their interactions with clients. They may also use a range of tests to assess their clients and determine their needs and progress. They may require a driver’s licence to travel to clients and groups within the community.


Education and training/entrance requirements

It is possible to work as a drug and alcohol counsellor without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in counselling, community work, mental health, psychology, social work or a related area.

The Certificate III in Community Services, Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs, Certificate IV in Mental Health, the Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs, Diploma of Counselling, Diploma of Mental Health and Diploma of Community Services are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can also complete a degree in counselling, psychology or a related area.

To work as a drug and alcohol counsellor in Australia, you may need to hold a current Working with Children Check

 

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Material sourced from
Jobs & Skills WA [Counsellor; Careers Counsellor; Drug and Alcohol Counsellor; ]
CareerHQ [Counsellor; Rehabilitation Counsellor; Educational Counsellor;  ]
CareersOnline [Counsellor; Career Development Practitioner;  ]
Government of WA Mental Health Commission [Counselling guidelines; ]
ABS [Counsellors; ]

JobOutlook [Counsellors; Rehabilitation Counsellor; Drug and Alcohol Counsellor; ]



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