Jacqui Azize, Master of Clinical Counselling student, shares her experience at ACU.
"After completing a Postgraduate in Counselling at the former Institute of Counselling in 2011, I wanted to further develop my understanding of the counselling process. I also had the desire to study in greater depth counselling approaches and issues.
"As I had completed a Bachelor of Education and a Postgraduate Diploma in Religious Education at ACU many years ago, I felt drawn to pursue my studies at ACU once again and enrol in a Master of Clinical Counselling.
"I am enjoying a deeper level of study that is harnessing my desire for knowledge and skill development. The best aspects of the Master of Clinical Counselling at ACU are the opportunities to explore Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy and mental health over a 12 week semester in great depth. The units undertaken have been invaluable in my clinical work as a school counsellor, and they have been practical and relevant components of the course thus far.
"This year, I undertook field work placements in primary and secondary schools. I developed skills in art and play therapy at the primary school level and this experience was rewarding and invaluable in my pursuit in becoming a future school counsellor.
My placements in secondary schools have been humbling and just as rewarding. I learnt skills in brief solution focuses therapy, CBT, and most importantly, further developed a client-centred approach that is underpinned by unconditional positive regard, active and empathic listening/responding, and being non-judgemental.
"The work placements have prepared me for work in this particular field. I have developed confidence and the ability to counsel and support children and adolescents within a school setting.
"I believe the most important attributes of a counsellor are being non-judgemental, empathic, an active listener and responder, showing unconditional positive regard and the ability to be fully present within the counselling relationship."