Health Sciences

What's the difference between Psychology and Counselling?

Psychology studies the human mind and behaviour. Studying psychology provides students with a comprehensive understanding of behavioural and mental processes.

Psychologists are experts in human behaviour and emotion, with practical skills and research skills that can be applied to a wide variety of fields that include health, education and management. Clinical psychologists help with the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses across the lifespan. Most psychologists also help mentally healthy people to find ways of functioning better. For example, they train people to handle stress and family problems.

In order to be eligible for registration as a psychologist in Australia you must complete a minimum of 6 years of training. This can be via 4 years of university study in psychology followed by 2 years supervised practice, 5 years of study followed by one year of supervised practice, or the completion of a 5th and 6th years of study via a Masters degree. ACU provides multiple options for students wishing to complete professional training courses.

Counselling focuses on client’s concerns and difficulties and includes understanding people’s patterns of thoughts, behaviours, feelings and the ways in which these may be problematic in their lives. Studying counselling involves learning how to assist people to develop an understanding about themselves and to make changes in their lives.

Currently in Australia, counsellors are not regulated. Training can range from a Masters degrees to a Bachelor’s degree or even a 3 day course. ACU offers a 3 year Bachelor of Counselling and a range of postgraduate programs in Clinical Counselling and Child and Adolescents Counselling. Our Graduates enter the workplace with the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively in the field of counselling.