Counselling: a healthy career in mental health

Counsellors act as a therapeutic support for their clients and often choose to specialise, e.g. therapeutic modality, region, and many other client group focused areas. It is clear that counselling is a broad and far-reaching discipline. Opportunities in counselling exist in a variety of settings, from low needs (such as early intervention services), through to moderate and high-need settings.

Registered counsellors work with people from all different backgrounds and across many different ages – making every experience different and interesting. The specialist knowledge encompasses everything from establishing a therapeutic relationship to mental health assessment and monitoring, psycho-education, health promotion and coaching, and contributing to the clarification of diagnosis. No two days are the same!

This great breadth and depth can sometimes be intimidating for graduates – as certain specialities can be such a niche that many employers or clients aren’t aware of the different counselling modalities or specialities. However, not to worry, the Master’s program prepares you to deal with clients from all areas of the spectrum – it just takes some time and practise to get the knowledge to sink in.

As a graduate, it’s important to be aware that ‘marketing’ your skills and competencies will be vital to your success. The Master of Counselling will provide you with an excellent grounding in counselling for you to succeed.  


Employment opportunities

One of the main reasons so many choose to study with UQ is because all graduates of the Master of Counselling program are automatically eligible for full registration with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) - the largest body for Counselling and Psychotherapy in Australia.

In 2016, the ACA began tracking employment opportunities for registered counsellors; the findings were overwhelmingly in favour of tertiary qualified counsellors, as they had the greatest opportunities available to them when comparing levels of training.

Counselling Graphic

It’s important to know that job opportunities for registered counsellors are often grouped with similar professions, such as mental health nurses, psychologists, mental health social workers, mental health occupational therapists, career counsellors, community welfare workers, and other allied health professionals. Because of the great diversity of professions in the healthcare and social assistance space, you have the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams from various professions.

In case you are unaware of the career outcomes, as a registered counsellor, you can work in a huge variety of roles including:

  • royal commission caseworker
  • youth and family support worker
  • personal helper and mentor
  • counselling manager
  • counsellor group worker
  • child and adolescent trauma counsellor
  • intake worker
  • youth development facilitator
  • youth and family team leader
  • senior team leader school counselling
  • youth counsellor
  • family support worker
  • youth outreach worker
  • carer and community educator
  • mental health clinician group facilitator
  • family services practitioner
  • lecturer
  • mental health practitioner
  • assertive outreach worker
  • welfare and student liaison officer
  • therapeutic programs officer and
  • community leader, just to name a few.    

Achieving your best

If you decide upon a career in counselling, you will find an opportunity for personal and professional growth and a chance to connect with those around you in a meaningful way. UQ’s program will also ensure that you have the support of a well-connected industry body. Naturally, I am slightly biased towards UQ’s program, but I truly believe that it equips graduates with all the relevant skills and knowledge to pursue successful careers in the profession.

Registered counsellors impact the lives of so many people every day, and you have the potential of being the person that others turn to in times of need. Every person that you counsel will be different from the first, the next, and the last; and that’s part of the fun of counselling – the learning never stops.

Last updated:
14 March 2017