Lisa delayed her start to a counselling and psychotherapy career, but the rewards of her studies have been swift. She was employed by her placement agency, Mosman Private Hospital (MPH) in 2016, in its Mood and Anxiety Disorders Unit. Her multi-disciplinary role includes counselling, clinician work and outpatient therapy. Lisa’s Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy degree from ACAP is an addition to prior psychology qualifications.
What inspired you to study counselling and psychotherapy?
I have held a lifelong passion to work as a mental health therapist but was unable to pursue this career until the last ten years. Now I have graduated with an honours psych degree, however I felt the need to develop the person-centred counselling skills integral to the helping profession.
What did you do at placement during your Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy studies?
The Mosman Private Hospital placement provided a healthy balance of supervision, individual and group assessment and intervention. A typical day included one to two individual counselling sessions of a morning; in the afternoon I would facilitate a group session or two. Throughout the day I would write notes and conduct unstructured clinical interviews.
Within this supervised environment, I often operated independently in the provision of high quality care for the attending clients. I am forever grateful for this chance afforded me through my Master’s degree. I really believe that the subject matter, in conjunction with my placement module empowered and informed my growth as a mental health therapist.
How did the practical experience complement your theoretical studies?
Just being in the counselling environment and being afforded the privilege to care for others inspired me and provided me with the confidence to deliver what ACAP had taught me. ACAP provides an amazing array of placement opportunities rarely seen in educational institutions. I am extremely fortunate to have been a student at ACAP.
The content in my Master’s degree covered a broad array of intervention and assessment strategies. We have learnt the case conceptualisation model through ACAP, which coincidently is the exact model practised at my placement.
Developing the self of the therapist was a valuable subject to complete in conjunction with placement which helped me transform from a novice therapist to a competent practitioner. The group and individual therapy subjects cemented my practical skills. Placement and theory go hand in hand in this ACAP degree.
How does your current work situation fit to your career aspirations?
My titles, along with provisional psychologist, are group counsellor, individual counsellor, TMS clinician and DBT outpatient therapist. These are my goals as a professional healthcare provider and I anticipate being fully registered in a short time.