Good people skills always came naturally to former beauty therapist, Sara. She enrolled to study the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy at ACAP, to apply her interest in listening to others to a new profession. Sara’s commitment during her dual placement at Mosman Private Hospital – as a counsellor and provisional psychologist – resulted in her appointment as an Allied Health Officer at the facility.
“I worked really hard in my placement and my supervisor was a great mentor. I also didn’t shy away from the challenges she presented to me.
Read Sara’s story:
As a qualified beauty therapist, I found myself counselling clients every day. I really liked listening to the stories of others and found myself thinking, ‘how can I assist?’ So I pursued a degree in psychology, then a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am currently undertaking a 4+2 pathway as a provisional psychologist.
Being exposed to a hospital setting for placement afforded me the practical experience I needed to work in the hospital system. At my first inpatient group I had to quickly read the sheet and formulate a plan for explaining the theories to the patients. I just hit the ground running and thought on my feet. It was fun and exciting and I loved the clients’ positive feedback.
The job offer was a pleasant surprise. In saying this, I worked really hard during my placement and my supervisor was a great mentor. I also didn’t shy away from the challenges she presented to me.
My role at MPH consists of conducting the outpatient Alcohol and Other Drugs group as well as the Solution Focused outpatient group and one-on-one counselling. Because I have a qualification in psychology, I was also involved with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) sessions.
The counselling program is structured in a way so that clients have the opportunity to gain skills within a 28-day timeframe. We give handouts at every session so that they can practise during their stay and after discharge. I find the program interesting and challenging, as the clients will test my knowledge. I need to be concurrent with the recent research and findings that pertain to mental health recovery.
I believe my previous skills managing staff and dealing with clients have given me a good foundation for this position. I still have further study to do, to develop my key interests. I am looking at becoming a relationship psychologist and counsellor.
I have encouraged others to look into ACAP for further study. The instructors and ACAP supervisors are amazing. I received lots of support from my supervisor, who was always available. It is a great place to further the study experience. The placement and supervision was the best part of the course.