Former naturopath Claudia completed one of her two ACAP counselling placements at Mosman Private Hospital, in Sydney, where she ran group sessions for patients. Before the internship was complete, Claudia was offered a job as an Allied Health Assistant.
What inspired you to study counselling?
I had studied the Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy and found when I began working in the field that one of the major skills I was lacking was counselling. Most clients are at the end of their tether and naturopaths are the last people they visit, after seeing every type of specialist. I thought in most cases they probably needed a counsellor, rather than a naturopath.
What did you do during placement?
I participated in staff meetings, where we discussed all the patients and what was needed for the day ahead. We got all the patients together for the group sessions, wrote case notes and briefed supervisors or psychologists afterwards.
It was a rich learning environment on so many levels. The hospital was a perfect learning ground, with many experiences available in the one place.
My placement went very smoothly at Mosman Private Hospital and I felt well-supported. They wanted you to learn and made sure it was an engaging experience. The supervisor was hands-on the whole way through. Everything was explained.
How did placement lead to your job offer?
A placement officer put me forward for the job of Allied Health Assistant. I was originally meant to be doing administration, but my supervisor realised my talents were wasted in filing, and from then on I ran groups.