Meet ACAP Graduate Karen Hazell-Raine
Karen studied a Graduate Diploma of Counselling via blended delivery at ACAP's Sydney campus.
Today she works as the Perinatal and Infant Program Manager of Mental Health - Children and Young People, which is part of the NSW Ministry of Health's Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office.
Why did you choose ACAP?
I chose ACAP because of its student-centred philosophy: ACAP offers flexible study options, small class sizes, convenient CBD campuses and teachers with a wealth of professional experience.
Describe your ACAP experience.
When I was studying my Graduate Diploma of Counselling in the mid-1990s I hand-wrote all of my papers and had them typed up by a local administrative service. (There's been a lot of technological change since then!)
I really enjoyed coming in for the face-to-face components of both courses - they were practical and allowed me to develop relationships with my peers and teachers. The ACAP teaching staff were a wonderful guide and influence for me at that time.
Whilst studying at ACAP I was working full-time in specialist areas of NSW Mental Health. I organised and completed three specific student placements within my workplace - allowing me to gain experience in Family Therapy; Child, Adolescent and Family Therapy; and Adolescent Psychotherapy.
How has studying with ACAP benefited you?
Studying at ACAP fostered not only my skills, but a sense of confidence, which have been the foundation of my further work, studies and practice. ACAP's hands-on, student-centred education helped me to integrate a focus on being client-centred into my own practice. The values-based mindfulness that I first learnt at ACAP continually helps me to reach and refine my professional and personal goals.
I now work as the Perinatal and Infant Program Manager for Mental Health - Children and Young People where I specialise in the mental health of infants as well as parent-infant therapies.
Following my studies at ACAP, I have also completed a Master of Infant Mental Health and I am now a PhD candidate within the Discipline of Psychiatry at the University of Sydney.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to complete my PhD and to continue working in my role within the Mental Health - Children and Young People.