Meet Sara Bertolini
Good people skills came naturally to former beauty therapist, Sara. She enrolled to study the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy at ACAP, to apply her interest in helping others to a new profession. Sara’s commitment during her dual placement at Mosman Private Hospital (MPH) – as a counsellor and provisional psychologist – resulted in her appointment as an Allied Health Officer at the facility in 2016. She is also continuing her study pathway to become a provisional psychologist.
What inspired you to study counselling and psychotherapy?
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.
How did placement match your career goals?
Being exposed to a hospital setting for placement afforded me the practical experience I needed to work in the hospital system. I just hit the ground running and thought on my feet. It was fun and exciting and I loved the clients’ positive feedback.
What was your reaction to the job offer made during work placement?
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.
What are your main duties?
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.
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.
How would you describe your learning experience at ACAP?
The instructors and ACAP supervisors are amazing. It is a great place to further the study experience. The placement and supervision was the best part of the course.