Meet Sarah Corkran
Sarah was nearing completion of her Graduate Diploma of Counselling studies in 2015, when she accepted a job offer as an alcohol and drug counsellor from her placement agency, SalvoCare. Her position at the facility combines face-to-face counselling, agency networking and care and recovery coordination.
What inspired you to become a counsellor?
As a teenager I had a few family members experience post-natal depression. My interest in counselling grew from wanting to understand their experience, and finding out how to support others who may be experiencing difficulties with their mental health.
How did placement complement your theoretical studies?
Being face-to-face with clients and implementing different treatment models was the most rewarding experience, and certainly gave me insight into what employment in the field would be like. Liaising with external agencies that were referring clients was also valuable, and allowed me to develop skills in treatment planning.
Working with clients who are high-risk or in extremely vulnerable situations will always involve challenges. I found supervision and self-care to be extremely important and can’t emphasise enough how important these practices are.
What led to the job offer?
Both of my managers were supportive mentors and they encouraged me to apply for a position when it came up. I knew I wanted to continue with the agency even if it meant volunteering, so the job offer was an added bonus. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity.
What would you say to someone considering studying at ACAP?
ACAP was a really supportive place to begin my journey as a counsellor. Placement especially, was crucial to learning what it was really like to work in the field, as well as for discovering which area of counselling work suits you.