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Bethany Moody

Graduate Diploma in Counselling

Bethany Moody

It’s funny to think how much has happened in the short time since I graduated ACAP.

3 years ago, I took a placement in a wellbeing team in a high school as part of my Graduate Diploma in Counselling study with ACAP. Little did I know back then that that very placement would lead to me heading up a large high school wellbeing team just a couple of years later.
My journey with ACAP started with a conversation I had with a friend who had recently graduated. I was feeling at a bit of a crossroads at the time. She raved about ACAP and told me about all the benefits of the college over the bigger universities. I liked the idea of smaller, more personal classes and the course sounded interesting so I decided to apply. While on the placement towards the end of the course, my supervisor pulled me aside for a chat about my goals once I finished. It was then that I reflected and realised I really wanted to continue working with children. I found it easy to establish connections with the kids and knew I could help them.

He came up with the idea of me volunteering for a few months once I’d graduated, and set it up for me at a different school that had shown interest in the placement program. I learned so much from volunteering and made some useful connections. When a permanent counselling role became available for the Middle School, they suggested I apply and I was so excited when I got the job. Before I knew it, I myself was supervising dozens of placement students from ACAP. It was kind of daunting but I’d learned so much in my time there as a student and then a volunteer that I just got on with it.

Fast-forward to today and I’m now Head Counsellor of the School, managing 25 counsellors and 15 social workers. It’s full-on but such fun. No two days are ever the same, and the pace can go from 0-100 in seconds. But that’s one of the things I love about it, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

Kelly Merchant

Graduate Diploma Counselling

Kelly Merchant

To be the right support for other people during difficult times is such an honour, and one that motivates me in what many people see as a traumatic and sad field of work.

I’ve always had a desire to help others but my journey into bereavement counselling began after a traumatic experience of my own. In 2007, I welcomed my beautiful baby daughter into the world, and she was sadly stillborn after a perfectly normal pregnancy, labour and delivery. Of course, my whole world shifted.

A direct experience in what was and wasn’t available to me in terms of emotional and practical support, led to me vowing to help others journeying through what can feel like a raging storm.

It became clear in my mind what that help would look like and I set about finding ways to make it a reality. I already had an undergraduate degree in Health and Behavioural Science so I could have applied to do a Masters, but I could see the Grad Dip would get me to where I wanted to be faster.

By the time I’d finished the course I felt well set up to achieve my goals. Not only did I have the knowledge base, I also had plenty of practical experience and networks from placements and volunteering which prepared me to head straight in.

I firstly worked for SIDS and Kids NSW, taking calls from bereaved parents and supporting them to find services. Shortly after, I also opened up a private practice that I still run today. My main focus is helping people experiencing grief and loss, particularly parents, but I also see clients for anxiety, stress, life and career transitions.

My real passion though is my work with Bears of Hope. We’re a small charity that provides a range of supports to families after the loss of a baby. I do 20 hours of paid work a week, and another 20 volunteering. It sounds like a lot, and it is a lot, but I just love it. As well as individual counselling, we run support groups, weekends away, and importantly speak to health professionals and social workers about the needs of bereaved people at their rawest moments.

Like my personal journey, my career journey hasn’t always been plain sailing, but I just bring myself back to why I’m doing this. Because of my experiences, I’m in a strong position to help others using not only my mind, but also my heart. If I can offer a sense of comfort, or even a glimmer of stability, it makes all my hard work… just so worthwhile.

Kirsty

Graduate Diploma of Professional Psychology Practice

Kirsty

Through the Graduate Diploma of Professional Psychology Practice I have had the opportunity to work across a number of mental health services including drug and alcohol, disability services, assessment and private practice, allowing me to generate extensive knowledge in these areas. I’ve experienced a sense of accomplishment particularly in my paid placement when working one on one with a young student experiencing anxiety.

Ultimately I have been able to complete the 6th year requirements with support and guidance from ACAP.

Michelle

Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science

Michelle

Personalisation makes the course and enhances learning. As a result I’ve done so much better at ACAP – both personally and academically. The lecturers are relatable, honest and supportive of leading you in the right direction.

Cliff

Bachelor of Social Work

Cliff

Classes at ACAP have a personal touch. I am able to express my opinions and grow through my teachers’ life experiences and constructive support.

Ayshe

Bachelor of Counselling

Ayshe

I chose to study at ACAP to fulfil my desire to really understand the process of mental wellness.

George

Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science

George

Previously I had studied Economics and Law, then I was drawn to studying at ACAP because of my interest in helping and understanding people. The best things about ACAP is that it is flexible, inclusive and supportive.

Monique

Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)

Monique

ACAP staff have continued to motivate me throughout my academic career, and key ACAP lecturers inspired me to study an Honours degree. They are world class.

Kareem

Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)

Kareem

At ACAP I have benefitted from so many valuable experiences. I feel that there is a genuine involvement with student learning which has helped me on my way to achieve my goal of a Clinical Psychology Masters.

Neil

Bachelor of Psychological Science

Neil

I’ve always been interested in human behaviour, personality differences and the abnormal psychology topics we hear about in popular culture. I began my study at a mainstream university, but their timetable didn’t support my part-time requirements. ACAP’s blended learning was perfect so I could manage content at my own pace. I also wouldn’t have been comfortable asking those ‘stupid questions’ in a massive lecture theatre. ACAP’s smaller classes gave me all the confidence I needed.

Claudia

Bachelor of Counselling

Claudia

Having studied the Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy, when I began working the field one of the major skills I was lacking was counselling. I completed my placements at Mosman Private Hospital, where I ran group sessions for patients. It was such a rich, supportive learning environment with a supervisor that was hands-on the whole way through. Before my intern was complete, I’d been offered a job.

Deborah

Bachelor of Counsellor

Deborah

I migrated to Australian in 2000. I realised I wanted to help people and feel fulfilled so eventually chose a career in counselling. My placement saw me work two days a week at Dorothy Impey Home, a community-based aged care facility, where they were so impressed by my results and proactive nature, I became their first onsite counsellor as soon as I graduated.

Lisa

Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Lisa

I have held a lifelong passion to work as a mental health therapist, but wasn’t in a position to pursue this career until the last 10 years. I had graduated with an honours psych degree, but felt the need to develop my counselling skills which I believe are integral to the helping profession. I’m now employed in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Unit at Mosman Private Hospital – my placement experience during my course paved the way to empowering and informing my growth as a mental health therapist.

Sarah

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Sarah

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 how to support others who may be experiencing mental health difficulties. Being face-to-face with clients and implementing treatment during my placement, gave me a true insight into what employment in the field would be like. I can’t emphasise enough how important these practices are.

Lara

Master of Psychology (Clinical)

Lara

The academic and clinical staff have extensive experience in a variety of areas, so we get a diverse perspective on theoretical approaches and career prospects. The clinical placements are in a variety of settings, so there is an amazing opportunity to experience working with interesting and complex clients.

Alanoof

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Alanoof

ACAP is a very friendly environment, and I like that the new skills I am learning are helpful to have in everyday life. The practical component was definitely the selling point for me. I love the method of group work and discussion in class. Working together helps us to understand the concepts better.

James

Bachelor of Psychological Science, Diploma of Counselling

James

The big thing for me at ACAP is that age is not a barrier, it’s how much you enjoy and appreciate what you’re doing that makes you a success. Before I began my studies, I was a volunteer counsellor for Lifeline. I’m now a paid employee. If you’re interested in the human condition, this is the place to be. My diploma activated parts of my brain I hadn’t used for 30 or 40 years. And that is incredibly satisfying.

Isaac

Bach of Applied Social Science, Grad Dip of Psych Science

Isaac

Having come from Zimbabwe, ACAP’s small classes appealed to me and I felt that everyone was accepted here. I graduated from my Bachelor and decided to continue my studies as I wanted to learn more about the mind! I got a lot of insight from my student placements and hope to one day open my own practice, specialising in rehabilitation or therapy.