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Graduate Certificate of Counselling & Psychotherapy

The Cairnmillar Graduate Certificate of Counselling and Psychotherapy introduces students to the foundational concepts and skills required to practice counselling and psychotherapy. The course provides training in specific counselling and psychotherapeutic modalities, enabling students to develop a foundational understanding, communication and practical skills required when working with people in a wide range of different professions. When completing this course, students will be able to add specific counselling knowledge and skills to their present work-related skills and to enhance self-understanding.

Students are trained in the application of counselling and psychotherapy skills through in-class peer and supervised practice, a discussion of case material, participating in intensive and regular small reflective group practice and clinical observation.


Location: Hawthorn East Intake: Semester 1 each year
Delivery:  Part Time Fees:  Fee information can be found here
Duration: 1 Year Part Time FEE-HELP: Yes
Course Code: CP081
Course Duration and Structure

This part time program consists of 50 credit points offered over a one year period. Students undertake a total of four coursework units of study.


Year One
CPc1 Psychotherapeutic Theories and Models
CPc2 Person-Centred Counselling
CPc4 Facilitating Therapeutic Change
CPc5 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


For unit descriptions, please click here.

Admission Criteria

Entrance into the Graduate Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy requires:

  • a minimum three-year Australian Bachelor degree (AQF 7) in any discipline with at least a 60% average mark, OR
  • successful completion of a Diploma (AQF 5) OR Advanced Diploma (AQF 6) AND at least one year’s work experience in a relevant field.

Prospective students may be required to undertake The Cairnmillar Institute’s Introduction to Counselling Skills and Advanced Counselling Skills short courses prior to commencement.

To apply:

Prospective students are required to submit an application through the Apply Now page, with certified copies of the following supporting documentation:

  • Most recent academic transcripts
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A 500 word personal statement outlining the reasons for wanting to undertake the course
  • Proof of residency/citizenship (e.g. passport, birth certificate, or citizenship certificate)
  • Two references, preferably with at least one academic, using the online HODSPA reference system. A guide on how to use the system is available here.

Prospective students who are short-listed will be invited to attend an interview with members of the School Teaching Faculty. This provides the applicant with the opportunity to connect with staff, learn more about the course, and ask any questions.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Students may only be given credit for any coursework if it is from a successfully completed approved course at the appropriate Australian AQF postgraduate level.

Graduate Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge and integration of the range of counselling and psychotherapeutic theories.
  • Understanding the importance of establishing the therapeutic relationship.
  • The capacity to relate in a way to facilitate change.
  • An awareness of the impact of the self on others and the development of relational intelligence, sensitivity, resilience and respect.
  • The capacity to be self-reflective and learn from experience.
  • Understand the impact of gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, class, religion, race and ethnicity on therapy.
Career Opportunities

Although graduates from this course will not be able to work independently in the field of counselling, they will learn additional communication and relational skills that may enhance their current work-skills. With that, they may find employment in some community health and community services organisations.

Graduates of this program may be eligible to apply for entry into the Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Professional Recognition

The course units form part of the nested suite of study within the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Further study (at least to the Graduate Diploma Level) is required to meet the professional training standards of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).