Graduate Diploma of Counselling

A rewarding career in helping others awaits you with a one-year Graduate Diploma from JNI.

You will learn the fundamentals of being a counsellor – from clinical work to social psychology and communication with patients, this course will give you the extensive training you need to work in this field.

There is plenty of opportunity for hands-on training both with organisations and at the on-campus clinic. You will train with experts in the field and receive a nationally recognised qualification from one of the most respected learning institutions in the country.

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At a glance

Study mode



Jansen Newman Institute (RTO 0269)
Career Opportunities

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.
Meets Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia training standards.


Undergraduate degree or Graduate Certificate or Diploma / Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree, plus relevant professional experience.


NSW - Sydney

Work placement

160 hours in total

Course length
Accelerated: 7 months | Full-time: 1 year | Part-time: 2 years
Study mode



Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.


Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.


Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Written & practical assessments, reflective journal, essay writing & clinical training
Start date

Six start dates per year.

Jansen Newman Institute (RTO 0269)

Jansen Newman Institute (JNI) provides flexible, industry-based training in counselling and psychotherapy.

The college has a strong reputation in the industry for producing highly competent graduates.

Jansen Newman Institute courses feature:

  • Practical training – so you graduate with the skills to step into a job
  • Flexible study options – so you can fit study around your life
  • The option to study at an accelerated rate – so you can finish your course sooner and start your career

Think: Colleges Pty Ltd (RTO 0269) trading as Jansen Newman Institute


The course price can vary depending on a few factors, including whether you are an Australian resident or your chosen payment option. To find out more, contact the course provider.


Applicants must have either:

  • Completed a Bachelor Degree or Graduate Certificate in a *related field and have at least 2 years of relevant professional experience in a *related field; or
  • Completed a Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Associated Degree in a *related field and have at least 4 years of work experience in a *related field.

The applicant is required to attend an interview, provide two referees and a 400 word written statement on why they want to do this course.

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • Clinical work
  • Ethics
  • Social psychology
  • Counselling practices

Work placement

This course includes a total of 160 hours of professional work placement.

The industry experience gives you invaluable real-life skills, so you graduate ready to step into a job.

Course structure

Core units

  1. Understanding social and emotional behaviour across the lifespan – an introduction to developmental psychology

    The unit introduces you to the field of developmental psychology and explores why people do what they do, and what drives or motivates human behaviour.

    You will examine the key life stages of birth, early and later childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, mid-life, ageing and death in their social and cultural contexts. The unit also examines the role of families and communities in supporting healthy development.

  2. Theories & practices of counselling

    You are required to explore an eclectic approach to theories, modalities and practice skills and this unit of study sets the foundation for this work. In this unit, you are introduced to a selection of influential counselling theories, including:

    • Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theories
    • Person-centred therapy
    • Existential therapy
    • Gestalt therapy
    • Cognitive behavioural therapy
    • Family therapy
    • Feminist therapy
    • Solution-focused therapy
    • Narrative therapy

    You will participate in different experiential learning scenarios to develop your understanding of the range of counselling interventions available to you from each of the counselling theories presented. This unit also establishes a firm foundation for the concepts and techniques developed in later units.

  3. Practicum 1: Advanced therapeutic communication

    This unit explores the nature of interpersonal communication in its many guises with a survey of the different communication channels and barriers to effective communication. You will be required to consider the role of self and culture in interpersonal communication, and the part that perception, listening and reflection play. You will also be given the opportunity to examine how different types of relationships (family, work, personal) can be enhanced through more effective communication.

  4. The counsellor: Ethics, legal & professional issues

    This unit will provide you with the opportunity to explore the ethical and moral issues that arise when working as a professional in a therapeutic context. You will be expected to engage with the topic to such a level that you can articulate your ethical position and what you consider to be moral behaviour in the therapeutic relationship. Professional standards for counsellors and counselling practice will be identified and implications for professional practice determined.

  5. Mental health: Therapeutic assessment and intervention in therapy

    Practice models, therapeutic approaches and skills for effective and deliberative practice will be identified and examined for use. To inform this investigation, students will review research findings on aetiology, subsequent development and the evidence base for the efficacy of various forms of treatment.

    The final component of the subject introduces the notion of cross cultural counselling and gender awareness and the way that gender, ethnic, religious and cultural differences affect the way ‘problems’ are perceived and presented, and the way that change agents may need to respond. This Subject uses experiential learning opportunities with critical feedback from peers and lecturers.

  6. Practicum 2: Clinical placement

    To undertake this unit, you will obtain a placement of 160 hours within a community services organisation such as a community counselling agency, government counselling or welfare centre, child or youth service, neighbourhood centre, community corrections, hospice or hospital pastoral care setting (and with special permission their place of work). You will be required to use this placement to build upon and consolidate your counselling skills with a variety of client groups and presentations.

    In addition to the 160 hours placement, you may undertake up to 10 hours of individual face-to-face counselling to begin your more formal clinical training hours. This individual counselling will be supported by 3 hours of clinical supervision from the Jansen Newman Institute.

  7. Practicum 3: Integrating theory into clinical practice

    This unit offers students opportunities at an advanced theoretical and practical level to develop their professional practice skills within the context of specific therapeutic models that are taught in the course. Students will participate in a range of experiential learning activities designed to critically reflect on the possibilities and limitations of particular counselling techniques and on integrating these modalities to achieve desired outcomes.

    The unit teaches the skills designed to work with anxiety, psychologically hold clients while distressed, challenge unsustainable perceptions and behaviours, and interpret feelings to assist in the development of a coherent sense of self. These will be integrated with the communication skills of empathic responding, summarising, and open‐ended questioning.

Elective units

  1. Advanced social research methods

    This unit will assist students to understand the process of research, including developing proposals before undertaking research, specifying research questions, selecting the most appropriate research methods for the research questions, research ethics and protocols, sampling, data collection, data analysis and reporting.

    A range of research paradigms and case studies of published research reports will be presented to allow an examination of the relationship between that which is under study and the research method(s) used.

  2. Positive psychology & coaching

    In this unit, the usefulness, relevance and relationship of coaching and positive psychology to counselling will be explored. Positive psychology is a relatively new field in psychology and this unit will review its contribution as an approach to the "helping relationship", including an investigation of some of the controversies, conflicting view points and their respective empirical support. 

    As part of their exploration of the key positive psychology theorists, students will begin to develop an understanding of how they can synthesise that work into their potential coaching practice. They will also learn a range of particular coaching skills, including solution-focused and strengths-based approaches, as well as goal-setting and personal development coaching. This unit will balance theory and practice in its delivery and students will be encouraged to engage in interactive learning through discussion and experiential practice.

  3. Cognitive behaviour therapy

    This unit surveys the history of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, the approach, the range of modalities, and its appropriate clinical application. Importantly, students will review contemporary evidence-based critique of CBT to determine its efficacy and suitable clinical applications. As well as developing their CBT treatment skills, students will learn other anxiety management strategies to augment and support a CBT approach, including relaxation techniques, respiratory retraining and hyperventilation.

  4. Working with complex presentations

    Comorbidity, dual diagnosis or co-occurring conditions can also be understood as a way of categorising clients with a combination of mental ill health issues, or complex presentations. In this unit, students will critically review the range of definitions for comorbidity and what this means for their professional practice, and their assessment and treatment options.

    The unit includes an introduction to the range of validated tools used in clinical practice to assess clients. Students will investigate different treatment conventions used in the Australian AOD and mental health sectors, as they relate to the psychological and physiological problems encountered by people suffering from a combination of mental illness and dependence.

  5. Focusing

    Focusing Therapy is a client-centred approach to therapy, and is connected with and related to a phenomenological model of change processes. The importance of body-sensing in healing was emphasised by Eugene Gendlin in collaboration with Carl Rogers in the 1960s and continues to offer important insights into working therapeutically with clients today.

    This unit addresses this specific therapeutic approach with an investigation of modality and techniques. Students will also source an evidential base for its efficacy and discuss its potential in their professional practice. Given the highly experiential nature of the modality, this unit will provide students with the opportunity to develop their own skills and techniques in this modality in a safe and supportive environment.

    The unit concludes with discussion of how culture informs the body's inner knowing and how a socially constructed world informs the inner world.

  6. Introduction to somatics

    In this elective, students are introduced to theories and practices of somatics as they apply to counselling and psychotherapy. Modern somatics is based on both recent research on aspects of body-mind unity and age-old wisdom of ancient eastern and western cultures. The theoretical understandings and practical skills in this field of inquiry have both a therapeutic and an educational function: they can be used to deepen the therapeutic healing and change process and to facilitate the development of sustainable body-mind living skills.

  7. Working with young people

    In this unit, students will be given the opportunity to explore some of the issues and challenges associated in working therapeutically with young people. The unit begins with a discussion of the cultural and social framework for understanding the positioning of young people and "youth" in our culture today. This serves as a foundation for the further study in young people and the factors that can affect their mental health and how this manifests.

    The Maudsley model for treatment is examined, along with service delivery models and other forms of interventions. Students will also discuss the potential for working with different communities on intervention and prevention strategies. Students will also be introduced to the legal parameters that will inform their professional practice: child protection and notification, informed consent, confidentiality and involvement of the family.

  8. Responding to complex trauma and sexual abuse

    This unit addresses the specific issues that arise when working with adults or children who have been sexually abused. Students will explore the different types of abuse that take place, including child sexual abuse, emotional neglect to domestic violence and rape, and how the client’s gender, age and culture can influence physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms. Students will investigate different frameworks for understanding trauma more generally, and this knowledge will be applied to their work in this unit. 

    The unit also addresses other challenges of working with trauma, including affect deregulation and memory/repressed memory. Contemporary research will be critically reviewed to ensure students develop an understanding of current theories and practices in working with clients who have been sexually abused. Importantly, students will also actively pursue plans for their self-care.

Support and delivery

Studying online explained

Jansen Newman Institute offers a comprehensive support for all students.

You will receive one-on-one support to help you establish goals, create study plans and develop sound study skills.


This Graduate Diploma of Counselling has been designed to specifically address the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) training standards. 

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