Counselling

Professional Development

Professional development units for counsellors & other allied health professionals


All Professional Development Units are now offered online 


Excelsia College is a specialist in professional, personal and educational development. At Excelsia we understand what it takes to achieve your ultimate professional goals. Our programs leverage the resources of Excelsia College and are delivered by instructors that are eager to share their real-world professional practices. Our tuition is designed to give students skills that will instantly translate into positive results in the real world.

Delivery Mode: online

Location: 69-71 Waterloo Rd, Macquarie Park

Cost: $500 per unit

How to Apply: Download the flyer and application form for each unit. Fill out the fields and send to assistant.registrar@excelsia.edu.au If you have any questions please contact us on 9819 8860

Limited Places, book early!

BLOCK 1A ( March - April 2020)

Friday 6, 13, 20, 27 March & 3, 17, 24 April
Time: 1- 7pm
Room: B02
35 hours across 7 weeks
Final Payment Date: 6 March 2020

This unit introduces attendees to the theoretical knowledge and clinical skills associated with counselling children and young people,including a range of individual, family, creative and group therapies, learning how to appropriately select from among these therapies so as to optimise intervention strategies applied to individual clients. The unit is situated within a broader socio-ecological approach to counselling children and young people, emphasising the importance of social and cultural contexts central to client health and well-being (e.g. family, educational and community systems, etc.), and addressing how working with these systems is crucial for welfare, functioning and/or recovery of the individual child or young person. Utilising a strengths-based approach, the unit focuses on key issues such as developmental crises, disability, trauma, emotional and behavioural problems, and environmental issues; examining how these conditions and circumstances may adversely affect clients’ physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being and their educational attainments. Concurrently, the unit offers a mental health focus emphasising prevention, early intervention and crisis management of identified at-risk populations of children and young people.
Friday 6, 13, 20, 27 March & 3, 17, 24 April
Time: 1- 7pm
Room: D01
35 hours across 7 weeks
Final Payment Date: 6 March 2020

This course examines the historical origins and contemporary applications of systemic work with families. It examines how the dynamics that operate between family members may contribute to symptoms experienced by vulnerable family members, particularly children and young people. Developmental and contextual factors are examined to take a trans-generational view of family functioning. Theoretical and practical applications of multiple models and theories of family therapy are presented which provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in being able to effectively assess and intervene with families that present for counselling. This requires knowledge of both basic and systemic counselling techniques including the ability to engage respectfully and impartially with all family members, even when issues of safety and risk require appropriate professional and ethical responsiveness.
Saturday, 7, 14, 21, 28 March, 4, 18 April, & 2 May
Time: 10am - 4pm
Room: D01
35 hours across 7 weeks
Final Payment Date: 6 March 2020

In this seven-day introduction to narrative therapy, we will explore the philosophical underpinnings of the method such as the idea that people’s lives are socially constructed; issues of power and politics; the ‘story’ metaphor and how identity is storied. You will also gain knowledge and skill in key practices of narrative therapy including externalisation and deconstruction, re-authoring, re-membering, definitional ceremony, the use of therapeutic documents, linking lives and enabling contribution. Additionally the workshops will provide an introduction to some of the primary applications of narrative therapy including narrative approaches to working with children and families; community work; working with different cultures and working with trauma. Your learning will be supported through relevant theories, skills practice and demonstrations, and case presentations.

Learning objectives of this training:

- Have a greater appreciation of, and to be able to work more effectively with, language, discourse, and social constructionist principles.
- Work with the concept of multiple identities, identity conclusions and the externalising of problems.
- Begin to develop the skills of deconstruction, re-authoring, re-remembering, mapping, using therapeutic documents, linking lives and enabling contribution.
- Enhance the skills of teasing out clients’ ‘insider knowing’ and work more closely with clients’ hopes, visions, values and commitments.
- Understand and work with the ‘normalising gaze’ and the significance of power relations.
- Gain a basic understanding of some of the ways that narrative therapy has been applied to specific contexts

BLOCK 1B ( May - July 2020)

Saturday, 23, 30 May, 6, 13, 20, 27 June & 4 July
Time: 10:00am - 4pm
Room: D06
35 hours across 7 weeks
Final Payment Date: 23 May 2020

The aim of this unit is to equip attendees with an understanding of when couple work is indicated, and with a framework of principles, behaviour, meaning, belief and emotion with which to explore a couple’s presenting issues.

The focus of the unit is on couple therapy as a higher order and integrative intervention which involves knowledge of [i] couple dynamics, including assessment of these dynamics; [ii] lifecycle development and the impact of nodal points at times of transition (birth, illness, death, adolescence, children leaving home, marriage, ageing etc.), which affect the couple dyad from a systems perspective, taking into account cross-cultural perspectives; [iii] key themes commonly presented in couples counselling sessions (e.g., intimacy, love, power, sex, infidelity, finances, balancing family and work responsibilities, domestic violence, separation and divorce, management of children, etc.); [iv] contemporary models of couple therapy; and [v] the couple counsellor’s role in managing their own reactivity in the face of heightened emotion, issues of safety, and both overt and covert invitations to side with one partner against the other.

Attendees will be given the opportunity to develop core couple skills in how to conduct couple assessments and how to assess and intervene in common issues which present in couple therapy. Attendees will also be required to consider ethical dilemmas that emerge when working with couples in order to develop their reflective capacity to manage the often complex ethical issues which can arise in the context of couples work.
Friday, 22, 29 May, 5, 12, 19, 26 June & 3 July
Time: 1pm - 7pm
Room: B02
35 hours across 7 weeks
Final Payment Date: 22 May 2020

The long-term and adverse effects of trauma on the development of self and subsequent psychological functioning are recognised as significant contributors to clinical presentations in counselling settings. For example, a childhood history of exposure to traumatic events, abuse and/or neglect, being a repeated first responder to critical incidents, and service persons’ exposure to combat are among experiences with potential to significantly disrupt normal functioning and, in some instances, development. Consequently, it is important that counsellors are able to identify factors and contexts implicated in the formation of trauma symptomology and its varied clinical manifestations, including by:

• understanding the neurobiology of trauma and being cognisant of recent research developments in this area;
• recognising trauma as a contributor to, or the cause of disrupted functioning and multiple mental health conditions;
• becoming familiar with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.) (DSM-5) diagnostic categories which help differentiate trauma symptomology;
• understanding the effects of trauma in its various presentations among different clinical groups;
• exploring a variety of trauma-focused treatment protocols (with established clinical efficacy) currently
indicated in trauma care; and
• appreciating the role of the therapeutic alliance in the trauma recovery process.

Attendees will also be challenged to consider ways to ameliorate adverse effects associated with vicarious traumatisation and burnout, a risk faced by those who regularly provide trauma-informed counselling. They will be introduced to self-care strategies known to facilitate coping among those working with traumatised clients.

Friday 22, 29 May & 5, 12, 19, 26 June
Time: 1- 7pm
Room: B.02
35 hours across 7 weeks
Final Payment Date: 6 March 2020

This course examines the historical origins and contemporary applications of systemic work with families. It examines how the dynamics that operate between family members may contribute to symptoms experienced by vulnerable family members, particularly children and young people. Developmental and contextual factors are examined to take a trans-generational view of family functioning. Theoretical and practical applications of multiple models and theories of family therapy are presented which provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in being able to effectively assess and intervene with families that present for counselling. This requires knowledge of both basic and systemic counselling techniques including the ability to engage respectfully and impartially with all family members, even when issues of safety and risk require appropriate professional and ethical responsiveness.
Friday, 22, 29 May, 5, 12, 19, 26 June & 3 July
Time: 1pm - 7pm
Room: B01
35 hours across 7 weeks
Final Payment Date: 22 May 2020

In this seven-day introduction to narrative therapy, we will explore the philosophical underpinnings of the method such as the idea that people’s lives are socially constructed; issues of power and politics; the ‘story’ metaphor and how identity is storied. You will also gain knowledge and skill in key practices of narrative therapy including externalisation and deconstruction, re-authoring, re-membering, definitional ceremony, the use of therapeutic documents, linking lives and enabling contribution. Additionally the workshops will provide an introduction to some of the primary applications of narrative therapy including narrative approaches to working with children and families; community work; working with different cultures and working with trauma. Your learning will be supported through relevant theories, skills practice and demonstrations, and case presentations.

Learning objectives of this training:

- Have a greater appreciation of, and to be able to work more effectively with, language, discourse, and social constructionist principles.
- Work with the concept of multiple identities, identity conclusions and the externalising of problems.
- Begin to develop the skills of deconstruction, re-authoring, re-remembering, mapping, using therapeutic documents, linking lives and enabling contribution.
- Enhance the skills of teasing out clients’ ‘insider knowing’ and work more closely with clients’ hopes, visions, values and commitments.
- Understand and work with the ‘normalising gaze’ and the significance of power relations.
- Gain a basic understanding of some of the ways that narrative therapy has been applied to specific contexts

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