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The Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy and its nested awards: the Graduate Certificate in Counselling and the Graduate Diploma of Counselling, provide postgraduate qualifications for those seeking to enhance their skills in the professional domain of counselling and psychotherapy. The qualifications also meet the need of those seeking work in community and business settings to facilitate positive human change.

The Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy qualification has been designed to specifically address the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) Training Standards for 2014 and has PACFA accreditation. For further details on PACFA training standards and member associations go to

Olivia_Saxon-portrait_463x383.png - 'Masters in Counselling Testimonial

Note: early exit qualifications for this course may allow you to achieve a Graduate Certificate in Counselling or a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. Please ask for more information or see “early exit qualifications” below.


Qualification Title Qualification Title


Study Options – Domestic Australian students Study Options – Domestic Australian students

Full-time or Part- time, On-Campus

On-campus study involves lectures, clinics, seminars, tutorials, practical demonstrations, learning portal activities, clinic hours and personal study hours.

Note: two subjects only are offered online.

Study options – Overseas students Study options – Overseas students


Start Dates Start Dates

19 February 2018, 4 June 2018, 17 September 2018

Course Length Course Length

Full-time: 2 years

Part-time: 4 years

Entry Requirements Entry Requirements

Bachelor Degree or higher in a related field and  2 years work or volunteering experience in a related field;


  • CV and application letter and/or screening questionnaire
  • An interview may be required to ascertain suitability to meet course requirements.

International Entry Requirements: Equivalent IELTS 6.5 (Academic) with no skills band less than 6.0

Finance Options - Domestic Australian students Finance Options - Domestic Australian students

FEE-HELP, or flexible payment options available

Course study requirements Course study requirements

One 3-hour lecture per subject per week – total requirement 10 hours per subject per week

Assessment Assessment

A variety of written & practical assessments, reflective journal, essay writing and clinical training.

Location Location

Pyrmont Campus

Delivered by Delivered by

Jansen Newman Institute courses are delivered by Think: Colleges Pty Ltd, ABN 93 050 049 299, RTO No. 0269, CRICOS: 00246M.

Accrediting body Accrediting body

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

CRICOS Course code (if applicable) CRICOS Course code



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

Students 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. Social context and personality development are also explored. The unit also examines the role of families and communities in supporting healthy development.

JNI students 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 students 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, and
  • Narrative Therapy

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


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. Students will be required to consider the role of self and culture in interpersonal communication, and the part that perception, listening and reflection play. Students will also be given the opportunity to examine how different types of relationships (family, work, personal) can be enhanced through more effective communication.

This unit will provide students with the opportunity to explore the ethical and moral issues that arise when working as a professional in a therapeutic context. Students will be expected to engage with the topic to such a level that they can articulate their ethical position and what they 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.

To undertake this unit, students 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). They will be required to use this placement to build upon and consolidate their appreciation of counselling skills with a variety of client groups and presentations.
In addition to the 160 hours placement, students may undertake up to 10 hours of individual face-to-face counselling to begin their more formal clinical training hours. This individual counselling will be supported by up to 3 hours of clinical supervision from the Jansen Newman Institute.

This unit offers students further opportunities 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 to develop their counselling techniques.

New skills will be explored such as working with anxiety, holding clients while distressed, challenging and confrontation, interpretation, reframing and witnessing. These will be integrated with the communication skills of empathic responding, summarising, and open-ended questioning. Students will also be introduced to community skills in cooperation, alliance work, and networking and their usefulness in practice will be explored and critiqued.

This unit explores issues and concerns that inform counselling and psychotherapeutic practice in the mental health field and considers a range of commonly presented symptoms and syndromes.

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 unit’s work 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 unit uses experiential learning opportunities with critical feedback from peers and lecturers.

Group therapy 1 and Group therapy 2 are two core units in the Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy course. They occur in the second year of the course and mark the shift to a deeper engagement with psychotherapeutic processes.

Group therapy 1 and 2 are discrete units (Group therapy 1 is a pre-requisite for Group therapy 2) but they are modelled similarly in that for each unit, students become members of a small therapeutic group, facilitated by an experienced group leader. However, the constitution of the group and the group facilitator is different for each unit, as is the work they will undertake.

Under the guidance of the skilled group leader (who is also a faculty member) students learn firsthand about the dynamics of small groups, and participate in therapeutic work while undertaking the unit. Students must complete set readings and undertake video viewing to help them analyse and reflect on the group processes they have observed. The Yalom model of group therapy is utilised to inform students’ theoretical understanding of the group processes within which they are engaged.

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.

The focus of this unit is to promote the development of the student as an independent researcher. This unit is designed to give students the opportunity to conceptualise, design, implement and evaluate a specific research project developed either from the work students have completed in RES501 Advanced social research methods or equivalent. This unit is designed to give students the opportunity to engage in their own research project, with a supervisor, in an area of specific interest or program specialisation and present a formal written research report of approximately 10,000 words.

This unit has two components.

1. Clinical practice and supervision
Students will be given the opportunity to undertake between 40* and 50 hours of supervised clinical practice, under supervision, either in the JNI Trainee Clinic (which offers low cost counselling services to the public), and/or in selected outplacements. Seeing real clients takes students a step towards the full professional role. Particular attention is devoted to client assessment and treatment planning; to skills of dealing with client resistance; and to issues of counter transference. Students will also receive between 10* and 13 hours of formal clinical supervision to assist them to process and manage their experience as counsellors and psychotherapists. Students will be required to write up cases to professional standard and to submit an AV recording for assessment and feedback.
*Standard hours are 50 (clinical) and 13 (supervision), which can be reduced to 40 and 10 if some clinical hours have been done in CLN501.

2. Individual Support and Learning Sessions (ISLSs)
Students will be required to make arrangements with the appropriate JNI staff member and JNI counselling graduate for twelve hours of individual sessions. These sessions are designed to provide students with the opportunity to experience how it is to be a client – an experience which will further enrich their training as therapists.


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.

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 critiques 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The unit presents students with a radical shift from individually focussed change theories to systemic theories, which conceptualise virtually all human problems as existing ‘within relationships’, rather than as the product of personality dysfunctions ‘within individuals’. After an introduction to the general principles of systems theory as it applies to families, students examine the major systemic theories The subject also focuses on developing and enhancing students' understanding and skills in working with couples. Students review major theories (Hendrix, Gottman, Schnarch, Johnson) and discuss their application in a therapeutic setting. Particular attention will be paid to the psychodynamic in this context. This work is augmented with an investigation of common presentations in couple therapy, including intimate partner violence, infidelity, and gender inequality. Students will discuss each of these presentations and explore possible therapeutic approaches. This unit also provides students with the opportunity to observe and critically reflect upon an experienced therapist working with a couple over a number of sessions. These experiences will assist the student to deepen their learning and enhance their professional training.

Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling and community work, which centres people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives.’ Alice Morgan (2000) What is Narrative Therapy?

In this unit of study, students will be required to investigate key concepts of narrative therapy and critically review its application to professional therapeutic practice. Students will compare and contrast the techniques of narrative therapy with other modalities to determine similarities and differences, and the specific strengths of this approach. The unit includes consideration of the complex ideas of social construction of identity and the role of language in that process.

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.

In this unit of study students will explore, through a critical review of the modality, the application of Gestalt Therapy to their own professional practice. Particular attention is given to the core concepts of:

  • Awareness
  • The personal narrative
  • The cycle of experience
  • Organismic self regulation
  • Contact, contact styles and boundary functions
  • Dialogue and the personal conversation
  • The paradoxical theory of change
  • Experimentation and a unit of work.


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.

In this unit students will develop the knowledge and skills required to function effectively as ecologically aware mental health practitioners. They will be able to conceptualise mental health and well-being not only as the result of past and present emotionally traumatic experiences, but also as predictable outcomes of influencing factors such as access to nature, lifestyle choices, embodiment, psychosomatic literacy, and spiritual support. Students will not only become skilled in facilitating personal growth and recovery, but also in enabling individuals and groups of people to lead emotionally and environmentally sustainable lives with a small ecological footprint. Remarkable in this nascent approach to change is that a sense of connectedness to nature and social and environmental responsibility are not emerging as results of guilt or enforced behaviour change but as result of people’s personal learning processes and healing journeys.

This unit will explore and compare various models of Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy, including exploration of presenting issues, assessment and case formulation, with specific attention to the therapeutic relationship, and the process of termination. This is an experiential unit and the use of case studies and group presentations will enhance the learning process.

This unit will explore Jungian theory of what it means to be human in the cultural life of the 21st century and its applicability for modern thought.

Jung’s theories concerning the nature of the collective unconscious, the use of word associations, archetypes, dream analysis and meaning of self-knowledge will be explored and examined. Incorporating an understanding of dreams, this unit will link these symbols and Jungian archetypes and ideas with sandplay therapy.

Students will explore how to interchange between the roles of client and therapist, thereby gaining first-hand experience and opportunity to reflect on the personal and professional implications of the modality as well as facilitate students’ own personal development. This is also an experiential unit; students will have the opportunity to develop their own skills and techniques presented in this unit.

This unit provides a practical, reflective and theoretical look at the important impact of spirituality on contemporary practice of psychotherapy. In addition to experiencing first-hand various relevant spiritual practices- especially mindfulness, breathing techniques, meditation and employment of imagination – specific attention will be given to the potential relevance of a client’s and therapist’s notions of the sacred, healing and wonder. This unit aims in a practical way to clarify and enhance each participant’s experiences of ‘knowing and not knowing’ within interpersonal, intrapsychic and therapeutic domains of life. Attention will be directed to exploring the difference between religion and spirituality while acknowledging the history and practices from the theistic as well as atheistic/agnostic belief systems.

The focus in the subject is on assisting students to understand and apply the Existential Therapy approach to their personal and professional experience. Particular attention is given to the core concepts of:

  • Phenomenology
  • Dimensions of Existential psychotherapy
  • Awareness
  • Questioning and other core skills
  • Integration with other therapeutic modalities
  • The four worlds
  • The relational nature of the therapy

This elective offers students who have successfully completed the ‘Introduction to Somatics’ elective (PSY511) an introduction to the theories and practices on working with signs and symptoms of physical illness. Students have opportunities to study key concepts used in psychosomatic medicine and liaison psychiatry. The practical part of this elective includes an in-depth exploration of the psychosocial meaning of the participants’ past and present signs and symptoms of physical illness and the study of a range of diseases recognised as having strong psychosomatic and environmental backgrounds.


Frequently Asked Questions

JNI is accredited for the Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.

There are only two units that have been accredited to run online. They are PSY401: Human Development across the Lifespan, and PSY403: Ethics, Legal & Professional Issues. All other units run exclusively face-to-face, and you must attend at least 80% of the lectures for these subjects to be eligible to pass them. A full-time load is 3 subjects, which would normally require attendance on 2-3 days per week for 12 weeks each trimester.

All JNI courses are FEE-HELP loan approved. Almost every Australian citizen is eligible for FEE-HELP, meaning you do not have to pay anything upfront, but can pay for your course as you earn. FEE-HELP is a federal government loan scheme, and like all other loans needs to be repaid. Failure to pay back this loan as required under the conditions of the loan may impact the borrower’s credit rating.

Acceptance into any of the above courses is subject to an interview. To arrange this please call us on 1800 777 116.

The Masters course is designed to give you an intensive, well-rounded education in counselling and psychotherapy. Many students choose to use the skills gained to enhance their personal and professional communication and counselling skills. The Masters course is also considered to be a good preparation or further development into working in private practice as a counsellor/therapist.

The course has been so interesting, you just learn so much about yourself. I think a lot of women like me, who have had another career and had children, and as a middle aged woman you can feel a bit lost. And yet I’ve done this course and suddenly I feel like I have an identity again.

OLIVIA SAXON Graduate – Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy
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