Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Cairnmillar Institute

Course details

CRICOS course code: 092968D

Level of study: Graduate Certificates


The Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy provides students with training in key therapeutic modalities and interventions. With its strong vocational emphasis, it helps students learn how to integrate theoretical constructs, gain increased personal knowledge, increase their insight and problem-solving capabilities, apply advanced therapeutic techniques, observational, and practice skills.

The course provides students with theoretical knowledge of contemporary psychotherapies, including humanistic approaches and the cognitive behavioural therapies, taught by practitioners who are specialists in the field. The course includes knowledge and practice of thorough assessment process and brief interventions, case conceptualisation and treatment planning, and a development of professional ethical stance with understanding of the current ethical and legal regulations in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.

Course Duration and Structure

This one-year full time, or two-year part-time program, consists of 100 credit points, including 50 credit points from the Graduate Certificate of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Students undertake a total of eight units of study consisting of seven coursework units and one placement unit.

Year One

  • CAP401 Psychotherapeutic Theories and Models
  • CAP402 Person-Centred Counselling
  • CAP412 Ethics and Professional Development
  • CAP417 Assessment Process in Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • CAP404 Facilitating Therapeutic Change
  • CAP405 Cognitive Behavioural Therapies
  • CAP461 Counselling Placement
  • CAP414 Treatment Planning

Graduate Learning Outcomes

Students who satisfactorily complete the Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy should have the professional capabilities to:

  • Critically review and effectively utilise the knowledge of the major schools of counselling and psychotherapy and relevant research in counselling assessment and treatment planning while working with a range of presenting problems across the life span.
  • Develop therapeutic alliance, select, and apply effective counselling processes and interventions to facilitate change and achieve clients’ goals.
  • Apply the principles of trauma-informed and recovery-oriented practice in working with people with mental health problems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of the PACFA Code of Ethics, professional conduct guidelines and the relevant legal State and Commonwealth Acts in identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas.
  • Demonstrate self-awareness, reflectiveness and relating to others by respecting all aspects of diversity and current life context.

Career Opportunities

Graduates may find employment in a variety of settings including community health and community services organisations, the health professions, rehabilitation providers, human resource management, child protection, family support counselling services, allied clinics and services, and private practice.

Graduates of this program may be eligible to apply for direct entry into the second year of the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

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Tuition Fees (AUD $) Start date Duration Campus
26,400 Per Year
Read more3,300 for each unit
20 Feb 2023 1 year
Full time
Cairnmillar Institute
391 - 393 Tooronga Road
Melbourne Victoria 3123

Entry criteria

Entrance into the Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy requires:

An Australian Bachelor degree (AQF 7) in a related discipline (teaching, social work, social sciences, psychology, counselling or similar) with at least a 60% average marks.

An Australian Bachelor degree in any discipline with at least a 60% average marks AND relevant work experience or completion of The Cairnmillar Institute’s Counselling Skills Foundational and Intermediate short courses prior to the enrolment.

A Diploma (AQF 5) or Advanced Diploma (AQF 6) AND at least one year of work experience in a relevant field.

International students, who do not otherwise meet the AHPRA English standards, are required to have a minimum score of 7.0 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking) of the IELTS test, and a minimum overall band score of 7.


Cairnmillar Institute
391 - 393 Tooronga Road
Melbourne Victoria 3123
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