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25 Feb 2004

Going back to school
Hi Doc

Just some advice please - I have decided to hit the books again at the very young age of 39. Since my interest as a more mature person has moved from accounting to coucelling, I have decided to obtain my Diploma of Councelling and Communication. Subjects will be:

Interpersonal Skills
Basic Councelling A
Basic Councelling B
Councelling issues for substance misuse
Crisis Intervention
Councelling in Loss
Methods of Councelling A
Methods of Councelling B
Conflict Managment
Family and Relationship Councelling
Mental Health Issues
People in Trauma

My aim is to hopefully set up my own little "councelling practice" in two years time - I did a quick feasibility study and found that there are basically no qualified councellors for miles around. There are many social workers, but as it is, they can hardly cope with the day to day issues of family violence, neglected children, foster care, etc.

I came across a college named: The SA College of Applied Psychology est. 1997 (March Feitelberg is their Excecutive Director). Have you ever heard of them ? They are situated in Wynberg, Cape Town and offer internationally accredited professional courses in councelling training from the Australian College of Applied Pyschology. It is going to cost me a small fortune to obtain my diploma, and I am just a bit weary of fly by night colleges offering further education. Who else can I contact to find out whether the diploma I will receive from them will be worth more than the paper it is written on ?

Any advice will help - thanks
Answer 410 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Lucia,
When you reach my age, believe me 39 is REALLY young ! I've never heard of the College you mention, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything bad ! --- such colleges can do a good job, but don't get to be nationally famed. Actually, I haven't heard opf the Australian College, either, so maybe you should check them out on the web, as they'd surely have a website. My impression is that in Australia, the standards of educational institutions and diplomas, and of healthcare in general, is far, far, better organized and monitored and regulated than in this country, where neither the Dept of Health nor the Dept of Education seem to have a firm grip on anything except their own salaries and perks.
You arise a highly important issue about the value of a diploma ( and indeed, in SA we have many self-accredited colleges offering worthless diplomas), so it may be worth checking it out. I assume they're relaively near to you, so visit them and ask questions. What can one do with their diploma --- who recognizes it, in what other countries, for what purposes ? Would it be accepted in the UK, the USA, or Canada, for instance, and enable you to get a job ? What sort of job ? Can they tell you what sort of jobs are held by their graduates now ? You might also call and speak to someone on faculty at the Dept of Psychiatry and of Psychology at UCT, an at Stellenbopsch, and ask if they have heard of this College and whether they have heard good things about it.
There was a move some time ago to set up a more formal register of Counsellors in SA, buty I haven't heard of anything coming of it. And if, as Flower says, they offer a free introducory session, try them out and see what your great powers of intuition tell you about them !
I'm sure we're all delighted with your ambitions and initiative --- congratulations.
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