Jump to content
toptinks

Should I do a masters in social work to become a counsellor?

Recommended Posts

Hello

I'm new to the forums, and hoping someone can offer me some advice. I've recently qualified as a primary school teacher but half way through my training course decided it wasn't for me. As hard as it was, I pushed on and finished the course. Although I didn't enjoyed the teaching part, I discovered that working with children on a one-to-one basis, listening to their problems and offering support gave me far more enjoyment than teaching ever did. I decided that a career as a student counsellor would suit my personality better (I have a degree in Psychology and Neuropsychology also). 

My partner (who is a software developer) wants to move out to Aus next year (depending on the Covid situation).  I have been doing some research into my next steps. It seems that Counsellors/Psychotherapists are not the same as here in the UK, and you don't need to be formally registered? It seems that if I want to work in schools or do other counselling roles working with children then becoming a psychologist of mental health social worker is my best option. I don't want to become a Psychologist,  but I am willing to undertake a masters in social work as there are a few courses available in Aus. 

Does anyone have any experience counselling children or young adults?  Is there work available for social workers in these areas?  Any advice would be grateful received. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally if you want to work in schools as a counsellor you will need to be registered as a psychologist. Counselling in schools involves a lot of psycho-educational assessment so you'd be wise to train as an educational psychologist in UK and a masters in Ed Psych would certainly help with AHPRA registration as a school Psych.  The states all have different requirements for their school counselling services but generally an Ed Psych masters is going to be much more marketable and AFAIK in demand in most states too. It might help to know which state you are planning to go to and then you could research requirements for that state. 

If you want to do social work, then you'd need to be registered with AASW but social workers are not so common in schools (because they can't do the psycho educational assessments and schools always need someone who can whip off a quick WISC) 

I can recommend it as a career though! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your reply. I have looked into Psychology and done a bit of research into this area, and it definitely seems like I would need to do lots of statistical stuff which I really don't fancy doing. I'm a bit rubbish with paperwork! Also, I think I would need extra training after doing a masters ?  I'm happy to not work in schools, but still work with children and families. I just want to provide therapy and I have a strong interest in mental health. 

Do you know how in demand social workers are still? As my other half wants to leave the UK next year, it looks like I will be studying over there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, toptinks said:

Thank you so much for your reply. I have looked into Psychology and done a bit of research into this area, and it definitely seems like I would need to do lots of statistical stuff which I really don't fancy doing. I'm a bit rubbish with paperwork! Also, I think I would need extra training after doing a masters ?  I'm happy to not work in schools, but still work with children and families. I just want to provide therapy and I have a strong interest in mental health. 

Do you know how in demand social workers are still? As my other half wants to leave the UK next year, it looks like I will be studying over there. 

In general, social workers dont work in schools though there are always places in child protection roles because of the high burn out rates. Non registered counsellors/therapists are very much the poor relation because they dont attract medicare funding if they offer private services and they are only likely to be offered counselling roles in not for profit organisations (low wages).  I am not sure if social workers providing mental health support get medicare funding - I've been away for a while but I thought it was only psychologists who did (apart from doctors of course).  

I hear you about the stats but psychologist are ten a penny in Australia and, really, if you are competing in the same job arena as registered psychologists you are going to struggle.  If you dont mind Child Protection then social work would be the way to go.  However, in all the professions providing therapy you'd better brush up on your paperwork skills because they are integral to the role - accountability and all that - and in supervision it's one of the areas they are quite hot on monitoring.  It's not about sitting around asking everyone how they're feeling and then going off and having a latte.

As for studying in Australia, what visa have you got or will you be applying for?  If you are not PR then you will have to pay eye waveringly high international student fees  and then, as you say, in any of the registrable areas you are likely to have to go through long periods of intense supervision if you can find an employer who is able to provide you with that level of supervisory support.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your reply - and apologies for the late reply! I've gone away and done some more research. Seems mental health social workers do qualify for medicare. I know I definitely do not want to go down the psychology route, so seriously looking at the social work field now. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×