Someone to Lean On

Counselling and Psychotherapy

There are a wide variety of ways you can get into counselling, including newly emerging accredited training programs, and a variety of forms of therapy to offer people needing support.

Margaret Braunstein has been a leader in the personal development industry for over 20 years. She initially trained in 1976 as a volunteer counsellor with Lifeline and the Wayside Chapel before embarking on professional training as a psychotherapist in 1990. Margie now has her own business operating out of Sydney and the NSW Central Coast, offering private therapy sessions to individual clients. Margie completed a Diploma of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy at The Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy in 2004, and now works as a somatic psychotherapist and counsellor, providing therapy treatment and care for women of the Central Coast and Sydney.

As well as working verbally in the relationship with the client, somatic psychotherapists are trained to engage directly with the client's dynamic bodily experience. This could include patterns of breathing, sensation and movement, body image, metaphor and sometimes through direct touch (when appropriate).

"Psychotherapy gives you the space to look inside and find the beauty that always lives within you. I support women because I am passionate about how amazing you all are and the tremendous contribution you make to the world," says Margie.

Margie also provides corporate and personal coaching to individuals and is an accredited LSI coach with Human Synergistics Australia.

How to get into this field?

Unlike Psychologists and Psychiatrists who require a minimum of 6 years of study at a registered university (the first 3-4 years of which is entirely theoretical), Counsellors and Psychotherapists are not regulated by law, meaning there is not one course or qualification required to begin working in this area. However certain organisations such as PACFA are attempting to unify various professions within Counselling and Psychotherapy to set a minimum training standard and provide accreditation for courses which fit this criteria. This included a minimum of 2 years study at a RTO, covering theories and practical skills from the first year of studies, and at least 200 hours of person-to-person client contact (some of which must be supervised).

After training, psychotherapists and counsellors commonly open private consultation clinics, and see clients on a regular basis, or find employment with health co-operations offering services as part of a holistic view of health services.