Have you ever sat in session with a client pouring out their tale of woe about a certain relationship they’re in which is causing them untold amounts of stress and grief? Of course, you undoubtedly took it all in with supreme respectfulness, being able to see how the complained-about person’s behaviour was out-of-line, if not downright abusive. But did you ever wonder in these situations what it would be like to have the person being complained about in the counselling room as well? Did you ever yearn to have the opportunity to follow not just one process — as you do now with single clients — but two or more individuals’ processes, as they each share the misery they believe others to be causing to them?

As mental health helpers (meaning, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, and psychotherapists) we are exquisitely attuned to the concerns that clients have and we understand how many of those problems are at essence relational difficulties. Thus, we are continually working in relationship with clients, guiding them to a fuller understanding of (read: relationship with) themselves, others, and ultimately their Selves, in the most holistic sense of that word. At the same time, as counsellors we attempt to be aware of our relationship to ourselves, to our clients, to whatever is manifesting in the counselling room, and also to that fuller sense of Self. In some modalities of counselling, this awareness is called “right relating”: the capacity to stay in relationship with others and with what is going on around you without falling out of relationship with yourself. It’s a lot to keep track of — the processes of multiple others, the interactional dynamics in the room, and the internal goings-on of ourselves as well – but ultimately, the greatest healing can accrue to clients when we learn to be in right relationship with them.

The diploma that qualifies you for this

The Graduate Diploma of Relational Counselling offered by AIPC is an opportunity to learn to do this ethically. Within a year of study, you can become qualified to work as a couples or family counsellor, working independently or in organisations, providing counselling interventions (rather than counselling support) for families and couples experiencing relationship issues of a complex nature. The counselling contexts in which you will be able to work include pre- or post-separation and divorce and also cases in which the client has involvement with the Family Law system. Using this diploma, you would be making high-level, independent, complex judgments in highly specialised contexts.

What you’ll be studying

Sound intriguing? Some of the units of competency you would undertake include learning how to:

  • Facilitate the family counselling process
  • Provide counselling to children and young people
  • Operate in a family law environment
  • Manage responses to domestic and family violence
  • Make safety plans to people who have been subjected to domestic and family violence
  • Increase the safety of individuals at risk of suicide
  • Provide grief and loss counselling

The industries that will employ you

If you’re wondering where you would tend to find a job, research shows these top industries for graduates with this Diploma:

  • Health care and social assistance
  • Education and training
  • Public administration and safety

The top occupational outcomes

Graduates of the Diploma of Relationship Counselling have most commonly found work in these occupations:

  • As community and personal service workers
  • As professionals
  • As clerical and administration staff

The pre-requisites

Here are the pre-requisites you would need to enrol.  This qualification is open to individuals who:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree or higher qualification in counselling, psychology, social work, social science, or equivalent


  • Hold a Diploma of Counselling from the CHC Community Services Training Package or equivalent


  • Can provide documented evidence of previous experience in a family counselling environment in a job role involving the self-directed application of knowledge with substantial depth in some areas, the exercise of independent judgment and decision making, and a range of technical and other skills

In one sentence

To summarise, you would be able to say that your occupation is that of relationship (family and marriage) counsellor, working in the industry sector of health and community services, with a graduate diploma in the field of study called human welfare studies and services: a noble undertaking, no?


Interested? Give us a call today, at 1800 657 667 (Toll Free) or head to: http://www.aipc.net.au/graduate_diploma_relationship_counselling.php