Counselling psychology in Australia: challenges and future directions

Catriona Davis-McCabe, Michael Di Mattia

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


Previous research highlights the Better Access two-tier system has placed
counselling psychology in a vulnerable position. But, is this the only threat
to the profession? This study sought to establish what Australian counselling
psychologists perceive as the challenges facing the profession. A web-based
survey was distributed to members of the APS College of Counselling Psychologists and the Association of Counselling Psychologists seeking information on a range of demographic and professional characteristics. The
survey collected information on various aspects of professional identity and
practice, such as, years of practice, employment settings, services provided,
client groups and areas of practice. The survey also asked respondents to
identify what they see as the challenges facing counselling psychology.
A total of 346 respondents completed the survey. Respondents highlighted
issues relating to inequalities in rebate schemes between clinical and nonclinical psychologists, ingrained biases towards clinical psychology resulting in power imbalances, divides, and in-fighting within the profession, difficulties demarcating the unique identity of counselling psychologists (both
from within and outside), and changes threatening the existence of counselling psychology as a viable training pathway in Australia. This presentation
will provide an overview of findings from the study and discuss the key
challenges facing counselling psychologists in Australia, recommendations
for change at the individual and system levels, and directions for the future
of the profession.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralian Psychological Society (APS) Annual Conference 2018 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 27 Sept 201830 Sept 2018

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