Counselling psychology in Australia: history, status and challenges

Michael A. Di Mattia, Jan Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Counselling psychology in Australia has developed and matured since its emergence in the 1970s. This article provides a brief historical overview and situates counselling psychology (CP) in relation to other applied areas of psychology in Australia. A review of registration, professional organisations, work and role settings and core features is provided. Australian counselling psychologists work predominantly in private practice, as well as hospitals, counselling agencies, universities, medical practices, prisons and government departments. They provide assessment, diagnosis and treatment for mental health disorders and psychological problems related to adverse life events. In addition, they provide couple, family and group therapies. Challenges facing CP in Australia are explored, including a reduction in training programmes, inequities in funding for psychological services and tensions with the definition and description of the scopes of practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalCounselling Psychology Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • core features
  • counselling psychology
  • future of counselling psychology
  • Medicare

Cite this