The RMIT Counselling Service Placement Program is for provisionally registered psychologists. We offer training experiences for postgraduate students at different levels of their psychology careers.
Important notice: In line with university processes, the RMIT Counselling Service has currently suspended face to face appointments in the interests of the health & safety of the RMIT Community. Due to the uncertain nature of this ever-evolving situation, it is unclear when face to face delivery may recommence and there is a possibility that it may continue into 2021. Should this occur, placements will continue but delivery of services will be via telehealth (phone or video counselling) and interns will be required to work from home. More information is provided below.
Counselling, clinical, and educational psychology placements
The RMIT Counselling Service seeks to provide a quality experience for provisionally registered psychologists who need to complete a supervised placement to fulfil postgraduate academic course requirements.
If you are a Masters or Doctoral candidate studying relevant counselling, clinical or educational psychology courses, you can apply to do a placement with us.
Are you a Placement Coordinator?
If you are a Placement Coordinator from a Masters or Doctoral program, please contact us.
Contact the Placement Coordinator, Elizabeth Matjacic
Are you a Placement Coordinator?
If you are a Placement Coordinator from a Masters or Doctoral program, please contact us. We are happy to arrange a visit for you.
Contact the Placement Coordinator, Elizabeth Matjacic
About our placements
We offer approximately 7-9 intern places each year.
Interns are based at one of RMIT’s metropolitan campuses: City (3-5 interns), Brunswick (2 interns), and Bundoora (2 interns).
Placements run for 10 months, from 3 February to 27 November 2020.
We will consider candidates wishing to complete a six-month placement, although we prefer those who commit to 10 months. If we offer six-month placements, they will correspond with semester times (Feb-June and June-November).
What to expect
RMIT offers a stimulating, nurturing and professionally challenging placement experience for our interns. Supervisors are an experienced team of counselling and clinical psychologists. Interns are an important part of our team.
Clients who attend the Counselling Service have a wide range of issues. Many are from different cultures and issues include adjustment and transition difficulties. There are a large number of clinical disorders (DSM diagnosable), and family, social and relationship issues. There is a very high clinical component regarding presenting issues related to mental health. Provisionally registered psychologists with some previous experience are most suited to this placement.
Training experiences include:
- offering short-term individual therapy
- providing group training and interventions
- involvement in projects and counselling service initiatives
- having individual and group supervision
- working with psychologists in various orientations to counselling and psychology.
How to apply
To apply for placement at the Counselling Service, applicants must:
- be currently enrolled in a postgraduate psychology training program
- have a current Working with Children Check ID
- have had at least one clinical or counselling placement and or equivalent clinical or counselling work experience
- not be a currently enrolled student or current employee of RMIT University.
The application and selection process follows formal procedures similar to those required when applying for a professional position in a large organisation. You are required to provide:
- letter of application stating/highlighting:
- reasons for applying for a placement in the Counselling Service
- whether you are applying for the full ten month placement or just one semester and if the latter, which semester.
- your area of specialisation (e.g. Clinical or Educational Psychology)
- campus preference (City, Brunswick, or Bundoora)
- CV or résumé, with referees listed (including previous placement).
Address your applications to:
Supervision and placement group meetings
Experienced psychologists provide supervision in the service. We offer provisional psychologists comprehensive supervision and support.
Interns have a weekly one-hour supervision meeting with their supervisor. All interns will also have a back-up supervisor who will also meet with them regularly. They will provide supervision when the primary supervisor is absent.
Interns also meet monthly for a two and half hour group supervision session run by a rotating member of our supervision team. This provides valuable peer support, networking and information-sharing opportunities. Besides the discussion of case material and other pertinent issues, RMIT psychologists present on specialist topics chosen in consultation with our interns.
The Counselling Service endeavours to provide an appropriate level of client hours to allow interns to achieve course requirements. We manage the workload so that interns also have adequate time for case notes, follow-up and research during the working day.
At beginning of placement, supervisors conduct an assessment of interns’ current level of practice and assign clients as appropriate.
We inform our clients that they have an appointment with an intern.
The optimum number of clients is three per day for interns although this may increase to four clients per day as the intern gains confidence.
The minimum number of clients we expect our interns to see each day is two. Interns are not usually assigned to new client sessions in the first two to three weeks of placement. They begin taking new client bookings after this time.
Interns are always supported by the staff of the service. They will be available with support for any questions or challenges they may be experiencing while on placements.
When in face to face delivery mode, interns do not see clients if another staff member is not working onsite at the same time.
We discuss the goals of supervision in the initial stages to ensure all parties clearly understand their supervision contract. A written learning contract is jointly drafted to clarify goals. The intern and the supervisor keep supervision logs.
Interns schedule weekly one-hour supervision sessions with their supervisor or back up supervisor.
Interns have access to their supervisor, back up supervisor (or another RMIT psychologist) outside the formal supervision hour for consultations regarding clients as required.
Supervision meetings are clearly marked out in the interns and supervisor’s appointments diary.
Orientation and training days
All interns will attend orientation and training days on 8, 9 and 10 February 2021 from 9.30am-4.30pm. This provides an introduction to the Counselling Service and the Student Wellbeing and Inclusion area of RMIT.
Interns are expected to participate two days a week at the Counselling Service plus attend the monthly supervision/ professional development group that occurs on Wednesdays from 9.30am to 12pm (at our Brunswick campus when in face to face delivery mode).
Interns are invited to attend a clinical meeting, offered at each campus, for opportunities to present cases and observe peer consultations on complex cases.
In addition to individual client contact, interns are encouraged to take part in other training activities:
- participating in and delivering workshops to students during orientation and other special events such as RU OK day
- participation in running therapeutic or support groups on issues such as anxiety management and enhancing happiness.
In the instances of a telehealth placement
Interns will require a computer or laptop, headset, internet connection and a private space in which to work. The university may be able to provide equipment on loan if required.
Interns will continue to receive a high level of support including:
- Individual supervision via online video meeting application Microsoft Teams once a week
- Group supervision and professional development sessions once per month via Teams
- Fortnightly peer supervision meetings via Teams
- An open channel between interns and supervisors so that they can check in with each other during the day and for incidental supervision as required.
- The ability to observe counsellors in session via Teams and for supervisors to observe interns to check in on their work and their growth/development
- A daily morning meeting with the entire team between 9-9.30am to check in and raise any issues they may be having.
- Access to the allocated duty worker each day. Staff are rostered on to duty work for each day (morning and afternoon shifts) and are able to support interns who might have concerns about a client. The Counselling Service Manager is also available to interns as back up support.
- A rolling Teams meeting for the full day that counsellors and interns can dip in and out of to connect, catchup or get some support.
The above system has been in place for 2020 and has therefore been effectively trialled.
Closing date for applications is Friday, 9 October 2020.
We will notify applicants by email for interviews by the Placement Coordinator by 16 October 2020. We will accept late applications, but only if we cannot fill positions from first round applications.
Interviews will likely be conducted via video (Microsoft Teams) and candidates will be interviewed by their potential supervisor for the campus for which the applicant is being considered for potential placement (which will become relevant upon returning to face to face delivery). Interviews run for about 30 minutes. The interview involves: questions, a 10-minute role play, and an opportunity for applicants to ask questions too.