This renowned Specialist Course in Integrative Couple Therapy is now in its 31st year. It is open to counsellors and psychologists wanting to develop rigorous knowledge and specialist skills in working with couples.
The course uses an integrative therapeutic approach, which is strongly grounded in evidence-based models and contemporary practice. It equips participants to respond flexibly to couples’ particular needs, world views and situations.
Recognising the limitations inherent in a single theoretical model, the course provides participants with training in a range of theories and practices.
Theories and modalities covered include Attachment Theory, Psycho-dynamic, Systemic and Integrated Behavioural theories, Emotionally-Focused Therapy and neurobiological-informed practice. The course incorporates research findings by Gottman and considers emerging ideas and practice trends.
A ‘Therapeutic Self’ module enhances participants’ understanding of what shapes them as therapists, enabling them to remain reflective in what is often an emotionally charged field. At the conclusion of the course, participants will have developed specialist knowledge and skills to assist couples experiencing a range of difficult issues.
"I can say, without hesitation, that RAV's course was one of the most rewarding and stimulating aspects of my post-graduate education."
The stand-alone course is delivered one day a week for five months, with the option of completing an additional supervised internship at a RAV centre.
The course is also an accredited component of the Swinburne University Master of Social Science (Couple Counselling) at the second year level.
The course is offered through and based at the Kew Centre of Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV), which is a service-delivery centre. The course is not delivered through RAV's Training and Development Department.
- Interactive presentations, supported by carefully selected readings.
- Application of theory and methods through case discussion and live demonstrations.
- Workshops providing opportunities to practice couple therapy skills.
- Emotional regulation and the brain.
- Intimacy and sexuality.
- Affairs and betrayals.
- Working with same sex couples.
- Gender issues in couple counselling.
- Separation and loss.
- Re-partnered couples and blended families.
- Working with high conflict couples.
- Assessing for intimate partner violence and coercive power and control.
Post course options
- Clinical Internship.
- Live Couple Therapy Consultation Program.
Membership and accreditation
The course and post-course options can be applied towards meeting prerequisites for registration and accreditation with the College of Relationship Counselling in PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia). Course completion, Clinical Internship, and the Live Couple Therapy Consultation Program can be applied towards postgraduate tertiary degree programs with Swinburne University and the University of Melbourne. For students completing the Swinburne University Master of Social Science (Couple Counselling), the course has industry accreditation with the Australian Counselling Association. Membership of professional counselling organisations provides eligibility for a provider number with some private health insurance funds.
Participants need to have appropriate tertiary qualifications in social services and a minimum of one year’s face-to-face counselling experience.
Applicants are required to attend an interview prior to acceptance into the course.
THEORY & PRACTICE SEMINARS
Supported by a prescribed reading program, the seminars integrate psychodynamic, systemic and integrative behavioural theories to form a working interactional theory. Special topics are also covered. These include; sexuality, jealousy and affairs, family violence, gender issues and working with the separating couple (large group learning).
THERAPEUTIC SELF WORKSHOPS
Working in smaller groups, trainees develop an experiential understanding of what shapes them as effective therapists. The primary task is to explore links between their family of origin and our work with couples (small group learning).
CASE DISCUSSION AND ILLUSTRATION SEMINARS
Conceptualise marital difficulties in a way that integrates psychodynamic, systemic and integrative theory. Through this process we assist the therapist to define an appropriate therapeutic focus for his/her work with the couple being discussed (small or large group learning, depending on training group size).
CLINICAL PRACTICE WORKSHOPS
Raise the awareness of particular issues crucial to couple therapy, for example establishing symmetrical rapport, defining and working with interactional process, maintaining therapeutic effectiveness, facilitating change (primarily small group learning).
Master of Couple Counselling (Swinburne University)
Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) has established a partnership with Swinburne University to deliver higher education programs in Couple Counselling. The Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Couple Counselling form a nested suite with one program leading into the next. The Graduate Diploma level (second year) consists of RAV’s Specialist Course in Integrative Couple Therapy and the Live Couple Therapy Consultation Program.
The final year of the Master of Couple Counselling consists of RAV’s Clinical Internship, and two subjects taught at the Hawthorn campus of Swinburne: 'Systemic Approaches to Attachment & Development' and 'Families Surviving Grief, Trauma & Abuse'. These subjects provide an interface with the highly regarded Master of Family Therapy at Swinburne, offered in conjunction with Williams Road Family Therapy Centre.
For further information, contact Catherine Wood at Swinburne University or to register your interest in the program, please email.
For online applications, please go to: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/postgrad/apply/#online
Post-course option: Clinical Internship
- "I found the Specialist Course in Couple Therapy to be wonderfully challenging, informative, fun and educational, guided along the way by highly skilled and inclusive practitioners."
- "I can say, without hesitation, that RAV's course was one of the most rewarding and stimulating aspects of my post-graduate education. Its organisation and structure was exceptional. The weekly reading material was extensive and provided the opportunity for thorough exploration of theory and practice, helping to extend both my theoretical knowledge, as well as assisting in utilising this in my therapeutic work with couples. The course provided excellent opportunities for reflection and clarification of the theories and techniques that were covered. The presenters themselves were thoughtful, energetic and supportive."
- "The Specialist Course in Couple Therapy was thoroughly enjoyable, challenging and inspiring. I use the skills gained from my attendance daily in my counselling practice." - Jenny Cuthbertson, Psychologist, Private Practice
- "The combination of experiential learning as well as theory was very valuable. Highly recommend the course for professionals in the field. I loved it." - Catherine Stevenson, Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Therapist, Mental Health
- "I found the course to be especially helpful to me in understanding and developing the links between my personal experience, the theoretical perspectives, and my work with couples." - Max Broadway, Industrial Chaplain & Accredited Social Worker.
Read more participant feedback.
Post-course option: Live Couple Therapy Consultation Program
Relationships Australia Victoria is committed to increasing specialist knowledge and skills in professional relationship support services, providing clinical training placements for suitable professionals who have completed RAV’s Specialist Course in Integrative Couple Therapy.
Placements are designed to accommodate and maximise learning needs in real life work situations, enabling the application of knowledge and skills acquired by the intern during the Specialist Course in Integrative Couple Therapy.
During the 12-month placement (which includes standard holiday leave), interns are required to carry a case load of four to five clients per week, with a minimum of two appointments being conducted after hours. The majority of clients seen by interns are couples, although they may also work with some individuals presenting with relationship difficulties.
Each training intern is allocated a training supervisor for weekly individual supervision. This includes the review of audio and/or video taped clinical sessions. The training supervisor is responsible for the allocation, day-to-day direction and professional supervision of all casework undertaken by the training intern, as well as the intern’s induction into the organisation.
The internship can also be taken as an accredited study unit of the Swinburne University Master of Social Science (Couple Counselling).
Applicants need to satisfy the following criteria to be accepted for placement as a training intern:
- a tertiary qualification in an appropriate behavioural / social science
- sound knowledge of counselling theory and practice
- a minimum of one year’s formal counselling experience
- successful completion of the Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) Specialist Course in Integrative Couple Therapy.
The internship is treated as a training course and involves the payment of course placement fees. The fee is $4200 (including GST). Instalment options are available for an additional $150 administration fee.
Internships are principally available at RAV’s Kew Centre, located at 46 Princess Street.
Occasionally, internships may also be available at RAV’s Ballarat, Boronia, Cranbourne, Greensborough, Sunshine, Shepparton and Traralgon centres.
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Post-course option: Couple Therapy Supervision Group
The cost of the program is $1650 including GST.
This program is open to graduates of the Specialist Course in Integrative Couple Therapy wishing to consolidate and extend their skills. Group members will be given the opportunity to participate in a team who offer their reflections on the live streaming of couple’s therapy sessions and reflect back to the couple on their skilled observations of the couple’s relationship, the therapeutic relationship, and the couple therapy process as a whole.
The reflecting team provides a rich, interactive model for participants’ ongoing learning, growth and development in a supportive environment. For the clients, the reflecting team brings another dimension to their experience, often deepening & enhancing the work. The reflecting team learns to work as a team to develop an insightful and respectful ways of conceptualising the couple’s dynamics thereby augmenting the couple’s therapy experience and enhancing the team’s capacity to use appropriate language with clients and to skillfully conceptualise cases.
The live couple therapy session is projected onto a screen in a training room where the reflecting team watches the session, formulating considered reflections that will be offered to the couple. The couple reflect with the therapist on what the team has offered, completing the session for the clients. Occasionally live sessions will not be available due to unavoidable circumstances and in such case the team will reflect on prior live sessions which have been recorded.
Finally, the therapist is given an opportunity to de-brief, and participate in a facilitated discussion with the reflecting team. This is the time to experiment with different theoretical lenses, hypothesise about the couple and the work, think about directions taken/not taken, and offer suggestions for the next session.
ALL COURSE ENQUIRIES
For further information, please contact the Professional Education Coordinator on (03) 9261 8702 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Couple therapists who have completed the Specialist Course in Integrative Couple Therapy, or an equivalent course, are eligible to join our Couple Therapy Supervision Group.
The Couple Therapy Supervision Group provides the opportunity for therapists to share and discuss cases from their workplace, and discuss theoretical issues arising from clinical practice, in a small group of no more than eight people.
Relationship difficulties are conceptualised in a way that integrates a variety of theoretical perspectives, encompassing the intrapsychic, interpersonal and experiential dimensions of couple therapy.
The process is designed to facilitate the therapist’s development of an appropriate therapeutic focus for his or her work with the couple being discussed. On some occasions, the group may choose to discuss a broader clinical issue rather than focus on a particular case.
ALL COURSE ENQUIRIES
For further information, please call us on (03) 9261 8702 or email email@example.com
The Specialist Course in Integrative Couple Therapy is delivered through RAV’s Kew Centre, which is a service-delivery centre, and is not part of RAV’s Camberwell Training and Development.
Fee help is available for students of the Master of Counselling at Swinburne University. Further information can be accessed here.