Qualification - Diploma In Counselling and Psychology

Course CodeVPS007
Fee CodeAS
Duration (approx)1500 hours




  • Understand more about the principles of psychology
  • Learn counselling skills and their uses
  • Specialise in the area of psychology and counselling that interests you
  • Gain an indepth knowledge of psychology and counselling
  • Improve your job prospects
  • Study in the comfort of your own home
  • The course is self-paced, so work at a pace to suit you.
  • Support form our excellent tutors throughout the course. 




Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Diploma In Counselling and Psychology.
 Counselling Skills I BPS109
 Counselling Skills II BPS110
 Introduction To Psychology BPS101
 Psychology & Counselling BPS102
 Research Project I BGN102
 Workshop I BGN103
 Counselling Techniques BPS206
 Professional Practice In Counselling BPS207
 Research Project II BGN201
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 6 of the following 19 modules.
 Aromatherapy VHT104
 Biopsychology I BPS108
 Child Psychology BPS104
 Health and Fitness I (Fitness Leadership) BRE101
 Human Nutrition and Food 1 BRE102
 Industrial Psychology BPS103
 Marketing Psychology BPS107
 Sports Psychology BPS106
 Stress Management VPS100
 Adolescent Psychology BPS211
 Aged Care BPS212
 Conflict Management BPS201
 Family Counselling BPS213
 Grief Counselling BPS209
 Relationships And Communication Counselling BPS208
 Research Project III BGN202
 Abnormal Psychology BPS307
 Crisis Counselling BPS304
 Life Coaching BPS305

Note that each module in the Qualification - Diploma In Counselling and Psychology is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.




In counselling the client with AD, it is important to determine triggers which bring about problematic behaviour and to find effective interventions. The counsellor can work with the caregiver to establish an exercise routine for the client to maintain ease of movement and improve patient behaviour and affect. Some useful general guidelines are as follows:

  • Provide a structured, regular daily routine.
  • Use simple and straightforward language to describe activities before undertaking them.
  • Keep tasks simple.
  • Let the client dress in their own clothes and retain personal effects.
  • Use calendars, clocks, labels, and so on to enable orientation to time.
  • Reduce unnecessary stimulation and exposure to crowded environments which may increase agitation and disorientation.
  • Reduce brightness from windows and lights, noise from televisions, and environmental distractions.
  • Ensure the environment is safe and free from sharp objects, slippery floors, and easy to navigate.
  • Use safety locks on doors and windows if necessary.
  • Consider using grab bars in bathroom areas.
  • Use soft lighting to reduce night time disorientation or restlessness.
  • Use distraction and redirection to reengage the client where necessary.
  • Provide gentle background music to create a relaxed ambience, particularly at mealtimes and during bathing.

Caregivers may find the three R's: Repeat, Reassure, Redirect to be a useful approach to altering behaviour. This technique will enable them to divert the attention of the client with AD form an undesirable situation toward a more useful activity. An alternative is the ABC's: Antecedent, Behaviour, Consequences, of behavioural analysis. This technique enables insight into the precipitants (antecedents), behavioural interpretations (behaviour) and subsequent reinforcements (consequences) of the client’s behaviour. The caregivers can learn to help the client avoid behavioural triggers which result in undesirable behavioural symptoms. Some more specific guidelines relating to common problems where the counsellor can assist are as follows:


When attempting to communicate with a person who has AD it can be extremely challenging. Both understanding the client and being understood may be problematic. There are a number of ways in which the counsellor can attempt to alleviate the situation including:

  • Opting to use simple words and short sentences, delivered using calm, gentle, mild tone.
  • Never talk to the client with AD like you would a baby, and avoid talking about the client in front of carers as if he or she was not present.
  • Distractions such as loud noises from traffic, television, radio, road works, and so on, should be minimised wherever possible so as to assist the client to focus on what is being said.
  • The client should always be called by their name so that their attention is engaged before speaking.
  • Plenty of time should be allowed for a response, and care taken not to interrupt them.
  • Where the client with AD is having difficulty recalling a word or communicating an idea, it may be necessary to gently prompt them with the word they are seeking.
  • Questions and instructions should be provided in a positive way whenever possible.  

Daily Activities

It is preferential to use current skills from the client’s repertoire rather than attempting to teach something new. As AD progresses, new skills will not be retained. Carer’s can be encouraged to:

  • Not expect too much. Focus on simple activities which make use of current abilities.
  • Help the person commence an activity. Break it down into manageable steps. Offer positive feedback for each successful step.
  • If the person becomes agitated or frustrated then help or distract the person towards some other activity.
  • Use activities that the person enjoys in their daily routine and try to do them around the same time each day.
  • Where possible, include the AD sufferer in the entire activity process. For example, they could help to: prepare the food, set the table, wash the dishes and so on, at mealtimes. This can serve to retain functional skills, enhance feelings of personal control, and make good use of time.
  • Get involved in adult day services which may be available for the person with AD. This also provides an opportunity for the carer to get some relief from their care giving duties.

Dealing with Sleeping Difficulties

Many sufferers of AD become restless, irritable, or agitated during the evening. This is often referred to as ‘sundowning syndrome’. It may be necessary to plan ahead when attempting to get the individual to go to bed and stay there. Strategies include:

  • Encouraging daily exercise and limiting daytime naps. However, the person should be allowed sufficient rest during the day since fatigue can exacerbate early evening restlessness.
  • The carer could schedule more physically demanding activities during the day. For example, bathing could take place in the morning, and large family meals could be at lunchtime.
  • The evening ambience could be made more peaceful and relaxing, using dimmed lighting and soft background noises to encourage the transition to sleep.
  • Bedtime could be kept to a similar time each evening, and a bedtime routine could help.
  • Stimulants such as caffeine should be restricted during the late afternoon.  
  • Soft lighting can be used in the bedroom, hall, and bathroom if the client finds darkness to be frightening or disorientating.

Hallucinations and Delusions

These become more common as AD progresses. Hallucinations may be auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile, or of taste and involve the client sensing something that is not there. Delusions are false beliefs which the person believes to be true. Sometimes hallucinations and delusions may be an indication of an underlying physical illness. The counsellor should encourage the caregiver to discuss these issues with their doctor.

  • Rather than disagreeing with the AD client, the counsellor or caregiver should listen to the person about what he or she sees or hears and attempt to respond to the feelings he or she is expressing, by providing reassurance.
  • The individual could be distracted towards another topic or activity. Changing rooms or taking a stroll might help.
  • The TV should be turned off if disturbing programs are on because the person with AD may not be able to distinguish a television programme from reality.
  • The person should be kept safe and not have access to anything they could use to harm themselves or anyone else with.


This may be a problem with some clients, and is typically a symptom of advanced dementia.

  • Clients who are prone to wander should wear identification at all times.
  • They may also be provided with an unrestricted place to wander such as a fenced back garden.
  • Daily exercise, such as walking is also important.
  • Alarms could be used to prevent unattended wandering. Safety locks are also helpful.
  • Activities which help to decrease wandering need to be identified.
  • Notify neighbours that the person has a tendency to wander.
  • Keep a current photograph or videotape of the person to assist with finding them should they get lost.
  • It may be necessary to change familiar locks for new ones.


Many people with dementias will experience depression. This may occur due to guilt borne out of an  over reliance on others, the loss of autonomy and skills, the fear of losing one’s memory, concerns about dying, and so on. The counsellor needs to be sensitive to affective disorders and depressive symptoms associated with AD so as to enable early intervention. In complex cases referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist may be necessary.

  • Early stage depression must be treated to reduce further confusion and feelings of helplessness. There is also a link between depression and physical aggression.
  • The presence and severity of depression is usually influenced by the level of cognitive impairment. It is also related to the client's level of functional impairment.
  • The counsellor should make it clear to caregivers that there are steps that can be taken to help manage symptoms. It may be necessary for a psychologist to evaluate symptoms through the use of depression scales.
  • Whilst suicide is rare in AD patients with depression, there is a need for assessment of suicidal ideation among those who are concerned about the progression of the disease, and those who are worried that they are not responding to medication.


The skills you develop here can serve you well throughout life across a wide range of professions.

The obvious career path for any graduate would seem, and probably is , to become a counsellor. Some of our graduates start their own practice offering counselling services, and are very successful at doing so; but to be a professional self employed counsellor is only one of many places that this course may lead you.

This course will help you develop an insight into other people. In effect, it has the potential to grow your empathic as well as academic understanding of others. In today's world, where jobs are frequently being replaced by technology (eg. robots, computers); most experts agree that the one skill that robots will never replace is human empathy. In any job where you work with people, from marketing to personnel management and teaching to leisure services: empathy matters. An understanding of psychology and counselling will give you skills that are prized and of great value in business or employment anywhere.

  • Start a counselling practice
  • Work in welfare, health support or any other role where your primary purpose is to help others
  • Work for a government or other agency, providing counselling support to others.
  • Work in academia, research or teaching
  • Work in marketing, personnel management, employment services, or any other situation where a knowledge of human psychology is a key part of the job.
So if you would like to study psychology and counselling for interest or for your career, then this course is an excellent diploma level course!
Start today and learn more about the field of psychology and counselling.

Any Questions?

Our psychology and counselling tutors are happy to answer any questions about the course, so please get in touch.

Please click here to contact a tutor or Request a course handbook here.

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