College Of Counselling Studies
The CCS is a rural counsellor training college. Although based in Tamworth its innovative training model enables students to study in their local area. The counselling course focuses on the personal development of each individual as they learn the underpinning theory of selected counselling models. Practical counselling skills are demonstrated, practised and assessed in locally conducted training groups. A range of assessors provide the student with a variety of counselling approaches.
The College began in 1985 under an initiative of the Armidale Anglican Diocese. Its goal was to provide skilled support for rural people who were going through difficult times without the benefit of regular mental health services. Miss Lois Reid was employed to conduct counselling training. Lois travelled extensively throughout the region to set up training groups of students in a number of rural centres in the New England and North West. As the students completed their training they were supported in setting up counselling services as part of what was then known as the Anglican Counselling Service. Gradually the initial course material was increased to equip the counselors with the knowledge and skills to meet the many and varied challenges that come the way of a rural counselor.
The training material, often donated by eminent counselling practitioners of the day, was incorporated into the course manuals. This content was developed in response to the issues which are presented to a rural based counselling service. It gives the College study material a depth and relevance which enables the students, as counselors, to engage effectively with clients and employ strategies which meet a range of counselling situations.
Over 600 students have studied with the college. Many are employed in welfare services and counselling centres throughout NSW and interstate. Over time they have provided a resource base in the New England and North West which has enriched the communities in which they work.
The College has a partnership with Anglicare Northern Inland which enhances the training experience of students. College tutors are practicing counsellors with Anglicare N I. In addition the locations for practical training are often the counselling facilities of Anglicare N. I. This means that students become familiarised with up to date practice detail as well as the counselling space and the ‘tools of trade’.
Training emphasizes supervised practice sessions. These are conducted each month. Two Residential blocks of 2 or 3 days training are also conducted each year.
In keeping with our philosophy of meeting the needs of rural clients, there is an emphasis on Rural and Remote Counselling and Cultural Awareness within a Christian framework. Although we have a background in Christian counselling, it is not a course requirement to be a practicing Christian.