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Graduate Certificate in Emotionally Focused Counselling (Grad. Cert. EFC) AQF Level 8

Educating counsellors, social workers and therapists in Emotionally Focused Therapy throughout Australia.

Course Aim

The Graduate Certificate in Emotionally Focused Counselling is designed for health and allied health practitioners wishing to develop an Emotionally Focused approach to counselling. The aim of Emotionally Focused counselling is the regulation, debriefing, exploring and experiencing emotions for the development of emotional health, thinking and understanding. The heart of the Emotionally Focused approach involves working with emotion at both verbal and creative levels.

The focus of this course is on the assessment, exploration and intervention with emotional experience with individuals and couples in a short-term way. Methods of discovering, exploring, managing and working with emotional experience are outlined and demonstrated. Protocols for interventions using verbal and creative methods, such as unpacking, focusing, visualisation, drawing and cushion work, are provided.

Graduate outcomes

On completion of the Graduate Certificate, graduates will be able to provide counselling services for individuals and couples and to work with clients’ current problems and past adult experiences. Graduates will be able to work in private practice, organisations in the health, community and justice sectors, counselling services, family support programs, aged care, migrant and refugee services and pastoral care.

Course length

The course is designed to be studied part-time over two to three years, to allow flexibility of study. The course in total comprises 22 credit points. The Graduate Certificate is nested in the first year of the Graduate Diploma course.

Practical and supervision requirements

Students must complete 125 counselling sessions of individual counselling in their work environment.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 10 – 15 hours of supervision during the course. Supervision can be undertaken in individual or group format with a trainer or recognised supervisor. Students must complete 5-10 hours of supervision with an IEFT trainer. Students can use some hours of work supervision with a supervisor approved by the Institute for their remaining hours.

Graduate Certificate in Emotionally Focused Counselling Course Structure


The Graduate Certificate is accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) under the TEQSA Act (2011) as a higher education award recognised within the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF).


Students who graduate from the Graduate Certificate in Emotionally Focused Therapy can apply for advanced standing in Masters’ courses at other tertiary institutions.

Standard applications

Applications are sought from students with a relevant tertiary degree (arts, science, social sciences, etc.) who are eligible for membership of a relevant professional association, and are currently working in face-to-face supervised counselling.

Non-standard applications

  1. Applicants who do not possess relevant tertiary qualifications but have registration of equal standing from a recognised professional body (e.g. PACFA, ACA).
  2. Applicants who are employed in a professional role by a relationship and/or family organisation designated by the Federal Attorney General’s Department.
  3. Applicants who are currently working in face to-face supervised counselling.

Note: applicants’ professional training must be comparable to an undergraduate degree, with knowledge of psychology, culture, counselling and therapies, and basic competencies in counselling skills.

Satisfactory subject completion requirements

Students will be provided with guidelines in each subject setting out the requirements of attendance and completion of written and practical work.

Final course assessment requirements

Students will be required to submit an audio recording of a current counselling session accompanied by written text within six months of completing all subjects for the Graduate Certificate.

There is a $160 fee for assessment of the final audio recording.


Enrolment and re-enrolment fees

  • Student administration fee: $180 annually for all students
  • Re-enrolment fee: $130 per year

Subject fees:

  • $400 per 2-day workshop
  • $180 per Clinical Day

The approximate cost of the Graduate Certificate, including enrolment fees and subjects, but not including supervision, is $5,050

Supervised Practice 1 group supervision: $1,150

Note: fees increase each year in line with the cost of living index (CPI)

Additional costs:

Please note that students will require a textbook for each enrolled subject.

Students will also need access to audiovisual recording equipment for Supervised Practice 1.

Credit transfer and recognition of prior learning (RPL)

IEFT recognises prior learning as the experience, skills and knowledge gained from personal and professional experience, which may be informal or non-formal.

The assessment of applicants for admission into IEFT’s courses may incorporate the recognition of past professional training in an Emotionally Focused approach. In accordance with the Advanced Standing and Credit Transfer Policy, students can apply for credit transfer and recognition of prior learning to demonstrate equivalency with one or more subject.

Documentation to support credit transfer and RPL applications must be comparable to the subject aims and content.  Students are required to provide certified evidence of equivalency, consisting of detailed documented evidence for assessment by IEFT, and an audiovisual recording of a practice session to demonstrate skill levels.

Fees may be charged for assessment and review of RPL applications. The fee for review of practice session recordings is $125. There is no fee for assessment of credit transfer applications.

Further details on Credit Transfer and RPL eligibility can be found in the Credit Transfer and RPL Policy. An application form is available for download here.