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Graduate Diploma of Emotionally Focused Therapy AQF Level 8

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

Degree information

The Graduate Diploma of Emotionally Focused Therapy is designed to develop the knowledge and skills of practitioners working in counselling, psychology, psychotherapy, social work and related disciplines in Emotionally Focused Therapy. 

The aim of Emotionally Focused Therapy is to understand affect, feelings and emotions, and their relationship with thoughts and behaviours, for the development of emotional wellbeing.

The heart of the Emotionally Focused Therapy approach involves working comprehensively with emotion on verbal and creative levels, and with parts of the self. Emotionally Focused Therapy is an evidence-based model firmly established in Australia and internationally. 

The focus of the Graduate Diploma course is on working with the emotional experience of individuals and couples, understanding and assessing clients’ emotional signatures, and transforming emotion schemes. Emotionally Focused Therapy methods are outlined and demonstrated by academic teaching staff.

Guidelines for therapeutic interventions using verbal and creative methods with individuals and couples are provided in each subject. 


1.5 years full-time Three years part-time

Program level

Postgraduate, AQF Level 8

Delivery mode



52 credit points

Course Structure

Students are required to complete: 

  • Four core subjects of seven credit points each (each subject has four sub-units) 
  • Three core subjects of two credit points each 
  • Three elective subjects at Level 100 and one elective subject at Level 200 (two credit points each) 
  • Two Supervised Practice subjects of five credit points each

Practical and Supervision Requirements

Students must complete 250 hours of counselling or therapy with individuals and couples in their workplace or private practice. Students are required to complete a minimum of 20 to 30 hours of supervision during the course. Supervision can be undertaken in individual/group format with one of IEFT’s supervisors. 

Graduates of the Graduate Diploma course will be able to work in the following fields of practice: relationship counselling; grief and loss counselling; trauma counselling; mental health counselling; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer counselling; educational settings; employment assistance programs; and supervision. Graduates are also eligible to study in Masters courses in related fields. An articulation pathway for graduates into the ACAP Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy has been established in 2018.

Some private health funds offer provider numbers for qualified counsellors who meet their criteria, BUPA and Medicare Private being the largest of these. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (National Disability Insurance Agency) is an emerging opportunity for counsellors to register as providers.

The National Redress Scheme for adult survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, which will run for 10 years until 1 July 2028, specifically includes counsellors who are Clinical members or registrants of PACFA and ACA (APS, 2018).

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) offer counselling services, which may be provided by qualified counsellors (see Employee Assistance Professional Association of Australia).

Total cost of course:

Total cost of course: $11,570 (if studied full-time in group supervision mode).

Subject fees:

  • $410 for 2 credit point subjects
  • $185 for one credit point subjects
  • Supervised Practice 1 and 2: $1,175 or individual supervision $200 per session
  • Student administration fee: $155 per annum

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

Enrolment and re-enrolment fees

  • Re-enrolment fee: $130 per year

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.

Standard Applications

A qualification from a recognised academic institution in the arts, social sciences, psychology, social work, welfare, counselling, nursing or occupational therapy at AQF Level 7 (Bachelor’s degree) or higher which has included counselling skills training, and

Membership or eligibility for membership of a professional association relevant to the qualification, and

Employment in a role that requires provision of formal counselling (paid or voluntary), and

Be engaged in formal supervision of counselling practice

Non-standard Applications

A non-relevant qualification from a recognised academic institution, or

Professional training in counselling or psychotherapy accredited by PACFA, or

Employment in a clinical role by a relationship and/or family organisation designated by the Federal Attorney General’s Department, and

Two year’s work experience in a role that requires provision of formal counselling (paid or voluntary), and

Be engaged in formal supervision of counselling practice, and

Attend an interview and provide references that attest to applicants’ counselling experience and competence from supervisor or line manager.

Applicants may be requested to provide a digital recording of a counselling session (having obtained client consent)

Applicants with a relevant qualification who have not completed counselling skills training will be required to attend designated counselling skills workshops provided by IEFT Applicants with a relevant qualification who have not completed subjects on the theoretical base for counselling may be required to complete other theoretical studies prior to admission.

IEFT has an approved internal articulation pathway for applicants who have attended and successfully completed one or more IEFT Professional Development workshops and assessment requirements. Applicants who did not complete assessment requirements will be required to complete a challenge assessment.

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Graduates of the Graduate Diploma of Emotionally Focused Therapy at IEFT are eligible for articulation into the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Australian College of Applied Psychology with credit given for eight subjects of 6 credit points. Graduates are also eligible to apply for credit in other Masters courses in a cognate discipline.

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