Part 3: Catherine Chen’s Post Graduation Journey – What life is like!

academic hat and graduation certificate

Time has certainly flown by, and the recent weeks have been filled with lots of training and learning opportunities. During this time, I have been fortunate to participate in many professional development events, both in-person and online, offered by various organisations and platforms. Reflecting on these experiences, I find it valuable to highlight some free or low-cost resources that have greatly enriched my learning journey at this early stage of my career. Specifically, I have found great value in attending ACA chapter meetings and utilising Mental Health Professional Networks (MHPN) resources.

Catherine Chen

I remember attending my first ACA chapter meeting in October 2022, during the first year of my master’s, after my student application was approved with ACA. Securing a ticket to the sold-out event, where IFS Australia and New Zealand presented “Introduction to Internal Family Systems,” sparked a great interest in IFS and motivated me to work towards certification as a practitioner in this field. Although I wasn’t required to accrue Ongoing Professional Development points as a student member, I found immense value in engaging with other ACA members as I pursued my journey to become a counsellor. Since then, I have participated in many meetings, progressing from being a student member to becoming a level 2 member. These meetings have been invaluable for fostering connections with like-minded counsellors and engaging in discussions on industry-relevant issues, contributing to creating a supportive community of practice.

In addition to regularly attending ACA chapter meetings, I am deeply engaged with Mental Health Professional Networks (MHPN). Funded by the Federal Government, MHPN’s National Networks Program brings together groups of mental health practitioners from various disciplines to engage in high-quality, free professional development, peer support, and networking opportunities. I particularly value their network meetings and webinars offering different learning opportunities. These sessions delve into numerous topics, ranging from treating specific mental health conditions like panic disorders to exploring therapeutic modalities such as art therapy for eating disorders. Additionally, some meetings provide insights into leading organisations and their impactful contributions to the mental health sector, such as Phoenix Australia. Their initiatives, like Responder Assist, underscore the critical need for timely and appropriate care for emergency workers. Engaging with fellow mental health practitioners, in person and online, has been enriching. It fosters active involvement in enhancing interdisciplinary mental health care throughout Australia. This collaborative approach is not only personally fulfilling but also a skill highly valued by organisations and employers in the field.

Looking back on these learning experiences, I’m grateful for the opportunities that have shaped my journey as a registered counsellor so far. They’ve not only broadened my knowledge but also deepened my passion for mental health advocacy and counselling practice.

Recent Posts

Scroll to Top

Advertising Enquiries