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Graduate Diploma of Psychology 2007
Having completed her Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) and numerous postgraduate diplomas and certificates, Alison Mynard is currently completing her Master of Psychology (Clinical) with the aim of qualifying as a clinical psychologist.
For Alison, working in the welfare field for the past fifteen years with at-risk adolescents and people with drug and alcohol problems has been both difficult and challenging, but it's a career she finds enormously rewarding. It's the long-term cases where she is able to follow a client's progress that particularly appeal to Alison.
'I think that those clients I have seen for long-term counselling and who have had significant changes in their lives have stood out as being very positive experiences.'
'Currently, working with a counselling service with refugees who have experienced many traumas in their homelands is a very challenging but rewarding experience, given their willingness to participate and the change that comes about in their lives.'
Alison's masters research project is focussed on family interactions where parents are drug and alcohol users, and the impact this has on adolescent's substance use. Through this research Alison aims to identify mediating factors that might act to reduce the impact on adolescents.
Alison is gaining a great deal from her current studies. She is finding great value in being able to complete a work placement as part of her masters course, and being able to put into practice what she is learning in the classroom.
'I enjoy the challenge of learning in a context that encourages students to participate in an open class environment. Also, as I am in a work placement, the learning can be applied directly in a clinical setting. The integration of theory and practice is a very rewarding experience.'
Alison is completing her clinical placement at Foundation House, the Victorian foundation for survivors of torture. There, she is part of the counselling team and works with clients who are refugees from Burma, Africa and other war-torn areas.
'This is a great experience, working with people from many cultures, with interpreters, and benefiting from the wealth of experience in my colleagues.'
Once she finishes her studies, Alison plans to continue working with refugees who have experienced trauma. Thinking longer term, she is considering opening her own private practice.
Though she's looking forward to her future full-time career in clinical psychology, for the time being Alison is greatly enjoying her masters experience at Deakin.
'I have found the teaching staff to be very knowledgeable and great in their teaching styles. I have enjoyed the group of students in the Masters in Psychology (Clinical) course, who have been learning and growing together throughout the last two years. We have become a very close group, sharing with each other the challenges and the learning experience. I also enjoy the openness and approachability of the staff, who are willing to help to maximise the learning opportunity.'