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Training Quality and Competent Counsellors to Cater to the Needs of the Country

30 Apr 2020

It has been more than a month since the government enforced the Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb the further outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. The enforcement of the MCO has successfully brought down the number of infections, and thousands are on their journey to recovery with the Ministry of Health and all frontliners deserving a big applause in fighting this pandemic. In the past few weeks, the government and multiple Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have started to reach out to Malaysians to ensure that their psychological well being is taken care of. In times of uncertainty like this, many counsellors are called upon to provide support to the frontliners and affected individuals. Many registered counsellors accepted this call  for help and have come forward to offer their services. This pandemic has clearly highlighted the vital role of counsellors in times of uncertainties and crisis. Unfortunately, Malaysia is still facing a shortage of counsellors to cater to the growing population.

Ratio of Counsellors to Population
Present Estimated Ratio 1 counsellor for every 5,000 individuals
Targetted Ratio 1 counsellor for every 2,945 individuals (Target set of 11,000 counsellors)

As such, the government has issued a call for the training of more counsellors to ensure that counselling services can be widely available. In responding to the demand for more counsellors, the International Medical University (IMU) is proud to announce the launch of its Master of Counselling pogramme that is specifically designed to fulfil the needs of this country. The IMU Master of Counselling programme has received provisional accreditation by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and fulfills the required standards established by the Board of Counsellors of Malaysia (Lembaga Kaunselor Malaysia). Therefore, the graduates of the IMU Master of Counselling programme will be eligible to apply for registration and become a registered and licenced counsellor upon graduation. This programme adopts a blended learning method that combines online learning with face to face classes to accommodate a wider range of learning styles, and to offer some individuals the flexibility to obtain a professional qualification while juggling work and family responsibilities. Full-time students can complete the programme in 2 years or up to 4 years part-time. This programme is open to individuals with a degree from any field. In addition to that, students will learn from licensed counsellors with years of experience in practice, teaching, supervision and research.

Several Highlights of the IMU Master of Counselling Programme

Specialty Training
To cater to the diverse population with specific needs, students will be offered areas of specialised training to focus on, which includes:

  • Marriage and Family Counselling
  • Crisis, Trauma and Grief Counselling
  • Expressive Art Therapy
Serving the Community
One of the key responsibilities of the university is to ensure work ready graduates upon completion of the programme. IMU CARES As such, students will be actively participating in IMU Cares community projects that are related to mental health activities such as providing counselling, psychoeducation, assessments, and other activities to promote mental wellness.
Multidisciplinary Learning
Another attraction of the programme is that students will be given the opportunity to experience multidisciplinary learning. Students will work closely with other mental health professionals (such as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists) and healthcare professionals (such as General Practitioners, Dietitians, Nutritionists) from different disciplines to co-construct intervention plan that focuses on the clients’ best interests.
Platform to Practice
One of the crucial aspects of IMU Master of Counselling programme is to ensure students have an excellent platform to practice as a counsellor. Students will have the opportunity to practise at IMU Healthcare Clinic and other established centres with close supervision of qualified counsellors and psychologists. This clinical training will provide students with an up-close experience to help clients in an integrated healthcare setting.

IMU is committed to developing counsellors with a professional attitude, and having the knowledge, skills and competencies in counselling practice and research. Students will receive knowledge and practical skills training that are on par with international standards. Students who graduate from this programme will be able to take up leadership positions in the fields of counselling, teaching, research and management.

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