In January 2009, Pathways Psychology Institute Australia opened its doors to students with 3 programs: (accredited by The Australian Counselling Association). The programs were the Diploma in Professional Counselling/Psychotherapy, the Advanced Diploma in Professional Counselling /Psychotherapy and the Psychology Registration Program for psychology interns (recognised by The Psychology Board of Australia). We initially rented rooms in a disused Epping Catholic Church primary school. With a small budget for advertising, word got out and numbers rapidly grew for all three courses.
In preparation for the At-A-Distance accredited Diploma Counsellor training opening in 2010, Ms Udy offered 2 Indigenous Scholarship positions for 2 Indigenous students to study at Pathways Psychology Institute to become nationally registered counsellors. The number of applicants for this was overwhelming, with applications coming from all over Australia. It became clear very quickly that there was a large need for Indigenous scholarship funded positions for professional counsellor training.
By October 2010, in collaboration with One Step At a Time Counselling Clinic, Pathways Psychology Institute Australia commenced At-A-Distance classes for 25 Indigenous Scholarship positions funded by The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
These Indigenous students came from all over Australia. The At-A-Distance program emphasised week long residential block learning at Yaraandoo Life Centre in Sydney, with weekly Skype /internet contact and assignments. Psychologist Yelena Udy (with 20 years’ experience supervising psychologists and counsellors) was the Head of Training for this 2 ½ Year Professional training. The course brought counselling skills to the Indigenous students in a manner which was respectful of their culture and background, and sensitive to all their individual differences. These Indigenous students were highly motivated to learn the necessary skills to become professional counsellors specialising in the Process Psychotherapeutic methods. Process Psychotherapy (or Process Oriented Psychology) incorporates many aspects of good counselling from the range of effective counselling methodologies presently in use. Process Psychotherapy emphasises respect for the differences in each individual client, and using interventions that are seen to be effective working with each specific client.