"The course has helped me to grow so much as a counsellor and as a person. I have learnt the practical skills that I was hoping for, and it has also opened my mind to new perspectives, contexts of work and ways of working with people that I had never considered before."

Michelle Tamara Wylie

I decided to study the course because I had been working as a counsellor for five years, with people seeking asylum, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Working alongside these communities has been very influential in both how I work as a counsellor, and how I understand the role of a counsellor in people’s lives. This work ultimately drew me to narrative practice, which I resonated with because it makes space for conversations about the social, cultural and political contexts that people exist in, as well as seeing the therapist as a “co-researcher”, rather than an expert in people’s lives. Unlike many forms of therapy that I had come across before, narrative therapy asserts that you cannot separate healing from justice, an idea that is particularly important when working with people who are subject to human rights abuses. These concepts led me to make the decision to study my Masters in Narrative Therapy and Community Work.

I studied the course online during the pandemic. Although the course usually runs with in person 2-week intensives twice a year, the Faculty and the Dulwich Centre worked hard to transfer this to an online space when the pandemic begun.

The online intensives allowed us to study with people from all over the world, who were working in different contexts. We also had teachers from all over the world.

In my experience, this really contributed to the richness of the course and learning opportunities. The online systems were easy to use, and the Faculty put so much effort and thought into the set-up of the course, to make it as accessible as possible. The teaching and admin teams were always willing to support us.

It is a requirement of the course to have at least five hours per week of practical experience – whether it be in your workplace or volunteering. This really suited me as I had been working as a counsellor for five years before doing the course and I wanted an option that would allow me to continue working while studying. We submitted regular reflections, detailing examples of how we were using the concepts we had been learning that week in our practice and we received feedback, from Narrative Therapists who had worked in similar areas, on these reflections. This set up allowed me to regularly practice the concepts I was learning in contexts that are most relevant to me.

I have dreamt of starting my own counselling business for many years, and I am very proud that since completing the course I have started it. I am very grateful that studying at the University of Melbourne and the Dulwich Centre have allowed me this opportunity.

I have started my own business – Michelle Tamara Counselling, where I offer online individual and group counselling to people all over Australia and overseas. I also work part time as a Peer Support Counsellor at QLife, an organisation providing peer telephone and webchat support to the LGBTQIA+ community. I am grateful that I will also be involved in tutoring for this year’s Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work students.

Learn more about studying the Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work

I highly recommend studying the Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work. The course has helped me to grow so much as a counsellor and as a person. I have learnt the practical skills that I was hoping for, and it has also opened my mind to new perspectives, contexts of work and ways of working with people that I had never considered before.

Through studying the course, I have gained a supportive community of like-minded narrative practitioners all over the world. The narrative community is very supportive and constantly looking for ways to collaborate, innovate and learn from each other in the field.