Given the increasing number of older adults in Australia, psychologists, social workers and other mental health professionals need to know how to provide counselling and assessment services to older adults.

There are numerous issues that are prevalent for older adults and their families, such as grief and loss, moving into residential aged care, managing life transitions (e.g. retirement and role changes), stress related to caring for others, dementia, and coping with medical problems.

Our placements

While there are excellent employment opportunities in the aged care for mental health professionals, there are only few opportunities for training in this specialised field.

Swinburne's Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults is the largest university-based training clinic in aged care and mental health. We train students from across Australia. Placements are available for postgraduate students studying psychology, social work or counselling. We provide individual and group supervision, as well as education seminars to support students in their placements.

How to apply for a placement

You can apply and start anytime. Please email us at wellbeingclinic_agedcare@swinburne.edu.au with your queries or to obtain a position statement and an application form.

Frequently asked questions

We are currently accepting applications for clinical placements in two programs – ELATE and Telehealth. 

The Elders at Ease (ELATE) program is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and Beyond Blue to evaluate psychological services for older adults living in residential aged care facilities. The program examines the effectiveness of psychological treatment for reducing depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation among aged care residents. Students will travel to aged care facilities to provide a manualised treatment program.  

The Telehealth program is funded by philanthropy and research grants to offer a national telehealth counselling and support service to older adults living in residential aged care facilities anywhere in Australia, as well as to their families and aged care staff. The service operates by phone and video conferencing platforms.

To be eligible for a placement in the ELATE program, students must be studying postgraduate psychology, living in Victoria and have had experience or training in providing cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT).

To be eligible for the Telehealth program, students must be studying postgraduate psychology, social work or counselling, and living anywhere in Australia. 

These placements suit students seeking a placement in their later years (i.e. not the first placement), who have one-to-one counselling experience with clients and who can work independently. Students do not need to have had experience working with older adults. 

The minimum period of commitment to these placements is six months at one day a week. Students may require a longer period of commitment to accommodate their required hours of clinical contact. Students can also choose to spend more than one day a week on placement.

Appointments with clients are made through mutual negotiation between students and the client. Training and group supervision take place every second Friday between 3.30 and 7.30pm. Individual supervision is negotiated between students and the clinical supervisor.

Get in contact

If you would like to know more about our education and training services, or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us on +61 3 9214 8653 and email us at wellbeingclinic_agedcare@swinburne.edu.au.

Contact us