Laura Ashton

  • Laura Ashton

JOB: Business Services Manager, Mind and Body Consultants Ltd

QUALIFICATION: Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling 

"I majored in psychology for my undergraduate degree and always planned to return to postgraduate study. However, through working in mental health, I discovered that mainstream clinical psychology wasn't for me. What I enjoy is discursive psychology, but I didn't know how to apply it effectively. Then I discovered narrative therapy, which is what is taught at Unitec, and it was a dream come true! I loved the attention to social justice threaded through the course, especially to te tiriti o Waitangi and gender power relations. I loved the multiculturalism of both students and staff, and the equal focus given to practical and theoretical learning. I also thoroughly appreciated the tutors who are experts in their practice.

When I decided to start the masters programme, it was great to find out that I could cross-credit much of my postgraduate diploma and almost go straight into the thesis. Although I'm not practising as a counsellor now, I use the skills I learnt as a manager, a researcher and a facilitator. I also completed a number of papers in the Graduate Diploma in Not-For-Profit Management, which has been hugely helpful in my work. I love that I am contributing to an organisation that makes a real difference to people's lives and that I'm responsible for making it a great place to work."