Information for Students
The Counselling Service is currently experiencing a very high demand for appointments so you may wait longer than usual to be seen or to be offered ongoing counselling.
Initial assessment appointments for next term will be available from Monday 11 April. There are a limited number of these appointments so if you are not able to make the time offered, have to cancel or do not attend, we may not be able to offer you an alternative.
If after having that appointment you wish to have ongoing counselling sessions, please be advised that the wait may be 1-2 months. (Updated 1 April 2016).
If you think you would benefit from seeing a counsellor you can make an appointment with us. We see everyone for an initial appointment to help find out whether counselling can help. This appointment will last for 30-40 minutes and by the end of it you and your counsellor can have decided whether some on-going counselling support would be useful for you.
We do not usually put a limit on the number of sessions that are available but at busy times of year they may be restricted. The counsellor you see will discuss what we are able to offer.
You can talk to a counsellor about any issue that is concerning you whether it is about university life, your studies, your personal life or anything else that is on your mind.
If you prefer to use the Online Counselling Service please go to that section to find out how you can access it.
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To make an appointment you can call in, phone, or e-mail us and we will aim to offer you a time within one week of your enquiry.
After the initial appointment if you and the counsellor decide that on-going support would be helpful we will make arrangements for you to see a counsellor for 50 minute sessions on a regular basis, which would normally be weekly. This may be a different person from the counsellor you saw for your initial appointment. We aim to arrange this within two weeks of the initial appointment but at busy times the wait may be longer.
There is a high demand for counselling appointments so it is important that you make it a priority to attend all booked sessions.
There may be occasions when either you or your counsellor will need to cancel, in which case as much notice as possible should be given so we can then fit in other clients who may be waiting. If you do not attend a booked appointment, please contact us as soon as possible afterwards. If you miss sessions frequently then the offer of counselling may be withdrawn.
If you arrive late for an appointment, it will still finish at the scheduled time. If you are more than 15 minutes late then your session may not take place.
All counsellors in the Service are qualified and accredited by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy or are in professional training. They all follow BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice which can be viewed at www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework.
We will treat anything that you tell us as confidential and your counsellor will not pass information to anybody outside the Counselling Service except in very exceptional circumstances, which would be:
- Where the counsellor has your written consent
- Where the counsellor would be liable to civil or criminal procedure if the information was not disclosed
- Where the counsellor believes you or someone else connected to you is in serious danger.
Your counsellor would normally talk to you about this first but in exceptional circumstances that may not be possible.
Occasionally a counsellor may ask the client's permission to tape a session so that they can examine their own professional practice and development. You do not have to agree to this but if you do you have the right to stop the tape at any time if you change your mind during the session. The tape will not be named to preserve anonymity.
In line with the BACP Ethical Framework, all counsellors have regular clinical supervision where they discuss their work with a senior practitioner to ensure they are working safely and effectively. No identifying information is given and the supervisor is bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and levels of confidentiality outlined above.
Your counsellor will keep brief notes of your sessions. These are stored securely and are confidential to the Service. They will be kept for five years and then destroyed. Under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to have a copy of these.
We also keep statistical records about service use. Individuals cannot be identified in these statistics.
Please note that we are unable to provide reports for legal purposes, or provide medical or psychological diagnoses.
We welcome your feedback as it helps us to improve the service. You will be sent a questionnaire by email at the end of your counselling which will give you the chance to say what you feel about your experience with us.
If you wish to make a suggestion you can do this in writing or by email to the Counselling Service Manager. If you have a complaint please ask the Counselling Service for a copy of the Complaints Procedure.