Information for new clients
Counselling is available on weekdays throughout the whole year,
including vacation time. We offer confidential one to one support
to all students enrolled on both full and part time courses.
What is Counselling about?
Counselling offers the opportunity of talking with another
person who is trained to listen. This relationship can enable you
to find ways of helping yourself by managing your problems better
and working towards possible solutions.
Counsellors do not have magic wands and rarely give advice,
however they can support you through times of difficulty and offer
you a neutral, non-judgmental space in which to offload. Because
they are not involved with you in any other way it is often easier
for them to help you see a different perspective on your
Coming to counselling takes a lot of courage. It is hoped
however, that by taking the risk you will come to know yourself
better and have a greater understanding of your situation.
All students come through our initial interview process
which allows you to explore your needs and arrange the most
suitable time for your appointments. The counsellor will listen
sensitively and help you decide on the best way forward. During
this short session we will also take some personal details, and
explain how the waiting list works (if there is one at the
Once you have been allocated a counsellor you will usually stay
with them throughout your counselling. Initially you will normally
meet weekly but depending on your needs this may vary. The total
number of sessions may also vary; some students only need one
or two sessions where others require support over a longer
You can stop counselling at any time, but preferably having
discussed it with your counsellor first.
Occasionally, some issues are best dealt with by a more
specialist service. If you need more help than we can offer we will
help you to make a referral to the appropriate service either
within the university or to an outside agency.
Our Counsellors are all trained and qualified and work to the
BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) code of
good practice which includes confidentiality. We are all qualified
to a minimum of Diploma level and have experience of working with
students in Higher Education settings. Although our training meets
similar criteria, each counsellor has developed an individual
This is perhaps the most important aspect of counselling for
many people. Although we make every effort to maintain privacy of
information there are exceptions which are as follows.
- You agree to information being shared. For example mitigating
circumstances applications or liaison with other support teams that
you are involved with.
- The counsellor feels strongly that you are in danger of
seriously harming yourself or others.
- The counsellor is required by a court of law to share
- Child Protection Issues or Acts of Terrorism are
If confidentiality needs to be broken we will, as far as
possible, discuss it with the student first. As part of our
work we write brief case notes and attend regular counselling
supervision. Confidentiality also applies to there activities and
is carried out in a way that does not identify the client.
What we ask of our clients
Coming to counselling is a commitment for both client and
counsellor. Once you begin please try to keep your appointments. If
you have to cancel through illness or decide that you no longer
wish to continue we would like to emphasise the importance of
letting us know in good time. Information on how to keep in touch
will be given at the initial interview. Appointments not kept
without prior warning means that we are unable to offer the space
to someone else who is in need of help. If two consecutive sessions
are missed without letting us know we will assume that you no
longer require counselling. However, you are always welcome to
begin again at any time. We will always contact you by email to
Evaluation and Feedback
At the end of your counselling you will be given the opportunity
to give comments and feedback on the service. This evaluation form
is a valuable source of information which we use to improve our
work in order to offer the best possible support to our clients. We
are also now offering online evaluation to all service users.
In the event of a complaint the university has a formal
procedure. A copy of this can be found on the University website
under 'Student Policies &
Procedures'. It is hoped that any complaint, in the first
instance, would be taken up with those involved before entering the
formal procedure. It is also possible for a client to make a
complaint through the BACP complaints