About the Student Counselling Service
What kinds of problems can counselling help with?
Sometimes problems are well-defined and you know what is troubling you. At other times, it may not be so clear why it is that you are unhappy or why you are not responding to things as you normally do. In the first place, Counselling can often help you clarify the problem, so that you can start to think about ways to deal with it or manage things differently.
Anything that is worrying you and disrupting your normal work, study or personal life can be talked over in counselling.
Some examples of the kinds of things that students sometimes bring to us include: problems with relationships, friendships, family issues, bereavement, anxiety, stress, depression, sexual problems, sleeplessness, substance misuse, eating problems, difficulties in concentrating or focusing on studies.
What happens in counselling?
Counselling is not generally about giving advice. The counsellor is there to help you identify and understand more clearly what is bothering you. The counsellor can help you to gain a different perspective on yourself and/or your problems and aid you in making choices and changes that feel right for you.
What can I expect at a first session?
Whether you come to a lunch-time drop-in, or make an appointment, you will be asked to complete a registration form, before your Initial Consultation. This is a session of up to 20 minutes, which will help clarify what has brought you to see us. With the counsellor you can then think about an appropriate way forward.
Students joining groups are offered longer-term support; many remain in a group throughout their time at City, but others choose to remain for shorter periods - for a term or an academic year. Group sessions last for 90 minutes.
Students seen individually are often offered up to four sessions, though longer contracts are sometimes arranged. Individual sessions with a counsellor usually last for 50 minutes.
We provide a confidential service. We will not communicate with anyone outside the service about you unless you ask us to do so; students sometimes ask us to write to a tutor if problems are affecting their studies. In exceptional circumstances, if the counsellor believes that there is a risk of serious harm, to yourself or others, the counsellor will discuss this with you and seek your permission to discuss the situation with others. The service operates according to the BACP code of ethics. A separate leaflet is available explaining in more detail our policies on confidentiality and other issues.