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Individual face-to-face counselling

Overall, 96% of those using the service who completed the feedback survey in 2015-16 would recommend the University Counselling Service to others.

 It is important to read the following information before registering so you are clear about the process:

 How the face-to-face counselling service works:

  • After you’ve registered, call to arrange your appointment (either by phone or in person) and you’ll be offered a one-to-one appointment with one of our team of counselling professionals. In the 50 minute session, you can outline your concerns to the counsellor who will work with you to help you to explore and understand your issues so that you can manage them more effectively.
  • It may be that your counsellor offers you a follow-on appointment which you can schedule in for some time in the future (any time from a week to a term) where you can meet up with the same counsellor.
  • Some people may benefit from a longer course of counselling. Your counsellor may be able to offer you a series of appointments.
How can I meet with a counsellor?

To meet with a counsellor you need to

  1. Complete and submit the on-line* REGISTRATION FORM any time
  2. Next, use the call-to-book system - telephone (or call in person to Westwood House) at a time that is convenient for you from 8.30am to 5pm (or to 8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays in term time) and speak to the Administrator, who will be able to arrange a suitable date and time for your counselling appointment. Please have details of your availability to hand (such as your timetable or schedule) so you can be sure when you are free. Our phone lines can get quite busy: if we don't pick up, please leave a clear message with your name and details so we know you've called and we can call you back.
  3. You will receive an email confirming the details of your appointment and some tips on how to prepare to get them most out of your counselling session.

* if you would prefer to register without going on-line, call in to the service and this can be arranged.

If we don’t hear from you for a couple of weeks after we receive your registration, we will email you to remind you to call-to-book. If the turnaround time is likely to exceed 2 weeks, after you've registered, you will be emailed details about a pre-counselling brief consultation session that you may choose to attend.

How long will I have to wait before I am offered an appointment?

  • The Call-to-Book system helps us to streamline our appointment procedures to keep turnaround times to a minimum as it enables us to use any last minute appointment vacancies.
  • To help you estimate your turnaround time (the wait time from when you submit your registration to your appointment) see the clock counter available (right column). For example, the average turnaround time throughout 2015-16 was 15 days. Your wait time may be longer if you have limited availability or specific preferences. The time before your appointment can be used to explore self help resources and prepare to get the most out of your session.
  • The UCS does have some appointments available on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during term times, but these are limited, so your wait time for an appointment may be longer.
  • To help us maximise our efficiency and to keep wait times to a minimum, it is important that all our appointments are used. If you book/confirm an appointment, please ensure you prioritise attending as missed appointments can lead to increased waiting times overall. It is acceptable to prioritise your appointment time over a lecture or other academic commitments.
  • If you cancel an appointment, you may be able to re-book, but there may be several weeks' wait before another appointment can be made available.

Can I book my appointment online, using an online booking system?

We appreciate it can sometimes feel more convenient to book appointments on line, however, due to the nature of counselling, we aim to ensure that each person's appointment requirements are tailored to meet individual needs and, as yet, no computerised online booking system can deliver such high standards to ensure everyone gets the best, personalised appointment match. If telephoning is an issue, we encourage you to make the time to call in person during the open hours to arrange your appointment.

What if my need feels very urgent?

NB If you are considering registering and are at a time of crisis, you may want to consider alternative support. If you need immediate attention, counselling may not be appropriate for you. For urgent matters, see your GP (medical doctor) or check other resources. For information on what counselling can be useful for, see FAQs.

The University Wellbeing Advisor (who is part of the University Mental Health Team in Student Support at University House) offers drop-in sessions.

For details of the times of sessions see

These short sessions are open to all students who have queries about their wellbeing or who want to make changes to their lifestyles in order to improve their wellbeing.The aim of the session is unique to each student but is for the following purposes:

  • Calming things down
  • Problem solving a specific wellbeing issue e.g. healthy lifestyle, work life balance, managing stress, relationships with others
  • Gaining information e.g. signposting to appropriate services
  • Reviewing progress or a goal from a past session

Use the CALL-TO-BOOK system to arrange an appointment directly to suit your need. Following your registration, telephone (or call in) to arrange your appointment date.

Turnaround time counter (updated weekly)

If you register for face-to-face counselling today, the expected turnaround time is currently 5 days to your appointment.

Don't worry about going to the session, I was really nervous and got very emotional but the staff were very supportive and made me feel much more able to talk.

A particularly helpful tool was the option of
spacing my appointments out (I had 3 sessions over 6 weeks), which really gave
me the space I needed to process and understand the issues I was tackling.

It helped just talking through things with an impartial third party, and helped me understand better some of the reasons for my low mood
It has helped me to become more aware of negative thought patterns I have developed, which has allowed me the attempt to challenge them
Counselling helped me identify my worries and work out what I wanted to achieve. It also gave me some tools to help de-stress and revaluate situations
I feel much more able to tackle new situations, I can now take part and enjoy things I would have previously avoided
Counselling has helped me to put in place systems to manage and regulate my feelings and emotions, helping to protect myself against the once inevitable spiral of depression.
Counselling helped me to keep my focus and recognise where my work/life balance was going wrong. It provided me with techniques to calm myself down and regain control
It has helped me to understand myself a lot better and how I behave/come across to other people. It has started to raise my self confidence, but realistically that will require more work. But it has inspired me to work on it
enabled me to analyse myself in a coherent manner which is useful in approaching problems sensibly
Understanding objectively my environment, my obstacles and my advantages