During your first counselling session the counsellor will explain how the service works, in terms of procedures, confidentiality etc. You will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire; your answers to this will help us understand what it is that has brought you to counselling.
Without judging you, the counsellor will gently explore your situation more fully with you, so that together you can establish what support you need, what your hopes are in coming to counselling, and what the possible ways forward might be. For some people this one session is enough, but you can also, at this time, discuss whether further appointments would be beneficial.
A counselling appointment is part of a counselling contract. Counsellors take these seriously and will not cancel or change appointments except in unavoidable circumstances. If such a situation arises we will make every effort to contact you as soon as possible before the appointed time.
We also ask that if you use the service, you take your counselling time seriously. At times during the academic year there is a heavy demand for counselling and missed appointments make it difficult for us to run our service efficiently.
After the first session we currently offer up to a further 5 weekly sessions in the first instance and ask you to attend those sessions on successive weeks (excepting vacations and other unavoidable breaks). However, at certain times during the year, it may not be possible to have more than 3 further weekly sessions, but your counsellor will discuss this with you during the initial appointment. In fairness to those people who may be waiting for an available counselling appointment, your counsellor may be unable to keep your counselling place open if you cannot attend regularly – for example if you did not arrive or repeatedly cancel appointments.
Some people will have just one or two sessions and feel they’ve had all the support they need; others will have all six sessions and feel they have progressed, but that that they could benefit from further support. If this applies you can discuss your situation with your counsellor and they will explain what you need to do next.
Confidentiality is obviously very important and is taken seriously by the counselling team. Your counselling will remain confidential except in extreme circumstances. Details of the full policy are available on the Confidentiality page and will be explained by your counsellor.
If you need to cancel an ongoing appointment please give us at least 24 hours notice.
You can cancel an appointment via Advice Zone Online. You can also cancel an appointment by calling the Advice Zone on 01443 482 540 or in person at an Advice Zone (locations).
PLEASE NOTE: if you cancel your appointment you MUST email the Counselling Service quoting your student ID, within 24 hours of the cancellation time to confirm attendance at your following appointment. Without confirmation you will lose your space and need to reengage with the Counselling Service by booking a new first appointment.
To facilitate the availability of the Counselling Service, and to minimise waiting times, we have to operate the following system:
If you cancel or do not attend a First Appointment, you will be asked to book a new First Appointment, should you still require counselling.
If you miss an Ongoing Appointment without notice you will be asked to book a new First Appointment, should you want to return to counselling.