When we experience problems it is often helpful to talk over the situation with someone else. This could be a friend or family member, but there are times when it can be useful to talk to a person who is outside the situation, who has the professional skills and experience to assist people with emotional and psychological difficulties.
Counselling offers an opportunity to discuss concerns in a way which is different to talking to a friend or family member:
Another perspective can be offered, which may make it easier to reflect on the situation and understand it differently. This is often the beginning of change.
It may be easier to express difficult feelings and emotions to a counsellor, than to someone close to you. The counsellor will try to help you find ways of making sense of, and managing, these feelings if you are feeling overwhelmed.
The Service is confidential. Making an appointment to see a counsellor is a decision only you can make, even if someone has recommended it to you.
Some of the issues brought to us include:
Staff at the University Counselling Service have experience of working with a wide range of problems. If we feel that this is not the right place for you to get help, or that you would benefit from some additional support, we will discuss with you other sources of support.
Basic ground rules
It is helpful to make a commitment to attend all your appointments
Arrive for your appointments on time
Notify us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend
Some people find that focussing on their problems can initially make them feel worse. If this happens it is important to tell your counsellor. There are a number of things to be mindful of:
your relationships with family and/or friends may be affected in a negative rather than positive way
strong emotions can emerge and you may find yourself becoming angry and vulnerable
you may develop strong feelings of dependency on your counsellor
Do not be alarmed if you experience any of the issues above. It is your counsellor's job to help you to understand and cope with these feelings as they arise, and sometimes they can have therapeutic value as you develop an understanding of why these particular emotions have emerged.