When we experience problems it's often helpful to talk over the situation with someone else. Sometimes we turn to a friend or family member, but there are times when it can be useful to talk to an impartial person who is outside of the situation, and who is experienced in discussing such issues.
Counselling offers an opportunity to talk about concerns in a way that's different to talking to someone you are close to. They can help you get perspective on the situation, and it can be easier to express yourself.
The University Counselling Service is completely confidential. Making an appointment to see a counsellor is a decision only you can make, even if someone has recommended it to you.
What can I talk about?
The short answer is: whatever you need to talk about. However, some of the common issues brought to us include:
- family concerns
- work and study related problems
- worries about drugs and alcohol
- eating difficulties
- physical or sexual abuse
Our counsellors have experience of working with a wide range of problems, but not everything. If we feel that it's not the right place for you to get help, or that you'd benefit from some extra support, we'll discuss with you ways to move forward.
What do I need to do?
- Turn up to your appointments if you possibly can. We can only help if you make a commitment to attend all of your appointments
- Arrive in good time. If you arrive late, it gives us less time to talk with you - being on time helps us and you
- Let us know if you can't make it. This means we can offer the slot to someone else in need
What are the risks?
Some people find that focusing on on their problems can initially make them feel worse. If this happens it's important to tell your counsellor.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you begin counselling, however:
- Your relationships can change, and sometimes they don't change negatively rather than positively
- Strong feelings can be exposed, and you might find yourself becoming angry and vulnerable
- You might start feeling dependent on your counsellor
Don't be alarmed if you experience any of these issues - it's your counsellor's job to help you understand and cope with these feelings as they arise. Sometimes developing an understanding of why these emotions have emerged can be valuable to your health and happiness.