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Know your Counselling, Health & Wellbeing Service?

By MMUwellbeing 11 Sep 2017

What is counselling?

Counselling is one-to-one talking therapy. At its simplest, counselling is about  coming to talk to a trained professional about something that is bothering you. Counselling  works best when there is an agreed focus so we try to think about this with you early on, often in the first appointment.

Is counselling for me?

If something is bothering you and you think talking about it may help then counselling may be for you.

Obviously there are things that counselling won't help with like needing help with doing a financial budget or how to fill in a council tax form - that isn’t our area. Secondly, counselling can be tough so some degree of commitment to coming along and talking about the important stuff is needed. Counselling is an active process. It isn’t about having something done to you. Thirdly, although counselling is supportive it can also be a challenging emotional process. Sometimes people may postpone counselling when they have a lot on their plate like exams. 

Everyone is different though, so you and your counsellor can talk about what feels best for you.

Is everything strictly confidential?

Yes, with some qualifications. When you come to counselling you will see our confidentiality statement. This describes just three rare and exceptional circumstances as below: 

  • When a counsellor is ‘subpoenaed or summoned as a witness in a court of law’.
  • When a client is ‘at immediate risk of causing serious harm to themselves or others’.
  • Where statutory law requires disclosure.

If you were wondering, self-harm usually doesn’t fall into the category of ‘serious harm’ in this legal sense although it is concerning thing to be doing.

Even in these cases, we will try to discuss disclosure prior to any disclosures or action.

How long is each session and is it free?

Initial appointments and ongoing counselling sessions last 45 minutes and they are free.

Will I see the same counsellor & can I change counsellor?

If counselling is agreed after an initial appointment, you will go on a waiting list. Unless you ask specifically for a certain counsellor (you can do this or ask to see a male or female counsellor) you will be allocated a counsellor from the team. Whichever way, you would normally see that counsellor for your ongoing sessions. You can request to see another counsellor but we suggest, if you feel able to, to address whatever difficulties there are with your existing counsellor first. But we do appreciate this sometimes might feel too difficult.

Can the counsellor support me with academic issues caused by my concerns?

We can help with academic issues such as procrastination, social anxiety, exam anxiety and managing stress. It is worth looking at our programme of workshops and courses on our website as well. 

Some academic issues such as essay planning, time management, writing skills are dealt with by other university services like the Student Support Officers, the Disability Service or The Writing Project.

We can always point you in the right direction.

What is the process for receiving services provided by wellbeing?

Just book in to see a counsellor in the normal way and we can refer you to someone in the wellbeing team if that is appropriate. Part of our wellbeing service is our Courses and Workshops Programme. You book your course via our website and Eventbrite, for workshops you just come along.

Is the service open in the holidays?

Yes! We are open out of term time as well but not on public holidays and when the university is closed e.g. at times over Christmas.

How long will it take to get an appointment with a counsellor?

Usually assessment appointments can be booked without having to wait very long at all. There is also Open Door, Monday to Friday, when you can just drop-in without booking. There is always a waiting list for ongoing sessions, the wait can be some weeks when we are particularly busy.

 We hope this info is useful - if you need anything else please visit our website

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