Please see below for a list of FAQs, with everything you need to know about your appointment with the Counselling and Wellbeing team.
How do I book an appointment?
First, you need to register online. The administration team will contact you to offer an appointment usually on your university email. In that email they will explain how the service works and how you can be supported. They will book an appointment for you to be assessed in the next available appointment.
How long will it be before I am seen?
The waiting times depend on many factors. For example: time of year and your availability. Your assessment will be held within 2-3 weeks, and is booked when you register.
Can I book an appointment for someone else?
Due to confidentiality, it is not possible to book an appointment on behalf of a student – even if you are a family member or close friend. Appointments must be booked directly by the student.
Length and nature of appointments
How long is an appointment?
An assessment can be 20-30 minutes. Counselling sessions are up to 50 minutes. Sessions with a Mental Health Advisor can be from 20-50 minutes. Telephone support or appointments over Skype can range from 20-50 minutes.
How many appointments can I have?
Appointments depend on needs, what referral was decided on assessment and who you are seeing. We offer short term support. Our average support appointments are between 4-6 meetings.
Are the appointments confidential?
We will not disclose use of our service to anyone, without your explicit, written consent. Except, in the instance of serious risk of harm.
What is a counselling session like?
Therapists in the C&W Service come from different training backgrounds but we all work in a similar way. You will be listened to calmly and non-judgementally. Depending on why you've come to C&W, you're likely to discuss a wide range of topics, from your relationships, your childhood, your emotions, your thoughts and behaviour, to situations that you find currently find difficult. You may be offered some suggestions about a way forward. There will be no pressure to do anything, the main emphasis is on thinking about you. Counselling usually take place at the same time weekly until the completion of the sessions.
What is a mental health appointment like?
Mental Health Advisors similarly come from different training backgrounds. Some are mental health nurses while others are social workers. A mental health advisor appointment will typically include some exploratory work around your current difficulties, perhaps discussing the past if necessary to look at patterns of behaviour. They will suggest tasks and practical suggestions to help you manage with your difficulties. They also have a more flexible approach to appointments allowing you to spread the agreed sessions over the year.
How am I likely to feel after my first session?
It's quite common to feel relief at having managed to speak openly perhaps for the first time ever. Not surprisingly, you may also feel that a lot has been stirred up inside you. Treatment inevitably means confronting anxieties and difficulties that you’ve previously avoided. This may feel uncomfortable, don't be put off. Although at times therapy can be difficult the outcome at the end of the agreed number of sessions can be very rewarding.
Can I choose who I see?
When you register, we ask for any preferences. Any special requests may result in longer waiting times, however we will do what we can to accommodate. It is important to note, after your assessment we match you with the practitioner we feel will best support your needs.
Will I see the same person each time I come for an appointment?
We match a student to the correctly qualified practitioner so in some instances you will not see the original assessor but you will see the same practitioner once you have been assessed and referred.
What if I don’t like my Therapist?
Therapeutic input can be very difficult. We recommend that you tell your practitioner how you feel, as there may be something that needs more focus. Therapists can only support you if you are fully open and honest. If you still feel unhappy or unable to address these difficulties with your therapist, we will place you back on the waiting list for the next available appointment for your remaining sessions.
Location of appointments
Where are the appointments held?
Most appointments are held in the Carrington Building, please come to room 106 where you will be met by your practitioner. Appointments are also available over the phone or via Skype – as detailed below.
Can I have an appointment by phone or Skype?
Once you have registered we will offer you an appointment either over the phone, via Skype or in person.
Cancelling your appointment
Cancellation/ missed appointments:
If you need to cancel, please give us 2 working days’ notice and we will attempt to reschedule as soon as possible. If you miss an appointment or cancel it in under 2 working days, you will forfeit that session. If you miss or do not attend two consecutive appointments, we will assume that you no longer wish to receive support and cancel any future meetings.
We will always try to re-book your appointment as soon as possible – but there may be a delay in offering another appointment during busy periods.
What we expect from you
Please be on time for your appointment. Your appointment will finish at the scheduled time, so being on time is important.
Try not to miss your appointment as you will forfeit that session. After two missed appointments you will not be offered a third.
No mobile phones inside the Counselling and Wellbeing area.
Abusive and violent behaviour will not be tolerated - you will be asked to leave.
Counselling and Wellbeing is a non-smoking area - this includes the use of electronic cigarettes (vaping).
If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will not be seen and will have to forfeit your session.
The Counselling and Wellbeing service adheres to the ethical framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the University Mental Health Advisors Network (UMHAN).