Counselling and personal development
Welcome to the University Counselling Service!
Our service offers emotional support, counselling and opportunities for personal development to all our students. We are pleased to say that 90% of our student service users find counselling to be extremely supportive and beneficial to their studies (Counselling Service survey, 2015-16).
The Counselling Service is a team of supportive and experienced staff, who know what it’s like to be a student juggling with other responsibilities at the same time.
Counselling provides an opportunity, not only to talk about any personal or emotional difficulties that may be concerning you but also to help you lead a more fulfilling and successful life, particularly at university. This process takes place in a space which is empathic, non-judgmental and, within legal requirements, confidential.
The majority of students who have used the service say that counselling is very supportive and valuable. Many students describe counselling as a life-changing experience, which has made their time at university much more rewarding.
To find out more about who we are please watch the service video and visit our Staff webpage.
What is counselling?
All of us have to deal with difficult experiences at various times in our lives, they might be emotional, physical, psychological or social. Talking things through with a counsellor can really help.
Counselling provides an opportunity for you to think and talk in confidence about any personal or emotional difficulties that may be concerning you. It is time and space to examine, clarify and understand your concerns, and explore and develop more effective ways of dealing with them. The role of the counsellor is to provide support and help in this process of exploration, understanding and change.
Issues we work with
Students come to counselling with a number of issues that may affect their ability to achieve their aims at university. Please see below a list of some of these issues we work with:
- maximising academic performance
- loss of motivation
- personal growth and development
- problems with studies and exams
- suicidal feelings
- family problems
- sex and sexuality
- cultural issues
- eating difficulties
- drug or alcohol problems
- life changes
- life crises
- mental health issues
- experiences of abuse or discrimination
The activities and information on our webpage may be used to help you develop your skills in various areas or to manage various difficulties in your life. While most of the information is geared towards students, there are several which may also be used by staff (help with sleep problems and relaxation, in particular).
To gain access to this information please visit our Self-help materials webpage.
Mental health support
Many people begin to experience mental health problems in their teens and early twenties. When it happens, it can feel very worrying and you might think you are the only one. However, there are people to talk to and the University Counselling Service, in conjunction with the Disabilities and Dyslexia Service (DDS), can help you. For additional information please consult the Student Mental Health Policy.
Counselling Referral list
Please visit our Referral list page if you'd like to find more information on services that offer support and counselling on a variety of issues.
Our webpage gives web addresses and some telephone members for a number of organisations, national and international. Some of these relate to self-help groups and others to sources of information. Site descriptions are often those provided by the site. The list is not intended to be a recommendation. The Counselling Service would like to hear from you if you have used any of these sites or if you have problems accessing the site.
Health - Emergency contact details
Please visit our Health and Emergency contact details page if you'd like to find more information on external services, such as hospitals, A&E departmens, GPs and many more.
Services for university staff
The Counselling Service provides training, consultancy and others services for staff on a variety of mental health-related subjects.
Consultancy to Departments and Staff
The Counselling Service offers consultancy, advice and information to departments and individual staff on working with students who are causing concern. While the service does not offer individual counselling to staff (staff counselling is provided through the Workplace Options scheme, see below), the team works with departments to explore ways of working with students who are experiencing emotional, behavioural and mental health issues.
Commonly raised issues include:
- How to respond and support a student in crisis or with suspected mental health difficulties, including emotional distress, paranoia, deluded beliefs, anxiety and depression. This might include students whose behaviour has suddenly changed and which is giving you concern for their wellbeing.
- How to respond to students whose behaviour is problematic and /or disruptive to other students and / or staff.
- How to respond to and support students who do not wish to register their mental health problem with the Disabilities and Dyslexia Service (DDS)
- How to support students who register a mental health difficulty with DDS
- Disclosure - if you are looking for more information on what constitutes a disclosure, university policy relating to disclosure, and what you should do when a disclosure takes place, please consult our
- How to respond appropriately (and in line with university policy) to students you think pose a risk of harm to themselves or others. This includes threatening behaviour, any mention of suicide, child protection concerns and self-harm.
- Students who wish to intermit because of mental health difficulties – there are procedures for supporting students through this process and with their return to study.
If you are looking for advice on working with students with mental health difficulties, legal framework and adjustments please check our
Presentations and tailor-made support
Should you request it, staff from the Counselling Service will be happy to give talks or presentations to your team or students within your area, on any mental health-related issues, including all of the above. In the past year the service has worked in collaboration with many departments to meet specified needs. In addition to training sessions the service has designed and delivered workshops, within departments and with students, on the following subjects: listening skills; helping students make use of feedback; finding your own voice; time management; procrastination; relaxation techniques; managing exam anxiety; motivation and goal setting; creativity in your learning. The service is happy to respond to specific requests related to your area.
Trainee and associate placement scheme
The Counselling Service at London Metropolitan University has an established Trainee and Associate scheme, providing a number of clinical placements for:
- Counsellors in the advanced stages of training
- Counsellors who are qualified and wish to gain experience in Higher Education and accumulate hours for accreditation
We welcome applicants from a variety of theoretical orientations and training backgrounds (in counselling & psychotherapy) and from diverse personal and cultural backgrounds. The scheme offers an opportunity to gain work experience in the context of an inner city institution of Higher Education, which has a culturally diverse population and a high proportion of 'mature' (21+) students.
Update! The deadline for application submissions for the year 2017-18 has now passed and we have now proceeded to the interviewing process! If you would like to be alerted for any future recruitments please email your personal details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please visit our placements webpage.
Mitigating circumstances, appeals and supportive information
A counsellor may be able to help you with what is called 'mitigating circumstances' and/or with an 'appeals' process. However, such support is usually, though not always, in the context of 'regular and on-going' meetings.
If you are experiencing difficulties which impact upon your studies, then you are advised to discuss these with your counsellor at an early stage, so that arrangements can be made before the mitigation and appeals deadlines. If you have not attended counselling regularly or you have missed appointments, then the Service may refuse to support your application. The Service will consider supporting mitigation and appeal applications in relation to emotional and mental health problems only. We cannot support applications which are based on the following: medical issues, legal issues, transport problems, computer problems or problems which we cannot verify.
In the counselling service, we abide by the belief that asking questions is a significant step towards receiving the right support for you. In order to make this effort more accessible and user-friendly, we have composed a list of commonly asked questions. For more information please visit our relevant webpage.
Please contact us for further information on counselling and personal development issues or to arrange a meeting.