What is a Pre-counselling appointment and how can I arrange it remotely?
A pre-counselling appointment is an informal chat with one of our staff counsellors so that we can find out about what is happening for you, the kind of support you would like, and to think together about whether counselling is the best service for you. They can last up to 45 minutes, and can be booked online here
What happens after the Pre-counselling meeting?
At the end of the pre counselling meeting the counsellor will agree the next steps with you, and will email you to confirm them. They will then place you briefly on a waiting list until a regular appointment slot becomes available, and they can support you while you wait. Please bear in mind that your allocated counsellor might not be the same person with whom you have the pre counselling meeting.
How are the counselling sessions going to take place remotely?
As the Counselling Service is now operating remotely, all counselling appointments will be held with video calls (via Zoom) or phone calls. Once you have booked an appointment with one of our counsellors you will receive an email with instructions on how to set up a Zoom account and a link to access the session at the scheduled time. Alternatively, we can offer appointments over the phone, for example if you do not have access to a stable internet connection at home.
Are the remote meetings going to be confidential?
Please make sure you are in a safe and private space before starting remote counselling meetings.
What if I don't have internet access at home?
If you don't have internet access then we can look at other ways of having the session, such as by telephone, or other ways that we can support you, for instance via a scheduled email response. Let us know your situation and your preferences and we'll do our utmost to find a way to support you.
What happens if I don't have a private space at home to speak with a counsellor?
A private space is very important for counselling. It may be possible for you to ask people where you live for sole access to a space for a period of time. Then, just before your session, remember to put a 'do not disturb' note on the door of the room you're using. A standard counselling session lasts 50 minutes, but we can offer shorter sessions. If it is impossible to find privacy for an internet chat or a phone call, then we can look at other ways of offering you some support, such as by email.
What other remote support options do I have after counselling work ends?
Just because your sessions with us will come to end, it doesn't mean that your support has to. Continued remote support is available online or by telephone, either from us or from other agencies:
In the counselling service
You may, depending on your circumstances, be able to maintain email or phone correspondence with your counsellor in the form of ad hoc chats to check in on how you are doing.
Outside the counselling service
Other services are also providing remote support:
Student Nightline - available in term time by phone, Skype, email and
instant messaging. Tel 020 7636 0101
Email: email@example.com or go to www.nightline.org.uk
Samaritans - A 24 hour listening service is available on Tel: 116 123,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop into 46 Marshall Street W1F 9BF any day
Mind: open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
The Free Psychotherapy Network: offering online groups for people living in the UK who are isolated during this coronavirus crisis: https://freepsychotherapynetwork.com
Please check our Web Resources page as we continue to add more information.
Can a counsellor still help me if I cannot cope with exams and/or course work?
The answer is 'yes'. If your emotional and mental health problems have prevented you from completing or attending your assessment, we may be able to support your application for mitigating circumstances. We offer this support in the context of 'regular and on-going' meetings, and it's worth mentioning this to your counsellor sooner rather than later. Please note that during this temporary period of remote studying, you are not expected to provide external evidence e.g. medical evidence to support your application. Please feel free to check the university mitigating circumstances page for more detailed guidance.
What happens if I, or someone I have met with, is diagnosed with Coronavirus? Is this going to affect my counselling meetings?
If you are, or someone you have met with is, diagnosed with Coronavirus, please refer to the latest advice from Public Health England and the University pages, and inform your counsellor when possible via email. Depending on your health status and your capacity to engage with the counselling sessions, your meetings will resume remotely when this is deemed appropriate. Please be assured that your counselling work will not be ended because of a coronavirus diagnosis. We strive to help students feel connected under these unprecedented circumstances.