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Counselling in the University - an overview

The aim of counselling is to support the student to thrive and understand how they can effect change.

Some facts about counselling

  • Talking with a counsellor offers a psychological space that friends or family cannot provide. The ‘severity’ of a problem is relative – ie, if something is not right, it is not right – counselling is valid whether concern is minimal or overwhelming.
  • People who engage in the counselling process often find it useful, although sometimes challenging. Talking with a trained professional can help.
  • Counselling can enable you to help make sense of events or experiences and explore options for change by providing a specific opportunity where you will be heard and respected.
  • Counsellors don’t normally give advice and counselling is not necessarily a cure-all, but it can be useful.

People use counselling for different reasons. Some examples include:

  • To help work out why they feel low or depressed so they can feel better
  • To understand why they behave in the ways they do so they can choose to change
  • To manage their anxiety/stress better
  • To work through a trauma or bereavement
  • To improve their self esteem and confidence
  • To look at how they relate with others
  • To explore how they could function better

Counselling can help you to focus on, and understand more clearly, issues that concern you. By respecting your values, choices and lifestyle, the counsellor can work together with you towards making choices or changes that are right for you.

A counselling appointment is a chance to look in depth at your concerns, think about the cause of your difficulty, consider the feelings and emotions you may be experiencing as a result, and exploring different ways to improve your situation, by drawing on your inner strengths and resources.

The Counselling Service

The aim: The service provides an opportunity for all students at the University of Warwick to access professional therapeutic counselling so that they may better develop and fulfil their personal, academic and professional potential.

The Counselling Service works to the University of Warwick's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies and as such we believe that every individual in our University community should be treated with dignity and respect and be part of a working and learning environment that is free from barriers, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex (gender identity), sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership and pregnancy or maternity status.

There is a team of counsellors working to provide a comprehensive counselling service for the University of Warwick. People from all departments use the Counselling Service. Our experience tells us that for some people one counselling session is sufficient, whereas some people benefit from a follow up session. Some people may benefit from a course of counselling. However, the emphasis will be on a solution focussed course of counselling rather than on-going befriending.

There are various theoretical models that influence the way in which the counsellors may work with you. Some key models currently used in the Counselling Service include: person-centred, cognitive behavioural (CBT) and integrative using a range of tools and techniques including solution focused work; EFT, ACT, REBT, and many more.

Getting Support

The Counselling Service is situated Westwood House on the Westwood Campus.

  • call in (term time) between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 8.00am to 8.00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In vacation time, call in between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.
  • telephone 024 76523761 (external) or 23761 (internal). An answer machine can record your message if the phone is not staffed.
  • e-mail (admin/enquiries) to

NB: The Counselling Service runs during vacations although less staff may be available. The Service is closed on Bank Holidays and when the University is not open (eg over the Christmas Period).

More more information, see here If you would like to register for counselling, go to (for staff please click here)

If you consider that you need urgent attention, you may need to consider arranging an urgent appointment with your GP. If you have a problem which you regard as acute, there are other agencies that may be better equipped to support you. If your problem is a severe mental health issue, contact the Crisis and Resolution Home Treatment Team on 0845 6044000 for an urgent mental health assessment. If you feel that you want to talk over your problems confidentially, the Samaritans can be contacted 24/7 on 08457 909090, or alternatively the Mental Health Matters helpline on 0800 616171 (also providing an online chat service at ).

For more information:

Samaritans Tel 08457 909090

You may like to try:

'It gets brighter' - information and videos on dealing with mental health difficulties:


To hear a counsellor talking about what a first counselling session might include (please note this does not feature a Warwick University Counsellor):

To hear some students talking about what helped them overcome mental health difficulties:

The University of Warwick cannot be responsible for the content of other websites

Thank you so much, counselling with (the counsellor) has improved my self-esteem, made me happier and made me more accepting of myself. Counselling was a very good decision for me, thank you for everything."

"The Counselling Service is in a discreet location and the venue itself is very relaxing. The waiting room in paticular is fantastic: the inspirational quotes were great."

"Friendly and welcoming, non-judgemental."

Quotes from the Service Evaluation Questionnaire