Based on feedback from current postgraduates, this page aims to answer some of the questions that you might have about the University Counselling Service. If your question is not answered here, please feel free to get in touch with us directly.
Frequently Asked Questions
University Counselling Service
What is this for? What does it do?
The Warwick University Counselling Service provides an opportunity for postgraduates to access professional therapeutic counselling. We aim to support you to develop and fulfil your personal, academic and professional potential while undertaking your postgraduate studies. As counsellors, we seek to help you to explore and understand your emotional or psychological difficulties. These difficulties may be related to your studies, your experience of being at Warwick, your personal life or any issues that are impacting on how you feel emotionally.
I know doing a postgraduate course can be stressful at times but things need to be pretty serious for me to come to counselling, don’t they?
It really depends what you mean by ‘serious’. Counselling is about managing life issues as and when they arise. You don’t need to be suffering from a specific mental health difficulty to make use of the counselling service and you certainly don’t need to be at ‘breaking point’. In fact, you may find the counselling service more useful if you come to see us earlier, rather than leaving it to when things get really tough.
What does counselling actually involve? My course keeps me pretty busy and I’m wondering about how I can fit it all in?
The support available at the counselling service is flexible and varied so the type of support you receive depends on what you think will be most helpful for you at the time. We do offer face-to-face individual counselling appointments but we also have a range of other options so you can tailor your counselling experience to your specific needs. It might be that checking in with our email counsellors each week would better suit your schedule or attending one of our stand-alone workshops would be more helpful. Perhaps you might want to think about whether group therapy offers you what you need. If you are just looking for some information or advice relating to a specific difficulty then we also have a great selection of self-help resources available on the website. So, it’s really up to you to think about what will best support you while you are a postgraduate at Warwick.
I’m an international postgraduate student. I’m not familiar with counselling. Who uses it?
In some cultures, seeking support for emotional, psychological or mental health issues is seen as a weakness and there may be a lot of negative stigma around using such services. However, in the UK, most universities have specialist support for students as they recognise that studying can be very challenging, sometimes overwhelming and sometimes confusing and can possibly have an impact on your emotions. Seeking out counselling does NOT mean you are mad, bad, dangerous or incapable of coping, it is seen by the University as a sign that you can take responsible steps to help support yourself through a challenging transition so you can optimise your academic potential and fully engage in your student experience. A commneet from a student who used the University Counselling Service: "I'm an international student and coming to the UK overlapped exactly with multiple personal crises. I had no support system here and having access to counselling was very helpful".
Doesn’t it reflect badly on me when applying for jobs if I've needed to see a counsellor while doing my postgraduate studies?
It’s not generally necessary for anyone else to know about you having attended the counselling service. Unless it is believed that someone is at serious risk or if it is required by law, we will not discuss any details relating to you seeking counselling with a third party.
Although it can be difficult to share your concerns with someone you don’t know it can be helpful to talk things through with someone that is independent. Coming to the counselling service is not really any different to seeking financial support from the Academic Office or support with accommodation from the Accommodation Service. It is just that you are seeking support for emotional or psychological difficulties, rather than more general life issues.
As an international, postgraduate student English isn’t my first language. I wonder whether I’d be better off talking to a friend that speaks the same language as me instead of coming to the counselling service?
Talking to a friend or family member is always a good place to start and you might find that it gives you enough support. However, when those around you don’t know how to help, you might want to consider seeking some extra support. Although it can be hard to talk about your worries, particularly when using a second language, counsellors are trained to listen and explore your difficulties in a way that allows you to feel heard. Your counsellor will work with you to ensure that your language doesn’t impact on the service you receive.
If I register to see a counsellor for face to face counselling today, how long will it be before I get my first counselling appointment?
Compared to similar NHS services, we can offer you an appointment surprisingly quickly. Click here to see our turnaround time counter, which gives you an indication of how quickly you could receive your appointment at the current time. But, remember, you can also use the online self-help resources at any point during the year, without having to wait.
The University Counselling Service runs interesting workshops - are they suitable for postgraduates?
The range of workshops are suitable for all students, of all ages and stages. Simply register on line and come along.
Where is the service, I don’t think I’ve seen it?
The service is in Westwood House which is located on the Westwood Campus. Westwood offers a quiet location that allows you to visit the service away from the busy Main Campus.
From University House, proceed along Kirby Corner Road to the 2nd pedestrian crossing (with traffic lights), cross over the road, past the bus stop and turn left following signs to 'Engineering Management Building, Arden and Car Park 13'. Westwood House is the single storey building on your left - signposted 'Counselling Services'. Head for the oval, brown brickwork porchway and through entrance doors and the Counselling Service Reception is on your immediate left. Telephone 02476 523761 if you need further directions or for more information see our contact details page.
Unlike a lot of students, I’m here throughout the vacation, is the counselling service still open then?
Absolutely. We are open all year round. We are only closed on the days when the university itself is shut.
This is the first time I’ve heard about the counselling service, have I missed something?
A lot of postgraduates hear about the counselling service during their induction at the University. It might be that your GP or a member of staff has recommended that you register. Either way, it is really up to you to think about whether the service might be helpful for you at this point in your course. For more information, you might want to check out our short film clip about the service or read some testimonials from students that have used the service.
To register for the support services that the Counselling Service offers, visit our Student Counselling and Information page.
You also might want to share what you know about the service with others on your course or with your housemates. Perhaps they don’t know about the service either…
University of Warwick Resources for Postgraduates
If you are struggling with any aspect of your life at Warwick, or you want to be more involved in the postgraduate community at Warwick, you may find the following links helpful:
- Student Progress - Infomation related to completing your studies.
- Current Research Students - Information for research postgraduates.
- Research Student Skills Programme - Workshops on self-management, communication and more...
- Masters Skills Programme - Workshops on academic and personal skills.
- Postgraduate Student Blogs - See what other postgraduates are up to.
- Postgraduate Facebook Community - Link in with other postgraduates via facebook.
- 1:1 Career Guidance Appointments - Bookable appointments and drop-in sessions for careers and academic skills advice.
- Cultural Activities - See what events are coming up at the PGHub.
- Warwick Postgrads on Twitter
- Wolfson Research Exchange - Connecting researchers with researchers on Twitter.
- Life After Warwick - Starting to think about what comes next after being a postgraduate at Warwick.
Helpful advice and information about being a postgraduate.
- Postgrad.com - A website about all things postgrad.
- Troublesome Encounters - Strategies for managing the wellbeing of Masters and Doctoral Education students during their learning processes.
- Studying a PhD: don't suffer in silence - Advice on coping with the challenges of doing a PhD.
- Tips on Looking After Yourself as a PhD student - Times Higher Education article.
- PhinisheD - A discussion and support group for people trying to finish their dissertations or theses.
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