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Service Evaluation Report 2006-07

Service Evaluation Report for Academic Year 2006-2007




1                    Introduction and Aims



 Evaluation of the University Counselling Service is now an established activity which has developed over the previous 4 academic years.  The academic year 2006-07 saw the introduction of a fully on-line questionnaire which was sent out to every face-to-face one-to-one service user after their experience of the UCS, whether they had one appointment with a counsellor or a more protracted counselling contract, if they agreed as indicated on the registration form.  The aim of the report is to summarise the methodology adopted and then to provide analysis of the findings, together with recommendations for service improvement as drawn directly from service users’ comments, which are included in full and verbatim as an appendix.  At the end of each academic year as part of the team business day, the recommendations are considered against progress made throughout the year. 



 The functions of carrying out the Service Evaluation include:


·         User voice: It affords users - both staff and students - the opportunity to engage with the UCS and have a voice to offer feedback, both quantitative and qualitative, that can ‘help us to continually improve the quality of the University Counselling Service’ (as stated on the questionnaire).  This encourages ownership and involvement and is considered good practice.


·         Quality control: The evaluation process provides a measure of quality control for the service providers ie the UCS team (counsellors and administrative staff) and those responsible for the UCS throughout the Institution. 


·         Transparency of the UCS: By definition and necessity, counselling is an activity that takes place ‘behind a closed door’ which can lead to it being seen as a ‘closed’ activity which colludes with the stigma that it is unknown and therefore ‘strange’.  Publishing the Service Evaluation report within the UCS’ Annual Report each academic year makes it widely available. The complete Annual Report is published in hard copy and distributed to over 70 named members of the Institution, including the VC, the Registrar, every academic department, all other welfare departments, and a range of other ‘interested parties’.  Once ratified at the Campus Life Committee meeting, the complete report is made available on the UCS website.  All Service Evaluation responses are included in the appendices, verbatim, thus allowing sight of all respondents’ views and comments about the service. It is hoped that publishing the Service Evaluation report in this format offers a transparent view of the UCS as an accessible and useful, professional activity which, for the most part, is regarded as a useful resource for the University and an asset to the Institution.




2                    Methodology



 2.1              Method


The questionnaire was used as per the previous year with minor alterations in place to ensure questions were asked clearly and concisely.  (See Appendix 1: Questionnaire).  At the end of each course of counselling every client who had indicated on their initial registration form that they would be willing to receive a Service Evaluation Questionnaire received an email.  Individual counsellors were responsible for adding their clients’ names and email addresses to the list when they had finished working with them, and for deciding the optimum time between finishing counselling and the questionnaire being sent out – up to 2 weeks.  An email was sent out explaining the purpose of the questionnaire.  The email contained a web link on which the recipient had to click and complete the e-form to submit.  Counsellors were encouraged to include all clients who had indicated they would be willing to receive a questionnaire, whether they had been seen only once or for a longer term of counselling and regardless of how well they appeared to engage with the process.



 2.2              Participants


The sample range was all clients who came for at least one face-to-face counselling appointment at the UCS and who agreed on their initial registration form to receive a questionnaire.  49% of all clients over the academic year agreed to being sent an evaluation questionnaire.  Consequently, 275 questionnaires were sent out via email with a weblink to click to open the form.  Participants were assured that their responses may be used verbatim but un-attributed.  Submitted forms were set up in Formsbuilder so that no reply address was visible or traceable so respondents could not be identified.  No time limit was stated by which the questionnaires should be returned. 



 2.3              Data Collection


5 of the 275 sent questionnaires were returned in error (ie the email address was invalid).  Over the academic year, 107 were submitted.  No voids were evident as incorrect completion does not allow for submission through Formsbuilder. The response rate, therefore, is calculated to be 39% which is an increase of 10% on the previous year.  This may bear out that online response rate is higher than postal. 



 All qualitative responses were recorded verbatim without selecting out or in, to give a complete and unbiased view.  (See Appendix 3: full results and verbatim responses).  NB the on-line forms’ verbatim responses are pasted as written, and therefore include typographical errors as they appear on the submitted responses.



 As all questionnaires were submitted on line with the Formsbuilder package and data was therefore available in summary form as required and at any point through the year, on any specific aspect of the survey.  Submitted questionnaires were programmed to be sent directly to the SEQ administrator (Secretary) and the SEQ co-ordinator (Samantha Tarren, Counsellor).  In practice, as each questionnaire was submitted, responses were briefly overviewed.  The Acting Head of Counselling was kept informed of any significant patterns in responses.  A print out of quantitative and qualitative data was made available as necessary for each counsellor to help consider strategy and procedure development at team meetings, when appropriate.  At the end of the academic year, all responses were collated in to a format acceptable for publication in the completed report. 



 2.4              Evaluation of Methodology



 The increased response rate of on-line forms and the efficiency in which data can be collated and calculated, indicate that the complete change to on-line forms was beneficial. 



 To streamline efficiency and to increase the sample range further, it may be useful to send out the SEQ email and weblink form to all registered users after counselling, rather than the offering them the option to opt out at the registration stage.  The choice to reply will be in place in the email mail- out, together with an explanation of the use of the responses.



 The collation of data from the online completed forms was much more time effective than the previous manual method used. 



 Streamlining the activation of the send out of the SEQ email and questionnaire to make fuller use of the technology available may be useful.




3                    Results


See Appendix 3 for a full copy of results and verbatim responses.



 4                    Analysis of Findings:  Discussion, Comparison to Previous Year and Recommendations



 Q1: First contact with the UCS



 Q1.1     How did you first make contact with the UCS?


The significant increase in first contact via email (from 28% in 0405, 53% in 0506 to 73% in 0607) is on par with the general increase in electronic mail usage.  Both the ‘in person’ and telephone contact has reduced by 5% and 15% respectively.  The comments indicate first contact needs to be reassuring, straightforward and prompt – this is clearly important electronically as well as the traditional ‘in person/phone’ contacts which Secretarial staff must consider.




  • Maintain the website to a high standard to provide accurate information (consider a photograph of the reception area)


  • Re-work the web counter to show a more accurate time wait


  • Ensure signage is adequately informative


  • Continue reassuring, straightforward, prompt and pleasant first contact


  • Send out email after registration after specific time (suggested 2 weeks)



 Q1.2     What do you think to the UCS website?


Although 82% indicated that the website was good or ok, 17% had still not seen it but only 1% thought it to be ‘poor’  The comments suggest that although the information is generally useful, the site itself could be clearer to navigate and maintained more conscientiously.





  • Consider revamping the website


  • Ensure the site is maintained regularly



 Q1.3     Do you think the UCS is promoted well enough (ie is enough information about the UCS easy to find and obtain)?


37% responded ‘no’ to this question.  There is a sense of ‘if you really want it, you will find it’ but that the UCS is not overtly promoted.  This is the strategic marketing stance taken by staff of the UCS as a measure to manage demand.  There is evidence that Health Centre staff actively promote the UCS, perhaps helped by the recently published leaflet (produced by the UCS) entitled ‘Q&A information for students referred by their GP to the UCS’ made available online and in printed format for distribution by GPs and health centre staff.  There is an impression from respondents that more overt publicity would be useful. 





  • Continue to discuss strategic marketing with senior management (holding in mind the marketing tension between resources and demand)


  • Ensure information about the UCS is distributed appropriately to all departments and staff



 Q1.4  Does your experience of the UCS match (or even exceed) your expectation of it (ie does it fit with what you heard/read/understood about the Service)? 


An increase of 9% from last year meant that 91% of respondents replied ‘yes’ to this question.  This may indicate that clearer information about what to expect from the UCS is now available (on the website).  There is still room for improvement for more information to be available.




  • Ensure the website is continually improved and added to with clear information about what to expect



 Q1.5  On your first contact with the UCS, was the response efficient and appropriate?


The response to this question sustained at 86%.  For those who did not feel their first contact was efficient and appropriate respondents tended to refer to the wait for an initial appointment, or the lack of communication after registration form submission rather than the personnel involved. 




  • Send regular emails to everyone after registration to keep them informed as to their progress


  • Re work the web counter to ensure it is as accurate as possible




Q2: Venue/Accommodation


Q2.1     What do you think of the location of the UCS?


The feedback has been consistent over the years that users do not like the public approach to the UCS although the position on campus is generally acceptable. Signage continues to be an important aspect. 




·         Plan for another relocation


·         Ensure signage is clear and copious


Q2.2     What did you think of the reception area (where the Departmental Secretary sits)?


The key issue of concern continues to be the need for privacy around the secretary/receptionist area, for both those waiting and for the secretary to carry out [her] duties with appropriate respect for privacy.




  • Plan for an adequately private reception area


Q2.3     What did you think to the waiting area?


Privacy is again the essential requirement for respondents with regard to the waiting areas.  Reading material (posters, leaflets etc) are considered helpful. 




  • Plan for a private waiting area


  • Ensure the waiting area has plenty of appropriate reading material


Q2.4     What did you think to the counselling room? and


Q2.5     What is important for you in a counselling room?


Respondents continue this year to highly rate the counselling room (‘good’ 86%).  Comments consistently year-on-year indicate the important elements of a counselling room as privacy, comfort (chairs, lighting, regulated temperature, air) quietness (no disturbances, etc) with a relaxed-yet-professional atmosphere.




·         Ensure counselling rooms are as quiet as possible


·         Continue to offer comfortable, private counselling rooms appropriately furnished with adequate seating (in line with Health and Safety Recommendations)


Q3: The Counselling Experience



 Q3.1     Do you feel you had to wait too long before you were offered a counselling appointment after you had registered?


57% of respondents felt that their wait had been too long.  Respondents appreciated being contacted by email when the wait was long as they wanted reassurance.  Frustration was expressed at the discrepancy between the published wait on the web counter and the actual wait.  Waiting through vacation times seemed unpopular.  Generally most would prefer a short wait time, although some wait is both anticipated and even appreciated as useful time to prepare for counselling.  




  • Communicate regularly with  those on the waiting list to keep them informed


  • Endeavour to keep wait times relatively short (2 weeks?)


  • Ensure the web counter is as accurate as possible


  • Consider more counsellor availability throughout vacation



 Q3.2  Do you feel that the number of counselling sessions you contracted was appropriate to your needs?


Of the 84% who felt that they had a sufficient number of counselling sessions, there is a sense that many would have preferred more but there was an awareness of the necessity to work briefly driven by demand and counsellor availability.  For the most part, it was considered that the counselling work was adequately done in the time available.  Inevitably, some would prefer more.  No-one wanted fewer than negotiated.  Flexibility in negotiating counselling contracts is valued to meet individual need. 





·         Continue offering flexible contracts


·         Continue to bid for more counselling staff hours to meet demand adequately



 Q3.3     Are you satisfied with the confidentiality policy of the UCS?


The 100% satisfaction with the confidentiality policy of the UCS is a testament to the continuing professional standards of the UCS staff.  Respondents expect confidentiality to be of the highest calibre. 




  • Continue to ensure the professional management of confidentiality as far as is ethically and practicably possible



 Q3.4  Would you recommend others to use the UCS, if appropriate?


93% of respondents answered affirmatively adding a range of positive reasons.  The 7% who would not recommend it did not like the wait for an appointment and did not get what they needed from the UCS themselves. 




  • Ensure the process of undertaking counselling is as clearly defined as possible on the website


Q3.5  Generally, do you find counselling useful?


A very high majority (93%) indicated that they found counselling helpful.




  • Continue to provide a high standard, effective counselling service which, as far as can be expected, meets the needs of its users


Q3.61 and 3.62.  Respondents were asked to complete either 3.61(students) or 3.62 (staff) as applicable.




The most significant shift for many students was in their ‘life as a whole’ (91%) although a significant 89% felt counselling helped them to manage anxiety.  The average for positive effect was 74%.  The overall range of impact was from improving motivation and coping with stress to comprehensively life changing. 





Significantly 91% of staff respondents felt that counselling helped them ‘improve their ability to do their work’ indicating that counselling may play a part in staff well-being and potentially retention.




  • Develop the SEQ questions to further explore the effect of counselling to develop evidence-based practice.


Q4:       Overall


Q4.1 Overall level of satisfaction with the UCS


82% of respondents reported feeling satisfied or very satisfied with the UCS.  Only 1% was very dissatisfied.



 Q4.2  What could be improved to increase overall satisfaction?


Most comments pointed directly to improvements being necessary in the waiting time for an initial appointment (including contact between registration and appointment) and an increase in the number of appointments available including flexible contracting.  The privacy of the location was also a factor that was considered unsatisfactory.




·         Endeavour to ensure waiting times are expedient


·         Communicate with those waiting after registration


·         Publish clear ‘expectations’ of counselling


·         Continue creative contracting, to perhaps include a ‘follow up’ session or contact


·         Ensure the location and environment is conducive to counselling


·         Ensure there is scope to offer enough sessions to meet clinical and therapeutic need


·         Schedule more counsellor availability throughout vacation times



 Q4.3  Completing statements about the experience of the UCS:


It may be better if…


There was a significant number of comments (68%) related to the timing of appointments (wanting appointments sooner, longer, more, etc), Other points included the need for privacy of the location (14%).



 I did not like...


39% of respondents referred to their dissatisfaction with aspects of the length of wait time; 33% did not like the location (for reasons of access or privacy).



 It was good that...


52% of respondents included acknowledgment for the quality of counselling they experienced. 



 What surprised me was…


Many respondents reported feeling surprised at the both the quality of care the positive effect of change brought about by counselling.  


Q4.4 Are there any other comments you wish to make?


Respondents generally used this question to endorse their positive experience of counselling. 




  • Continue to monitor feedback of the UCS to ensure high standards of service are maintained 

 NB it is recognised that those who choose to respond to evaluation questionnaires of this nature may provide skewed responses.  

Verbatim responses to University Counselling Service Evaluation Questionnaire for academic year 2006-07



 Q1        First Contact with the UCS



 Q1.1     How did you first make contact with the UCS?


                        03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


In Person         39%                  39%                  27%                  22%


By Phone         50%                  33%                  20%                  5%


By Email           11%                  28%                  53%                  73%





·          Takes a bit long to receive reply, but otherwise ok


·          I found e-mail an easy way to approach and received a very helpful reply


·          registered through the website


·          easy to get in contact, fast response


·          I felt it was generally easy to get in contact with the service and that they were very helpful in getting an appointment


·          I had to wait several weeks for an appointment. I don't remember exactly how many - 4 to 5 maybe


·          it could be faster- i had to wait 2 months before i could see someone


·          Can be difficult to make the first contact, so anything you can do to make this easier would be good


·          Very friendly and approachable


·          the response was prompt, helpful and tactful


·          thought this was a very easy way to contact the service


·          Very prompt and courteous responses


·          This was fine, although I know of someone who didn't get a reply to her email, so never bothered in the end


·          The receptionist was very helpful, and I got seen swiftly. I did however spend a long time in the finance queue before realising that I didn't have to


·          Friendly staff


·          i think it would be helpful if students were kept posted on the progress of their application because i thought id been forgotten


·          Giving more time for people to accept their first consultation as they may not have immediate access to the internet


·          Service Good


·          Obviously the easier it is to contact the service, the more people will be able to negotatiate the barriers to initial contact


·          Was Fine


·          I would have liked a quicker response after filling in the online application form. I contacted because I needed help asap and so waiting a few weeks to get a response was difficult and kind of put me off


·          It would be good if I could register in person, as well as online


·          Very easy to contact


·          It might be useful to have a periodic e-mail (say, sent every 5 days) providing an update on queue-status, and revised estimate of how many days it will take until a counsellor might be available


·          Very fast response


·          The time on website said 7 days for an appointment but it actually took 3 months


·          I got no reply at the beginning for a month before I tried again. I tried to fill an online application at the point and could not. Eventually, trying again, I got a reply back to my e-mail


·          No problem



 Q1.2     What do you think to the UCS website?


                        05/06              06/07


Good                40%                  47%


Ok                    35%                  35%


Poor                 0%                   1%


Not seen          25%                  17%



 Comments and suggestions for improvement:*


·          I found it a little difficult to find the page i needed; also i didn't know where to find how long i would be on the waiting list


·          can't remember it really but the fact that i was able to navigate it without problems means it must have been well organised!


·          I found it quite difficult to navigate to the contact information because the page wouldn't load properly


·          I think you could offer more tips on what people themselves can do to help themselves before and after counselling, so expand the information leaflets


·          Maybe more information. I was a bit confused about the provisions


·          easy to navigate and find relevant information


·          was very helpful and easy to use


·          Good layout, easy to access and use


·          Would be more easily accessible if clearly advertised through main intranet pages


·          the advice pages with links is useful


·          first point contact address for initial registration was hard to find


·          Like most university sitebuilder-esque pages, looks polished but lacking in useful content


·          Online registration forms were hard to find


·          It certainly contained useful information, but I wasn't really in a state to pay much attention to it at the time


·          The time to wait for an appointment is a great idea - but was very inaccurate at the time I registered. (It quoted 5 days, but I waited something like three weeks.)



 Q1.3     Do you think the UCS is promoted well enough (ie is enough information about the UCS easy to obtain)?


            03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


Yes      68%                  54%                  60%                  63%


No        32%                  46%                  40%                  37%



 Comments and suggestions for improvement:*


·          If someone was to look for information about the UCS they could find it and there is a link from my departmental webpage and the warwick homepage which makes people aware that the service is there


·          I think it is promoted to the extent that it needs to be, i.e. it's there if you want it, and if you do, this is where to go


·           am not sure about awareness among staff


·          I didn't know it existed. I think we should be emailed and generally better advertised on campus so students know it's there


·          maybe more advertising, becuase as its in University House its not that close for many students


·          I heard of it via my housemate who attends regularly, perhaps it could be promoted more around campus, like in toilets etc


·          i rang nightline first hoping they could put me in touch with a councilling service and they said they had no idea, perhaps a link should be established?


·          Perhaps could be a more obvious advertisement for it around the university and on the website


·          More posters perhaps in the union and academic buildings, eg. humanities, on noticeboards etc


·          Leafleting- I didn't even know it existed- I just assumed there must be one and hunted it down


·          In some regards yes-for exam techniques,etc. But on the whole i dont think many students are aware of the other services, or even where UCS is based


·          Should make students more aware of the service using leaflets etc like Nightline does


·          I found it a bit difficult to find the website. Also, if a friend hadnt told me about the counselling service i wouldnt have known about it (she was recommended the service by her GP). perhaps there should be more advertising of the service, in a similar manner in which Nightline is advertised


·          easy to find on website if you already know about it


·          I don't think it is something that is needed to be "shouted about" as this could provide unnecessary concern for some students but it is good how the UCS is well known and utilised through the Health Centre


·          Advertisement within departments or an email to students at the beginning of the year might help


·          I think people think that it is just for students


·          I actively sought out the service as I had been receiving counseling before attending university. However I felt that if I had not looked specifically for the service I may not have really known too much about it


·          perhaps email all students, as do career service team


·          The information I required was given to me by my doctor


·          was easy to find info on the website but not seen much information around campus


·          More obvious advertising would not go amiss


·          Perhaps posters near nightline advertisements?


·          yes and no. if you know about the service it is easy to find information, but if i hadnt searched for it myself i wouldnt have known about the service. More flyers at the beginning of first term would be useful


·          Lots of info around campus


·          Only knew there was a counselling service provided through word of mouth. I think it needs to be promoted more, maybe a link directly on the uni's website, just to make people aware its there if they need it


·          The health centre and academic staff seem to be aware of the services offered and willing to make recommendations


·          Perhaps a little more on flyers or around the university


·          There should be more flyers available because people know a lot about things like Nightline but very little about UCS. Perhaps they can be advertised together?


·         I happened to come across a leaflet that I had recieved in a pack when I started working for the university. If I hadn't stumbled across this I may have missed out on this free service. Carry on with the promotion of services in any way possible



 Q1.4  Does your experience of the UCS match (or even exceed) your expectation of it ( ie does it fit with what you heard/read/understood about the Service)?


            05/06              06/07


Yes      85%                  91%


No        15%                  9%



 Comments and suggestions for improvement:*


·          had never had counselling before but it was very helpful and at least met my expectations. However it is such a shame that it can only be for a short period because long term development would be very useful. However i do feel that the UCS being available to all students in crisis is more necessary than long-term personal development if resources only allow for one of these


·          In a way, it might. But in many ways, the slow response rate and delay is not in line with the target needs of this kind of service, which requires presence, smoother and faster access. The help received was basic, though it is helpful at that level


·          The counselling was very directed, helpful and I was well aware of the parameters of counselling


·          Excellent service


·          No the experience of UCS did not fit my expectation, in fact I felt let down by the experience with my counsellor


·          Counselling was generally very good and extremely helpful. Privacy could have been improved, however. I felt, as a member of staff, that this was not as good as it might have been (largely due to location of facilities)


·          Working in [department], I probably knew more about it than most people, but even still I was competely amazed at how brilliant the service is. Until I looked on the website in details, I thought it would have to be for a work-related problem


·          I found the service very helpful to me, I wasn't sure about it when I heard about it. I was told to get in touch 4 times before I did. I am glad that I did though


·          It did, but I will admit that I was expecting people to be sickeningly, but they weren't which was a relief!


·          I didn't know what to expect


·          didn't really know what to expect but i found it very helpful


·          I didn't really know what to expect, but my experience was much better than i expected


·          [yes]although there was a substantial delay between contacting the service and a first appointment


·          i think the information is a bit misleading about them being able to help you on personal and academic life because my councellor said she could not help me on managing or overcoming my fear of academic work


·          I felt a bit confused over what to expect and did not like the fact that it is stuck in a careers department. It was very difficult to fully open up when you leave the room and are faced with a big office and lots of students


·          I was allocated a shorter time than I thought was necessary, but was unsure of what to expect and was pleased with the outcome


·          The service has been invaluable to my time here


·         The information online is very concise, and answers any questions that you may have. It tells you what to expect


·         I didn't feel that it was helping me. It was less... sympathetic than I had hoped... I felt I was being patronised quite a lot and I needed support more


·         It was a little slow getting an initial appointment but once I began going it exceeded my expectations


·         Exceeds


·          I found it more helpful than i had expected


·          I really didn't expect it to be as helpful as it was!



 Q1.5  On your first contact with the UCS, was the response efficient and appropriate?


            03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


Yes      96%                  92%                  85%                  86%


No        4%                    8%                 15%                  14%



 Comments and suggestions for improvement:*


·         Very friendly and informative


·         Response was no problem, length of waiting period was somewhat unexpected


·         It took ages to actually get an appointment!


·         I had to wait much longer than the approx waiting time stated on the website


·         Very professional and helpful


·         All the contact I had with the UCS was great, helpful and friendly. I especially appreciated this as I was going through a difficult time just a quicker response was needed


·         I sent my form twice via internal mail and it was lost both times. It consequently took several weeks for me to register


·         Didn't get an appointment for 45 days


·         long waiting times for first appointment


·         It took a while for the UCS to respond to my initial email, since it was sent over the Christmas period


·         I was seen almost immediately


·         Contacted next day, and appointment made for the same afternoon - was very pleased


·         the service could be faster


·         There was some confusion over emails that didnt arrive, there was also a waiting list which meant it was a while before an appointment could be made. The system as nonetheless efficient


·         My counsellor was understanding and inviting, which is what was helpful as I didn't know what to expect/ where to start!


·         Yes, however it took a little while to get a first appointment


·         I think you have to wait a long time for an appointment. By the time I had recieved mine the problem had been and gone but I felt obliged to take the appointment. Looking at a shorter waiting time might attract more people to appeal for help


·         I think I was forgotton about. I waited for two weeks after submitting my registration form and heard nothing. It was only after I enquired about the progress of my registration that I was contacted with an appintment time


·         Both administrator and counsellor were extremely polite and friendly, and entirely approachable


·         Efficient? Perhaps Appropriate? In the same way that it is "appropriate" on a train when it is delayed and someone informs you


·         yes very quick, I got a consultation immediaitely


·         Quick response although the form could be easier to fill in. Like an online from rather than a word doc


·         Discretion was emphasised


·         Immediate email back from them, who could ask for more?


·         Obviously had to wait a long time to get appointment but was aware of that immediately so no false hopes


·         Very good introduction to what would be happening and made me feel at ease


·         No response on first contact, until I had to ask around and try again


·         I was given all the information I needed at the time


·         Got seen very quickly and contact was good


·         It did take a while to actually get an appointment


·         There was a delay in the initial response - in about february - however after a while i was contacted saying my request had been logged and that i would be contacted again in due course which was very reassuring



 Q2        Venue/Accommodation


Q2.1     What do you think of the location of the UCS?


            03/04                04/05                05/06                06/07


Good    50%                 50%                  49%                  52%


OK        42%                 46%                  37%                  41%


Poor        8%                4%                  14%                  7%



 Comments and suggestions for improvement:*


·         As other services are within the section of the building where the UCS is situated it is not embarassing and is more private to attend without passers-by knowing


·         It's easy to find and separate enough for comfort and privacy


·         Some people may not like having to walk past queues of people at the finance office who can tell you're going to see a counsellor


·         Maybe could have been better sign-posted


·         Even though the service is relatively out of sight, the general venue is rather close other services such as the Learning Grid or careers where students may bump into their peers and feel uncomfortable


·         Good in that it is slightly concealed for privacy and if it was located in a seperate building or section would be less private


·         Is a little intimidating having to walk through past the desks, and its likely they know where you are going as well which is not so anonymous


·         It's the location of University House that's a nuisance, not necessarily the UCS.: 1
A bit of a walk but not too far


·         It's too 'officy', needs to be a bit more welcoming, friendly, approachable


·         It's a bit difficult to find the reception desk, at any rate you need to ask someone for directions. I remember it was a bit embarassing for me to ask for where the Councelling Service Reception is


·         It is a bit public


·         it is a bit confusing to have to go straight past the unitemps desks; it seems like you should stop but then you don't really want to announce that you're looking for the counciling desk...don't know how to fix this


·         Good that it is not in a usual place of uni campus so that you can feel some level of anonymity entering but still difficult with all the office staff there etc


·         privacy, especially for staff, could be improved


·         Location is reasonable, more appropriate than any other common building on campus


·         I have to admit that at first I found it difficult to locate the offices


·         The rooms are well equipped but it would be better to have a separate entrance for the service


·         really relaxed setting and quite private


·         It is in University house which is not the most central of locations, though I appreciate that it is probably the most appropriate


·         Nice location in the building but inside it is a little hidden away


·         A bit tricky to find


·         I did find it quite difficult to find the first time


·         if you dont want anyone knowing where you are going, then to say you're going to University House is great because they assume you're going to the Learning Grid. However, had a bit of a problem finding counselling the first time, maybe more eye catching signs?


·         In addition to being far from central campus, it is not at all easily accessible in the part of university house where it is located


·         For some students university house may not be the best location


·         I think the centre could be more central to campus where students would find it easier to get to


·         It should be in a separate area to the other student services to improve confidentiality


·         Very poor. Difficult to explain to people you know and bump into what you're doing in that area. Weird being in a careers area and not very closed - too open. Tough opening up when you leave and are faced with people when you don't want to see anyone for a bit. At least a room to freshen up and compose yourself after would be good


·         out of the way of main campus areas


·         quiet


·         I think University House is quite a remote part of campus, not easy for science students to reach


·         University House is about as far away from central campus as is possible


Q2.2     What did you think of the reception area (where the Departmental Secretary sits)?


            03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


Good    15%                  38%                  47%                  51%


OK        77%                  53%                  44%                  45%


Poor     8%                   9%                  9%                   4%



 Comments and suggestions for improvement:*


·          The extremely kind secretary [] makes a difference to the experience and makes the UCS all the more approachable


·          Perhaps a bit more confidentiality?


·          Water always available, quiet and calm, fairly discreet


·          Nice atmosphere


·          It is not easy to locate within University House, there should be more (though still discrete) signs


·          Fine as it is


·          Again, it is a little public


·          Did not particularly like having to walk past so many other offices to get there - not very private


·          Slightly open, was self-concious about being seen


·          The students who go for counselling may not want others to see them there


·          It was not very obvious where you had to sign in


·          I wish I did not have to pass through everyone in the student services area before reaching it


·          Is ok, would be useful to have books to read, or leaflets etc


·          fine but nothing special


·          easy to approach


·          It is good that it is tucked away in as it makes it discrete


·          nice, quiet and screened off which was good


·         It is not separated enough from the rest of the office work space


·         Easy to find, not exactly private, but good enough


·         A little open, as it is cramped in an open-plan office with other departments


·         Not out in the open is brill. It looks welcoming and as though thought has gone into it. Perhaps a make it more distinct from the other office desks


Q2.2     What do you think to the waiting area?


            03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


Good    23%                  38%                  40%                  44%


OK        69%                  53%                  52%                  50%


Poor     8%                   9%                   8%                  6%


Comments and suggestions for improvement:*


·         Not very big and too open, need more privacy


·         quite exposed


·         It is a bit exposed...i had to wait for quite a while on one instant.


·         Don't know if there was a water-dispenser. If not, this would be very handy


·         Slightly open, was self-concious about being seen


·         Easy to find, enough room to wait, a few noticed to read. More notices would be nice, they make for a simple distraction


·         Is ok, would be useful to have books to read, or leaflets etc


·         maybe some magazines?


·         nice to have somewhere to hide while waiting to prevent embarassment.


·         Perhaps there could be a slightly more private area in which people can gather themselves


·         Perhaps more reading materials? The information on the walls was useful, e.g. regarding additional seminars and workshops


·         again private quiet space


·         It feels a bit exposed and could be more brightened up with posters. Leaflets about other organisations that might be helpful, common issues that bring people to counselling, magazines etc would be good.


·         sometimes bumping into other people you knew is awkward


·         nice friendly atmosphere


·         Too officy, see note above


·         Also nice stmosphere


·         Nothing really to do there whilst waiting - this quite often just gave me time to worry


·         Private, quiet.


·         Comfortable, literature to read


Q2.4     What do you think of the counselling room?


            03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


Good    62%                  87%                  80%                  86%    


OK        38%                  13%                  17%                  14%


Poor     0%                   0%                  3%                  0%     



 Comments and suggestions for improvement*:


·         All fine


·         I liked it and it helped me speak up


·         Calm, spacious - maybe water facilities should be available?


·         really light and airy, nice feeling about it


·         It was spacious and comfortable. It did get very hot on some occasions though.


·         A chez-long like in the films isn't necessary!


·         Good sized room, not daunting.


·         comfortable, relaxed atmosphere


·         comfortable and not intimidating


·         Very friendly and relaxed atmosphere


·         relaxed, friendly atmosphere


·         Just an office. Bit bright.


·         it provided a relaxed and professional atmosphere.


·         It was confidential and people didn't interupt, yet I felt like it was somone office- it didn't feel that welcoming


·         Seating located away from the desk area is good. Its not too personal or formal for purpose - good balance.


·         again fine but nothing special. Perhaps over-spacious!


·         Perhaps a more squishy chair would be nice but the current ones are fine.


·         Very comfortable and welcoming


·         The lighting was a bit intense it made you get a headache!


·         Was sometimes a little hot.


Q2.5     What is important for you in a counselling room?*


·         Feeling of privacy


·         Quiet, calm surrounding with privacy.


·         Space; peace and quiet


·         comfotable room


·         private


·         a calm, friendly atmosphere. It must be quite, there should be no noise from anywhere.


·         Tissues! Warm comfortable room, with few distractions but not a bare room either.


·         calm atmosphere


·         Tissues! Warm room without too much bright lighting.


·         Space, and light colours, nothing dark or intimidating


·         Attentiveness, responsiveness, useful suggestions about ways to deal with certain issues, guidance on whom to contact with about departmental matters etc..


·         Space, layout, quietness, comfortable and not dull overall


·         peacefull suroundings, no interuptions


·         Comfort, calming, bright, quite , helps to relax


·         a comfy chair and a friendly atmosphere


·         A nice welcoming room, plain. Plants are good.


·         being somewhere which seemed clean and bright and somehow wholesome


·         Privacy, from people seeing you and hearing you. Also, it has to seem comfortable. Not fancy, just comfortable.


·         The people in it.


·         a comfortable chair, proper lighting


·         Space, fewdistractions in the room, relative silence


·         Feel comfortable, can't be seen from outside the room.


·         A relaxing and informal environment.


·         Inviting atmosphere


·         A small room, not too brightly lit.


·         To feel like it is warm and friendly, quiet and private so you can feel at ease when discussing what are usually personal issues.


·         Relaxing.


·         Light.


·         Just the basics of a reasonably comfortable chair, a good amount of light (with windows). As above, a water dispenser would be good, but could be provided outside. (May just not have noticed this, though.)


·         Chairs - that's about it!


·         not too much clutter, plain and clean furniture


·         Light and airy! easy to feel relaxed


·         comfort, temperature, quiet, no distractions


·         Somewhere that you feel comfortable and relaxed in


·         A comfy chair. Its not nice to feel like you are sitting in somebody's office.


·         light, calm atmosphere, no noice, not feeling crowded


·         quiet, undisturbed, neutral


·         to feel like i can relax, that its not an interrogation. Sitting in comfy chairs at the same level. Plants in the room to soften it. Lots of light, but private at the same time. Soft colours


·         Good communication space.


·         Quiet atmosphere removed from general background noise.


·         That it is a relaxed atmosphere where one feels comfortable to sit and talk.


·         A relaxed atmosphere


·         comfortable chairs, no or few distractions for me or the counsellor e.g no computer is best, Perhaps make it less office-like.


·         Quiet and comfortable.


·         "Privacy.


·         The discrete supply of tissues is a good idea."


·         Relaxed. Comfy chair would be nice. Maybe a mirror to make sure you look presentable, especially after crying.


·         It was important for me to feel comfortable in the room, which i did.


·         To feel secure and able to talk freely.


·         "Comfort of seating


·         relaxed lighting


·         space"


·         A relaxed and friendly environment


·         that it isn't too institutional; that it's private; that it has some natural light!


·         That there are tissues available.


·         that it is closed and private


·         A counsellor!


·         For it not to look too formal, and for tissues to be readily available!


·         the councilor?


·         a comfortable atmosphere- it was a bit intimadating and formal


·         To feel comfortable and not in a "sterile" place.


·         not too intimidating or closed in


·         "Privacy and confidentiality


·         Not being disturbed


·         Surroundings that are warm and inviting and welcoming - not showing family photos etc for example- (not too personal)"


·         Tissues.


·         private, quiet and comfortable


·         being in a quiet room with no noise around and outside


·         Relaxing


·         privacy, comfort


·         A comfortable seat with the counsellor not sat too far away.  Fresh and clean and not too clinical however an office environment and all that is currently in the room is fine. 


·         Comfort, warmth, relaxing environment, private space,


·         Lack of clutter, sense of calmness, comfortable seating and lighting. Supply of water and hankies!


·         Comfort, not a room that looks like it's trying to make you at ease though.


·         Calm, relaxed atmosphere


·         comfy seats, a relaxing atmosphere


·         To feel at ease and private


·         Nothing


·         It should be a tidy and welcoming space


·         tissues! some water would be nice too.


·         A relaxing atmosphere.



 Q3 Your Counselling Experience



 Q3.1     Do you feel you had to wait too long before you were offered a counselling appointment after you had registered?



             04/05             05/06              06/07 


Yes      42%                  59%                  57%


No        58%                  41%                  43%






·         Now I feel that it was ok. At the time it was a nuisance because I had reached a different phase in how I was feeling before I was seen


·         way too long!


·         Next day - You don't get much better than that!


·         gave me time to think about what i wanted out of it


·         The number speaks for itself. I would claim that this is unacceptable


·         Wasnt too long, and gave me enough time to think through what i was going to counselling for


·         I understand there was a particularly large demand, but when I registered it said it would take 10 or 11 days for them to find me an appointment. However I was contacted by email to say they were aware of my registration, which I appreciated


·         I think my first appointment was at a busy period, and I didn't hear back from them for a long time, long enough that I actually forgot my appointment request:). Although I did not have anything urgent, I guess it might be annoying for some people who would want to see someone immediately


·         I applied at the end of November and did not hear back until January! I felt a little abandoned, which was not a good thing for me at the time! I understand the demand for counselling is high but perhaps a few emails would have been helful jut to reassure me that I wasn't forgotten


·         I registered outside of term, which as a postgraduate on campus all year round, is very inconvenient


·         I can't really remember the number of days I had to wait. Initially I was to told it would be quite a long time but it turned out to be much shorter


·         I had been sitting on the problem for some time, but the wait might be too long for people with more pressing concerns


·         this was a long time, it would have been worse however if my problem had been more severe


·         Summer holidays clearly got in the way, but ti wasn't clear the wait would eb this long


·         but this was also on my part as well, being unavailable. a week should be the maximum if possible to wait, i think


·         I really needed the counselling at the very time that i went and asked about it, that was when i was most upset, although the later counselling did help me


·         I was surprised that I had to wait as long as I did, I expected to have my first appointment sooner


·         I felt the time wait was reasonable, and felt that there was no immediate need for me to be seen anyway


·         Offered an appointment very quickly


·         I understand that there may be a lot of people who need the service..but it is still quite a long wait


·         I was not annoyed and did not feel ignored, as they explained to me on several occassions that it was a very busy time. Also, it didn't help matters that after this waiting period I'd ticked the wrong box and requested a male counsellor instead of a female one


·         This is a little too long, though it did give me (more than) adequate time to think the process through and decide whether or not it was the right course of action


·         My problem was rather urgent, but I understand that you can't just drop in


·         but it included easter hols, so without that 49, for me that was ok but i think for others who are going through a hard time rather than trying to deal with something ongoing it is a long time to go without support


·         Long wait period would ideally be shorter


·         People should be seen almost immediately. You need more staff


·         Totally acceptable


·         This was a long time although it included the Christmas vacation


·         actually i dont remember how many days. anyway i had a prompt reply


·         Did have to wait a while but I wouldnt say too long though


·         it was a bit disappointing because i could have really used it earlier


·         too long. I contacted on day one because things had got really bad. waiting was really hard and did nearly put me off


·         I was very happy with this


·         I got the impression I was a forgotton email. All email contact had a slow turnaround, which was a shame. I think email is going to be the best way for people to contact you if they work in an office where they can't speak freely on the phone


·         thought this was fine as was informed that i would have to wait


·         I could not get it at a time when I needed it the most. By the time I got it, I was not sure why I wanted to go or what would I say there or how would it help was rather late


·         I feel that the length of time is relative. So what might be a long time for one person - perhaps 7 days because she is desparate, might be a relatively short time for another, who is more comfortable with their life


·         It's a long time, and I think my circumstances were changing rapidly in that period, something quicker would have been very good, but I don't expect that to happen


·         Much more than the wait time shown on the website


·         it was ok, but obviously i would have preferred to be seen sooner


·         I had to wait approximately two months, which lessened the effectiveness of the counselling once I finally received it because my situation had changed since I first registered, basically it was too late


·         Slightly long



 Q3.2     Do you feel that the number of counselling sessions you contracted was appropriate to your needs?


05/06              06/07


Yes                  79%                  84%


No                    21%                  16%





·         Although my personal needs are not extreme or immediate it did feel quite soon to end the sessions. I do accept the necessity to give others the opportunity to see a counsellor as soon as possible but I feel as though I would love to have longer-term counselling. It is an excellent starting point to have these sessions, however, even if only for a short period


·         It was ok


·         my counsellor seemed pretty intent on persuading me that i didn't need anymore sessions


·         I feel that the counselling helped to resolve the problems I had


·         I did not feel like I was being pushed away at any point, and felt very privelidged to be allowed as many sessions as I got


·         I was not really clear about this and initially felt a bit insecure. As it turned out the number of meetings was sufficient and it was made clear to me that I was welcome to return if I needed to


·         Would like to have more but were stopped as many new people registered during the examination period


·         the number was mutually agreed and kept flexible


·         I had as many as possibly given the end of term, which i was happy with


·         Would have prefered perhaps one or two more


·         Yes, I pretty much decided how many I had!


·         My counsellor was very flexible with regards to this, we initially booked in four, then [the counsellor] suggested another four, which [] said was more than average. In the end I didn't have the full 8 appointment as I was moving out of the area, but I feel I had a sufficient number of appointments


·         I felt both the counsellor and I were getting no where. Whether this was a problem with myself or with the counsellor or both, I don't know


·         The number was discussed during our sessions and it was agreed upon by both sides


·         i only had 3, which i felt was completly insufficient


·         I liked going on a regular basis, and I always felt that there was no pressure to either attend or to stop attending


·         I felt i could have done with more


·         I would have liked to continue councelling, but didn't NEED to


·         Needed more. Need more councellors


·         [the counsellor] was very careful about monitoring where i thought i was with regard to needing more sessions or having had enough


·         Although I felt that the counselling offered progressed me very well, it ended rather abruptly


·         it was but I finished because the counsellor was leaving and wasn't sure I wanted to meet another counsellor at this time


·         I think the review system at the end of the session block was very worthwhile


·         It did feel as though the cousellor was being pushed by targets. Towards the end it felt rather like a production line


·         This is hard to judge. I could easily have done with more sessions, but it's difficult to know when to stop. After 6 sessions, we decided to see how things have progressed in 6 months time, and go back for more sessions if necessary


·         Exactly right. Last but one session a conclusion was reached and enabled us to evaluate in the last session


·         maybe 5 would be better?


·         the counsellor understood my needs and judged it well


·         I am not sure if I feel i needed more, but my counsellor was confident I did not - part of the reason I went was to gain more confidence, so she reassured me of the progress I had made


·         My problem was solved in the time given


·         The counsellor worked with me and tailored a series of sessions that specifically accommodated my needs. Great!


·         i had 3 sessions and in that time seemed to cover everything well


·         4 sessions was ample time


·         Felt like my need for counselling had come to end just as I "ran out" of sessions so worked very well


·         From the first session, I felt like the counsellor had already decided that I was wasting her time and I did not get the impression that there was a willingness to spend time working with me. As a result, in the second session it was agreed that we would not arrange a third and comments were made about my not being ready for counselling. Seriously, people who are not good at expressing/talking about themselves have emotional issues too - in actual fact I was refered by my doctor. Perhaps this kind of treatment is not unusual, since the average waiting period (~30days) indicates that people see a counsellor for an average of 3 sessions. Is it a case of throughput rather than effectiveness?


·         Maybe I would have benefitted from more sessions but it was made clear to me that if I wanted to return in the future then I could



 Q3.3     Are you satisfied with the confidentiality policy of the UCS?


            03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


Yes      96%                  98%                  97%                  100%


No          4%                 2%                  3%                      0%




  • It is reassuring to be made aware of the policy.


  • Obviously it was important to feel that issues discussed were in confidence.


  • having things explained in the initial session and written information was good.  never doubted the confidentiality of the sessions


  • Didn't really pay much attention to it, I wasn't in a position where it would affect me much.


  • Obviously I believe the matters should be kept private unless they are of serious concern.


  •  Noone else has to know. Everything is very discrete


  • As yet, am happy.


  • I assume confidentiality of what was discussed in my counselling sessions up until the point where it might need to be discussed inside the UCS as outlined to me in my first session


  • it seems very good



 Q3.4     Would you recommend others to use the UCS, if appropriate?


            03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


Yes:     100%                100%                93%                 93%


No:           0%                   0%                  7%                7%





  • I have already recommended the service to two of my friends who both had sessions.


  • It was invaluable and made the world of difference to my ability to cope with a difficult year.


  • I had a very positive experience and found the support invaluable.


  • Not sure


  • staff were extremely friendly


  • thought the experience was thoroughly helpful, and i would recommend it to anyone who could illustrate the same kind of needs to define, and deal with feelings and situations as i had.


  • I think my criticisms above detail why quite clearly.


  • I'd be happy to recommend the service.


  • It's really good that the university offers such a relaible and professional service as this.


  • Definately, I have already reccommended my counsellor to a friend of mine!


  • friendly and helpful.


  • Definitely, had a very positive experience.


  • I have been trying to get my friend to avail of your services.


  • I would suggest somewhere else.


  • I have already done so


  • i was not satisfied with how long i had to wait to see a counsellor nor the quality or quantity of service she provided


  • I have not mentioned it to my friends


  • I can only judge on my experience, and I didn't feel it helped me really.


  • I think it is an amazing service.  We are so lucky to have you!


  • if you need to's one of the right place to do it


  • It would also depend on the person concerned and the nature of the problem they were seeking to address. 


  • [No] This is because I wouldn't want anyone to know that I had received counselling and was therefore in a position to recommend it. Otherwise, I would.


  • it really helped me in the right way



 Q 3.5 Generally, do you find counselling useful?


            03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


Yes:     100%                98%                  90%                 93%


No:       0%                  2%                  10%                 7%






  • It is a vital service and I found that I benefitted greatly.


  • Very useful. It made a vast difference with regards my ability to cope with a difficult year.


  • If appropriate (fast response, suitable counsellor, multi-cultural understanding,..) it is useful


  • It was helpful and interesting although as it was only a listening service it wasn't exactly what I needed.


  • I've had many years of counselling before and it dramatically improves my qualitiy of life.


  • if you have a good counsellor it can be good to reflect on things that may be bothering you


  • very useful.  being able to speak about anything in a safe and non-judgemental setting.


  • It was useful but I do not feel that I am achieved what I wanted from it.  Helped a bit but not really got anywhere yet.


  • It was extremely helpful to talk your issues through one someone understandin g instead of attempting to ignore them until they become unbearable


  • 'Counselling' is generally useful, but I don't feel that it always needs to be such a formal thing.


  • Having been to counselling, I've realised my problem probably needs a degree of medical attention. It felt useful to talk to a third party, though.


  • Surprisingly I did! At first I wasn't keen to talk to a stranger, but the non-judgemental approach to my problems really helped


  • I now feel more confident, happier and better prepared to deal with any problems I have in the future


  • Helps me talk matters through that i otherwise wouldn't


  • I think it helps sometimes even if it's just to talk through things that are problematic.


  • I had fairly low expectations when I started the sessions.  However, I was continually impressed by my counsellor's powers of reasoning.  She was repeatidly able to identify aspects of my character I didn't even know existed.


  • Helps to sort out problems in your head and to open up.


  • I would not have got through my time at the University with out it.


  • I would recommend anyone and almost everyone to do some form of counselling - everyone has the potential to benefit from it


  • It was much more helpful that I expected


  • Yes although in my specific circumstances it hindered my ablilty to do academic work


  • I have found some new ways to think about things and some new techniques to deal with anxiety.


  • i didnt feel i had gone long enough to benefit


  • Having experienced counselling before at a previous university, I felt quite let down by this experience in comparison. Perhaps this was due to the different modality, my previous counsellor was purely person centred Rogerian, whilst my counsellor at UCS was intergretive.


  • I cannot speak highly enough of a good counsellor.  It should be compulsory, even for people who think they are fine.


  • I think that counselling is useful for problrm-solving. My problem was more a general anxiety with no aparent cause. I thik that if I had a specific problem, like thinking everyone heated me, worried about the future etc then counselling would be helpful.


  • Although I do have mixed feelings about this as I think that mental health problems have structural roots for many people and helping people change their attitudes, perspectives etc may be avoiding addressing wider issues. At the micro level in the university for example, this may have to do with over work, long hours, pressured working environments, even bullying. Other problems may be rooted in society.


  • I am very glad i used the counselling service


  • I find myself applying a lot of what I talked about with my counsellor frequently in every day life - something which I couldn't imagine myself doing.


  • Twice I have had counselling and it was not very useful but this time I think it worked well for me.





Q3.6  Respondents were asked to complete either 3.61 (students) or 3.62 (staff) as applicable.



 Q3.61   Students


Q: Do you think counselling can help:




Improve your ability to do your course?                            63%


To stay on at University?                                     65%


Develop ‘emotional literacy and intelligence’?                    63%


Manage anxiety?                                                            89%


In life as a whole?                                                          91%





  • I suppose it can help people with all of the above in different ways. None really apply to me, except possibly manage anxiety, but I can see how others might find it useful.


  • Leaving University was never an option for me, but I'm sure it would help others in this respect.


  • If overall suitable and helpful, it can help in many aspects of life as a whole, specially presence away from family and country, stress and loneliness


  • i found it helped in all areas, especially with confidence and reflecting


  • helped me look back at the past and feel slightly different about it and also has allowed me to consider  how not to let the past impinge on th epromise of the future.


  • In the end I decided not to sit my exams. This was because I had been hospitalised twice in the space of a month, and I thought it was not worth risking it again. Generally, though, the counselling did help.


  • i found it helpful for both motivation for revision and for coping with stress and anxiety


  • In my case I believe my experience hindered the above more than it helped.


  • Counselling is good for many different things. I don't think it's limited to any specific options from above.


  • I think many students could benefit from the service, in probably all of the ways mentioned above.


  • I'm not certain it would be sufficient to make a difference to course-preformance in itself, but attention to self reflection might help put things into perspective.


  • Since counselling I have had much more motivation to get on and work at uni, I get up earlier I go to bed at appropriate times and I manage my time better. I am also starting to worry less, and dare I say it, be more self-confident. I never wanted to leave Warwick, but at one point I was feeling so low that I felt I couldn't cope here or at home! Counselling has definately helped with that


  • Being able to talk to someone who is objective and emotionally detached from you is very helpful.  Most of all it is good for someone to listen to you properly and acknowledge your feelings


  • I now find it easier to attend lectures and feel more motivated to do work


  • It has helped me in all of these areas because my problem came out in all of these areas.


  • Great experience, very helpful.


  • it helped me develop as a person- didnt realise that was what I needed/ didn't realise that was the route of my problems


  • Helpful to have someone there.


  • It has helped me in many ways, with many of the issues had had impacting on one another.  So working on small ones helped me as a whole.


  • everyone should be offered it


  • even though it helped slightly during the time soon afterwards i again began to feel stressed again and i feel it is because i was not offered enough counselling sessions nor given adequate help on dealing with the stress of my course.


  • It just important to talk to someone confidentially


  • I have reaped the benifits of counselling before. I don't believe counselling should be used primarly to 'fix' people so they can get good grades. And counselling is not an easy process, your life suddenly doesn't become a bed of roses, at least in my experience. The most important thing for the counsellor to do is to form that deeply intimate, caring, empathic and real relationship with their client, so the client feels heard and understood, as well as prized and cherished, and that the counsellor comes accross as real and genuine, and doesn't hide behind a professional fascade.


  • I think that the coiunselling I was offered was very person-centred. I don't know if there are different types of counsellor but in hindsight I think that I would have been better with a more physical CBT approach.


  • It was very helpful it helping me regain independence and control over my life and relationships.



 Q3.62   Staff


Do you think counselling can help:                 affirmative                    


Improve your ability to do your work?                   91%                


To stay on in your job?                                       46%


Develop ‘emotional literacy and intelligence’?        82%


Manage anxiety?                                                91%


In life as a whole?                                              100%





  • Counselling 'can' help with any of these things!


  • Your life is generally improved with couselling.  So of course your work will be effected positively as well.


  • Should imagine that the degree of effectiveness very much depends on the individual and how receptive they are to this form of treatment but personally speaking, very effective.


  • I still have a lot of problem with managing anxiety - but I am working on it.



 Q4        Overall



 Q 4.1 Indicate your overall level of satisfaction with the University Counselling Service


                                                03/04              04/05              05/06              06/07


1          very satisfied              57%                  46%                  49%                  42%


2          satisfied                      43%                  48%                  31%                  40%


3          quite satisfied             0%                  4%                  10%                  12%


4          dissatisfied                  0%                  2%                  10%                  5%


5          very dissatisfied         0%                  0%                    0%                 1%



 Q 4.2  What, in your opinion, could be improved to increase your overall satisfaction of the Service?*


  • more staff to shorten waiting times for appointments


  • Cut down the waiting time for an initial appointment


  • Cut waiting lists


  • I was very satisfied with my counsellor but i am dissapointed that there is little out of hours support out of term time for students who are on placement during the day


  • Faster waiting lists. And summer sessions for postgrads who are staying around campus - they are neglected in every area of life but if they need the UCS then it should be there.


  • Shorter waiting lists, not having to re-register to start counselling again next academic year, continuity with same counsellor (as had a temporary counsellor and she might not be availabe to continue with her next term/year) but this did not make her any less proficient at her job.


  • For me, it was a great experience. I learnt many things that make me feel more confident and therefore improve my life tremendously.


  • It's probably impossible, but it would be nice from my point of view to offer the service to alumni, but I only say that because I am leaving, and would have liked more sessions!


  • Clearer agreement on the counsellor's expectations of the client.


  • From a personal perspective, I would have liked the service to be available to alumni, as I graduate this year, and I felt I was making progress. However, I realise that this is probably impossible.


  • Perhaps offer appointments faster?


  • maybe 5 sessions and being kept abreast of the progress of your application also wider publicity of its availability


  • I though it was very satisfactory, but perhaps to get a first appointment slightly quicker


  • nothing really


  • Reduced waiting time.


  • More appointments available.


  • the waiting time - i think lots of peole just give up before they get an appointment


  • Lower waiting lists


  • Well, waiting times should be drastically reduced. I think that it is likely that this would also mean that counsellors would deal with cases like mine in a better way.


  • Reduce the wait time.


  • It's ok


  • Less time to wait to see a counsellor, and a general introduction to the service on the first appoinment so to know what to expect and what is appropriate to say during counselling.


  • Decrease the waiting time if possible. It takes a lot of courage to finally sign up for counselling - to then have to wait weeks for the first appointment is a bit de-moralising!


  • Mainly the initial contact with the service. I really did feel forgotten, and it needs to be appreciated that when you have just made the huge step of asking for help it is not helpful to meet with silence!!


  • Shorter waiting times


  • Mainly, reduce the time you spend waiting for an appointment. By two weeks later, you are not attacking the problem at its worst.


  • Nothing


  • More sessions...perhaps an offer to do group therapy.


  • Change of venue for the UCS


  • Maybe longer sessions would help.


  • hard to measure being satisfied because obviously I still have to keep making progress and so it doesn't mean that because I have finished that everything is sorted. Perhaps some after care rather than just starting and finishing and being left feeling that support network has gone


  • More counsellors, better location.


  • Not a lot!  Higher staffing would help them provide greater help to more people for longer periods


  • The privacy issue was the only real problem. The initial wait to register was a little irritating, but not necessarily a clerical error at UCS's end


  • The actual counselling- how it is approached and how the student's are spoken to- a friend of mine felt that her counsellor reacted the same way as mine, and we were both dissatisfied with the methods that were used to try and help us. She didn't feel that she could be honest as she felt her counseller was too judgmental.


  • Nothing, my comments reflect on my circumstances rather than the counselling service as an entity


  • Having more sessions available.


  • i think i should have been offered more sessions, i feel like i was written off after just 3, and i felt that my counsellor did not try very hard to help me with counselling


  • To be seen faster


  • Wait periods could be shorter, although without contracting additional staff this may be difficult. General approach was appropriate to my own situation.


  • allow more time to get used to counselling to give people a chance to talk - it can be difficult to open up in the first couple of sessions


  • The counsellor shouldn't only listen to the student, but shoul work together with them towards making choices or changes that they feel are right for them.


  • 1)More pleasant surroundings- not an office space- more welcoming. 2) A counsellor who will be able to help me. Perhaps trying to fit the right counsellor to the right client, perhaps not.


  • Better email turnaround.  Many people still think you have to be a nutcase to need counselling, and so talking about it on the phone in an open plan office is quite hard.  Email is the perfect way to communicate as it is nice and quiet.


  • Maybe the option of having the counsellor email after sessions have finished in cases where techniques taught and applied at sessions are to be ongoing for personal development. Limited, optional communication may be an effective way of ensuring that techniques are pursued as fully as required. This would of course have to be arranged accordingly and  maybe only 2 or so follow up emails would be both required and practicle.


  • faster service, faster response to emails


  • I thought that the service was excellent , but like I said earlier I don't think it was the right counselling for me.


  • The ability for the UCS to offer long-term personal development.  Although they offer group sessions which I attend, a long-term one-to-one counsellor would be ever so helpful and greatly appreciated.


  • The waiting room is very open and you feel embarassed to be seeing a counsellor without everyone else being able to look in and people walking past to go to office areas.


  • Perhaps a more planned and clearer approach. That we could not do this is largely my responsibility however as I found it difficult to define the root problem.


  • Nothing specifically, I think it was my own lack of willingness that may have caused any problems



 Q 4.3 Complete the following statements about your experience of the University Counselling Service:



 It may be better if....*


  • waiting lists were cut


  • it could be more accessable in tems of timing


  • the waiting list was shorter


  • you don't have to walk past so many people after a counselling session


  • everyone could use the service with minimal delay


  • there were more counsellors & thus a shorter waiting list


  • it was available to everyone as soon as it was needed


  • the counsellor's model of 'achievement' is made clearer


  • some students didn't have to wait too long for appointments


  • I waited less for the first appointment


  • they respond faster and give closer time sessions at the time of need


  • appointments are offered faster


  • there were quicker waiting times


  • It was a little easier to find and not so hidden away


  • the waiting time was reduced and we were given maybe one or two more sessions


  • appointments were more negotiable 


  • more secluded area away from other offices


  • it did not take so long to get an appointment


  • I had not had to wait so long to see a counsellor


  • we were allowed more sessions.


  • the time slots were a little longer, to say an hour.


  • there was contact during the time between the initial contact and the first appointment - even if just to give an approximate waiting time


  • the offices were easier to find for a first time visitor. being lost makes me very anxious and can make me turn around and leave. However, I can see the benefits of counselling services being discreet.


  • the service could expand to have more counsellors


  • waiting times were shorter


  • the waiting time was reduced


  • the counselling service was promoted more


  • the sessions were a bit longer


  • the UCS was not located in University House.


  • the wait to be seen wasnt as long


  • quicker response to getting your first appointment


  • the waiting time for my first appointment was shorter


  • there was more information about it and you could get the books recommended out of the Learning Grid.


  • more staff were available


  • there was a larger allocation of the maximum no of sessions a person could have


  • there were more privacy in the waiting areas


  • the method of counselling was different


  • you could choose what type of counselling you want - psychodynamic, person centred etc


  • I could have more sessions


  • the counsellor had tried harder to help me 'experiance' counselling


  • The sessions could be longer


  • it wasn't so rushed, ie the number of sessions weren't so limited


  • emails were answered quicker - more staff maybe?


  • I was able to continue 1-to-1 sessions without preventing others from getting help


  • the waiting area was improved


  • more sessions were available to staff


  • the time hadn't gone so quickly.


  • the rooms were a bit more welcoming and the lighting less intense


  • the counsellor made notes duting the session to be given to the person at the end.


  • Group therapy was advertised better


  • the waiting time on the web was realistic



 I did not like...*


  • the feeling (at one stage) that I'd failed an exam I didn't enter for


  • the reception area


  • having to wait so long


  • the long waiting list.


  • that i might bump into people i knew in the waiting area


  • the idea that anyone would find out I was attending sessions


  • that it was not easy to reschedule appointments


  • that I had to wait a lot for the first appointment, and the following ones were planned against my schedule due to lack of available time slots


  • that sessions were limited


  • the openness of the waiting room


  • to wait so long


  • the public nature of the waiting room


  • having sessions cancelled and sometimes long gaps between sessions, although I knew this would be the case from the outset and I know that cancellations were due to illness


  • the fact that my counsellor didnt seem willing to spend time working with me


  • that other students who were there were able to see me.


  • counselling made me feel like I had more problems than I'd realised, and the way in which the counsellor used quite informal language. I had the counsellor to be more professional rather than acting as a friend.


  • That we are set a number of weeks.


  • being reminded every week that the average was 4-5 sessions.


  • the position i the Learning Grid, which is not central.


  • the fact that appointments were expected to be at the same time each week.


  • the maze to get to the UCS


  • waiting to find out if I could see someone.


  • the question, 'how does that make you feel?'


  • how intrusive one of the councillors was.


  • nothing.


  • the waiting area


  • How busy and far away from the Uni House exterance the UCS was.


  • finishing


  • the location.


  • nothing!


  • having to walk through student services to get to the service


  • the excessive provision of tissues!


  • the fact that i was only given 3 counselling sessions.


  • some parts of the review at the end.


  • i had to walk through different receptions areas to get to the counselling service


  • the counsellor trying to lead the conversation


  • waiting so long for an appointment in the beginning


  • how long it took me to feel comfortable to get on with, and know, the real things i wanted to discuss


  • the waiting area



 It was good that...*


  • confidentiality issues were respected


  • misunderstandings could be discussed and resolved.


  • the counsellors were willing to listen


  • my counsellor was excellent


  • they did try to see me as fast as possible.


  • my cousellor increased the average session number because she realised that I really needed this and that I would benefit a lot from this experience


  • the rooms had a good atmosphere


  • it was possible to discuss issues without judgements


  • there were weekly sessions


  • the councellors are good listeners and enable you to find for yourself what action you should take.


  • I could speak my emotions out, and I got a female counsellor as I requested


  • it was very confidential


  • sessions were structured


  • we could choose the sex of our councillor


  • the staff were welcoming, friendly and supportive


  • i was able to see the same counsellor all the time and [the counsellor] was clearly able to build up a picture of me.


  • it helped


  • i could talk freely about what i was concerned


  • the counsellors were willing to listen


  • it didn't cost me anything


  • the counsellor made positive encouraging statements about me


  • the service is very discrete.


  • I was able to talk about things that I couldn't do with my friends and family.


  • I got to come to a place regularly, and saw the same counsellor,etc.


  • i was made to feel comfortable in the reception, and the counselling room


  • I felt so relaxed in my sessions


  • I was made to feel comfortable and relaxed


  • the rooms were quiet and undisturbed


  • nobody judged you, your tutor didn't have to know


  • the service was reliable


  • my counsellor really identified with my problems as a postgraduate student.


  • there was a suitable atmosphere


  • my counsellor was brill


  • I got an appointment quickly.


  • I saw the same counsellor both times


  • the coucellor was very understanding


  • I was always seen promptly


  • it was in the learning grid


  • i could have an appointment at the same time each week


  • the time between registering and getting an appointment was so short


  • I was able to see a different counsellor than previous sessions, so that i could benefit from both ways of working


  • the counsellor was practical and engaged but I was allowed to go off on tangents to talk about things that may not be directly to do with the problem I first came with.


  • the counsellor helped me slightly during those 3 sessions


  • my counsellor was non-judgemental


  • the waiting room is quite secluded


  • it was kept confidential and private and undisturbed


  • it was in my workplace so that I didn't have to take time off work.


  • the rooms were big and relaxing.


  • others opening up in group sessions made me feel more legitimate to talk about real issues, however i then had finished my single sessions.


  • the counselling room itself was very private and comfortable and everyone was friendly


  • the counsellors were very engaged and insightful


  • an appointment was made so quickly.


  • the counsellor made me feel so at ease and as if my opinion was worth listening to


  • there is a review session at the end which I found helpful


  • i was offered an extra couple of sessions



 What surprised me was...*


  • how I was able to change my mindset for the better in a relatively short time


  • how good the final service was


  • how the whole thing is set up.


  • that it helped me so much and I learnt so many new things that I wasn't responsive to previously


  • how effective CBT can be


  • the attitude of the counsellors


  • that i did not have to wait as long as i thought


  • the availability of tissues for people that might want to cry:)


  • that the counsellor did not understand my culture, which explained why I thought and acted in a certain way.  I could not reschedule to the same week whenever the time did not suit me


  • how useful it was


  • professionalism by the whole service


  • how efficient they were


  • I went expecting someone to give me answers, but left finding I could give myself the answers just by talking through and reflecting


  • how much i was able to say even when i thought i didn't have the words - think this was because of the personality and gentle silence of my counsellor, the way it helped


  • my problems were resolved this efficiently


  • how soon it started helping


  • that it took so long to get an appointment.


  • the empathy of counsellors


  • the informality of the sessions.


  • the difference that it made being able to speak to someone completely impartial.


  • how friendly everyone was.


  • how easy i found it to talk to the counsellor


  • how useful counselling has been to me.


  • how much better I feel now


  • the quality of care


  • how easy it was to talk to my counsellor


  • the length of the wait


  • how much counselling helped me.


  • how much it helped


  • how much better I feel now


  • the high level of understanding in such a short period of time


  • The location.


  • how easy it became to talk about my life and the issues i had.


  • how much I enjoyed the experience


  • the amount I learnt in a short space of time


  • the time that took to get the appointment


  • how well my counsellor matched my needs


  • the counsellor's insight into what I thought were quite complicated and personal issues.


  • how i was only given 3 counselling sessions considering how stressed i was.


  • i was expected to do most of the talking


  • there was so much useful information on the webpage.


  • how very effective counselling can be


  • how much i discovered within me that i would like to sort out.


  • how many people were requiring counselling and that there were a maximum number of sessions


  • the new approaches /theories that were brought to the sessions 


  • that I was treated as everyday course, rather than special, which I liked very much.


  • how easy it was to talkto the counsellor


  • I actually looked beyond my immediate problems into what may cause them in the longterm


  • how much it influenced me - not just the bit I went to fix!



 Q4.4  Are there any other comments you wish to make? *


  • I think that the sessions were helpful and [the counsellor] was very understanding, I gained insight into how to recognise my symtoms of depression and also to accept certain aspects of my personality. 


  • [the counsellor] was brilliant - completely non-judgemental and interesting to talk to.


  • I am grateful to [my counsellor] who was very understanding and professional. I think the service offered is excellent, and I am very glad I made use of it. Many thanks.


  • very useful for me, thanks


  • i was very impressed


  • I will forever carry with me some of the things that [the counsellor] said to me.  The insight and wisedom both seemed to validate and eloquate things that have been so hidden and so silent until now.  Ever grateful also for [the] parting bid in the security of being able to return to counselling at a later date should need arise.


  • Counselling has helped me enormously and I am definately going to encourage anyone I know who is considering it to put their name forward. University has been the best and worst time of my life, but without talking through my problems I would be nowhere near as happy as I am now, and I'm nowhere near perfect! Keep up the good work.


  • Thank you very much for helping me


  • I have had a great experience, and i would recommend anyone who needs to discuss something with 'someone else' to consider the University Counselling Service. Thank you


  • Generally satisfied


  • I realise i have been critical about the service but that doesn't mean I am disatissfied. I am very pleased with the help I received and really feel it has helped and I fel like a new person. So thank you very much.


  • I thought the standard of the service was very high and it helped me out a lot. I feel happier within my self now and more able to face up to my problems.


  • I am very happy with the service, I found it very useful and [my counsellor] very accomodating. I have no suggestions to make the service better.


  • My counsellor was excellent.


  • i am extremley dissatisfied with my counselling for i dont feel that it was useful in the long term, i also felt that my counsellor did not address my problems sympathetically or adequatly.


  • It would be great of you could provide hot drinks during the sessions to make people feel more relaxed


  • Please, please, please do not stop!  The service is amazing.  I felt very privelidged to be able to have free counselling at my own place of work.  It is such a good thing!


  • Thank you to [the counsellor] whose applied empathy and professionalism to Counselling has personally made such a positive impact.


  • Overall the UCS offers a wonderful, extremely approachable, friendly service  that is also very helpful and useful.  All of the staff seem excellent.


  • Overall a very good service


  • I was very impressed by the counsellors I met with, [] was very supportive, offered different perspectives and helped me to access new approaches.


  • Excellent Service! Thank you for all the help you have given me - it has changed my life very much for the better!


  • Thanks to [the counsellor] - you are an absolute star :-)



 *All comments recorded by respondents have been included verbatim – including all original typography and spelling