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Individual face-to-face counselling

PLEASE NOTE The Counselling Service is currently undergoing changes through the summer 2019 - please visit our new home in Senate House on central campus or call 02476 575570 for details

Overall, 94% of those using the service who completed the feedback survey in 2017-18 would recommend the Counselling Service face to face service to others.

 It is important to read the following information before booking an appointment so you are clear about the process:

 How the face-to-face counselling service works:

  • After you’ve submitted your enquiry, you'll receive a message response then you can call to arrange your appointment (either by phone or in person) and you’ll be offered a one-to-one appointment with one of our team of counselling professionals. In the 50 minute session, you can outline your concerns to the counsellor who will work with you to help you to explore and understand your issues so that you can manage them more effectively.
  • It may be that your counsellor offers you a follow-on appointment which you can schedule in for some time in the future (any time from a week to a term) where you can meet up with the same counsellor.
  • Some people may benefit from a course of counselling sessions. Your counsellor may offer you a series of appointments booked with you as you go on.
  • Please see the FAQs for more information and for details about the sort of issues the Counselling Service work with.
How can I meet with a counsellor?

To meet with a counsellor you need to

  1. To arrange an appointment for face to face counselling, please go to 
    Click 'make an enquiry'; click 'counselling for emotional or psychological issues', click 'I'm interested in face-to face-counselling', scroll down an click 'submit enquiry'.
  2. Next, use the call-to-book system - telephone (or call in person to Westwood House) at a time that is convenient for you from 8.30am to 5pm (or to 8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays in term time) and speak to the Administrator, who will be able to arrange a suitable date and time for your counselling appointment. Please have details of your availability to hand (such as your timetable or schedule) so you can be sure when you are free. Our phone lines can get quite busy: if we don't pick up, please leave a clear message with your name and details so we know you've called and we will defintiely call you back. Alternatively, try calling another time, or come to the service in person if that's easier for you.
  3. Once you have arranged your appointment date, go back to the
    link and click on the 'my appointments' tab where you'll see details of the session. You need to click 'accept' ASAP to confirm your appointment. We recommend you look at the preparing for counselling information for tips on how to prepare to get them most out of your counselling session. Please check your 'my messages' tab as we will send you details of the optional pre counselling session times available - this is the opportunity to speak with a professional counsellor for a brief pre-appointment consultation, within a maximum of 5 days of registering.

* if you would prefer to register without going on-line, or require any assistance, please call in to the service and this can be arranged.

After you've registered, you will be emailed to remind you to call-to-book and sent details about a pre-counselling brief consultation session that you may choose to attend.

Q: How long will I have to wait before I am offered an appointment?

  • The Call-to-Book system helps us to streamline our appointment procedures to keep turnaround times to a minimum as it enables us to use any last minute appointment vacancies.
  • To help you estimate your turnaround time (the wait time from when you submit your registration to your appointment) see the clock counter available (right column). For example, the average turnaround time throughout 2017-18 was 17 days. Your wait time may be longer if you have limited availability or specific preferences. The time before your appointment can be used to explore self help resources and prepare to get the most out of your session.
  • The Counselling Service does have some appointments available on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during term times, but these are limited, so your wait time for an appointment may be longer if you choose an evening slot.
  • To help us maximise our efficiency and to keep wait times to a minimum, it is important that all our appointments are used. If you book/confirm an appointment, please ensure you prioritise attending as missed appointments can lead to increased waiting times overall. It is acceptable to prioritise your appointment time over a lecture or other academic commitments.
  • If you cancel an appointment, you may be able to re-book, but there may be several weeks' wait before another appointment can be made available.

Q: Can I book my appointment online, using an online booking system?

We appreciate it can sometimes feel more convenient to book appointments on line, however, due to the nature of counselling, we aim to ensure that each person's appointment requirements are tailored to meet individual needs and, as yet, no computerised online booking system can deliver such high standards to ensure everyone gets the best, personalised appointment match.

Q: Do I have to phone in for an appointment?

We appreciate some people find it hard to speak on the phone, or sometimes you may not have credit on your phone to make a call. If so, do feel free to come and visit us in person during the open hours to arrange your appointment (we're open 8.30am to 5.00pm every weekday - Tuesdays and Thursdays we're open till 8pm in term times). If coming into the service in person to arrange your appointment is difficult for any reason, email after you have registered and request an appointment be offered to you via email - you will then need to email back to confirm the appointment.

What if my need feels very urgent?

NB If you are considering registering and are at a time of crisis, you may want to consider alternative support. If you need immediate attention, counselling may not be appropriate for you. For urgent matters, see your GP (medical doctor) or check other resources. For information on what counselling can be useful for, see FAQs.


Use the CALL-TO-BOOK system to arrange an appointment directly to suit your need. Following your registration, telephone (or call in person) to arrange your appointment date.

July 2019: We continue to receive a high volume of calls - your patience is much appreciated. If your call goes to voicemail, please leave a message and we will get back to you.


Turnaround time counter

After you first make contact with the Counselling Service, there is the opportunity to speak with a professional counsellor for a brief pre-appointment consultation, within a maximum of 5 days.

We have brought in new staff recently to help us manage demand so we are able to offer more appointments to more people more quickly.

NB you can also speak to the Administrators about our Early Appointment Opportunity list - we can offer some appointments at very short notice.  

Don't worry about going to the session, I was really nervous and got very emotional but the staff were very supportive and made me feel much more able to talk.

A particularly helpful tool was the option of
spacing my appointments out (I had 3 sessions over 6 weeks), which really gave
me the space I needed to process and understand the issues I was tackling.

It helped just talking through things with an impartial third party, and helped me understand better some of the reasons for my low mood
It has helped me to become more aware of negative thought patterns I have developed, which has allowed me the attempt to challenge them
Counselling helped me identify my worries and work out what I wanted to achieve. It also gave me some tools to help de-stress and revaluate situations
I feel much more able to tackle new situations, I can now take part and enjoy things I would have previously avoided
Counselling has helped me to put in place systems to manage and regulate my feelings and emotions, helping to protect myself against the once inevitable spiral of depression.
Counselling helped me to keep my focus and recognise where my work/life balance was going wrong. It provided me with techniques to calm myself down and regain control
It has helped me to understand myself a lot better and how I behave/come across to other people. It has started to raise my self confidence, but realistically that will require more work. But it has inspired me to work on it
enabled me to analyse myself in a coherent manner which is useful in approaching problems sensibly
Understanding objectively my environment, my obstacles and my advantages