Mental health and wellbeing help is on hand whenever you need it. Our mental health practitioners and professionally trained counsellors are here to help you in all sorts of areas. Such as:
- Conflict with others
- And anything else to do with your wellbeing
We’ll try to keep things comfortable and manageable for you. You can begin with a friendly phone conversation with one of our practitioners. After which there are a range of options. Such as online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), useful self-help websites, small group work, external support groups, one-to-one assessment, local NHS services and specialist mental health referral.
Your counsellor will never tell you what to do, they’ll just help you explore what you can do.
You’ll begin with a single session, where they’ll tell you about the service, confidentiality and what you’d like to discuss. We can generally offer up to six sessions, but we’ll also explore other options like low-cost counselling.
Or if you’d find it difficult to attend sessions during the day, we can also offer email counselling.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does my counsellor do?
Careful listening is the biggest part of what counsellors do.
They make sure you’ve explained your situation in your own terms, so they can help you define what you want to do next.
Some will offer suggestions for further ways of investigating or beginning to resolve things; others let everything proceed more at your pace.
What can I talk to my counsellor about?
Anything that’s troubling you, really. But these are the most common areas we tend to help people with:
- Relationship difficulties
Family and friends, colleagues, commitment, jealousy, abuse.
- Family issues
Partners, children, parenting, separation and divorce, homesickness.
- Lack of confidence
Worried about failing, never being good enough, feeling judged.
Feeling isolated, lonely, empty, tearful, unloved, suicidal.
- Destructive behaviour
Binge-eating, self-harm, abusive relationships, alcohol, drugs.
- Exam and study stress
Lack of control, panic attacks, feelings of inadequacy.
Loss, anger, loneliness, sadness, depression.
Your counsellor can also direct you towards other useful services.
What do I say?
You can say as much or as little as you like.
Sometimes you won’t say anything at all, other times you might say things you didn’t expect.
Your sessions are designed to be long enough for you to comfortably express yourself in your own words.
Will my counsellor give me advice?
Counselling is about helping you make your own decision. So your counsellor won’t ever give you advice or tell you what to do.
They might sum up what you’ve been saying to help you move forward. And they can draw on their training and experience to tell you how others have dealt with similar problems.
But you’ll always be in control of your decisions.
Do I have to pay?
No. As a student you have access to free basic counselling.
If you need more specialised or intensive support, you can be referred to an outside service. Some of which will charge.
Should I be worried about what the counsellor will think of me?
Not at all. Counsellors know that most of us only struggle because we’re either pushing ourselves too hard, things are out of our control or we’re suffering some form of mental distress.
Remaining impartial is what allows counsellors to help and support you.
Is it normal to feel a bit ashamed of asking for help?
It’s normal, but you really don’t have to be. It’s far more normal to need help, and admitting it takes a lot of strength.
Asking for counselling is a difficult step, but it means you’re moving in the right direction.
How confidential is counselling?
Counsellors work to a strict Code of Ethics. This means they’ll inform you of the limits of confidentiality and stick to them.
These limits vary from service to service. Normally, everything you say is kept confidential unless there’s clear evidence someone may be at severe risk.
Disclosures made against your wishes are extremely rare. But if you’re at all worried about confidentiality, there are things you can do to put your mind at ease.
You could speak to your counsellor about their Code of Ethics and how it applies to your situation.
You could also seek help through an anonymous telephone line. The Samaritans can be a very good starting point for a number of other helplines (08457 90 90 90).
Where can I get more information?
You can consult the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy website for a detailed document on counselling ethics.
Does counselling always work?
Most people find it helps, but obviously there are no guarantees. Your counsellor will check with you to see if it’s is making a difference, and what else might help you move forwards.
Can I request a male or female counsellor?
Your best bet is to ask when you first get in touch, as many services will be able to accommodate this.
Will my counsellor have experienced problems like mine?
Lots of counsellors choose the job because they’ve worked through their own issues with counselling. So while they might not have experienced your particular situation, they’ll likely know how it feels to seek support.
Should I just try and deal with things myself?
Obviously there are ways you can help yourself, but you don’t need to choose between this and counselling. We’re here for when you need extra help or support.
What about talking to my friends?
This can be a great way to work through your feelings and move forwards. But keep in mind that counsellors have been specially trained to deal with upsetting and difficult situations.
Again, counselling isn’t the only solution. Often the best way to approach your situation is with a mixture of support from counsellors, friends and yourself.
Should I just have a stiff drink and pull myself together?
Alcohol can make things seem better for a little while. But it won’t solve anything. And given its tendency to cause depression, you should never see alcohol as an actual solution.
SilverCloud Health is a free, self-guided therapy package which can help with a range of mental health and wellbeing concerns. It’s a safe, confidential and secure online space offering personalised programmes. Once registered, you can complete modules at your own pace, where and when it suits you. You’ll also have access to a variety of tools that help you with setting goals, problem solving and other practical life skills.
Visit the SilverCloud website
How to make an appointment with our Wellbeing team
To make an appointment with our Wellbeing team (Wellbeing Practitioners or Counsellors) please contact the Compass. Any information you provide will be treated confidentially and we will be in contact with you as soon as possible.
Compass Online: compass.fxplus.ac.uk
Telephone: 01326 370 460