One-to-one counselling

Individual counselling

The resources of the Student Counselling Service are finite and for this reason we are not always able to offer one-to-one counselling to everyone who requests it. We use a triaging system, based on the initial forms you complete, and prioritise those who appear to be psychologically and/or academically at risk. You will be offered the intervention we feel is most appropriate to you and this could be offering you an online resource, inviting you to an initial 20 minute appointment or to a group based intervention.

You may be offered a 20 minute appointment. This might be used to set you up on a self-help programme or to signpost you to a range of services, including one-to-one with the NHS or in local third sector services. You can have this appointment on the telephone if it is more convenient to you.

If you are offered a 50 minute appointment this may be a one-off session to talk things through or, if your presentation appears to be more complex, you may be signposted to more suitable services.

Some people find that a single intervention (whether that be an individual session, a workshop or a group) provides enough support for them to carry on with their lives without further help. Others can be signposted to sources of self-help or to other agencies.

If you are offered an initial assessment appointment your counsellor will explain what to expect, will clarify the limits to confidentiality, will ask for your agreement about attendance and gather what your preferences are. You will be encouraged to describe your situation and the issues you face so that together you can arrive at an agreed course of action. This may include alternative forms of support within the service and/or sign posting to other local services where waiting times may be shorter.

If together we decide that one-to-one sessions of counselling are the way forward, you will be placed onto a waiting list. At times when the service is busy you might have to wait 1-2 months for this one-to-one work to start, but we try to prioritise waiting times according to the urgency of the issues you bring. We will also give you a post assessment email outlining some ideas for self-help, which you can begin immediately. In some cases we find the interventions suggested in the email have, in fact, removed the need to attend for one-to-one counselling.

When regular one-to-one work begins you will be able to discuss the number of sessions that seem suitable and, depending on your situation and on the present availability of counsellors, you may be seen for a few sessions or a six week contract.

Individual counselling sessions normally last for 50 minutes.

1:1 counselling is available in Hampton House (ground floor, second floor or third floor), and at the Langford campus (Wednesday afternoons) or on the phone. If you are a Langford student being offered telephone sessions then you may be able to use the counselling room on the Langford Campus if you do not have a suitable private space of your own. 

If you have special requests about this or are in any doubt about where you will be seen please contact Reception.

The first step to getting support is to register your interest in 1:1 counselling.


The counsellor helped me realise (in one short session) that I was a human being.