Individual Short-Term Personal Counselling involves a counselling relationship between a client and a personal counsellor. Through ongoing conversations, this counselling relationship fosters a safe place where the client can identify and explore issues that may be causing distress and/or interruptions in their academic and/or personal lives. This collaborative process can work to create new ways of seeing one's self, highlight one's existing strengths, and improve problem-solving strategies. One of the advantages of seeing a counsellor is the opportunity to form a respectful working alliance which many have found to be very helpful. A typical session lasts approximately 50 minutes. There is usually a week or more between counselling sessions.
The client's role is to put forward their concerns and be as open and honest as possible. The counsellor's role is to listen carefully and highlight patterns and invite the client to consider improved ways of seeing and dealing with their situation.
Although our counsellors have their own theoretical orientations which form the basis for their clinical practice, generally speaking SCD operates on a short-term counselling model. Longer-term counselling may be available in some situations but ordinarily a client requesting or needing long-term counselling is referred to resources in the community. A client may be able to take part in group counselling after completing some individual counselling or vice versa.
In some cases, when externally referred counselling resources are not readily available, SCD may continue as a "bridge" in order to support the client until they are connected to other services.
SCD may continue as a bridge in order to support clients in sustaining their academic progress.
Access to Individual or Group Counselling
Booking an Intake Appointment
The first step in the individual or group counselling process is scheduling an intake appointment. To schedule an intake appointment, students must visit Student Counselling & Development (SCD) in N110 Bennett Centre for Student Services (SCD does not schedule intake appointments over the phone or allow others to book intakes on behalf of a student). Students requesting an intake appointment will be asked to provide some demographic information and the appointment will be scheduled. At peak times during the year, students may have to wait a short while for an intake appointment.
Attending the Intake Appointment
Intake appointments usually take 90 minutes to complete. The intake appointment has 2 distinct parts:
- On arrival, there are forms to be filled-in. These forms ask the student about their concerns and will take up to 30 minutes to complete
- A brief interview during which a counsellor assesses counselling needs and, in collaboration with the student, establishes personal counselling goals. This meeting will also take up to 60 minutes. It is not a counselling session per se – it is an assessment, an information-gathering session and usually involves more of a question-answer format than a counselling session
After the Intake Appointment
After the intake appointment, our team of counselling staff will make a counselling plan based on their professional opinion and in light of the student’s goals and concerns. This plan might include participation in one of our counselling groups, individual counselling sessions with one of our counsellors, or a referral to another service provider. At peak times during the year, students may have to wait awhile for further counselling at SCD.
Within 7 days of an intake appointment, the student will receive an email or telephone call from a counsellor indicating “next steps”. Possibilities include:
- A follow-up appointment with one of our counsellors to discuss individual or group counselling
- An individual counselling session with one of our counsellors
- An email from a counsellor who will act as case manager indicating that the student has been placed on a wait list for counselling at SCD. Until such time as counselling is available, the student can direct questions to their case manager. We will be back in touch as soon as individual or group counselling becomes available
- Referral to an off-campus service provider. SCD will provide information relating to possible off-campus service providers and the student may be offered a follow-up appointment as they transition from SCD to another service provider