Page last updated:
10 Nov 2021

Counselling is one of a range of services provided by Student Wellbeing.

Find out more about the services we offer and about how to register for support.

Following an initial consultation appointment, we offer up to 6 sessions of counselling, as appropriate. We provide short-term counselling at both Headingley Campus and City Campus (from 20 September 2021), and remotely by telephone. We aim for your sessions to take place at the same time each week over consecutive weeks. Our counsellors are all registered members of BACP and are either accredited or working towards accreditation. They adhere to the BACP's Ethical Framework and the professional conduct procedure within it.

Counselling offers you a safe, confidential time and place to talk about your current concerns or difficulties. . For information about confidentiality please see the Student Wellbeing Service Agreement.

Please also read our Information for students regarding telephone counselling and support during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Crisis ahead of your first appointment.

At the end of your counselling sessions we ask you to complete an anonymous feedback form to help us monitor and improve our services.

  • Counselling offers you a safe, confidential time and place to talk about your life, your thoughts and your feelings, and anything that may be confusing, painful or worrying
  • Counselling allows you to talk with someone who is trained to listen attentively and to help you improve things
  • It offers an opportunity to think and talk about yourself and your concerns in a way that you often can’t do with family and friends
  • Your counsellor will listen to the way you feel and how this affects you and others, and hear your concerns without judging you
  • Your counsellor will not give you advice or tell you what to do, but will help you identify the changes you would like to happen, and work with you towards improving your wellbeing

  • Counselling is free and available to all full-time and part-time enrolled students
  • We provide short-term counselling at both Headingley Campus and City Campus (from 20 September 2021), and remotely by telephone
  • During any one academic year you may be able to access up to six sessions of counselling
  • We aim for your sessions to be at the same time each week over consecutive weeks
  • If you need to cancel or re-arrange an appointment it is important that you let us know so that we can offer that appointment to someone else
  • In order to cancel or re-arrange, please email or telephone 0113 812 8507
  • If you cancel a counselling session, it may be possible to re-schedule the session, dependent on your and your counsellor’s availability
  • If you cancel two of your sessions, it may be that it is not the right time for you to commit to counselling, and if you request a further session, we will offer you a follow-up appointment to discuss your options
  • If you fail to attend a booked counselling appointment and we don't hear from you, in most circumstances, we’ll take that to mean that you’ve decided not to continue with your sessions and we won’t contact you again. Your appointment slot will then be reallocated to another student. However, you’re welcome to get back in touch by email or telephone and we’ll try to reschedule
  • Please note, if you arrive later than 20 minutes past your appointment time, a full counselling session will not be possible and your counsellor may not be available to see you

Our Student Wellbeing Service Agreement outlines arrangements about confidentiality:

  • What you tell us remains confidential within Student Wellbeing. This means that sensitive personal information about you is not shared with any other team (such as your course team), individual or service without your explicit consent. However, this is not absolute and there are exceptional circumstances when confidentiality can be broken. These exceptions would only be made for the purpose of public interest, law, the Data Protection Act 2018 or in relation to the university’s duty of care, and might include:
    • serious risk of harm to self or others; active child abuse; serious crime; active terrorism; issues affecting the safe practice of those on professional training courses; serious breaches of the university regulations or codes of discipline. This list is not exhaustive.

In these circumstances, your practitioner will try to contact you and discuss how the boundaries of confidentiality will be kept and, if necessary, extended. Practitioners’ decisions are informed by the law, university policy and their professional bodies.

  • Counsellors discuss their work with an external, independent supervisor, in order to maintain ethical and professional standards and safeguard the interests of clients, and they ensure they do so in a way that protects clients’ anonymity.
  • Our counsellors are registered members of BACP and are either accredited or working towards accreditation. They follow BACP’s guidance regarding confidentiality and adhere to the BACP’s Ethical Framework and the professional conduct procedure.

Please be aware that we do not provide evidence or information about you to third parties. Please note also that while we are able to give a confirmation of attendance to students who have attended a series of meetings with a counsellor, we are unable to help students whose only reason for approaching the service is to obtain evidence to support an application for mitigation.

Your counsellor will spend a few minutes talking about confidentiality and how records are kept. This is to help you feel confident and secure in talking about your concerns. The first meeting is an opportunity for your counsellor to explain what is involved in counselling and for you to ask any questions, so that you can decide together whether it is the right kind of support for you.

Your counsellor might ask you about what brings you to counselling, and you may want to talk to the counsellor about why you think it might be helpful to talk to someone. You can talk to your counsellor about anything that concerns or affects you, but some of the issues students regularly discuss include:

  • coping with university life
  • family
  • relationships
  • anxiety / stress
  • panic attacks or panicky feelings
  • abuse
  • violence / threats / assaults
  • bullying
  • self-esteem / confidence
  • anger
  • discrimination
  • transitions such as leaving home
  • bereavement and loss
  • self-harm
  • depression / low mood / mood swings
  • eating / food issues
  • loneliness
  • drugs and alcohol use or concerns
  • sexuality
  • suicidal thoughts
  • pregnancy
  • making decisions
  • coping with a crisis

If you and your counsellor feel it would be beneficial for you to access more support, either internally or externally to our university after your counselling finishes, your counsellor will discuss this with you.

Visit the MindWell website – the ‘go-to’ place for information about mental health in Leeds, offering a detailed directory of support services in the area, as well as self-help strategies and other information.

See also our Self-help page for a range of information, resources and tools aimed at helping you to improve your wellbeing. This includes self-help guides on specific topics, links to a number of key websites and various mobile apps.

You can also visit the BACP website for more information about how to access therapy, including how to find a private counsellor (where you will have to pay for their services) using the BACP register and directory.

You can also receive cognitive behavioural therapy free on the NHS by talking to your doctor or referring yourself. For full details, see the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) website: Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.

Our counselling service is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Accredited Services are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. This can be found on the BACP website.

Looking for something else?

There's lots of helpful advice and guidance on our student information pages. Try searching if you know what you're looking for or if you're not sure where to go, you can browse our A-Z.