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Welcome to the Counselling page. Our counselling provision is a service 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.

Counselling is now one of a range of services provided by the Student Wellbeing Team. Student Wellbeing provides various types of support, and you can find out more about the services we offer and about how to register for support.

In the Student Wellbeing Team we provide short-term counselling at both Headingley Campus and City Campus, and during any one academic year you can access a block of 4 sessions of counselling. We aim for your sessions to take place at the same time each week over four consecutive weeks. Our counsellors are 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 any issue in your life. For information about confidentiality please see the Student Wellbeing Team 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 four sessions of counselling we ask you to complete an anonymous feedback form to help us monitor and improve our services. You might be interested to see our 2018/19 overview of the counselling service. 

Complete the online registration form Right Arrow
Plus Icon What is counselling?
  • 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
Plus Icon Arrangements for counselling appointments
  • counselling is free and available to all full-time and part-time enrolled students
  • in the Student Wellbeing team we provide short-term counselling at both Headingley Campus and City Campus
  • during any one academic year you can access a block of 4 sessions of counselling
  • We aim for your sessions to be at the same time each week over four 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 phone 0113 812 8507, or contact the Student Experience Team.
  • 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 four 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 one-off Wellbeing appointment to discuss your options
  • if you fail to attend a booked counselling appointment and we do not hear from you, we will not contact you; we will cancel any subsequent appointments we have offered you, but you are welcome to get back in touch by email if you wish to re-book
  • 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.


Plus Icon How confidential is counselling

Our Student Wellbeing Service Agreement outlines arrangements about confidentiality:

  • What you tell us remains confidential within our team. Normally this means that what is said in the room stays in the room. However, this is not absolute, as there are rare 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.

Plus Icon What happens at your first session?

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 & 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
Plus Icon After your counselling finishes

If you and your counsellor feel it would be beneficial for you to access more support either internally or externally to the 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


This page was last modified: 10/09/2020

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