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Counselling

Counselling

Our counselling service is dedicated to providing you with quality counselling and support through a range of different counselling pathways.

Due to current restrictions, the Counselling Team are no longer seeing students on campus. Counselling support is currently only available online via Microsoft Teams for students. If you would like to arrange an opportunity to speak to a counsellor, please email studentlife@tees.ac.uk

Our aim is simple - to help you have a positive student experience despite the number of issues that may be of concern to you.

We've developed a range of counselling interventions that we hope you'll find positive and beneficial. We realise that in some cases issues are long standing and difficult to resolve. Our interventions are intended in partnership with you to find more meaningful and purposeful ways for you to engage with the University.

We want you to become a more effective learner in your personal and academic life. We can help you to develop your life skills, resilience and mental health.

Eligibility for counselling

To access counselling you will need to be an enrolled student currently on a course at Teesside University.

How to access counselling

The University operates a drop-in/enquiry system through the Student Life Building where bookable mental health drop in appointments are available. This is a gateway to access other services including counselling. These are short appointments to discuss how you are feeling and identify support options available.

If you need advice or guidance the Student Life building is located in the Campus Heart.

T: 01642 342277
In person: Student Life

Student Life opening hours
Monday - Friday: 8.00am - 6.00pm

Our staff

The Counselling Team comprises a mixture of professionally qualified full and part-time staff. The Service also has Counselling Psychology Doctorate and Health Psychology trainees on placement who also offer counselling and lifestyle sessions.

Confidentiality and record keeping

Is counselling confidential?

All counsellors in the service work to a high level of confidentiality. They work within BACP or BPS or BABCP codes of ethics and practice. If you would like more details about these codes of ethics please ask your counsellor. These are the main exceptions to confidentiality:

  • If you are at risk of harm to yourself or another person.
  • If you reveal that a child is being or is in danger of abuse.
  • If the counsellor is compelled to reveal information by a court order.

Otherwise the Counselling Service will not reveal anything to anyone unless you ask us to do so. This means that your academic school or tutor will not know that you are having counselling unless you want us to tell them. This also applies to your family or partner. If either your School or your family contact us, we will maintain this confidentiality, unless you have given us permission otherwise.

However, if we feel that you are at a high level of risk to yourself or others, and only if, we will look at maximising support for you through a multi-disciplinary approach which may involve talking or sharing information with other health professionals inside or outside the University. We will always seek your permission to do this, however if you are in crisis this may not always be possible.

Does the Counselling Service keep records of my counselling?

Our policy is to keep confidential case notes for six years in conformity with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and University Policy. These case notes are a brief record of the session along with other relevant written materials. The notes do not express any medical opinion on the part of the counsellor. All notes and personal details are subject to a high degree of confidentiality and kept securely. They are only accessible to Counselling Service Staff. The fact that you are attending counselling will not appear on your course records, overall student record or on your medical records.

Our services

Lifestyle and Health Psychology Clinic

The Clinic is designed to enhance and deliver a wide range of therapeutic interventions for specific issues. We use and apply health education, information and prevention strategies that can control and alleviate students' physical symptoms and lifestyle issues to improve their lives. Staff and Health Psychology trainees provide an intervention for students who are experiencing difficulties with sleep, stress, a lack of exercise, diet and nutrition and general motivation problems.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy is a therapeutic intervention that incorporates animals, such as dogs/rabbits into a treatment plan. It is used to enhance and complement the benefits of traditional therapy. Our Animal Assisted Therapy (Interventions) sessions are carried out by a trained and qualified therapist, with Margaret, the Therapy Dog.

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapy that the Counselling Services uses to help students deal with symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Our counsellors are trained and qualified to offer this service as EMDR research has shown to be an effective treatment for many forms of trauma.

Recovery College - Counselling and wellbeing support

NHS Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys
This is a free online site with courses, information and resources available for students to use on Mental Health and Wellbeing. They are co-produced by mental health professionals and people with lived experience from a range of issues. You will need to create an account and sign up to over 30 courses.
Recovery College

Frequently asked questions about counselling

What do I say on my first appointment?
Whatever you like. Often, it is difficult to know where to start and there are no right and wrong things to say. You may want to write down or think about the things you may want to say. At other times, you may find yourself saying things that surprise you and which the counsellor will then help you explore. Sometimes, there may be periods of silence, and that is OK. You can always e-mail the counsellor afterwards with more information if that feels appropriate.

What does the counsellor do?
The counsellor listens to you carefully in a supportive and respectful way, without judging you. The counsellor helps you explore and clarify issues and develop more constructive ways of dealing with them. This may mean developing an 'Action Plan' to tackle the issues.

How many counselling sessions will I need?
This will vary. People come to counselling with a variety of concerns. Some want a single appointment to talk about what is troubling them. Much of the counselling is short-term which usually means 6 sessions, but sometimes this can be extended depending on the circumstances.

What if I need more help than the service can provide?
Some issues might best be dealt with by more specialised services. If you need more help than we can provide, we will refer you to the appropriate internal service within the University, or we will help you find an appropriate outside agency.

What is the counselling service's policy on providing letters in support of mitigating circumstances?
Sometimes, students may feel that their ability to perform academically is impaired by their personal circumstances and may ask counsellors to support their application for mitigation. In order to support client's claims for mitigating circumstances, counsellors need to have a clear awareness and understanding of the client's difficulties. Counsellors will normally consider writing mitigating circumstances letters when clients have attended a minimum of three consecutive counselling sessions (i.e. 50 min weekly) during a period prior to the mitigating circumstances submission deadline. However, we do appreciate that there may be some exceptions to this.

What if I don't get anywhere with counselling?
There may be many reasons why counselling may not be for you at this time, but don't give up straight away or stop attending without talking to your counsellor about other options.

Doesn't going to counselling mean that I am weak or that I am a failure?
No. It can take a great deal of courage to come to counselling and to face the difficulties you have been struggling with. We do not see this as a failure or weakness, but as a positive step towards making changes or finding different ways of coping. Sometimes we do not have the skills, strategies and awareness which enable us to deal with difficult situations. There is no fault, weakness, or failure on your part in this case. Counselling may be about learning a different skill set, acquiring greater awareness or simply talking things through that may add a better perspective, enabling you to move forward.

If I don't get on with my counsellor, can I see someone else?
Yes. Establishing a counselling relationship with a client is important. Each counsellor has slightly different ways of working that may or may not suit you as an individual. If you feel it's not working, talk to your counsellor and explore the possibility of seeing another member of the counselling team.

Cost of services

The Counselling Services provided by Student and Library Services are offered free of charge.

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