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Types of counselling we offer to students

We offer a variety of counselling, therapy and support options through our service. Find out about the different types of support and decide on the best option for you.

Choosing the best support for you

There is no definitive answer to what the best method of support is for you. It may be best to register with us, have an initial consultation with a counsellor and talk with them about how to proceed.

The following guidance provides information on:


Short-term individual counselling

Short-term individual counselling is appropriate for working on immediate problems, developing healthy coping techniques, gaining understanding of underlying issues and, if necessary, developing a longer-term treatment plan. It usually works best when you and your counsellor can identify a specific focus for your work together. 

Our counselling team are all fully qualified, accredited and experienced therapists from a range of therapeutic practices. The number of sessions you will receive will depend on the severity of your difficulties. Each session will last 50 minutes.

A referral to an external therapist or therapeutic service may be appropriate if your problems have existed for a long time, are particularly troubling, or require specialist care. Our counsellors can help you find suitable external practitioners and support you during that process. Once you and your counsellor make a decision, it is important to follow up with the treatment plan as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome. If you have difficulty with the plan, please let your counsellor or therapist know.

There is no charge for this service.


Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy is appropriate for working on how you think about yourself, the world and other people, and how what you do affects your feelings and thoughts. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help you make changes in the way you think ("cognitive") and the way you act ("behaviour"). Making changes in what you think will affect what you do and feel, and changing what you do will affect the way you think and feel.  

Cognitive behavioural therapy can take place on an individual or group basis. Which type you will be offered will be discussed with you at your initial consultation. The number of individual sessions will depend on the severity of your difficulties and will each last up to 50 minutes. Groups are facilitated by a cognitive behavioural therapist, have up to 8 members in them and may focus on a specific theme such as anxiety. They may take place over several weeks for two to three hours or a half day each week.

A referral to an external therapist or therapeutic service may be appropriate if your problems have existed for a long time, are particularly troubling, or require specialist care. Once you and your therapist make a decision, it is important to follow up with the treatment plan as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome.  If you have difficulty with the plan, please let your therapist know.

There is no charge for this service.


Psychiatric consultation

A psychiatric consultation is appropriate if you need medical or psychiatric advice regarding your mental health concerns, or to discuss medication or a referral to an NHS service. Your initial consultation appointment might be a psychiatric consultation if it is thought that there is an underlying psychiatric problem. However, it is more usual that a psychiatric consultation would be discussed between you and your counsellor or therapist before an appointment is made to see one of our psychiatrists.

There is no charge for this service.


Workshops

We offer 3 types of workshops that cover a range of challenges you may be facing. You can find out more about upcoming workshops and book a place by visiting our workshop calendar.

Find out more about upcoming workshops


Services we cannot provide

We only provide the specialist services outlined above and are unable to provide any of the following:

Help with specialised diagnoses

This includes diagnoses such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, aspergers, long-term eating disorders, etc. Please contact your General Practitioner (GP) to make an appropriate referral.

Find out more about registering with a GP

Long-term or open-ended psychological treatment

If you don’t know whether this is what you require, register with us and we can talk you through the options at the initial consultation. If this is what you need there is support is available from other organisations at little to no-cost.

 Find out more about the support available from other organisations

Support to people other than registered UCL students

To avoid conflicts of interest and to help maintain strict confidentiality, the Student Psychological Service is only offered to registered students of UCL. Care First provide a separate service on behalf of UCL to staff and doctoral students who hold a staff position.

Find out more about out-of-hours support from Care First.