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What is counselling and why talk to a Counsellor?

Counselling is a process which enables you to explore and make sense of issues that may be distressing you or disrupting your life or studies.  Counsellors are trained to listen while you talk through the issue(s) that is concerning you. A Counsellor is qualified and experienced in responding to emotional issues and difficulties and can offer you the time and space to work things out for yourself.

 

How can talking help my problems?

Often when people experience problems they can start to feel worse as the thoughts and feelings around that problem persist.  They can feel more and more overwhelmed and stuck, especially if they don't know what to do about the problem.

Counselling can help to explore a problem fully, gain a different perspective on things and to see the situation more clearly.  Talking with a Counsellor can help to work out what might lie behind the problems in a focused way, looking at where you are stuck and how you may have blocked progress or change. Counselling is a lot more than just talking.

 

What sort of issues does counselling deal with?

Counselling can help with a wide variety of problems whether they seem relatively straightforward or more complex and long standing. 

Counselling can help with a wide range of issues including academic worries/pressures, relationship difficulties, issues with self-esteem and confidence, panic attacks, bullying and harassment, anger, poor self-image, lack of motivation, bereavement, loneliness, depression, anxiety, self-injury, sexuality, change, compulsive behaviour, addictions, phobias, eating disorders and trauma (this is not a comprehensive list and difficulties you might be experiencing may not be included here). Counselling can also help people to clarify their thinking and be more direct in our communication.

 

I don't know what to say or how I should be saying it?

This is a common feeling, especially initially. Not knowing what to say is often about nervousness and the fear of thinking you are going to sound stupid or it won't make sense. People can sometimes also believe that there must be a right way to say things - which everybody else must know about!  There is no right or wrong way. How you present and discuss your issue or problem doesn't matter, you can say whatever you like.  A Counsellor will know how to find meaning in what you are saying regardless of how you say it. They will regularly check with you that their understanding of what you are saying is correct.

 

I'm worried that I'll be judged? Will the counsellor think badly of me?

Counsellors base their approach on several core principles when working with clients.  One of these principles includes being non-judgemental, or not placing any personal judgement on what is being discussed.  Another of the core principles is to offer the client unconditional positive regard or to see the client as an essentially good person, without reservation. 

   

What shall I expect from my counsellor?

Counsellors are trained to listen while you talk through your problems.  They will try to help you find answers and gain insight into the difficulties you are experiencing; trying to help you to see the overall picture.  

You can expect a professional service from your counsellor, who will be respectful of the issue(s) you are bringing.  All our counsellors operate within the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling & Psychotherapy as specified by the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) 

 

Will the counsellor give me advice?

Rather than offer you advice, your counsellor will help you to explore your situation so that you can work out for yourself the best course of action to take.  They can offer ideas on how others have successfully dealt with common problems, and may also make suggestions which you might not have thought of to look at.  Your counsellor will work with you rather than for you, so that you can build up your self-reliance and self-confidence, rather than advising, instructing or directing you.

 

I don't think counselling is what I'm looking for, what other help is available?

Counselling is just one kind of help and is not for everyone. There are a number of other resources and services available within the University which maybe more appropriate for you. 

There are a number of other services available where you can receive advice and support on a variety of issues, including:

 

Disability and learning support

Mental health and well-being

Careers and employability

Support for care leavers

Accommodation issues

You can access all of these services through Student Development & Well-being on the first floor of the Gateway Building:

T: 0151 291 3472

E: sdw@hope.ac.uk

 

What if I feel I need to see someone urgently?

If you need to speak to someone urgently but there are no appointment slots available, we also operate daily drop-in sessions where students can talk to a member of the Well-being Team.  The drop-in times are as follows:

Monday: 12.00-2.00pm

Tuesday: 12.00-2.00pm

Wednesday: 12.00-2.00pm

Thursday: 12.00-2.00pm

Friday: 12.00-2.00pm

If you require urgent or emergency assistance outside of office hours, please refer to our Emergency Contacts page for further information.

Counselling

 

Who can access the Counselling Service and is it free?

The Counselling Service is free for all currently registered students (undergraduate, postgraduate and research) at Liverpool Hope University.  This includes students from the Network of Hope colleges.

How long will I need to wait to see a counsellor?

We endeavour to offer students an assessment appointment within two weeks of receiving your request.  During busy times when demand for counselling is high, you may have to wait a little longer.

Once you have received your assessment appointment with a counsellor, again, depending upon demand at the time, there may be a delay in your counselling sessions starting.

 

What will happen when I first meet a counsellor?

During your first appointment with a Counsellor they will make a full assessment of your current situation.  The Counsellor will want to find out a little more about you, what has brought you to counselling and what you are hoping to gain from counselling. They will also make clear how the counselling process works, and if it is decided that counselling is for you, you will both agree some ground rules for your counselling (this is called the counselling contract).  Ongoing counselling will then be allocated to you.

 

How many sessions will I need & how long do sessions last?

It's difficult to say exactly how many sessions you may require as it very much depends upon the individual and the issue(s) they bring.  Some people find that one session is enough, whereas others may find they need more.  You will be able to discuss this with your counsellor. 

To ensure that as many students as possible can benefit from counselling within a reasonable timescale, the service focuses on providing short term counselling only.  This can be anything from one to six weekly sessions, with each session lasting around 50 minutes in duration.  In exceptional circumstances, further sessions may occasionally be agreed.  However, where it is identified that a student may benefit from further or longer term counselling, we may signpost the student to services external to the University who can assist further.

 

What would the Counselling Service expect from me?

Students receiving counselling are expected to:

  • Keep to their appointments
  • Let the service know, with as much prior notice as possible, if they are unable to attend an appointment or need to cancel or rearrange an appointment
  • Commit to working collaboratively with their counsellor, adopting an active approach
  • Turn off or silence their mobile phone in the reception area and during their counselling sessions
  • Maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of others if you see them in the counselling service or attending groups or workshops.

 

How do counsellors assess the work they do?

Counsellors assess their work with clients in a number of ways.  They will normally evaluate how the client feels the counselling is progressing at every session.  Once the counselling sessions are completed, clients are asked to complete a detailed evaluation which seeks their opinion on how they feel the counselling went for them.  All of our counsellors also meet regularly with a professionally-accredited counselling supervisor to monitor their work with clients and maintain their effectiveness.   

 

What can I do if I am unhappy with the counselling I receive?

If you’re unhappy with the counselling you are receiving, providing that you are comfortable doing so, try talking to your counsellor in the first instance.  They will be open to hearing your concerns and will want to do all they can to ensure that you get the most from your counselling sessions.  

If this is not possible, or if you are unhappy about any other aspect of the service you are receiving, you can share your concerns with the Head of Student Welfare and Well-being.  You can do this by emailing sdw@hope.ac.uk, by ringing 0151 291 3427 or you can also discuss your concerns face-to-face (you will need to contact us on the above number to make an appointment). 

If your concern is of a more serious nature, or if you would like further information, you can seek advice from the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) ‘The Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling’ which can be found at www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework

A hard copy is also available to view from the Student Development & Well-being receptionist.

Confidentiality

 

Will my counselling be confidential?

The Counselling Service takes your privacy very seriously and all client information is treated in confidence.  This means that we do not disclose verbal or written information without your permission or consent. 

The only exceptions are where there is a legal obligation to disclose information - which is extremely rare - or when a member of our counselling team believes that a client, or other people related to the client, may be at serious risk.  In this situation we may involve others e.g. a GP, and/or another member of university staff.  Normally this happens only with the client's agreement, but in exceptional circumstances and when it is in the best interests of the client, other people outside the service may need to be involved.

Counsellors keep brief, handwritten case notes on your counselling sessions to help both them and you to monitor your progress throughout the counselling. All records are kept securely, with access only available to members of the Counselling Service. 

Notes from your first appointment may be seen by other members of the Counselling Team, as it could be a different counsellor who provides your ongoing counselling sessions after your initial assessment. An administrator may also become aware of some basic information about you whilst processing your completed counselling paperwork. However, they are strictly bound to maintain the same levels of confidentiality expected of our counsellors.

All the counsellors have external supervision where they meet with their supervisors to discuss their ongoing casework but clients' identities are not disclosed. 

Anonymous statistical information may also be recorded and used for monitoring purposes and to aid the efficient and effective running of the service. 

 

Will my counsellor discuss my problems with my tutors or school?

No. We will only contact your tutors if you request this.  In such circumstances you will always be asked to agree the content of any such contact.

 

If I have had counselling does it go on my records?

No. We do not release information for student records.  Our records do not become part of any other university or medical records.  If anyone contacts the Counselling Service to ask whether a particular student is seeing a counsellor, they will not be given this or any other information.

 

Will you report me to the Police if I tell you that I've committed a crime?

No. The only occasion where we would need to make a disclosure is if we become concerned about the safety or well-being of another person. Otherwise, what is said within counselling will remain confidential.

You say that counselling is confidential within the service - will others in the service know what I've talked about with my counsellor?

A short weekly meeting takes place consisting of several well-being professionals who work closely together as a small team. The meetings are conducted confidentially to discuss any students who may be at significant risk of harm.  

The meetings are intended purely as a means of maintaining the safety and well-being of a small handful of students at the University and the privacy of clients, and their presenting issues, are treated with the utmost respect and confidentiality.  So, should you be deemed at significant risk, although there is a small possibility that other well-being professionals within the team may hear brief details of your circumstances, detailed information regarding what you have talked about is never likely to be the focus during such meetings.

 

I want to let my tutors know I'm coming for help, is that ok?

Yes, letting tutors know can be very useful. Your issues may be impacting on your studies and your tutors may not be aware of your difficulties, and therefore not able to support you. There is no obligation for you to have to go into any detail here and you can decide for yourself what you feel is enough information. 

If you want the counsellor to let tutors know that you are attending counselling in relation to any request for academic concession or mitigation, the counsellor will need your written consent to share any information.  Usually counsellors agree to write such letters only after you have attended several counselling sessions.  In terms of letting others know that you are coming for counselling, there is no restriction on who you decide to share this information with.

 

Where can I find out more information?

A helpful information leaflet about student counselling at Liverpool Hope University is available from Student Development & Well-being that contains useful information about our service. The British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) website is also a good place to find out more about counselling and ethics. You can also ask any questions you may have about the counselling service by attending one of our drop-in sessions.

Counsellors

 

Who are the Counsellors & staff in the service?

Frances Hayes Counsellor (part-time)
Fidelma Hawes, Counsellor (part-time)

Are the counsellors qualified?

Yes, the core team of counsellors are professionally trained and fully qualified and have considerable experience as counselling therapists.  In addition, they are accredited and registered with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) which is the main counselling body in the UK.  One of our counsellors is a member of the Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP).

From time to time we have counsellors on placement within the service. These are people who are either newly-qualified counsellors or people in the process of training to become counsellors. They have all been through a structured and detailed selection process to confirm their suitability to work with clients before entering our service and they work under the close supervision of Accredited Counsellors, who are all professionally qualified in supervising counsellors.

If I specifically want to see a male counsellor or a female counsellor, is that ok?

Yes.  Please just let us know when making an appointment and we will respect your preference for a counsellor of a particular gender. Occasionally you may have to wait a little longer if your preference is not immediately available.

Worries

 

What happens if I don't feel I'm getting anywhere with my counsellor?

Feeling ‘stuck’ or not moving during counselling is not uncommon. It is helpful to your concerns with your counsellor as in most cases the problem can be resolved and a different approach tried.  If there appears to be no obvious solution as to why things aren't moving on then the counsellor may well refer you to a different counsellor or service, which again is not uncommon. 

 

Isn't seeing a counsellor a sign of weakness?

No.  It could be seen as the exact opposite! It can take a lot of courage and strength to acknowledge to yourself and the counsellor that there are issues that you need to deal with. Staying silent or doing nothing is not being strong. Seeking out help is often the first step towards resolving the problems.

 

Will counselling make me worse?

Often people have this fear because others may have told them that this is how they felt. Some people do feel worse initially because they are talking about things that they have previously avoided. However, it is common for the majority of people to feel relief, even after the first session.  The relief comes from being able to talk about the worries and problems they have been having, and the feeling that they are now not avoiding something, but instead doing something about it.

 

Are my problems serious enough for counselling?

No problem is too small or not serious enough.  If something is causing a problem in your life that is not getting better on its own then it's best to talk it through in a safe and confidential setting, early on before it gets out of hand. 

The University also has a ‘Listening Service’ if you feel that to be a good first step.  It will allow you to start to talk things through and help you get a better idea of the extent of the issue.  To access the Listening Service please speak to one of our administrators on 0151 291 3427.

 

I'm worried about my friend, what can I do?

If you are worried about another student, one of the counsellors can talk with you about your concerns.  You can come to one of our drop-in sessions, book an appointment or speak to a counsellor on the telephone.  The counsellor will be happy to help you look at what is happening without intruding on your friend’s privacy or on your relationship with them. This may help you to unburden yourself and see how to best cope in this situation, which in turn may result in finding ways of responding to your friend. 

 

I think I have a drug problem, what can I do?

What you say will be treated confidentially, it is strongly advisable to talk to a counsellor. It is best to start to face the problem and get the help you need.  Problematic alcohol or drug use can be an indication of other underlying issues.  Counselling can be useful in helping you to identify and work on those issues.  This in turn can help with managing your alcohol and drug use.  We can also point you in the direction of specialist help if appropriate.

 

I've stopped going into lectures, I'm thinking of dropping out, what should I do?

It's easy to imagine that your tutors are just going to be annoyed with you and not understand. But if they don't know what's going on it will be easy for them to assume the wrong things, so here are some suggestions for you: 

  • Talk to your Personal Tutor, Course Leader or someone in a supportive role within your department with the view to getting help
  • Talk with an understanding friend or family member about what is happening and what you think is stopping you from getting on with your studies.  They may be able to offer a different perspective that can help.
  • Talk to a counsellor about any worries, pressures or dilemmas you may be facing. 

 

I feel worried about my mental health?

Your GP is a good first contact, especially if you are very concerned about how you're thinking and feeling but if you are unsure about this you can also talk to our Mental Health and Well-being Adviser.

You can do this by contacting Student and Development and Well-being on 0151 291 3427, sdw@hope.ac.uk or by visiting one of our drop-in sessions. 

For more information visit our mental health pages

 

I'm feeling suicidal

It is not uncommon for people to feel suicidal at some point in their lives.  Most people don't want to actually end their lives but just feel so desperate and can't see an alternative way out of their distress.  Depression can range from mild to serious and is treatable. Depression left untreated can be dangerous so it is important that you seek help. 

You might be feeling sad and miserable, can't be bothered to do things and tired all the time.  People describe feeling inadequate, tearful, anxious, panicky, scared people will laugh at them and feeling like they are going mad. Under these circumstances it can be very difficult to talk to people, but it's the best thing you can do.

Don't keep it to yourself, tell someone you trust how you are feeling. This could be someone in your family, your doctor, a tutor, one our counsellors or someone from the Chaplaincy. You can also phone a help-line (please see emergency contacts).

If you reach a suicidal crisis where the desire to kill yourself is overwhelming, you must tell someone. Ask them to keep you company until the feelings pass.

Papyrus is an organisation committed to the prevention of young suicide and the promotion of mental health and emotional well-being. Their website contains lots of helpful information for those feeling suicidal and also for those supporting such people. Find out more at www.papyrus-uk.org

 

 

About

 

What is counselling and why talk to a Counsellor?

Counselling is a process which enables you to explore and make sense of issues that may be distressing you or disrupting your life or studies.  Counsellors are trained to listen while you talk through the issue(s) that is concerning you. A Counsellor is qualified and experienced in responding to emotional issues and difficulties and can offer you the time and space to work things out for yourself.

 

How can talking help my problems?

Often when people experience problems they can start to feel worse as the thoughts and feelings around that problem persist.  They can feel more and more overwhelmed and stuck, especially if they don't know what to do about the problem.

Counselling can help to explore a problem fully, gain a different perspective on things and to see the situation more clearly.  Talking with a Counsellor can help to work out what might lie behind the problems in a focused way, looking at where you are stuck and how you may have blocked progress or change. Counselling is a lot more than just talking.

 

What sort of issues does counselling deal with?

Counselling can help with a wide variety of problems whether they seem relatively straightforward or more complex and long standing. 

Counselling can help with a wide range of issues including academic worries/pressures, relationship difficulties, issues with self-esteem and confidence, panic attacks, bullying and harassment, anger, poor self-image, lack of motivation, bereavement, loneliness, depression, anxiety, self-injury, sexuality, change, compulsive behaviour, addictions, phobias, eating disorders and trauma (this is not a comprehensive list and difficulties you might be experiencing may not be included here). Counselling can also help people to clarify their thinking and be more direct in our communication.

 

I don't know what to say or how I should be saying it?

This is a common feeling, especially initially. Not knowing what to say is often about nervousness and the fear of thinking you are going to sound stupid or it won't make sense. People can sometimes also believe that there must be a right way to say things - which everybody else must know about!  There is no right or wrong way. How you present and discuss your issue or problem doesn't matter, you can say whatever you like.  A Counsellor will know how to find meaning in what you are saying regardless of how you say it. They will regularly check with you that their understanding of what you are saying is correct.

 

I'm worried that I'll be judged? Will the counsellor think badly of me?

Counsellors base their approach on several core principles when working with clients.  One of these principles includes being non-judgemental, or not placing any personal judgement on what is being discussed.  Another of the core principles is to offer the client unconditional positive regard or to see the client as an essentially good person, without reservation. 

   

What shall I expect from my counsellor?

Counsellors are trained to listen while you talk through your problems.  They will try to help you find answers and gain insight into the difficulties you are experiencing; trying to help you to see the overall picture.  

You can expect a professional service from your counsellor, who will be respectful of the issue(s) you are bringing.  All our counsellors operate within the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling & Psychotherapy as specified by the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) 

 

Will the counsellor give me advice?

Rather than offer you advice, your counsellor will help you to explore your situation so that you can work out for yourself the best course of action to take.  They can offer ideas on how others have successfully dealt with common problems, and may also make suggestions which you might not have thought of to look at.  Your counsellor will work with you rather than for you, so that you can build up your self-reliance and self-confidence, rather than advising, instructing or directing you.

 

I don't think counselling is what I'm looking for, what other help is available?

Counselling is just one kind of help and is not for everyone. There are a number of other resources and services available within the University which maybe more appropriate for you. 

There are a number of other services available where you can receive advice and support on a variety of issues, including:

 

Disability and learning support

Mental health and well-being

Careers and employability

Support for care leavers

Accommodation issues

You can access all of these services through Student Development & Well-being on the first floor of the Gateway Building:

T: 0151 291 3472

E: sdw@hope.ac.uk

 

What if I feel I need to see someone urgently?

If you need to speak to someone urgently but there are no appointment slots available, we also operate daily drop-in sessions where students can talk to a member of the Well-being Team.  The drop-in times are as follows:

Monday: 12.00-2.00pm

Tuesday: 12.00-2.00pm

Wednesday: 12.00-2.00pm

Thursday: 12.00-2.00pm

Friday: 12.00-2.00pm

If you require urgent or emergency assistance outside of office hours, please refer to our Emergency Contacts page for further information.

Counselling

 

Who can access the Counselling Service and is it free?

The Counselling Service is free for all currently registered students (undergraduate, postgraduate and research) at Liverpool Hope University.  This includes students from the Network of Hope colleges.

How long will I need to wait to see a counsellor?

We endeavour to offer students an assessment appointment within two weeks of receiving your request.  During busy times when demand for counselling is high, you may have to wait a little longer.

Once you have received your assessment appointment with a counsellor, again, depending upon demand at the time, there may be a delay in your counselling sessions starting.

 

What will happen when I first meet a counsellor?

During your first appointment with a Counsellor they will make a full assessment of your current situation.  The Counsellor will want to find out a little more about you, what has brought you to counselling and what you are hoping to gain from counselling. They will also make clear how the counselling process works, and if it is decided that counselling is for you, you will both agree some ground rules for your counselling (this is called the counselling contract).  Ongoing counselling will then be allocated to you.

 

How many sessions will I need & how long do sessions last?

It's difficult to say exactly how many sessions you may require as it very much depends upon the individual and the issue(s) they bring.  Some people find that one session is enough, whereas others may find they need more.  You will be able to discuss this with your counsellor. 

To ensure that as many students as possible can benefit from counselling within a reasonable timescale, the service focuses on providing short term counselling only.  This can be anything from one to six weekly sessions, with each session lasting around 50 minutes in duration.  In exceptional circumstances, further sessions may occasionally be agreed.  However, where it is identified that a student may benefit from further or longer term counselling, we may signpost the student to services external to the University who can assist further.

 

What would the Counselling Service expect from me?

Students receiving counselling are expected to:

  • Keep to their appointments
  • Let the service know, with as much prior notice as possible, if they are unable to attend an appointment or need to cancel or rearrange an appointment
  • Commit to working collaboratively with their counsellor, adopting an active approach
  • Turn off or silence their mobile phone in the reception area and during their counselling sessions
  • Maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of others if you see them in the counselling service or attending groups or workshops.

 

How do counsellors assess the work they do?

Counsellors assess their work with clients in a number of ways.  They will normally evaluate how the client feels the counselling is progressing at every session.  Once the counselling sessions are completed, clients are asked to complete a detailed evaluation which seeks their opinion on how they feel the counselling went for them.  All of our counsellors also meet regularly with a professionally-accredited counselling supervisor to monitor their work with clients and maintain their effectiveness.   

 

What can I do if I am unhappy with the counselling I receive?

If you’re unhappy with the counselling you are receiving, providing that you are comfortable doing so, try talking to your counsellor in the first instance.  They will be open to hearing your concerns and will want to do all they can to ensure that you get the most from your counselling sessions.  

If this is not possible, or if you are unhappy about any other aspect of the service you are receiving, you can share your concerns with the Head of Student Welfare and Well-being.  You can do this by emailing sdw@hope.ac.uk, by ringing 0151 291 3427 or you can also discuss your concerns face-to-face (you will need to contact us on the above number to make an appointment). 

If your concern is of a more serious nature, or if you would like further information, you can seek advice from the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) ‘The Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling’ which can be found at www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework

A hard copy is also available to view from the Student Development & Well-being receptionist.

Confidentiality

 

Will my counselling be confidential?

The Counselling Service takes your privacy very seriously and all client information is treated in confidence.  This means that we do not disclose verbal or written information without your permission or consent. 

The only exceptions are where there is a legal obligation to disclose information - which is extremely rare - or when a member of our counselling team believes that a client, or other people related to the client, may be at serious risk.  In this situation we may involve others e.g. a GP, and/or another member of university staff.  Normally this happens only with the client's agreement, but in exceptional circumstances and when it is in the best interests of the client, other people outside the service may need to be involved.

Counsellors keep brief, handwritten case notes on your counselling sessions to help both them and you to monitor your progress throughout the counselling. All records are kept securely, with access only available to members of the Counselling Service. 

Notes from your first appointment may be seen by other members of the Counselling Team, as it could be a different counsellor who provides your ongoing counselling sessions after your initial assessment. An administrator may also become aware of some basic information about you whilst processing your completed counselling paperwork. However, they are strictly bound to maintain the same levels of confidentiality expected of our counsellors.

All the counsellors have external supervision where they meet with their supervisors to discuss their ongoing casework but clients' identities are not disclosed. 

Anonymous statistical information may also be recorded and used for monitoring purposes and to aid the efficient and effective running of the service. 

 

Will my counsellor discuss my problems with my tutors or school?

No. We will only contact your tutors if you request this.  In such circumstances you will always be asked to agree the content of any such contact.

 

If I have had counselling does it go on my records?

No. We do not release information for student records.  Our records do not become part of any other university or medical records.  If anyone contacts the Counselling Service to ask whether a particular student is seeing a counsellor, they will not be given this or any other information.

 

Will you report me to the Police if I tell you that I've committed a crime?

No. The only occasion where we would need to make a disclosure is if we become concerned about the safety or well-being of another person. Otherwise, what is said within counselling will remain confidential.

You say that counselling is confidential within the service - will others in the service know what I've talked about with my counsellor?

A short weekly meeting takes place consisting of several well-being professionals who work closely together as a small team. The meetings are conducted confidentially to discuss any students who may be at significant risk of harm.  

The meetings are intended purely as a means of maintaining the safety and well-being of a small handful of students at the University and the privacy of clients, and their presenting issues, are treated with the utmost respect and confidentiality.  So, should you be deemed at significant risk, although there is a small possibility that other well-being professionals within the team may hear brief details of your circumstances, detailed information regarding what you have talked about is never likely to be the focus during such meetings.

 

I want to let my tutors know I'm coming for help, is that ok?

Yes, letting tutors know can be very useful. Your issues may be impacting on your studies and your tutors may not be aware of your difficulties, and therefore not able to support you. There is no obligation for you to have to go into any detail here and you can decide for yourself what you feel is enough information. 

If you want the counsellor to let tutors know that you are attending counselling in relation to any request for academic concession or mitigation, the counsellor will need your written consent to share any information.  Usually counsellors agree to write such letters only after you have attended several counselling sessions.  In terms of letting others know that you are coming for counselling, there is no restriction on who you decide to share this information with.

 

Where can I find out more information?

A helpful information leaflet about student counselling at Liverpool Hope University is available from Student Development & Well-being that contains useful information about our service. The British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) website is also a good place to find out more about counselling and ethics. You can also ask any questions you may have about the counselling service by attending one of our drop-in sessions.

Counsellors

 

Who are the Counsellors & staff in the service?

Frances Hayes Counsellor (part-time)
Fidelma Hawes, Counsellor (part-time)

Are the counsellors qualified?

Yes, the core team of counsellors are professionally trained and fully qualified and have considerable experience as counselling therapists.  In addition, they are accredited and registered with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) which is the main counselling body in the UK.  One of our counsellors is a member of the Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP).

From time to time we have counsellors on placement within the service. These are people who are either newly-qualified counsellors or people in the process of training to become counsellors. They have all been through a structured and detailed selection process to confirm their suitability to work with clients before entering our service and they work under the close supervision of Accredited Counsellors, who are all professionally qualified in supervising counsellors.

If I specifically want to see a male counsellor or a female counsellor, is that ok?

Yes.  Please just let us know when making an appointment and we will respect your preference for a counsellor of a particular gender. Occasionally you may have to wait a little longer if your preference is not immediately available.

Worries

 

What happens if I don't feel I'm getting anywhere with my counsellor?

Feeling ‘stuck’ or not moving during counselling is not uncommon. It is helpful to your concerns with your counsellor as in most cases the problem can be resolved and a different approach tried.  If there appears to be no obvious solution as to why things aren't moving on then the counsellor may well refer you to a different counsellor or service, which again is not uncommon. 

 

Isn't seeing a counsellor a sign of weakness?

No.  It could be seen as the exact opposite! It can take a lot of courage and strength to acknowledge to yourself and the counsellor that there are issues that you need to deal with. Staying silent or doing nothing is not being strong. Seeking out help is often the first step towards resolving the problems.

 

Will counselling make me worse?

Often people have this fear because others may have told them that this is how they felt. Some people do feel worse initially because they are talking about things that they have previously avoided. However, it is common for the majority of people to feel relief, even after the first session.  The relief comes from being able to talk about the worries and problems they have been having, and the feeling that they are now not avoiding something, but instead doing something about it.

 

Are my problems serious enough for counselling?

No problem is too small or not serious enough.  If something is causing a problem in your life that is not getting better on its own then it's best to talk it through in a safe and confidential setting, early on before it gets out of hand. 

The University also has a ‘Listening Service’ if you feel that to be a good first step.  It will allow you to start to talk things through and help you get a better idea of the extent of the issue.  To access the Listening Service please speak to one of our administrators on 0151 291 3427.

 

I'm worried about my friend, what can I do?

If you are worried about another student, one of the counsellors can talk with you about your concerns.  You can come to one of our drop-in sessions, book an appointment or speak to a counsellor on the telephone.  The counsellor will be happy to help you look at what is happening without intruding on your friend’s privacy or on your relationship with them. This may help you to unburden yourself and see how to best cope in this situation, which in turn may result in finding ways of responding to your friend. 

 

I think I have a drug problem, what can I do?

What you say will be treated confidentially, it is strongly advisable to talk to a counsellor. It is best to start to face the problem and get the help you need.  Problematic alcohol or drug use can be an indication of other underlying issues.  Counselling can be useful in helping you to identify and work on those issues.  This in turn can help with managing your alcohol and drug use.  We can also point you in the direction of specialist help if appropriate.

 

I've stopped going into lectures, I'm thinking of dropping out, what should I do?

It's easy to imagine that your tutors are just going to be annoyed with you and not understand. But if they don't know what's going on it will be easy for them to assume the wrong things, so here are some suggestions for you: 

  • Talk to your Personal Tutor, Course Leader or someone in a supportive role within your department with the view to getting help
  • Talk with an understanding friend or family member about what is happening and what you think is stopping you from getting on with your studies.  They may be able to offer a different perspective that can help.
  • Talk to a counsellor about any worries, pressures or dilemmas you may be facing. 

 

I feel worried about my mental health?

Your GP is a good first contact, especially if you are very concerned about how you're thinking and feeling but if you are unsure about this you can also talk to our Mental Health and Well-being Adviser.

You can do this by contacting Student and Development and Well-being on 0151 291 3427, sdw@hope.ac.uk or by visiting one of our drop-in sessions. 

For more information visit our mental health pages

 

I'm feeling suicidal

It is not uncommon for people to feel suicidal at some point in their lives.  Most people don't want to actually end their lives but just feel so desperate and can't see an alternative way out of their distress.  Depression can range from mild to serious and is treatable. Depression left untreated can be dangerous so it is important that you seek help. 

You might be feeling sad and miserable, can't be bothered to do things and tired all the time.  People describe feeling inadequate, tearful, anxious, panicky, scared people will laugh at them and feeling like they are going mad. Under these circumstances it can be very difficult to talk to people, but it's the best thing you can do.

Don't keep it to yourself, tell someone you trust how you are feeling. This could be someone in your family, your doctor, a tutor, one our counsellors or someone from the Chaplaincy. You can also phone a help-line (please see emergency contacts).

If you reach a suicidal crisis where the desire to kill yourself is overwhelming, you must tell someone. Ask them to keep you company until the feelings pass.

Papyrus is an organisation committed to the prevention of young suicide and the promotion of mental health and emotional well-being. Their website contains lots of helpful information for those feeling suicidal and also for those supporting such people. Find out more at www.papyrus-uk.org