Frequently Asked Questions

How to access the Counselling Service?

You can access the Counselling Service in two ways. Firstly by registering for 1:1 counselling sessions. This can be done by collecting registration forms from reception.  Secondly you can access the Drop-In service. Check the Drop-In page for details and up to date times. 

What is counselling?

Counselling offers an opportunity to think and talk about your concerns, through dialogue with a trained counsellor. In time this exploration may help you develop an increased knowledge of yourself whilst helping you to locate appropriate coping mechanisms and possible changes in your behaviour. The Counselling Service is here to help you to look at problems of a personal and emotional nature so that you can begin to explore your alternatives.

Is everything confidential?

All counselling in the Counselling Service is given in the strictest confidence and ordinarily nothing will be divulged to anyone outside the Service without your written permission. Rare exceptions to this will be explained to you by your counsellor in the initial session, and in the leaflet given to you when you register with the Service. See the Confidentiality Information leaflet for further information.

How is counselling structured?

An initial session to talk over your difficulties is offered as quickly as possible with the option of returning for further sessions. We can offer up to 5 sessions but some people attend just once or twice to talk over something that is troubling them. Each counselling session lasts for 50 minutes. We will arrange counselling to begin as quickly as possible after you register. In very busy periods a short waiting list may operate. We will always try to minimise the impact this has on you. Arrangements can be made for longer term counselling when appropriate and when resources allow. This is by agreement with the counsellor.

Who can use the counselling service?

Counselling is available to all students at the University of Liverpool. Counselling is normally with individuals but sometimes couples, families or small groups of friends find it helpful to talk over a difficult issue with a counsellor. University staff are no longer covered by the counselling service, but employees can contact the employee assistance programme.

Who are the counsellors?

The Counselling Service employs counsellors who are all professionally qualified. However, the Service is also used as a training placement for professional courses.

Do the counsellors work to any ethical guidelines?

The counsellors within the Service work to the standards set the in Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. This is a national document written and produced by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Does the service run other activities?

The counsellors are involved in training and staff development and offerconsultation to tutors, GP's, friends, family etc. on a range of issues. Consultations are an opportunity to discuss concerns, manage difficult situations or to ask questions about counselling. They can be by telephone or appointment at the Service. Please ask for the Duty Counsellor. The Service runs groups on specific topics such as anxiety and relaxation as well as more general therapeutic groups (please contact us for availability).

Are there other sources of help and support?

When appropriate we sometimes suggest or arrange help from other sources such as doctors, psychiatrists or specialist agencies. Help and advice on practical matters (benefits, legal advice, accommodations etc.) is provided by Student Welfare Advice and Guidance or the Guild Advice Centre. There are also a large number of local and national organisations that you might consider contacting for more specific advice and information.