FAQs

1. What is the Counselling Service?
Counselling is a process that allows you to work through issues that may be causing you distress or confusion with a person who is professionally qualified to help you. Your counsellor will be experienced, compassionate and non-judgemental in their approach. Their job is to listen, understand and help you cope with any issues you are facing. Choosing to get professional support through the counselling service is your first courageous step towards actively dealing with your issues.

The Counselling service at Queen's is provided in partnership with Inspire and is part of a wider Student Wellbeing Service. Your counsellor will support you to cope with whatever issues are causing you distress and disrupting your life. The counselling will be solution-focused, gently challenging you to face your problems, to set realistic goals for yourself so that you can achieve the solutions you want. Through the University's partnership with Carecall, you are entitled to up to 4 free counselling sessions. If you need extra counselling beyond this, your counsellor can request a further 2 sessions to support you.

2. Do I have to pay anything?
No. The Counselling Service is available and free to all current Queen’s students.

3. How long can I expect to wait for an appointment?
We will endeavour to offer you an initial appointment within 3 working days of your request. Should you need to see someone right away, there is a Duty Counsellor in the office everyday. Call in advance to determine availability.

4. How many sessions can I have?
This will be something you and your counsellor will discuss at the first session, but will normally be up to 4 sessions. Students are encouraged to speak to their GP about longer-term support needs.

5. How long are the sessions?
Each counselling session lasts for approximately 50 minutes.

6. Is the Service accessible to students with a disability
Yes. If you have any special requirements, please let us know in advance so we can best accommodate you.

For additional information, contact Disability Services.

7. How confidential is counselling?
Counsellors work to a strict Code of Ethics - they will discuss with you the limits of their confidentiality and ask you to sign a declaration before moving forward with counselling.

8. What are the limits of confidentiality?
Usually everything is kept confidential unless there is evidence, from the counselling session, that you or someone else is at risk.

9. Does counselling work for everyone?
The simple answer is that it works for the majority, but not everyone. Your counsellor will talk with you beforehand to gauge if counselling is the right course of action for your particular issue.

Counselling is one of many resources for when you need extra help. For more information about other options, look at the Student Wellbeing website.

10. Is counselling like psychiatry?
No. Whereas psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose illness and prescribe treatments, counsellors are normally non-medical personnel who encourage you to find your own solutions to problems.