Counselling

Illustration of Safe spaces, by Marja de Sanctis, 2015
Illustration (Safe spaces) by Marja de Sanctis, 2015 (MA Illustration, Camberwell College of Arts 2014)

University of the Arts London offers free, one-to-one, confidential counselling to students at each College, as well as at the Student Centre in High Holborn.

Counselling is an opportunity to talk, in private, to a trained professional from outside of one’s day-to-day life.

Exploring and reflecting on feelings and thoughts, through talking, can help students who are finding things difficult to get a deeper understanding of themselves, and find ways to address and work through whatever is impacting on their studies, well-being, and day to day responsibilities.

Some of the areas in which counselling can be helpful are:

  • course related problems
  • low mood/depression
  • anxiety/stress
  • relationship issues
  • bereavement
  • loneliness
  • sexuality
  • gender identity
  • family issues
  • homesickness.

Appointments and enquiries

To make an appointment with a counsellor, students should complete the Counselling Appointment Request Form. The counselling administrator will then contact the student by telephone to arrange the first appointment.

Meeting a counsellor

At the first appointment, the counsellor will ask a few questions, inviting the student to talk about what has brought them to counselling.

The counsellor and student will decide whether any further appointments would be useful, and what those meetings should be focussed on, as well as how often to meet. The counsellor may also discuss other types of support and consider if it would be more appropriate for the student to be seen by another colleague from the Counselling, Health Advice and Chaplaincy Service, or elsewhere in the University, or to seek support from an external service.

Most students come for a short series of appointments with the same counsellor. Counselling appointments are 50 minutes long.

The counsellors are professionally qualified and operate to the BACP Ethical Framework for good practice, produced by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Missing a counselling appointment

Students should inform the counselling administrator as soon as possible if they are not able to attend an appointment by telephoning 020 7514 6251.

Missed or cancelled appointments will normally count as part of the agreed number of sessions and not replaced.

Urgent appointments

Urgent appointments lasting 30 minutes are available during office hours for enrolled students who need to talk to someone quickly when there is a crisis or a matter that needs urgent attention.

To book an urgent appointment, please call 020 7514 6251

Support for when things are at their worst

Sometimes, people feel low or out of control to the point that they consider self-harm or suicide. The most important thing to do in this situation is to talk to someone. Talking can help you to see things differently and decide not to act, or to access help to keep safe.

If you are a UAL student and need immediate support, please call 020 7514 6251.

If it is out of office hours, please visit the Helplines & Emergency Support page for details of helplines and organisations you can contact at any time.

Information and self-help

The following websites provide information and self-help resources which students may find useful.

University of the Arts London students are always encouraged to contact the Counselling, Health Advice and Chaplaincy Service for advice and information. Students are also reminded that the University is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of the information given by external organisations or the content of their websites.

More comprehensive information about useful organisations and self-help resources is available for enrolled students on the UAL intranet.

Students Against Depression
Developed in consultation with students affected by depression, low mood or suicidal thoughts, this website includes helpful stories, suggestions as well as self-help strategies for anyone feeling suicidal.

Mind
Mind provides information and advice about mental health issues. Mind’s 'Understanding' leaflets are free to read or print, and give practical information on a range of mental health issues, together with resource lists for seeking further help. The 'How to' series of leaflets, also free to read or print, cover topics such as assertiveness, dealing with panic attacks and coping with student life.

Mindfulness for Students
Mindfulness is a technique for maximising concentration and is helpful for stress and anxiety. This website includes mindfulness training for students to help students you to stay calm, focused and better manage the pressures of student life.

Mood Gym
An interactive programme which incorporates cognitive-behaviour therapy for preventing and coping with depression.

FRANK (Previously known as National Drugs Helpline)
The FRANK website provides general information and advice on drugs/alcohol, other drug related helplines and local drug agencies.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
The BACP has a resource where you can find a qualified therapist. Click on ‘Find a Therapist' from the home page.

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