Personal support

What is counselling?

Counselling is about listening and helping you to understand your feelings and your life so that you can make choices and change your life if you want to.
Counselling can also help you understand why you do the things you do and give you a chance to see things differently.

What is counselling not about?

Counselling is not about judging you or telling you what you ought to do. It’s not a “magic cure” to your problems or a quick fix. It often takes time to develop understanding and to think about change but if you give it a chance you can really feel the difference.

Will it go against me if I have counselling? Isn’t counselling for people who can’t cope?

Everyone needs support. Many students from every part of the College, male and female, gay and straight, of every age, culture, faith and ability use the College counselling service every year. Your tutors will support you if they know you are being counselled – but you don’t have to tell them, and we would not tell them unless you wanted us to.

Remember, many film stars, musicians and other famous people have had counselling. Everyone needs someone to talk to at some time in their lives.

At the very first appointment, you will be told that what you say is confidential. Your family, friends, tutors are not told what you say. The only time the counsellor has to break that confidentiality is if you are at risk of being harmed or in danger or if someone else is at risk or in danger.
If that happens, the counsellor has to speak to the Assistant Principal, Learner Services Pam Kaminski.

Together we will sit down and talk about what to do next. You will be kept fully involved and informed about what is going on.

You can read any notes written by the counsellor during your session or have them read back to you.

Notes are kept safely in a locked draw inside a locked room.

How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment by drop in – turning up at CASA in Learner Services. If we can see you there and then , we will. Otherwise, we will arrange an appointment for another time.

  • You can ask your Personal Tutor to make an appointment
  • You can come to Learner Services reception or ring them on 01952 642237
  • Your mentor or befriender can arrange an appointment for you

Appointments last 30–40 minutes although you are free to leave at any time. You may only need one session but you can have more, depending on the problem and whether or not you want to continue.

If you can’t make an appointment, please cancel it or let us know by ringing 01952 642237. If you don’t cancel it, the appointment is not kept open for the following week, but you are welcome to come and make another.

What kind of things can I talk about?

Here are just some of the things students have talked about this year;

  • Relationships
  • Depression
  • Self–harm
  • Self esteem and confidence
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Mental health
  • Abortion
  • Sexuality
  • Substance misuse
  • Panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Homelessness
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Sexual problems
  • Abuse
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Cultural issues
  • Bereavement


Most of the time we will be able to help you at the College but, if needs be, we can refer you to another organisation who will be able to help. This will always be fully discussed with you and you will always know what’s going on.

How to find us

Learner Services: E028 (behind grants section)
Kathleen Jones, Senior Counselor on 01952 642361