University Life - Student Support - Counselling Service | Harper Adams University

Counselling Service

If you have worries about university or your personal life, talking to one of our BACP-registered counsellors can help.

Things always feel worse when they are kept bottled up and it isn't always possible to talk to your friends or family. No problem is too small or too big for the counselling team. They won't judge you or tell you what to do, they'll simply help you to understand your thoughts and feelings, how they affect your behaviour and how you can make changes to improve your situation.

Some of the issues we can help you with:

  • Coping with disabilities
  • Depression
  • Relationships with others
  • Struggling with your studies
  • Social anxieties
  • Cultural concerns
  • Sexuality
  • Bullying
  • Traumatic events now or in the past

Services we can provide:

  • Private sessions, from an informal chat to more long-term support
  • Advice on study and learning
  • Workshops including assertiveness, meditation, resilient thinking, stress and anxiety management
  • Letters of support if we feel your personal circumstances are affecting your studies or you need financial or practical help from the university
  • Help if you believe you have been treated unfairly by the university

To book an appointment or for an informal chat call 07875 103015

Where are we?

Foulkes Crowther TG9

Opening times

Monday - Friday (term time)

Contact us

Email: counselling@harper-adams.ac.uk
Telephone or text: 07875 103015
Office: 01952 815395

Frequently asked questions

What is counselling?

It is a way to explore any worries or concerns that are important to you, and a good way to develop ways of dealing with difficulties in your life. Talking about your thoughts and feelings in a safe and confidential environment helps you to recognize and make sense of your emotions and understand how they affect your behaviour and the choices that you make.

Why might I want to see a counsellor?

Seeing a counsellor can provide you with an independent and confidential venue to discuss issues that may be concerning you. Sometimes there are difficulties that are hard to discuss with family, friends or work colleagues. Professional assistance at these times can help resolve problems and prevent future ones from developing. Appointments may assist with academic support, personal counselling, assistance with policies and procedures, dispute mediation, crisis services and particular support for students with disabilities.

Is it for me?

Yes, counselling is for everyone if they want it.

Many people are worried that their concerns are not important enough to see a counsellor about. No problem is too small or too big to come and talk through.

If something is worrying you or causing you distress then it is important. Things always feel worse when they are kept bottled up and it isn't always possible to talk to your friends or family.

Counselling at Harper Adams isn't like going to the doctors, or seeing an 'expert' who will give advice. In many circumstances, people turn to family, friends for support in managing personal difficulties and concerns. However, there are occasions when it may also be helpful to seek professional support. The service is confidential and, apart from rare circumstances where there may be requirements to do so, no information about your use of the service is revealed without your consent.

What issues do people raise with counsellors?

Frequently raised issues include coping with disabilities, feelings of academic inadequacy, relationships with others, social anxieties, cultural concerns, depression, balancing the demands of family and study, sexuality, traumatic events old or recent. The counsellor is fully conversant with the University's policy and procedures and can help you identify appropriate courses of action in the varied situations that may arise in university life.

Can I have a different appointment time?

The appointment is only available at the time offered. If you cannot make this time, in most cases your name will return to the waiting list. We will offer a second appointment when a suitable one becomes available.

How long are the appointments?

Typically counselling sessions last 50 minutes, but sometimes shorter or longer sessions are arranged. You should allow up to an hour for a first appointment. If you arrive late for your session, please be aware that your appointment will be curtailed or may be re-scheduled.

Can I request a specific time or day for my counselling?

Yes, but bear in mind that you will be seen more quickly if you can be more flexible. We give first priority for these to students who are unable to attend during the day because of their course, placement or research location.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

The answer will depend on many factors, including: how busy we are, your stated availability. It also depends on our assessment of your particular situation. The typical current waiting time will be within two weeks of first contacting the counselling services. Please let us know if you feel your situation is becoming urgent or if your availability changes in any way.

Does my problem have to be a serious one to see a counsellor?

No, many personal, relationship or identity problems can be helped through counselling. Seeing a counsellor is about making a positive choice to get the help that you need. Please don't wait until a problem has grown very serious - we would much rather you came when something is relatively minor, so that it can be resolved more quickly.

What if more help is needed than the Service can provide?

If longer-term therapy or specialist help is needed you can see our mental health advisor for support, therapy and advice, alternately referrals can be made via your GP to psychological, therapeutic or psychiatric services in the community or within the NHS. We can also provide information and advice about how to find a private counsellor or therapist (although we cannot arrange appointments with specific individuals). Your counsellor would discuss these options with you if this seems the best way forward.

Will my counsellor tell anyone about my problems?

No. The counselling we offer is confidential, which means we will not discuss your situation with anyone outside the Service, unless we have your consent to do so. For more information about this please see our confidentiality policy which also refers to our professional code of ethics.

Will records be kept about my counselling?

Yes. In accordance with professional practice, the Service keeps statistical information on clients and individual counsellors make notes about what happens during sessions. These records are strictly confidential and do not go outside the Service. You also have the right to request your counselling records. For more information about our record keeping and data protection matters, please see our section on Data Protection.

What if I am worried about someone else?

If you are worried about a friend, partner, or relative, you are welcome to arrange a single consultation session to discuss your concerns. We may not be able to respond immediately, but we will do our best to see you quickly. Our Mental Health Advisor can also offer advice and information if you have concerns about the behaviour or mental health of another person.

Can you help me with a grievance?

A grievance exists when a person believes that they have been treated unfairly in some manner by the University or by a staff member or student within the University. A grievance policy and procedures have been developed for dealing with such situations.

Will you provide a letter of support?

The Counsellor will provide a supporting minute or letter if, in their professional opinion, a student has experienced extenuating personal circumstances which have impacted on their ability to meet course requirements or have created the need to seek financial or practical assistance from the University.

In order to make a professional judgement about a request for supporting letters (or minutes), counsellors need to have knowledge of the relevant circumstances. Counsellors may request students to provide additional supporting documentation or independent verification as appropriate. Students are strongly encouraged to bring unit outlines if relevant to their situation.

All counsellors adhere to Harper Adams policy on confidentiality and are unable to divulge personal details pertaining to a request for a supporting minute or letter without the informed consent of the student.

In all cases counsellors will make a professional judgement and it is not guaranteed that a supporting minute or letter will be provided.

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