Advice and Counselling Service

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Face to Face Emotional Support

Please Contact us and our frontline team will help you to decide what kind of help will be suitable in your situation. They will guide you towards places, people and resources to get you the help you need. If it is unclear what kind of emotional help you need from that initial point of enquiry they will normally arrange for you to have a one off meeting with one of our experienced counsellors who can get a fuller picture of your difficulties and run through options for further help and support. We may then offer you support within our service, or we may signpost you to NHS services or other types of support, based on what seems most appropriate to your needs.

* You can help us to make the best use of the resources we have by making sure you attend any appointment offered, and if you are unable to attend, giving us at least 24 hours notice so we have time to offer it to another student.

For almost half of all those who seek counselling, this one off meeting will be enough to give them what they need to get back on track, however if it seems that more support within ACS is needed you may be offered one of the following options:-

Individual counselling

Counselling is a kind of ‘talking therapy’ which helps people to make changes to improve their quality of life. It involves having a face to face conversation with a trained and experienced practitioner in a confidential, non-judgemental setting. A counsellor will use their skills to help you to explore the difficulties you are experiencing, to make sense of the reasons why you are struggling and to think about what might help. We offer short term counselling, and if it becomes clear that you need more than this, or a different kind of treatment, we will support you in finding this.

Cognitive Behavioural informed therapies 

These therapies are active, problem-solving approaches to psychological problems. They are based on the idea that our feelings, thoughts and actions are all interconnected and are related to the context we live in. Therefore, making changes in any one of these areas can have an impact on the remaining areas. We normally offer short term therapies, and if it becomes clear that you need more than this, or a different kind of treatment, we will will support you in finding this.

Group Therapy

Therapy that takes place in a group of around 4-6 other students and a group therapist. The benefits of group therapy are greatest for who have been struggling with difficult feelings for some time, rather than those who have a specific recent problem who might get what they need from brief one to one counselling. Students usually stay in the group for several months, even a whole academic year and this provides the oppotunity to develop trust and gain insights into patterns of behaviour  which can then be modified over time and have positive impact on relationships outside of the group.

Psychiatry Clinic

Where a counsellor feels that there may be a diagnosable mental health difficulty which may require a referral for specialist NHS treatment or medication they can arrange for a psychiatric assessment within the service and will normally also make a referral to the Mental Health Co-ordinator who can provide support aimed to minimise the impact of any on-going difficulties on academic performance.

Drug and Alcohol Clinic

This is a specialist weekly clinic offering individual appointments to students who want support around reduction, help with changing habits / coping with change, and information about specific substances and their harms.

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