Counselling services

Find out about the counselling services we provide at University Health and Counselling.

Counselling

We offer 30-minute appointments daily to answer quick questions or to help you apply for compassionate considerations for tests, exams, or discuss late deletions or withdrawals. To book these please call reception on 09 923 7681 to make an appointment.

Here at University Health and Counselling we provide short-term counselling support for students, for any issues that are impacting on their studies (e.g. life challenges, relationships, family, sexuality, depression, anxiety, stress, alcohol/drug issues).

Often 2 to 3 sessions is enough to help to manage things better and get back on track but if you need more sessions, we can discuss this with you and work together to develop a plan or offer referrals if appropriate.

In order to best fit your needs, we ask you to complete the questionnaire below. All information you provide will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Complete the questionnaire.

Note: The questionnaire will only display for enrolled students. 

Academic appointments

We are here to provide assistance when you need help with applying for assignment extensions, applying for compassionate consideration for tests or exams, or if you have any queries about late deletions.

To make an appointment, please contact reception on the number below.
Please note that you do not need to complete the online questionnaire to access academic appointments.

Phone: +64 9 923 7681

Urgent on-the-day appointments

If you or someone else is at risk of suicide or serious harm, we will ensure that a counsellor, or other clinician, is able to speak to you today. Please let reception know if this applies to you.

Our criteria for urgent on the day appointments are:

  • Concern about possibility of suicide or serious harm to self or someone else
  • Recent rape or assault or harassment
  • Witness to a traumatic event
  • Acute deterioration of an existing mental health condition.

Call 09 923 7681 to make an urgent on the day appointment.

Immediate Risk

For an emergency that is happening right now dial 111, or, to discuss your own or someone else's safety or acute mental health crisis, phone the Mental Health Crisis Line on 0800 800 717 (24 hrs).

Attending an appointment

You must bring your student ID card to all appointments – this is a safety requirement. A lot of our services are free to domestic students and for international students who have the right insurance plan.

Changing or missing appointments:

We require 24 hours notice of a change or cancellation of an appointment. If we do not receive notice, you will be charged a fee.

We do this to ensure that we have time to fill cancelled slots with students who may require our help and resources.

To change or cancel an appointment, call +64 9 923 7681.

Wellbeing groups

University Health and Counselling Service offers a range of wellbeing groups. We provide these as additional ways to support you in achieving academic success. The emphasis of our groups is on learning coping skills and progressing with your studies.

To look at the wellbeing groups on offer and register for these, visit Wellbeing groups.

All groups are held at City Campus, unless otherwise stated.

Frequently asked questions about counselling

What is counselling?

Counselling enables you to explore issues that are causing you concern and affecting your university studies. Together with the counsellor or psychologist, you can clarify goals and develop new skills, insights and strategies to deal with the difficulties that you are currently facing. Counselling draws on your existing strengths and knowledge of what works for you, as well as offering a fresh perspective, as appropriate.

Is my problem important enough?

All issues are important. If whatever is worrying or distressing you is preventing you from achieving your academic goals and enjoying your life, then it is important. Addressing a problem before it gets too big is often a more effective way of dealing with difficulties.

How will talking help?

The practice of speaking about your experience is a powerful tool in helping you to make sense of what you feel.

Holding things inside can increase feelings of isolation, shame or blame. Having your experiences heard and understood by someone who has had the privilege of talking with others who have had similar experiences, can help you feel less alone and hold hope for making positive changes in your life.

Sometimes, it is a relief to realise that you are not alone and that what you are experiencing may be similar to others.

What does confidentiality mean?

Counselling is completely confidential. Ethically, the only situation when counsellors may break confidentiality is when your safety or someone else’s safety is seriously at risk. If this was the case, it would be fully discussed with you first.

All counsellors are required to attend professional supervision. During supervision the content of counselling sessions may be discussed, but this is done without revealing your identity.

Will academic staff find out I’m coming to counselling?

Nothing that is discussed within the counselling session goes outside the counselling room, unless you and your counsellor agree that it may be helpful for your lecturer to have some understanding of your situation. You and your counsellor would then decide together, exactly what information you would feel comfortable passing on.

Can my parents find out I’m coming to counselling?

The University Health and Counselling Service is bound by professional ethics which prevent us giving any information about who is attending the counselling service. This includes parents. If parents do ring us in regard to their son or daughter, we explain that although we appreciate their concern, we are unable to give them any information without your permission.

What happens to my notes?

All counsellors keep written records. These are kept in a locked filing cabinet that is only accessible to the student’s counsellor or any other university counsellor who has contact with you. At the end of each year these files are transferred to secure storage and are held for 10 years from the point of last contact. We comply with the Health Information Privacy Code.

Can I pay for extra sessions?

You are not able to pay for additional sessions. Given the numbers of students trying to access the University Health and Counselling Service, we felt that a limited number of sessions was the only way to ensure equal availability for all students wishing to attend counselling. We can refer you for additional support if this is required.

Do you offer couple counselling?

We are able to see couples when both people in the relationship are students. If your partner is not a student, we can suggest skilled couple counsellors who practice privately in the community or counsellors who provide counselling through the Family Court.

What if I can't make or need to change an appointment?

If you can't make or need to change an appointment, you need to let us know as soon as possible.

You can cancel your appointment in person or by phone but for:

  • Doctor or nurse appointments you must do so at least 2 hours before your appointment.
  • Counselling a 24-hour notice period is required.

If you miss any appointment or do not cancel within the timeframe, you will be charged a fee of $10.

We are a student service and we need to make sure that any available appointment slots are filled by students who need help.

To cancel appointments at all health clinics and counselling sessions, call University Health and Counselling. Phone: +64 9 923 7681.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, you are welcome to bring a support person along with you for the initial counselling session.