1) WHAT IS COUNSELING?
Counseling is not all about giving advice. It is quite different from the general opinion held by people. Going for a counseling session in no way indicates that you are helpless or incapable of solving your problems. By talking about your problems or concerns with a counsellor you will deepen your understanding of your problem and develop the means to deal with them.
2) WHAT DO I SAY? WHAT WILL THE COUNSELLOR THINK OF ME?
It doesn't really matter how you present your problem. You can say whatever you like. The counsellor will help you explore the matter and will keep referring to you to clarify his/her understanding.
3) WHAT IF I STILL FEEL ASHAMED OF MY PROBLEMS? IF I HAVE HAD COUNSELING, DOES IT GO ON MY RECORD?
Counsellors do accept that it is natural to want to appear successful and that most of us feel some shame when we have problems and so don't want to advertise our difficulties. This is one of the reasons we place a great emphasis on confidentiality. The centre makes appropriate referrals when professional assistance can no longer be fruitful. The institute protects confidentiality and releases personal data only according to prescribed laws or institute policies. The information shared and records maintained are kept safe and confidential, unless such disclosure is necessary to protect you or another person.
4) WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE GO FOR COUNSELING?
All sorts of people go for counseling and this does not mean that they are "mad" or "weak". On the contrary, people who do come for counseling are showing a willingness to deal with their problems rather than running away from them.
5) IS SEEKING COUNSELLING ONLY FOR THE MENTALLY ILL OR A SIGN OF WEAKNESS?
Counselling is a positive step towards dealing with negative emotions and feelings. It takes strength, courage to recognise one's limitations, and tap on resources to resolve an issue that might otherwise adversely affect one's quality of life. Counselling is a powerful source of help in the right direction. It is perfectly normal and acceptable to seek professional counselling, even for people without mental conditions.
Student Counsellor is a mental health professional who is experienced in providing objective listening and perspectives on nearly any issue that may be of concern to you.
It is important that face-to-face discussions take place between the Student Counsellor and the student as counselling is a collaborative effort that involves in-depth discussion of the issues, thoughts, and feelings as well as exploration of options. In instances where students prefer an anonymous setting, we may refer them to alternative community resources that are currently available.
6) WHEN SHOULD I SEEK COUNSELLING?
It is important to recognize when you are having difficulties and seek help as soon as possible. If you have a hard time performing your usual daily routine, adjusting to changes you have recently experienced or something has been bothering you for a while, it is probably good to see someone. Often, talking to a trained professional helps us.
7) DO I NEED TO HAVE A SERIOUS PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEM TO VISIT THE COUNSELLOR?
No. Counselling can be carried out to help you solve any of your problems. Visiting a counsellor does not mean that you are in a state of mental illness. Counsellors are normally non-medical personnel who work by talking and encouraging you to find your own solutions. Counsellors can, however, recognize the symptoms of severe mental distress and may suggest you consider medical help if this is appropriate.
8) ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT ANOTHER STUDENT AND NOT SURE WHAT TO DO?
It can be extremely stressful and anxiety provoking if you are worried about another student's welfare, particularly if their behaviour is putting themselves or others at risk. You can talk to the Student Wellbeing Team or another member of staff without giving specific information about a fellow student. You don't have to give their name if you don't feel comfortable.