The Counselling Service is a team of trained and experienced practitioners to help you manage any difficulties that are impacting your successful engagement with your studies and with University life.
We are available all year round to registered students via self-referral and to staff members via a referral from Occupational Health.
We are based on the ground floor of in the Palatine Centre in Durham.
This short film describes the services we offer. A short description of our services and how we work is presented below.
Advice, guidance and self-help resources will provide the skills to help you manage your wellbeing. We offer
- Drop-in and individual sessions
- Themed workshops
- SilverCloud – online themed psycho-educational programmes available on your phone, tablet and laptop.
A Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner will help you identify the resources most appropriate to your need, and will keep in touch to monitor your progress and wellbeing.
For more information about the Psychological Wellbeing Service
Our counsellors can offer time-limited individual sessions to help you develop insight into your thoughts and feelings, and help build the skills to manage your wellbeing and make changes in your life. One or two sessions may be sufficient for you but we can offer up to 4 individual sessions which can be supplemented with the use of other resources and follow-up appointments. If you feel that a longer-term counselling intervention would be best suited to your needs, we can advise you on how to secure an accredited private counsellor or therapist or how to access local NHS services.
You can choose whether you want to start with a short-term counselling intervention with us or whether to refer yourself directly to the other options.
Mental Health Advice
Our trained Mental Health nurses offer advice and support for students with longer-standing or diagnosed mental illness. They can provide medication information and assist with your referral into or discharge from local specialist services.
Mental Health Advisors can also assist you in the preparation for any off-site or year abroad activities.
For more information about the Mental Health Advice Service
Specialist External Providers
We maintain strong links with a number of external providers who may use rooms within our Service or work from alternative premises around Durham City and the region. These include:
- Talking Changes, the local NHS psychological therapy service
- NHS Eating Disorder Service and other specialist services
- The Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre for issues relating to sexual violence
- County Durham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services.
How we Work
We offer a confidential service. No personal information, verbal or written, will be disclosed to anyone outside this Service without your consent unless we believe you or someone else is at risk. Our full contract with you is outlined in the Counselling Services Agreement, a copy of which you will find below under the heading Resources.
If you are formally referred to us by your College, GP or Academic Advisor, and do not attend the first offered appointment we will alert the referrer.
All of our staff members will record brief notes about their work. At completion of your support from us your notes will be retained for a five year period after which they will be destroyed.
If at any time after the end of a counselling intervention you wish to withdraw your consent for the Counselling Service to hold your personal data please email firstname.lastname@example.org and your data will be removed and destroyed. If you ask for data to be removed during a counselling intervention, we will not be able to proceed with any further support. Note-taking is an important part of our professional practice.
You have a right of access to the notes held in your record. If you are a registered student please email email@example.com to request access to your notes and we can arrange an appointment for you to come into the Service. Information on how to access the personal data that we hold if you are no longer a registered student at the University is at https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/sar/
Occasionally we may request to record a counselling session, for the training purposes of our staff. We will always ask your permission before doing this and we fully support your right to refuse.
A copy of our Privacy Notice can be accessed below under the heading Resources.
Feedback and Complaints
We welcome your feedback on our Services and we will ask you to complete an online form at the end of your support. If you are dissatisfied with our Service or have any concerns please raise them with your practitioner in the first instance, or the Head of Service via firstname.lastname@example.org
It is important that you contact your College/ Academic Department if you are experiencing difficulties that impact your studies. Standard letters of support for any academic concessions are only available for students who have had an assessment with a Mental Health Advisor or who are engaged in ongoing support from our Service.
Cancellations and attendance
It is your responsibility to let us know if you cannot keep your appointment. We ask for 24 hours’ notice for a cancellation. If you book your appointment online you will receive an email with instructions on how to cancel the appointment. If you book your appointment over the telephone, by email or in person, you can email email@example.com to cancel the appointment. All missed sessions will be counted as a session.
If you miss a booked appointment you will receive an email from the Service inviting you to re-contact us to book another session. We will not automatically re-book a session for you; we need you to positively engage with us to commit to a revised session date.
How to access the Service
To refer yourself to the Service:
Call 0191 334 2200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will invite you to complete an online Self-Referral Questionnaire. This will help us to understand the difficulties you are facing and how they are impacting you. It will help us to determine the most appropriate support for you based on your specific needs. Please fill in the questionnaire as fully as you can.
You will be contacted with an invitation to book an appointment or to attend a drop-in session. You can choose an appointment time that fits with your academic and other commitments. Our contact with you will be via your Durham University email address – please check it daily.
When you attend your first individual appointment or drop-in session you will be asked to sign our Counselling Services Agreement, which details our commitments to you, our expectations of you and our Privacy Notice.
Durham University Counselling Service