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Durham University

Counselling Service


The primary task of university counselling is to help you manage any difficulties that are impacting your successful engagement with your studies and with University life. Counselling sessions are a space for reflection and can be really helpful when you have a clear goal of what you would like to change or achieve in your life. They can also be helpful to clarify your goals and set you on the right track to self-motivated change.

The service supports you in identifying and overcoming barriers to achieving your potential. By promoting the development of self-awareness and a range of life skills, you can become empowered to make informed choices in your academic, personal and social lives.

Counselling is not the same as giving advice; it is a joint process between you and the counsellor that requires your motivation and active participation.

You may be offered counselling if we believe you will benefit from this, following an initial consultation.

Counselling is not appropriate at a time of crisis, but can be helpful when the immediate crisis is over and there is space to reflect and explore.

We offer up to six individual sessions (an initial contract of up to four sessions, supplemented by up to two follow-up sessions if needed).

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.

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 how to access local NHS services

Our counsellors are qualified, experienced practitioners; we also provide placements for counsellors in the latter stages of their training. All our counsellors acknowledge your right to choose the focus of your counselling sessions. They respect your own values, choices and lifestyle and work together with you towards making choices or changes that are right for you.

Counselling sessions last for up to 50 minutes. It is important to arrive on time as your counsellor will be working to an appointment system - sessions that start late will still need to finish on time. Missed sessions or cancellations within 24 hours of the session will count as one of your sessions.

At the end of your counselling you may be referred on to specialist or NHS services if appropriate, or recommended to use the self-help resources listed on our website. The website resources are available to you at any time if you wish to access them.

Our Counselling Service is accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and all counsellors work in strict accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework for Counselling Professions This service is free of charge

Contact us

Durham University Counselling & Mental Health Service

Palatine Centre
Stockton Road
Durham, DH1 3LE

Tel.: 0191 334 2200

The Counselling team is