Counselling and CBT
Counselling and CBT
Counselling and CBT
Counselling provides a safe, impartial and confidential space to explore personal issues. Counselling gives you the opportunity to focus on your feelings, experiences or behaviours with a goal to facilitating positive, personally meaningful change.
We all experience difficult times in our lives and each one of us will feel moments of sadness, pain, and isolation. Such emotions are part of the human experience and are usually balanced with other feeings of happiness, wellbeing and contentment.
Sometimes, however, difficult feelings and behaviours can become overwhelming and do not seem to pass with the usual ups and downs of life. At times like these, you may wish to consider whether counselling might be beneficial to you.
Common concerns for students who may benefit from counselling include:
|General anxiety||Academic pressure||Procrastination|
|Low mood or depression||Family and relationship issues||Sexual orientation|
|Eating difficulties||Loss and bereavement||Panic attacks|
|Confidence issues||Feeling confused/unhappy||Cultural issues
In an ongoing counselling session you will have an initial assessment with a practitioner who will explain what to expect, the limits of confidentiality and our attendance/cancellation policies. You will be encouraged to describe your situation and the issues you are facing so that you can agree on the best course of action. We are able to offer short-term support and you will have the opportunity to discuss the number of sessions that seem suitable during your initial assessment. If you require longer-term support we can help you to find another counselling service that may be able to offer this.
Our counsellors are professionally qualified and have substantial experience of working with people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. You will also be given the choice of working with a counsellor in training. These counsellors are continuing their professional training and working towards registration with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
Some personal difficulties may require specialist support that is not available within this service. Other students may wish to pursue longer-term psychotherapy, or another form of psychological support. An outside referral may then be the preferred option. Other reasons we may refer you to an external service might include:
- When you wish to pursue further counselling but have graduated or interrupted your studies
- When you prefer to see a counsellor who has no connection with the University
- When a close friend, relative or partner who is not a student would like to see a counsellor
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a structured approach to overcoming mental health difficulties.
It is based on the idea that what you think (cognitions) and what you do (behaviours) affects the way you feel. Sometimes we can get stuck in a cycle of unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours which can worsen feelings of low mood, stress and anxiety.
CBT works by making practical changes in your thoughts and/or behaviours to break this cycle.
We all experience difficult times and will feel moments of sadness, pain, and isolation. Such emotions are part of the human experience, and are usually balanced with other feelings of happiness, wellbeing and contentment.
Sometimes however, difficult feelings and behaviours can become overwhelming and do not seem to pass with the usual ups and downs of life. At times like these, you may wish to consider whether CBT might be beneficial to you.
CBT can be used to tackle difficulties such as:
|Depression and low mood||Eating difficulties||Panic|
|General anxiety and worry||Phobias||Perfectionism|
|Procrastination||Social Anxiety||Sleep difficulties|
|Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)||Illness (Health) Anxiety||Stress|
If you are offered ongoing CBT sessions you will have an initial assessment with a practitioner who will explain what to expect, and the limits of confidentiality.
You will be encouraged to describe your situation and the challenges you are facing so that you can agree a course of action. The CBT we offer is short-term and you will have the opportunity to discuss the number of sessions that seem suitable with the practitioner during your initial assessment. If you require longer-term support we can help you to find another service that may be able to offer this.
CBT can be delivered in a range of formats. We follow a stepped care model which recommends accessing the most effective, least intrusive intervention first. This means we often advise that students access CBT-based self-help before progressing to one-to-one CBT. You may be offered:
- CBT-based self-help
- Computerised CBT (cCBT) - SilverCloud
- Group CBT
- One-to-one CBT
Practitioners deliver low-intensity CBT (CBT2) and high-intensity CBT (CBT3). In line with our stepped care model, we usually recommend starting at CBT2 for one-to-one support. You may be 'stepped up' to CBT3 based on the severity and/or complexity of your current situation.
Some students may require specialist support that is not available within this service. Others may wish to pursue longer-term CBT, or another form of psychological therapy. An outside referral may then be the preferred option. Other reasons we may refer you to an external service could include:
- A high demand for ongoing CBT
- A student has graduated or interrupted their studies but wishes to pursue further CBT
- A student prefers to see a practitioner who has no connection to the University
We also work alongside the local NHS service TALKWORKS.
Accessing counselling or CBT
Our Psychological Therapies Pathway offers confidential support for students experiencing difficulties with their mental health/wellbeing. Psychological therapies are provided by qualified practitioners who aim to help you cope more effectively with any personal and/or emotional difficulties that may arise during your time at University. Our pathway is made up of two teams: our Counselling team and our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy team.
Based on a student's current concerns, a number of support options can be recommended by a practitioner.
We follow a stepped care model which recommends accessing the most effective, least intensive treatment first. This means we often recommend students access self-help resources before progressing to one-to-one therapy. You may be advised to access:
- Self-help (books, websites or mobile apps)
- A workshop or group
- A Wellbeing Consultation (WBC)
- One-to-one sessions within Wellbeing Services
- Support from a service outside of the University, such as Talkworks through the NHS
A Wellbeing Consultation (WBC) is a one-off session with one of our practitioners. The practitioner will help you to formulate a plan and consider strategies you can take immediately to deal with a specific worry or concern. This may include:
- Learning new ways to manage troubling thoughts or feelings
- Knowing who else to contact within the University
- Recommendations for external support or online resources
If you feel that you may benefit from support within our Psychological Therapies Pathway, please get in touch to book a Telephone Referral Appointment. During your TRA, the practitioner will discuss support options based on your current concerns.
Please be aware that availability and waiting times for all our services fluctuate according to the varying demands of the academic year.
To maintain the safety of our student and staff community, we encourage you to contact us by phone and email where possible, and you can visit us in person at Reed Mews Wellbeing Centre. If you visit the Wellbeing Service in person, we ask that you follow the guidance set out in our Safe Community Charter which includes wearing a face mask (unless exempt) and making full use of our sanitising stations.
If you have any symptoms of COVID 19, however mild, do not attend any in-person appointments with Wellbeing Services or come onto campus. You should self-isolate and request a test by contacting the rapid response hub 01392 722929 or rapidresponsehub@Exeter.ac.uk. Any appointments will continue to be provided to you either by phone or video whilst you are self -isolating.