What is counselling?

Counselling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and helping environment.

Counsellors are trained to listen, help you deal with any negative thoughts and feelings, and work collaboratively to overcome issues that are causing emotional pain or making you feel uncomfortable. Counsellors may draw on a range of different resources in the process.

Counselling differs from therapy/psychotherapy, in that it is usually shorter-term, deals with more practical and immediate issues, and focuses on finding solutions, both practical and emotional for a current situation. Psychotherapy tends to be longer, involve a more in-depth analysis of your personality and situation, and seeks to provide a more profound shift in life perspective.

Counselling is delivered by different professionals. We have both social workers and psychologists in our team who are experienced counsellors.

Why do students come for counselling?

Students attend counselling for a number of different reasons, including:

Academic issues

  • time management / procrastination
  • exam anxiety
  • presentation anxiety
  • support for supplementary examination applications
  • assistance with retrospective withdrawal and HECS remission applications
  • academic planning
  • disability accommodations.

Personal issues

  • Relationship breakups
  • Low self-confidence
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress management
  • Problem solving / decision making
  • Managing a crisis
  • Bullying

What is the counselling process here at Flinders?

Students typically present to the service by emailing us on counselling@flinders.edu.au. 

Having received the email, one of our duty counsellors will then try (within 1-3 days) to get in contact with you via phone to speak to you about your issue. 

Sometimes the problem can be resolved during that initial contact. Other times, the counsellor might suggest booking in for a counselling appointment, or they might refer to you a service better suited to your situation. 

For students who are booked in for a counselling appointment, during the counselling session, you'll be encouraged to share what is troubling you, one-on-one with one of our counsellors, either face-to-face or over the phone/Skype. You may be asked to describe a difficult situation, or difficult thoughts and feelings you are struggling with. By discussing your concerns with you, the counsellor can help you gain a better understanding of the situation, of your thoughts and feelings, as well as helping you identify some potential solutions.

It is common to require only a few counselling sessions in order to come up with a plan to resolve the issues that are troubling you. If more sessions are required, your counsellor will let you know. Flinders students can access up to 6 sessions per year. 

Counselling sessions can range in length from short 15 minute phone calls, to the more typical hour-long face-to-face appointment.