About counselling

Find out more about the St George's Counselling service

Counselling can offer you the opportunity to share and think about emotional difficulties in your life. They may concern issues like cultural expectations, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. Counselling provides a non-judgemental, confidential setting in which to work things through in your own way.The aim would be to help you gain perspective and a better understanding of your situation, to enable you to develop a fuller, more rewarding life and to learn more effective ways of dealing with potential problems in the future. Individual counselling sessions last for about 50 minutes each.

The counselling service works with a variety of therapeutic models. A recent development has been an increasing use of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy). CBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on thoughts and on behaviour. Through structured work students/clients are encouraged to see how they may have fallen into a pattern of viewing circumstances and people negatively. Unfair and erroneous thought patterns about themselves and others can be changed through several sessions of CBT.

Here you can find answers to the following questions:

What specific issues do students discuss with a counsellor?

You can talk to a counsellor about anything that is causing you to feel worried or distressed. Some of the common problems that students face include:

  • Homesickness, loneliness, anxiety, depression
  • Problems with studies and exams
  • Problems in relationships
  • Family problems
  • Eating disorders, drugs, or alcohol problems
  • Bereavement
  • Sexual issues
  • Lack of self esteem and confidence
  • Overwhelming feelings such as anger, anxiety, panic

Seeking counselling is an important step but no problem is too small to be brought to the counselling service. Early consultation can prevent difficulties developing into unmanageable problems.

Who can use the service?

The service is available to all undergraduates and postgraduates studying at SGUL and in the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, as well as Pre-registration house officers. The service is also available for students of the Faculty of Healthcare and Social Sciences, and to SGUL staff.

How much does counselling cost?

The service is free.

Is counselling confidential?

Yes. Our counsellors are bound by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) Code of Practice. Your counsellor will not divulge any information about you outside the counselling service without your permission.

Will the fact that I've gone to counselling appear on my records?

No, not on your records, your degree transcript or anywhere else. If anyone contacts the counselling service to ask whether a particular student or staff member is seeing a counsellor, they will not be given this information. The exception is if the student or staff member has given express permission for that information to be passed on to someone.

What if I need to talk to someone urgently?

In an emergency and when the service is shut alternative sources of help are listed below:

  • NHS Choices - Find your local GP. NHS services in your area.
  • Nightline - Confidential listening and information for students by students. 6pm - 8am. Tel: 020 7631 0101
  • NHS Direct - For health advice and reassurance, online and on the phone.
  • The Samaritans - A nationwide charity providing 24-hour confidential emotional support to anyone in crisis. Tel: 08457 90 90 90. You can drop into your local branch to meet with a Samaritans volunteer face to face.
  • A&E at St George's Hospital - This is located on the ground floor of St James' Wing (PDF).


Undergraduate prospectus 2014 (PDF)

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