Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Staff FAQ

What is counselling and how does it work?  

Counselling provides the opportunity for you to talk through things that are troubling you and help you make sense of these.  The counsellor will help you to talk about any aspect of your life which may be causing you distress. 

Counselling is a way of exploring choices, reducing confusion and making changes.  Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment can be very intense, expressing them in a safe environment helps reduce their intensity and makes them easier to understand.  The counsellor can help you to work out options available to you and help you follow whatever one you choose.  The aim of counselling is for you to make your own choices and decisions and put them into action.

The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) have produced It's Good to Talk, which is full of useful information for anyone considering counselling.

How do I make an appointment?  

The first step in making an appointment is to complete our online Self-Referral Questionnaire.

Once submitted, your completed documentation will be processed and we will then contact you, either by telephone or email, and invite you to attend an initial session with a member of the Staff Counselling Team.

If you do not want to complete this process online, copies of this Questionnaire can be obtained from the Staff Counselling Service at the Staff Counselling office at 51 Park Place and the Student Support Centre, 2nd Floor, Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus. Once completed these can be returned by hand. Opening hours 9am - 4pm, Monday to Friday.

What happens when counselling starts?  

You will have an initial meeting with a counsellor to assess your needs.

If counselling is recommended, ongoing appointments will be arranged. Six sessions are offered, with sessions normally scheduled weekly and lasting 50 minutes.

Ongoing counselling may not be available immediately; you may have to go on a waiting list at busy times in the Service.

Is counselling confidential?  

The counselling service is confidential, but it is important to be aware of the limits to the confidentiality we can offer.  We do not pass on any

Information you tell us except in exceptional circumstances, and then wherever possible in agreement with you.

We define exceptional circumstances as: threat to life for the client or someone else in their life; if children are at risk in any way (physically, emotionally, sexually or through neglect); or if we are directed to by a court of law.

What happens if I miss or cancel appointments?  

As there is a significant cost implication with missed appointments, if you are unable to attend a session please contact your counsellor or leave them a message with at least 24 hours notice. In any contract for six sessions, you may have up to two consecutive cancellations, after this you will not be offered further sessions. When you wish to finish counselling it is helpful to talk this through with your counsellor. It is always your decision to come to counselling.

What kind of problems can I bring to counselling?  

In counselling you can look at a variety of issues. In general, these would be things that are causing you concern about your emotional state. It might be a recent event, a work-related problem, or something from the past that is affecting you. Sometimes people are unsure about the cause of their concern or even do not know exactly why they are unhappy.

Some of the most common things that staff come to counselling to address are:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Lack of confidence
  • Panic attacks
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Abuse
  • Anger
  • Bereavement
  • Problems with drug or alcohol use
  • Health problems
  • Trauma following a difficult incident
  • Work-related stress
  • Bullying/harassment

Does it matter if I am not sure whether I ought to be seeing a counsellor?  

No, not at all. Please contact us to book an initial appointment to explore your concerns; if your problem lies outside our area of expertise, we will put you in touch with the right people for you to see.

How much will I have to pay?  

Counselling is free to Cardiff University staff.

Can anyone working at the University use your Service?  

Only members of staff who have been issued a University ID card can access our services.

Do you offer couples counselling?  

We only offer individual counselling appointments.