If you feel like you are holding something within and would find it helpful to talk to someone about it, Counselling might be the right service for you. You don’t need to be in a crisis to access counselling. You might just find it useful to talk about anything that is troubling you.

Our counselling service is delivered by the University’s partner organisation, Validium, and we work closely with them to ensure that our students receive the support they need.

Each of you would have had different thoughts and expectations about your time at University. A few of these expectations might have been fulfilled; at other times you might have been presented with challenges that made it harder to experience University as you wanted. New milestones bring different transitions and challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic has been the biggest unifying challenge for everyone and has undoubtedly altered the University experience for all our students. The individual impact of this is important to consider, and counselling can help support you through these life changes whether you are new to the University, getting ready to graduate later this year, or at any stage of your education.

Counselling is not about ‘fixing’ you or your problems. It is about providing an opportunity to talk about how you feel so that you can develop the skills to reflect, challenge yourself and introduce positive changes into your life. Counselling may be suggested to you by a family member, friend, Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (SWIS), Students Union, or a member of academic staff, but ultimately it is for you to decide whether this is right for you at that time.

Counselling provides hope during what may seem are impossible situations. Counselling at the University can support you with a range of difficulties, a few of which include anxiety, depression, bereavement, academic and exam stress, and relationships. Talking with someone independent and non-judgemental can bring huge benefits, including:

  • A better understanding of yourself and others, including your relationships
  • New or strengthened skills that help you think through problems from different perspectives
  • A stronger ability to cope with challenges
  • Increased day-to-day engagement in activities and tasks 

Counselling is available to all registered students at no charge. You can visit the Student Directory to complete a counselling form online via My Essex or speak with staff in SWIS or the Students Union if you need help completing your form and to learn more about the service.

Things to remember when seeking support through counselling:

  • Keep an open mind when you access counselling
  • Be prepared to learn about yourself
  • Remember that your counselling session is a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space
  • You can express yourself freely during your sessions in any way you want
  • You can still talk with your family and friends
  • It takes courage to ask for help. 

Find out more