Counselling provides a safe and confidential space for you to talk about your concerns. A counsellor will not give you their opinions or advice, and they can’t prescribe medication. However, they will help you to explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and to find your own solutions to help you cope with your problems. Counselling at Essex is short-term, and can help you engage in your studies and in university life.
Our student counselling service is provided by Validium, our external partner organisation. All counsellors work to recognised standards within the profession and are registered or accredited with professional bodies.
If you feel that counselling might be beneficial for you, you can visit our Drop-in service and discuss this with an adviser in confidence, speak with your caseworker if you have one, or access the counselling form via My Essex. Once your form has been assessed by the Counselling Manager, it will be sent to Validium, after which you will receive an email explaining how to contact Validium for your assessment. The purpose of an assessment is to see if Counselling is the best option for you at the time or if there are other services within the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (SWIS) or external agencies that might be better suited to your needs.
If Validium feels that you would benefit from short-term counselling, you will usually be able to begin your counselling sessions within three weeks from the date of your assessment.
It is important to think about what support you need while you are waiting for counselling or even after you have completed your sessions. Here is a list of services open to students:
If you are thinking of long-term counselling, or would like to access specialist services, you might like to contact local, external organisations in Colchester, Southend or Loughton. Here are some suggestions for you to explore. It is important that you let them know that you are seeking support through their low fee services.
This list is for information only. We cannot endorse specific services so it is important that you get as much information as you need before you choose where to access counselling.
The Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service is bound by a strict confidentiality policy (.pdf). Our partner organisation, Validium, only employs counsellors who are registered or accredited with appropriate professional bodies, including the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
Information relating to the content of counselling sessions, including session notes, will not be seen by anyone outside the counselling service (see 'Confidentiality Policy' above for exceptional circumstances). If you use the service, you may have the right to access any records kept on you under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018.
Have you used counselling or any of our other services in Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity? Complete our SWIS Student Survey for your chance to win a £5 SU Voucher
If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.