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What is Counselling?

Counselling provides a safe, supportive and confidential environment in which students can discuss any emotional or psychological difficulties they may be experiencing. The counsellor will use their training and expertise to help you clarify what issues are impacting on you and your life, and then facilitate exploration of how you can find better or different ways to live and different perspectives. Counselling is free for all TUS registered students.

FAQ Section

The short answer is everything, really! We deal with a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety/panic attacks, mental health difficulties, bereavement and loss, interpersonal or relationship problems, family difficulties, self-esteem, trauma, including sexual trauma, academic issues, eating disorders, self-harm and suicidal thinking Whatever your issue, if you are in emotional distress we encourage you to seek help.

TUS Midlands Student Counselling service provides a blend of both in-person & online/phone appointments.

Contact to register for counselling on our Athlone campus, or contact to register for counselling on our Midwest campuses (Moylish, Clare Street, Thurles, Clonmel and Ennis). Once you have registered you will be offered a brief assessment appointment with one of the counselling team. You can choose an in-person appointment, or a phone call. This appointment will last approximately 20 minutes.

The counsellor will work with you to find out your needs, and discuss whether counselling is suitable for you. If on-going counselling is agreed then we will arrange those appointments with you.

Counselling appointments usually last about 45 minutes. In most cases a number of sessions are required, often on a weekly basis. Due to the high demand for counselling services, normally six counselling sessions are available to each student. In exceptional circumstances this can be extended and will be assessed on an individual basis.

The service is confidential and operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI) Code of Ethics and Practice. This means that your personal details are not disclosed to anyone outside of the service without your expressed permission, except in exceptional circumstances regarding safety including suicidal intent, risk to a minor, and threats to lives of others.

TUS Student Counselling Service is a confidential mental health service staffed by professionally qualified psychologists, psychotherapists, and counsellors. It provides a range of resources and supports in the form of psychoeducational programs, workshops, groups, meditation, and counselling. Our aim is to provide easily accessible support for students when personal issues arise that affect their happiness, well-being, capacity to cope, relationships, or learning. The service is free of charge to registered students.

Some of the typical reasons for students attending the Counselling Service include difficulties in day-to-day coping, relationship difficulties, issues around sexuality, academic concerns, family difficulties, social anxieties, mood changes, stress or past or present traumatic events. Counselling provides an opportunity to speak privately with a professional about any problems that are worrying or upsetting. Talking to people who are specifically trained to listen, understand and make sense of problems can deepen a person’s understanding of what is happening, and then can help develop alternative ways of dealing with the situation. It is often helpful to attend counselling when ways of coping with a difficulty have been tried and are not working so that new ways of understanding and managing the problem can be explored.

To register for counselling, you will be required to create an account via the student portal on our website. In the portal you will need to complete 2 forms: a Counselling Registration form and a questionnaire. The questionnaire is a standardized form that helps us assess urgency and is part of a system that helps you and your counsellor track progress and improvement. Please ensure you complete all parts of each form as your registration will not be seen in the service if not fully complete. If you have difficulty completing the forms, please contact the Student Counselling Service Administrator for assistance.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure all information is correct and up to date. An emergency contact name and number are a condition of attending TUS Student Counselling service. Please ensure your emergency contact is aware that you are providing their details for emergency purposes.

The first appointment between a student and a counsellor is primarily a consultation to assess the problem scenario and whether counselling would be appropriate, to explain how the service works and answer any student questions. Brief consultations typically last 25-30 minutes. Upon completion of the consultation, you will be given the option to book a counselling appointment with one of the available counsellors. Appointments typically last up to 45 minutes and students typically attend weekly. TUS Student Counselling service operates on a brief service model, where students normally attend for between 1-6 appointments.

TUS Student Counselling offers in-person and remote counselling (Teams or phone).

Due to the high demand on the service, we request that if a student needs to cancel an appointment that they try to give 48 hours’ notice so that the appointment can be offered to another student on the waiting list.

Occasionally, due to unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary for your counsellor to cancel or reschedule your appointment. In the rare case this occurs we will try to provide as much notice as possible, via email or text message. Your appointment will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Due to the high demand on the service, we request that students attend their counselling appointments unless this is unavoidable. If a student does not attend their brief consultation appointment, they must contact the service again if they wish to engage. Students who do not attend two consecutive scheduled counselling appointments will be considered not wanting to engage with the service at this time. Students are free to engage with the service at any time.

What is discussed between a student and a counsellor is confidential and is not disclosed to anyone outside the Student Counselling Service. If the counsellor deems it beneficial to involve someone such as an academic, other Student Services Staff, a chaplain, a doctor or nurse, a parent, or any other person, this will be discussed fully with the student and their consent sought.

Ethically however, it may be necessary to involve another person/agency, if there is a significant and immediate risk of a student harming themselves, harming other people or in situations where a vulnerable person such as a child may be at current risk of harm. At the first appointment with a counsellor, students can ask any questions about confidentiality. Please note that we do not provide court reports nor victim impact reports.

For more detailed information on how TUS SCS collects, uses, and shares your personal data and your rights in relation to the personal data we hold on you, please refer to the Student Counselling Service privacy policy.