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Questions Students often ask the Counsellors at Varndean

“My tutor suggested seeing a counsellor, but I’m not sure I need to?”
Tutors are often first to pick up when a student is troubled.  If your tutor suggests a counselling appointment, we would encourage you to come along to meet one of us to find out how counselling works at Varndean and whether it’s what you want.  Counselling works best when it’s your choice.

“Isn’t it a bit weird talking to a stranger about personal stuff?”
It can be great to talk to people you know and sometimes this is all you need to do.  Other times people close to you are part of the problem you are experiencing or maybe you don’t want to burden your friends and family too much. As you talk to a counsellor you may find that you are freer to express how you feel and work towards your own solutions.

“Do many students see a counsellor at Varndean?”
Yes we see lots of students – male and female.  People want different things from counselling and come for anything from 1-30 sessions over an academic year.

“What sort of stuff do people talk to you about? Does it have to be about things to do with College?”
You can talk about whatever is affecting you, inside or outside College.  The issues people bring are really varied but includes personal stuff that is worrying or getting them down.  People talk a lot about how they are feeling about themselves and what is making them feel that way.

“What difference does talking make?”
Loads!  Talking about things that are distressing can feel like a huge relief.  Counsellors listen and respond in a particular way which can often help you look at things differently or find more useful ways of coping.

“I know counselling is supposed to be confidential, but don’t you have to tell my parents? Do my tutors have to know?”
We always leave it to you to choose who you tell.  We don’t tell anybody inside or outside College what we have heard during a counselling session for 2 very good reasons: counselling works best if everything you say stays confidential, plus it is a professional requirement that we don’t make disclosures. There are some exceptions to this, which we are always careful to explain when we first meet.

“What’s the difference between a mentor and a counsellor?”
Mentors are 2nd year students who know firsthand what it is like to be a student here – they understand the pressures of the workload and know it can be tough to settle in. They will be able to offer friendly advice and peer support.
Counsellors are trained to work with personal and emotional issues.  If you are feeling distressed, anxious or “just a bit low” and you can’t shake it off, you may find talking to a counsellor helps you move forward.


The counsellors can be contacted in the following ways: -

Voicemail/text: 07747442059
Phone               546619
Post-box:          Leave a message in white post-box marked ‘Lorraine & Alison’ in the waiting area on ‘The Balcony’.

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