Campus Stars: University Counselling Service

April 20th, 2021

The University of Nottingham Counselling Service is a team of administrators and fully qualified professionally accredited counsellors. The service provides year-round support for all staff and students through therapeutic groups, workshops, self-help resources and individual counselling.

The service was established around 1986 and is based at The Orchards – one of the original campus buildings on University Park. There are also team members working from Jubilee Campus, Derby Medical School and Sutton Bonington. The longest-serving team member has been at the university since 1991.

Since 23 March 2020, the Counselling Service provision moved to remote working due to the pandemic. The rapid transformation to working remotely, providing counselling support, and consultation to students and staff in the university community, therapeutic support groups, workshops, and webinars has enabled the team to continue to support the University community.

Since moving to remote working, the University Counselling Service has:

  • Continued to provide a safe, secure, and confidential space, extending this offer internationally where possibl
  • Offered more than 8200 appointments in which the impact of Covid has been a significant and ongoing theme for many
  • Provided a varied programme of groups and workshops which has been refined and offered online with success. The group counselling sessions have been well attended with positive feedback from those who have appreciated being able to connect with others during this time of restricted social contact
  • Continued to contribute to a wide range of student and staff health and wellbeing initiatives and events
  • Successfully gained British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) service accreditation and a commendation for the quality of our service provision

Staff counselling

An embedded counselling service for staff is an important aspect of support for the university community. The increase in staff attendance for counselling this year demonstrates the importance of this well used provision, especially in times of major changes within and external to the organisation.

The University Counselling Service has continued to provide consultation, support, and guidance to individual schools and departments following critical incidents and events affecting staff groups and individuals in staff teams. The service has continued to offer regular monthly reflection and support sessions for Student Support and Wellbeing staff and separate sessions for Support and Wellbeing Managers.

Messages for the rest of the university community

“2020 has been an unbelievable and challenging year.  It would be understandable to want to draw a line under it and simply forget it but our message would be to consider/reflect on what you have learnt about yourself, your relationships and your life that you would want to take forward with you especially when things move towards ‘normal’ again.  What might you want to leave behind?  And also, just as we had a period of adjustment into lockdown, allow yourself a period of adjustment out of it to get used to things and people again.” Jane Titterton

“And my message to the community as a whole is that I am regularly astounded and humbled by the resourcefulness and tenacity of members the university I speak to, some of whom are studying and working in really challenging circumstances. I really encourage us all to pause and take time to appreciate this in others in ourselves.” Dan Pitt

“We will prevail! This moment will pass…talk, share and care!”  Adrian Langham

And finally, what are your favourite things about working at the University of Nottingham?

“I’ve really appreciated the Covid testing facilities that the university has offered.  As a member of staff wanting to work on campus, it has made me feel safer, and that I am doing what I can to protect others.” Dan Pitt

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