Counselling is an active process that is designed to give you the time, space and encouragement to explore and understand concerns and difficulties that may be troubling you at any given time. The counsellor will be able to help you think about your problems from a different perspective.
Their role is to provide you with a secure framework in which to reflect upon your circumstances. The aim is, that in time this will increase your awareness of yourself, your situation, and the choices that are open to you. Coming for counselling can take courage as it involves facing yourself and asking someone else for help.
The Counselling Service is located on the top floor of the Student Services Centre, North Campus. Access is by means of the stairs or by the elevator. Location is private and discreet.
Sometimes it helps to talk to someone outside your immediate network of friends and family, who will listen carefully to you and help you to make sense of events or experiences that may be on your mind. Counselling can also help with exploring the different options that may be open to you to make some changes in your life. If you are not ready to make such changes it can still help to talk with someone about them.
The Counselling Service operates under a strict code and policy of confidentiality. What you say will be held in strictest confidence. Confidentiality is a central and integral part of the counselling process which offers safety and privacy to those who choose to discuss personal and private concerns and it safeguards against any inappropriate or unnecessary disclosures. Information, written or verbal, given to the Service will be held in the strictest confidence. Information given to Service can only be released with your written permission. If confidentiality cannot be held for any professional reason your counsellor will explain the limits to confidentiality and discuss with you what may need to happen.
In exceptional circumstances counsellors may need to break confidentiality.
This occurs in one of two ways:
1. If a strong belief /evidence exists that there is a serious risk of harm or danger to you or another individual.
This may relate to issues surrounding sexual / physical / emotional abuse; child sexual abuse; child protection issues; rape; self-harm; suicidal intent; violence or criminal activity.
2. Occasions when disclosure is required as part of a legal process or Garda investigation.
In such instances information may be disclosed to significant others or appropriate third parties without permission being sought. Where possible a full explanation will be given regarding the necessary procedures and intended actions that may need to be taken.
For further information about confidentiality please see our Confidentiality Policy
No. Self-referral to the Counselling Service is welcomed and encouraged. In some cases students are advised by another professional / service /department to attend and this may be regarded as a referral.
Counselling is provided free of charge to all registered students of Maynooth University
Appointments can be made by contacting the Service on 01-7083554 during office hours or by calling to the Service Reception. You will be given a specific time and date that is convenient for you and will be asked to confirm your appointment the day before.
Students are asked to come in fifteen minutes in advance of their first appointment in order to complete the necessary forms required by the Service. All information provided is treated in strictest confidence.
During the initial session you will be asked to describe your current concerns and say what prompted you to come to counselling. The counsellor may need to ask further questions in order to explore and understand your situation or concern more fully.
At the end of this first appointment, the counsellor will talk with you about the possible options that best meet your needs. These might include gathering additional information, continuing with counselling, a medical consultation or a referral to another service.
No. Counselling records are not attached to any academic record and are stored safely and confidentially within the Counselling Service.
This generally depends on the nature of the presenting difficulty. The average number of sessions provided tends to be six to eight. In some cases a brief intervention of one or two sessions can be enough to get you back on track. In other cases more sessions will be required in order to explore the nature of the issue. A counselling session is usually 50 minutes in length. It is usual to meet with your counsellor once a fortnight. In some instances you may agree to meet for a set number of sessions and then review how things are going. The Counselling Service does not engage in long-term counselling and in such cases students will be referred on.
Students come to counselling with a variety of different problems and concerns.
Issues that present most frequently include:
Personal Issues: bereavement, relationship difficulties, low self-esteem or confidence, transitions and difficulties in settling in, loneliness, pregnancy, sexual issues.
Health and Well-being Issues: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, addictions, illness, suicidal ideation and self-harm.
Family Issues: abuse, financial difficulties, illness, conflict and relationships.
Academic Issues: pressure of work and meeting deadlines, exam anxiety, study skills, motivation and procrastination.If your concern or particular difficulty is not listed do not let that stop you from coming to talk with someone. If the counsellor is not in a position to help with your concern she will advise or refer you to the most appropriate support or service.
Counselling is appropriate for anyone who is troubled by a specific problem or general concern. A sense that all is not well is a good enough reason to come to the Service.
Availing of counselling can be helpful when:
- You feel isolated and on your own with your problems and concerns
- You don’t want to talk to family or friends
- You feel trapped, like there is nowhere to turn
- Things are not getting any better despite your best efforts
- You are feeling more anxious and worried than normal
- Your problems are affecting your sleep, your eating habits, your relationships, your classes, your work and your everyday life.
This is a common fear some students have on coming to counselling. Acknowledging the difficulty can often be a way of addressing it. The counsellor will be used to students having this experience. Going at a pace that is comfortable for you is important and this will be understood and respected by the counsellor. You will not be expected to say anything that you are not comfortable in sharing.
If you have given the Service permission to contact you either by phone or letter you will receive a follow-up from the Service. If you choose not to respond to this follow-up the onus will revert back to you to contact the Service when you so wish.
All students are asked to confirm their appointments with the Service. If it is necessary for you to change or cancel your appointment you are asked to do so at least 24 hours beforehand. You can ring on 01-7083554 or call to Reception. Your appointment will be rescheduled to a time that is convenient for you.
During the counselling sessions, feel free to ask about the counselling process and make suggestions about what you think might be more helpful to you. If you decide to stop coming to counselling discuss this with your counsellor. It can be helpful to talk about such endings.
Psychiatric evaluation and consultation is available upon appropriate referral. Such referrals come through the Student Health Centre or the Counselling Service. External referrals from your GP or Community Health services are also accepted upon contacting the Service. The psychiatrist is based in the Counselling Service one day per week throughout term-time
The Drop-In service is provided for the benefit of students who have not previously engaged with the Counselling Service. Some students may use Drop-In to seek further information about counselling prior to making a full appointment. The purpose is to offer a brief intervention in relation to particular concerns or worries. It is strictly confidential. The Drop-In service is provided daily during term-time from 2.00 – 3.00 p.m. and operates on a first come, first served basis. If you cannot be seen on any given day every effort will be made to facilitate you on a different day or time.
Following attendance at the Drop-in Service you may be referred to a more appropriate service, be offered an appointment with a member of the counselling team or you may decide not to take any further action.
Yes. We are here to help you talk about the situation and assess its seriousness as well as the possibility of referral. It can be a helpful way of clarifying your own feelings about the situation and gives time to considering the most appropriate ways you can help.
Helping a friend in need is an important but at times a difficult task. Not everyone will appreciate your efforts to help. It is important to remember that coming to counselling is a personal choice and not for everyone.
- If any student appears to be in imminent danger please contact the emergency services and follow the steps outlined:
- Contact one or more of the emergency services listed below
- Highlight the urgency of the situation
- Give an accurate, factual account of your concerns/the situation and/or student in question
- Request immediate help and determine what appropriate intervention can occur in the moment
- Confirm your location if needed and all those present
- Do not leave the student unattended
- Secure an emergency appointment with a relevant campus support service if appropriate
- Provide an escort for the student if the intervention involves attending a campus support service
- Report any threat or physical violence immediately to Security
- Remain calm and keep a safe distance from someone who is angry or hostile
- Speak quietly and calmly when addressing the individual. This is more effective than telling the person to ‘calm down’
- Contact the Gardaí at 999 or 112 if the student is off-campus
- Do not promise to keep threats of harm to self or others a secret.
Ambulance - 999 / 112
Student Health Centre 01 - 708 3878
Doctor - Glenroyal Centre 01- 629 1169
Campus Security 01 708 3929
Gardai 01 6291444 or 999 / 112
IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS NOT ADDRESSED HERE PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US ON 01-7083554.