Living@Guelph - Choose Your Own Adventure Living
Counselling Services
By Bruno Mancini

What We Do:
Counselling Services at the University of Guelph provides counselling to students who are experiencing personal problems. Often these problems present themselves as anxiety, depression, interpersonal difficulties, eating concerns or complications adjusting to university life. Counselling offers you the opportunity to talk to a counsellor, to explore, understand and work through personal issues and meet your goals.

How We Work:
Counselling is provided on a short-term basis using brief, goal-focused counselling methods. Usually a contract is developed between students and their counsellor to work on specific issues. On-going appointments are normally scheduled every second week for a maximum of eight sessions per semester.

Counselling Services also offer therapy groups, workshops and information sessions on a number of personal and psychological issues including stress management, eating disorders, men's issues, bereavement, and obsessive compulsive disorder. For more information on groups, call ext. 53244. We also offer a Student Support Network. You can drop in at Raithby House between 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Monday to Friday.

Who We Serve:
Counselling Service is provided to all University of Guelph undergraduate students taking three or more courses. Students taking two courses or less are seen for an assessment interview with a referral being made to an outside agency, if necessary. Graduate students are seen regardless of the number of courses they are taking.

Getting Started:
To schedule an appointment, call ext. 53244 or drop by the third floor of the UC between 9 am and 4 pm Monday to Friday. After completing a confidential information form, an appointment will be provided to meet with a counsellor who will listen to your concerns and help you explore your options for receiving further assistance.

Who We Are:
We have a friendly, resourceful reception staff who can provide information about our services. Our counselling staff is comprised of counsellors/therapists from a variety of backgrounds including Social Work, Couple and Family Therapy, Psychiatry, Psychology and Education.

Confidentiality:
We recognize that confidentiality is extremely important and assure it within applicable legal and ethical guidelines.

Canceled and Missed Appointments:
All appointments missed, rescheduled or canceled with less than 24 hours notice are subject to a $20.00 fee.

Counselling Services - A Personal Perspective
I am a third year student studying Science. I like to think of myself as a regular kind of student. I had a rough first semester, mostly because my marks took a dive compared to my OAC year. I came close to failing a few courses and I really questioned whether I should be at university.

Fortunately, my marks and mood improved in second semester, and when I came back to school for my 2nd year, I thought life couldn't be better. I had an apartment with some good friends, and was feeling on top of the world! But slowly, things began to unravel. I caught a nasty flu bug that knocked me out for two weeks of the 12 week semester. Then, as I tried to catch up, I experienced a series of personal problems. The first involved my parents' marriage. I knew things weren't great at home, but I never expected to hear that they were separating. The whole situation was filled with intense bitterness and resentment, leaving me torn between them, struggling with my own feelings of hurt and loss. Then, just as I was dealing with my family life (or maybe because of it), my own relationship began to unravel. It was a relatively new relationship, but the fact that it was in trouble didn't help my confidence or my self-image. I felt as if my world was unraveling, and I didn't know what to do.

Eventually, I took a friend's advice and began to see a counsellor through the university's Counselling and Student Resource Centre, even though I didn't want to. It was a big step for me to take, as I had always viewed "counselling" as something for everybody else, the students' with "real" psychological problems. But I swallowed my pride and went to my first appointment. After much talking and a few tears, I felt an incredible sense of relief. I wasn't given a lot of advice or any easy answers, but somehow I started to make more sense of everything around me.

After my fifth appointment, I felt much less overwhelmed and more in control of my life. I was able to make decisions about my academics and develop strategies to deal with my situations at home and in my personal relationships. Learning how to put things into perspective gave me an inner strength that I never knew I had.

It was tough to admit that I needed professional help, but I'll never regret seeking it out. Though I still struggle with the emotional issues that bombard my life, after my counselling experience I feel better equipped to deal with the stressful situations that life will undoubtedly continue to throw at me. So, if you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed with life, struggling with an important decision, or going through a low, difficult time, don't hesitate to contact a professional counsellor. There is no shame in asking for help, and you'll come out a better person because of it. Trust me, I know.

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