What is Counselling

Counselling sessions provide a regular time and space, within a therapeutic relationship, in which

  • To share, explore and understand the nature of the problem and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviours.
  • To develop a more “enabling” emotional, cognitive and behavioural framework, drawn from session material and personal resources.
  • To obtain some support in the delicate process of adjustment and change.


The therapists will see students individually for 50 minutes, usually (but not necessarily) once a week on the same day and time.

Regular attendance is essential and if for some reason you cannot make the appointment, please inform the Health Centre with 48 hours notice. If you fail to attend your appointments you will be discharged back to your GP.  

The number of sessions offered will vary according to individual needs, though for longer-term help students are usually referred elsewhere.


CBT: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is CBT?

It is a way of talking about:

how you think about yourself, the world and other people

how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings.

CBT can help you to change how you think (‘Cognitive’), what you do (‘Behaviour’) and how you feel. Unlike some of the other talking treatments, it focuses on the ‘here and now’ problems and difficulties. Instead of focusing on the causes of your distress or symptoms in the past, it looks for ways to improve your state of mind now.

When does CBT help?

CBT has been shown to help with many different types of problems. These include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • panic
  • phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia)
  • stress
  • eating disorders
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • bipolar disorder

CBT may also help if you have difficulties with anger, a low opinion of yourself or physical health problems, like pain or fatigue.

How effective is CBT?

It is one of the most effective treatments for conditions where anxiety or depression is the main problem.

It is the most effective psychological treatment for moderate and severe depression.

It is as effective as antidepressants for many types of depression

How long will it last?

A course will usually be 6 weekly 50 minute sessions.

Counselling / Short term Psychotherapy

What is Counselling / Short term Psychotherapy?

Counselling and Short-Term Psychotherapy are used to treat emotional problems and mental health conditions.

This involves talking to a trained therapist. It allows you to look deeper into your problems and worries, and deal with troublesome habits, unhelpful behaviours, difficult thoughts and feelings as well as a wide range of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

Psychotherapy usually involves talking to a therapist one-to-one, but sometimes other methods may be used in other services – for example, art, music, drama and movement. It can help you discuss feelings you have about yourself and other people, particularly family and those close to you. Other services that are not currently offered at Imperial College Health Centre (ICHC) that also offer psychotherapy can use couples or group therapy.

How long will it last?

Here at ICHC You will meet your therapist regularly, usually once a week, for several weeks (usually 6) and individual sessions last 50 minutes.