Terms and conditions

Counselling Service terms and conditions

Updated on 13 December 2023

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The Counselling Service is not a crisis service. This means that it does not deal with emergency situations or urgent referrals for counselling. If you are feeling that you are in crisis and you cannot cope you should call 999 or your GP.

What is the Counselling Service?

The Counselling Service provides a safe space for current University of Dundee staff and students to talk about their feelings and emotions without being judged or criticised. 

Our counselling sessions involve a trained counsellor listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues.  Counselling sessions are provided free of charge, however, use of the Counselling Service is limited to staff and students and subject to terms and conditions. 

In certain circumstances, the Counselling Service may be made available to other designated third parties.

What does the Counselling Service not offer?

The Counselling Service is not a substitute for long term counselling or treatment for serious mental health issues. If you are assessed as being someone who would benefit more from long term counselling, then you will be asked to contact your General Practitioner (GP) instead of being offered counselling sessions by the Counselling Service. 

The Counselling Service is not a diagnostic service and cannot assist with diagnosing medical conditions or provide medical advice. 

The Counselling Service cannot prescribe anti-depressants or any other medication.

How do I make an appointment?

The best way to may an appointment is by using the online booking form on the Counselling Service webpage.

Once you have completed the online booking form you will be emailed an appointment for an initial assessment with one of our counsellors.

Where will the sessions take place?

Sessions can be held in person or remotely. You will have the option to select which you would prefer when you complete the online booking form.

Normally in person sessions will be held at the Support Hub, Old Technical Institute which can be accessed using the entrance on Small’s Wynd. Some in person appointments may be available at our Kirkcaldy Support Hub, Forth Avenue, Kirkcaldy. 

Remote sessions can be arranged using Microsoft Teams. It is important that if you choose to have remote counselling sessions you are in a private space where you will not be overheard. This is in order to protect your privacy and ensure that any discussions you have with a counsellor are confidential.

What should I do if I am unable to attend my appointment?

If you have to cancel a session for any reason you must provide at least 24 hours’ notice so that the session can be offered to someone else. The best way to let us know that you are unable to attend an appointment is by sending an email to the Counselling Service – counselling@dundee.ac.uk or by calling us on 01382 384164.

If you do not cancel a counselling session in time, or fail to attend for a session, then it will count as one of your allocated counselling sessions and you will not be entitled to re-schedule that session. 

What will happen if I am late for my appointment?

It is very important that you arrive on time for your appointment as the time of the session cannot be extended. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late then it is likely that the session will be cancelled and it will count as one of your allocated counselling sessions without you having the option to re-schedule that session.

Is the Counselling Service open all year round?

The Counselling Service is open throughout the year, including during the summer months. It is closed between Christmas and New Year in accordance with the University holiday period.

How long will I have to wait to get an appointment?

Waiting times will vary depending on how busy the Counselling Service is. It may take up to 15 working days for an initial assessment appointment to be allocated. Following that, it may take over six weeks before any further counselling sessions can be offered. 

Are the counselling sessions confidential?

We provide a confidential Counselling Service and will not share your information unless:

  • you have asked us to;
  • there is a legal obligation for us to do so;
  • we believe that you or someone else is in danger.

For more information about how we use your information, please refer to the following:

Can I bring my children to a Counselling Session?

Children are not permitted to be present for a counselling session whether that be in-person or remote. If it comes to the attention of a counsellor that there is a child or children present before or during a session then that the session will be brought to an end. 

We understand that it can be difficult to arrange childcare, however, it is not possible to leave children unaccompanied in the reception or other areas of the Support Hub.  

Can the Counselling Service help with me with mitigating circumstances?

The Counselling Service can provide confirmation of attendance to support you with mitigating circumstances but only if you have been engaging with ongoing counselling for more than two sessions.

Can the Counselling Service provide advice relating to university policies or other issues with my studies, finances or accommodation?

The Counselling Service does not offer advice in relation to University policies and procedures or other issues such as those relating to your studies, finances or accommodation. If you need advice about any of these matters you should contact the following:

What should I do if I am not happy with the service?

If you are not happy with the service you have received from the Counselling Service then we would encourage you to get in touch with us directly to discuss any issues you may have. You should email counselling@dundee.ac.uk or call us on 01382 384164.

If you would like to make a complaint about the Counselling Service then you should refer to the University’s complaints handling procedure. Further information about making a complaint and a link to the online complaints form can be found on the Complaints webpage.

Terms and Conditions

  1. These are the terms and conditions which apply to the Counselling Service at the University of Dundee (“the Counselling Service”). 
  2. The Counselling Service is only available to employees and matriculated students at the University of Dundee.
  3. Notwithstanding Clause 2, the Counselling Service is not open to the following categories of staff and/or students:
    • those who are not in the UK at the time
    • those who have been suspended or terminated
    • those who have temporarily withdrawn
    • former members of staff
    • those who are not employees of the University
  4. All Counselling Services provided by the University are subject always to availability. Any bookings may not be transferred. No guarantee is provided that you will receive Counselling Services and we accept no liability in respect of this.  We may also refuse to take any bookings for Counselling Services. We will consider offering you a maximum of six counselling sessions.
  5. The Counselling Service will apply its discretion in providing you with a counselling session. Any counselling session is offered on a needs assessment basis and the University will not be liable to you for any refusal or delay in providing a counselling session to you.
  6. The Counselling Service cannot accept responsibility for your response to counselling and you acknowledge that any advice or assistance given during a counselling session does not create any legal liability on the part of the individual counsellor or the Counselling Service.
  7. If you are not able to attend a scheduled counselling session you must notify the Counselling Service at least 24 hours before the time you are due to attend. If you fail to do so, or fail to attend the session, it will be counted as one of your allocated counselling sessions and will not be re-scheduled. We may withdraw our services and refuse any further services to you on persistent cancellation or non-attendance.
  8. We can only disclose information about you or the conversations together with your written consent. We will not disclose any information about you or information about the services you receive. However, there are limitations to confidentiality:
    • If you disclose or imply a plan to harm yourself, we may discuss the best course of action for you and may inform Student Services, your next of kin or contact your GP, if we feel it is appropriate. If you disclose to plan or intend to harm another person, or carry out any illegal activity, as a mental health professional, we will require to report this information to the legal authorities.
    • If you state or suggest that you are abusing or have abused a child (or vulnerable adult) we must report this information to the appropriate social services and police.
    • Confidentiality may be broken for reasons of public interest related to public health.
  9. We reserve the right to terminate our sessions at our discretion, for reasons including but not limited to non-compliance with therapeutic recommendations, conflict of interest, failure to participate in therapy, your inappropriate behaviour or your needs being outside of our scope of practice or competence. If we do terminate the sessions for whatever reason, we will also attempt to ensure a smooth transition to another therapist by offering specific referrals to you.
  10. Notwithstanding Clause 9, a counsellor can decide not to commence a counselling session or to end a counselling session at any time if, in the opinion of the counsellor, it is unsafe or inappropriate to start a session or to continue with one. This may include, but is not limited to, situations where privacy cannot be guaranteed, children are present, you are late for a session and/or the counsellor feels that effective therapy cannot be provided.
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