Making a counselling appointment



Sometimes, stuff just doesn’t quite work out properly.

Its important that you know that Flinders University provides a free and confidential counselling service that is available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students, including students studying entirely online. Students can access up to 6 counselling sessions in a calendar year.

Our counsellors have qualifications in psychology and social work and are highly experienced in a broad range of areas including mental health, academic study, cross cultural counselling, disability, sexual diversity, drugs and alcohol, trauma, sexual assault and family and relationship issues.

What does counselling involve?

Counselling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and helping environment.

Counsellors are trained to listen, help you deal with any negative thoughts and feelings, and work collaboratively to overcome issues that are causing emotional pain or making you feel uncomfortable.

Counselling differs from therapy/psychotherapy, in that it is usually shorter-term, deals with more practical and immediate issues, and focuses on finding solutions, both practical and emotional for a current situation. Psychotherapy tends to be longer, involve a more in-depth analysis of your personality and situation, and seeks to provide a more profound shift in life perspective.

Why do students come for counselling?

Students attend counselling for a number of different reasons, including:

Academic issues

  • time management/ procrastination
  • exam anxiety
  • presentation anxiety
  • support for supplementary examination applications
  • assistance with retrospective withdrawal and HECS remission applications
  • academic planning
  • disability acommodations.


Personal issues

  • relationship breakups
  • low self-confidence
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress management
  • problem solving/ decision making
  • managing a crisis
  • bullying

How to get a counselling appointment

If you are new to the counselling service, please email us on and leave your full name, phone number, and student ID.

Having received the email, one of our duty counsellors will then try (within 1-3 days) to get in contact with you via phone to speak to you about your issue.

Sometimes the problem can be resolved during that initial contact. Other times, the counsellor might suggest booking in for a counselling appointment, or they might refer to you a service better suited to your situation.

If booking in for a full appointment, please note that there might be a waiting time, as demand for the counselling service is very high.

Whilst waiting for your appointment, consider reading our Health and Wellbeing Blog or contacting our eMental Health Project Officer to find out about other services or resources that might be helpful in the meantime.

If you have seen a counsellor previously, and wish to make another appointment, please call 8201 2118 or contact your counsellor by email.

What to expect at your counselling appointment

During your counselling appointment, you’ll be encouraged to share what is troubling you, one-on-one with one of our counsellors, either face-to-face or over the phone/Skype. You may be asked to describe a difficult situation, or difficult thoughts and feelings you are struggling with. By discussing your concerns with you, the counsellor can help you gain a better understanding of the situation, of your thoughts and feelings, as well as helping you identify some potential solutions.

It is common to require only a few counselling sessions in order to come up with a plan to resolve the issues that are troubling you and Flinders students can access up to 6 sessions per year. If the issues you are struggling with require more intensive work, your counsellor will help you identify services where you can get that work done.

Other options

Whilst counselling services at Flinders are confidential and discrete, some students are uncomfortable with getting help on campus.

Other counselling options include:

  • Coaching (free)
  • visiting your GP and getting a mental health care plan to see a psychologist (often a cost involved)
  • Online counselling service such as eheadspace or beyondblue
  • Access Australia’s online support portal – headtohealth

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