The What's of Counselling

What specifically would the counsellor help me with?

  • Address specific personal problems that are recent or historical.
  • Work through feeling emotionally overwhelmed.
  • Attend to psychological discomfort.
  • Cope with a crisis.
  • Work through inner conflict.
  • Improve relationships with others.
  • Enhance healthy boundaries.

What to expect in the counselling sessions

  • A typical length of a session is about an hour, and we offer some half hour drop-in times as well.
  • In the first session your counsellor will ask questions about what has brought you to counselling, if you've been to counselling before, and other assessment type questions which may include personal history.
  • You can expect to collaborate with your counsellor, to engage in an experience through talking, feeling sensations and emotions, perhaps moving the body, and being asked clarifying questions and exchanging some interpretive comments.
  • You and your counsellor will set goals and formulate intentions and directions to pursue in your work together.
  • The counselling experience has potential to impact your life so it is up to you to ensure you bring your honesty and curiosity as an active participant and co-collaborator in each of your sessions.
  • Results are often enhanced with additional efforts between sessions, and your counsellor may invite further reflection or other personal growth type activities.

What are the benefits and risks of counselling?

  • Counselling is different than having a conversation with a friend or family member. As you and your counsellor work toward specific goals, your counsellor will be both supportive and possibly challenge ideas or narratives that are with you. This can be experienced as uncomfortable.
  • Sometimes you may experience different emotions that can influence you to feel comfort and/or discomfort after and during a session. This is common as we process new ways of being and thinking and as we discuss upsetting situations.
  • Sometimes personal growth is uncomfortable in the short-term and this usually shifts to more comfort in the long-term.
  • As a result of counselling, you may experience changes in your relationships or beliefs that have unexpected results. Usually these changes have a wellness feature to them, yet this may be different and even difficult to experience.

What's the fee and process?

  • There is no fee for counselling at the University of Alberta's Augustana Campus.
  • We offer short term counselling and the length of counselling varies. The number and frequency of sessions is determined by each student's unique situation. Some concerns can be addressed in one or two sessions, while others need a number of sessions spaced over a period of time. You and your counsellor will discuss these options as you both clarify your therapeutic goals. It is not uncommon for the reasons to vary each time counselling services are accessed by a student. Each concern is a process to work through that involves collaboratively determining with your counsellor the goals and direction that will be taken.
  • In the event it is determined that a mental health concern would require longer term counselling than what we are able to offer then we would assist the student in finding a community resource.
  • The counsellor offers various therapeutic approaches that are relational and process oriented, mindfulness based, solution focused, and trauma informed.
  • In order to receive this counselling service students must be currently registered as a student with the University of Alberta.