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Staff Counselling Centre



Who can use the Staff Counselling Centre?

The Staff Counselling Centre is available to all staff with a University contract of employment: academic, academic-related, assistant, research and technical.

We regret that temporary workers on assignment through the Temporary Employment Service are not eligible to use this service.

Staff at institutions such as Cambridge University Press & Assessment & the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, cannot be seen for counselling, as these are separate employers.

Staff who are employed by a College but who do not have a University contract may use the Staff Counselling Centre. Please check our college drop down menu to see if your college has made specific funding arrangements with our service. If your college is listed the first step is to obtain a referral from your College Personnel Officer or College Nurse (subject to specific College arrangement) in order to secure funding.

Do I have to pay?

University Staff: No, the Staff Counselling Centre is available free of charge to all staff who hold a University contract of employment.

College Staff: please see Information for College Staff

How long will I have to wait for an appointment offer?


We do our best to see you as quickly as possible.  The service experiences high levels of demand and waiting times are approximate.

Initial Consultations: We aim for this to take place within two weeks of your application

Weekly Appointments: We aim to offer weekly sessions within 6 weeks of your Initial Consultation

Please be as flexible as possible regarding your availability, as this will make your wait as short as possible.  

Can I request a specific time or day for my counselling?

Yes, but hold in mind that the more flexibility you can offer, the easier it is for us to allocate appointments.

Can I change the appointment time offered to me?

You will be offered a specific appointment time, according to the availability you have given to us on your Pre-counselling form. If you are not able to attend at this time please let us know as soon as possible. When you have notified us that you are not able to attend at the time offered, we will place your name back on the waiting list so that the appointment can be offered to someone else. We will reallocate an appointment to you as soon as we can.

Weekly counselling appointments are provided at the same time on the same day, with a particular counsellor and this remains the same for the duration of the sessions. When you complete the availability chart on the Pre-Counselling Form it will be helpful to indicate times at which you can consistently attend.

How long are the appointments?

 The Staff Counselling Centre offers counselling appointments by video call, telephone call or in person at the University Staff Counselling Centre. Appointments last for up to 50 minutes.

Do I have to fill in a Pre-counselling form?

University Staff: Not if you don’t want to. 

The information about your personal circumstances that you provide us with will help us to allocate you to a counsellor from the USCC team, but we understand that sometimes a difficulty is too personal and sensitive, or distressing to write about. We do require some basic information  in order for counselling to proceed so we appreciate your cooperation with filling out as much of the form as you can.

If you do not want to provide information using the form, we can offer a brief pre-counselling session at which you can provide this information to one of the counsellors. 

College Staff: Please see Information for College Staff

Does my problem have to be about work?

No. If work is affecting your emotional or psychological health or if your emotional or psychological health is affecting your work,you may find counselling helpful. Staff come with work issues such as stress, bullying, work block or difficult relationships with colleagues. They also come with a wide range of other personal issues such as bereavement, relationship difficulties, traumatic experiences, anxiety, low mood or depression.

Does my problem have to be a serious one to see a counsellor?

People often fear that their difficulties are not serious enough to warrant seeing a counsellor.  It is important to get help and support when you feel you need it so if in doubt please try not to worry about whether your problem is serious enough. We would much rather you came when you start to think you need help than for you to wait until you reach crisis point.

Will my counsellor tell anyone about my problems?

The counselling we offer is confidential, which means we will not discuss your situation with anyone outside the Centre, unless we have your consent to do so. Exceptions to this rule apply only if there are legal or statutory obligations to disclose, or if there is a risk of serious harm to you or someone else. For more information about this please see our Confidentiality Policy

We know that often people are best supported by networks of support and sometimes it might be helpful for your counsellor to liaise or communicate with others relevant to your situation – your GP, other support agency - about the difficulties you are having. We would only do so with your explicit agreement and within the parameters of our confidentiality policy

Will records be kept about my counselling?

Yes. In accordance with professional practice, the University Staff Counselling Centre records some anonymised information for statistical purposes and the contact information that you provide us with on your pre-counselling form. Counsellors also keep brief notes following each counselling session. All of these records are strictly confidential and are not released outside the Service apart from in the exceptional circumstances described in our confidentiality policy

You have the right to request your counselling records. For more information about our record keeping and data protection matters, please see our section on Data Protection

What if I am worried about someone else?

If you are worried about a friend, partner, colleague or relative, you can arrange a single consultation session to discuss your concerns. We may not be able to respond immediately, but we will do our best to see you quickly.


Other Links

Calm Space

Are you feeling stressed, anxious and worried, or low in mood and energy….?

The University Staff Counselling Centre invites you to join Calm Space - an online support session which will use relaxation, mindfulness practice and other restorative techniques to help you manage the stresses and strains of daily life.

More information