Why counselling?

We all experience distressing feelings at some point in our lives. These can be feelings of sadness, worry, stress, anger, anxiety, fear, jealousy or grief and are completely normal. Negative thoughts, often as a reaction to difficult circumstances or events, are also normal and very common.

When these thoughts and feelings become so frequent and/or severe they significantly disrupt our ability to cope with daily life and become a serious problem.

Many people find support in talking to close family or friends. However, sometimes talking about your deepest distress to those closest to you can be difficult and painful and not very productive.

At times like this it can help to talk to someone who is objective and non-judgemental, who has been trained to listen and whose focus is on helping you. 

 

How we can help

UCMH Counselling Services provide a safe and confidential atmosphere. Our professionally trained counsellors and psychologists can help you to explore the issues troubling you. They will help you consider all available options and take the most appropriate action to resolve your problem.

Your counsellor will work with you to clarify:

  • the scope and impact of your presenting problem
  • your beliefs about the presenting problem
  • the kind of changes you want to make
  • the kind of life you want to build
  • the kind of person you aspire to be in order to build the life you want
  • your blocks to becoming the kind of person you aspire to be
  • the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve your goals.

Your counsellor will not perform miracles, provide quick fixes, tell you what to do or make moral judgements about your values, choices and lifestyle. Rather, your counsellor will respectfully guide you to discover the decisions, choices and changes that are right for you.

 

The counselling process

Counselling is a process. It requires your active participation, motivation and commitment, and usually requires more than one session. The number and frequency of sessions depends on your situation and need.

If you are experiencing intense emotions or are navigating a crisis, you may need counselling once a week until your feelings and perspective are more settled. Then you can move to every second week or even monthly, as work and progress continues. The average number of sessions is 3-6; however this depends on your need.

The counselling process is different for each person. It usually involves being open, honest, vulnerable and being open to change. This may mean tolerating temporary emotional discomfort and spending some of your free time differently as you learn new ways of doing things.

Sometimes people say they feel worse before they feel better. It is important that you trust your counsellor so that when you experience discomfort or distress, you feel safe enough to be open and examine the cause.

In your initial counselling sessions, you and your counsellor will decide on a plan of action to resolve your concerns. As your counselling sessions proceed, you and your counsellor will assess how effective sessions are and how your plan is progressing. You are encouraged to give your counsellor feedback on how you are finding the counselling sessions so that your counsellor can best meet your needs.

If you decide to discontinue counselling, please let your counsellor know so that we can ensure you have follow-up support and can be referred to other services as necessary.

Counselling sessions are confidential. We will not share any information you provide us with, except with your written permission or as required by law.

 

The first counselling session

Most people say they feel a little uneasy about their first appointment.  Rest assured that all of our UCMH Counselling Service psychologists and counsellors are friendly, caring people who will do their best to set you at ease.

The first counselling session takes about 60 - 90 minutes as there will be paperwork that you need to complete. This is a necessary process called 'informed consent' and is intended to ensure that you understand the counselling process, along with issues such as confidentiality, before beginning to discuss private details.

In the first session you and your counsellor will take the time to get to know each other and discuss your concerns, needs and goals. Take things at your own pace and allow yourself to get a sense of whether or not this feels right for you. If it doesn’t feel right, your counsellor will be happy to refer you to another UCMH counsellor or someone independent of UCMH Counselling Services.

 

General counselling costs

UCMH Counselling Services want everyone to be able to access our generalist counselling service. We run off a not-for-profit model so our fees are very low in order to be accommodating.

Full rate:            $40 / hour

Concession rate: $15 / hour

 

How to access counselling

We only provide this service from our Parramatta office. Either call us on (02) 9891 6212 or visit the contact us page. No referral is needed.