Student Counselling

Scope of care

The Student Counselling Service strives to facilitate the development of University of Edinburgh students by providing psychological interventions to promote their holistic well-being.

The Student Counselling Service has three essential roles for advancing the educational mission of the University of Edinburgh:

  1. Providing clinical services that help students achieve their academic and personal goals.
  2. Educating the University community about the psychological and developmental needs of students through consultation, training and outreach activities.
  3. Responding to the psychological effects of crisis impacting individual students and the University community.

The Student Counselling Service utilises a brief therapy model to help students resolve or effectively manage a specific concern, or achieve a desired change in support of their academic and personal goals. Clinical services within this framework include therapeutic consultations to determine the appropriate level of care, including online supports, workshops and group events, individual counselling, and crisis intervention. The Student Counselling Service also provides consultation, outreach, and signposting services. Students are encouraged to refer themselves for a first appointment to discuss their concerns with a counsellor who will help determine the most appropriate support option(s) to address their concerns. Some students may require services and interventions beyond the scope of clinical care for the Student Counselling Service.

Students with the following concerns and characteristics will likely need a different type or level of care than what is within the role and scope of the Student Counselling Service. The list below reflects general guidelines and is intended only as a guide.

  • Students who appear to have longer-term treatment needs. Reasons may include

    • Concerns which a brief therapy model of treatment will not appropriately address
    • Active eating disorders requiring extensive medical monitoring
  • Students who need services other than those offered at the Student Counselling Service. Reasons may include:
    • Intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment
    • Medical detoxification and/or medical stabilization
    • Comprehensive assessments (e.g. learning disabilities, ADHD – carried out by the Student Disability Service)
    • Specialised services beyond the clinical expertise of the Student Counselling Service staff
    • Psychological assessments or evaluations for selection, performance prediction, or forensic purposes (e.g. employment application, security assessment, litigation or legal adjudications)
    • Students who are already receiving ongoing therapy with another mental health provider
    • Students seeking therapy for the sole purpose of obtaining documentation for another process (e.g. Special Circumstances)
    • Students who are unable to engage with the Service (e.g. repeated non-attendance at therapy sessions)