Frequently Asked Questions
How is the Counselling Service different from the Mental Health Service?
Please see Other Services for information on our approach and how we differ from McGill's Mental Health Service.
What is the counselling process about?
Trained and experienced in dealing with the broad scope of difficulties encountered by university students, the professional staff counsellors and psychologists of the Counselling Service emphasize our clients' strength and capacity for change. The counselling process works to enhance a student's ability to solve problems, make decisions, and cope more effectively with life's major stressors and daily demands. To learn more, please see Our Approach for more information.
When is the Counselling Service open?
The Service is open Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Do you have a "crisis" service?
Yes. Please see Crisis Support for more information.
How much does counselling cost?
Please see Our Services for information on cost.
Is counselling confidential?
Yes. Unless required by law, anything discussed in Counselling remains confidential. Parents, professors, administrators and others are not provided with any information regarding a student in counselling unless the student provides written authorization for release of specified information.
What can I expect when I come in for an initial "intake" session?
Please see Contact/Appointments for information on intake sessions and what to expect.
What kinds of concerns do students who use the Counselling Service usually have?
Concerns are wide-ranging. Students discuss personal issues such as self-esteem, depression, anxiety, anger, grief, sexuality, relationships, family, etc. They also discuss academic issues such as exam anxiety, procrastination, motivation, study skills and time management. Students may also have career concerns related to vocational interests and decision making. In effect, the issues raised by students cover the scope of human experience.
Can I choose to see a female or male counsellor?
Yes. Both female and male counsellors are available. You can let the intake counsellor know if you have a preference. Both male and female counsellors are also available to students who would prefer to speak in French.
Students are sometimes seen by graduate students doing their field placement at the Counselling Service. What kind of training do they have?
Master's and Ph.D. students completing their practicum or internship requirements with the Counselling Service are in the final stages of their training. They have been carefully selected, and are closely supervised by staff members of the Counselling Service and professors in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology.
I've been told that Counselling will give me a letter to get extensions on papers and defer my exams. Is that true?
Not strictly speaking, no. Counsellors will write Letters of Support for students, but only under very specific circumstances. Please see Our Services for more information.
How do I know I will benefit from meeting with a counsellor?
As in all things, there are no absolute guarantees. Counselling is not a magic cure, and there is generally no quick fix to many of life's concerns and problems. What can and often does take place in Counselling is an opportunity for individuals to discuss their concerns and issues in a relaxed and confidential atmosphere with an interested and objective professional. Not everyone benefits from counselling, but thousands of students have found it helpful in dealing with the academic, personal and social challenges of university life.