Student Services is here for you!

McGill offers a wide variety of services to support student success and well-being. Due to the COVID-19 alert level in Montreal, some of our services will return to remote delivery until further notice. For details, click visit the "How to Access Student Services" page. In all cases, access is by appointment only, so please contact us for an appointment.

Coronavirus Updates How to Access Student Services Remote Student Life Portal


What to Expect in Your First Session with a Counsellor

If you're nervous about meeting with a mental health professional for the first time, it can help to know what to expect.

When making an appointment, you can request your counsellor to be: 

  • French-speaking
  • Indigenous
  • A particular gender
  • Or to specialize in (i.e. have knowledge of and a background in) LGBTQ+ experiences

Please note that preferences may impact your wait times.

What will the first session be like?

At your first session, you'll be matched with your clinician. They will try to understand the challenges that you're facing.

Together you'll develop a personalized wellness plan best suited to your needs. It might include:

  • One-on-one counselling
  • Group therapy
  • Peer support
  • Referral to a psychiatrist
  • Another form of support

This clinician will be the point of contact for follow-ups around your wellness plan.

What will my clinician expect of me?

It's up to you to determine what you want out of a session, but your clinician will expect you to be an honest, active participant.

You'll be expected to work with your clinician to establish goals, put together a wellness plan and be ready to discuss it and re-evaluate it as needed.

You should also be ready to talk to your clinician if you have any questions about their treatment approach, or if you feel it's not working. 

How should I feel after?

Your clinician will be supportive and interested, but you should also be prepared for them to challenge you.

It's normal to leave a session feeling better, but you might also feel tired, upset or like you're not progressing as quickly as you'd hoped.

Change can be tough, but it's usually positive in the long term. Please talk to your clinician if you have any concerns or questions.

How many sessions will I have?

Since McGill offers short-term support only, your clinician can refer you to resources in the community if you require or prefer long-term support.

You can discuss the number of sessions you'll have with your clinician, since it depends on a number of factors.

For answers to other commonly asked questions, check out the FAQs page.

Not sure if a mental health professional is right for you? Answer some questions on the kind of support you're looking for!

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