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University Counselling Service

Student & Staff Counselling

Studying at Cambridge


Information for University Staff thinking about counselling

Picture of Staff Counselling

From Thursday 10th August the Staff Counselling Service will be located at the following address:


Staff Counselling Service

1st Floor

17 Mill Lane




Tel: 01223 762160




Who is the Service for?

The Staff Counselling Service is available free of charge to all staff who hold 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.]

College staff: Senior members and staff who are employed by the Colleges but are not University employees may consult the Student Counselling Service for a free initial assessment and then be referred on for private or NHS counselling or psychotherapy. Please follow this link.

[NB Staff at institutions such as UCLES, Cambridge Assessment & CUP cannot be seen for counselling, as these are separate employers.]

Who are the Staff Counsellors?

The Service is staffed by professionally accredited, and widely experienced Staff Counsellors. All are used to helping people from many different backgrounds and cultures and with a wide range of personal issues. We also have Associate Counsellors who are in the late stages of their counselling training.


In general, 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. Members of staff at the University approach the Counselling service for help with a wide range of issues. Staff may come with work issues such as stress, bullying or harassment, work block or difficult relationships with colleagues. They may also come with personal issues such as bereavement, family or relationship difficulties, cultural experiences, or for support with questions relating to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Counselling Service is inclusive of all University staff and able to respond sensitively to a diverse range of different concerns that people may have. Most work or personal issues can be helped through counselling. If you are not sure whether counselling could help you, please ask for a Pre-counselling session, when you could discuss this with one of the counsellors.

Counselling sessions last 50 minutes. At the first session you can talk over the reasons for seeking counselling and together with your counsellor decide on the most appropriate way forward. Some find this exploratory session sufficient on its own; others will want ongoing individual counselling or referral to other help. We usually find that most people are helped in 6-10 sessions.

We organise our work by offering each client an appointment 'slot' (e.g. 9am on Monday) with a particular counsellor, which remains the same for the duration of the sessions. The waiting list is for one of these 'slots'. It is important to complete the availability chart on the Pre-Counselling Form to indicate times when you will be able to consistently attend. We do at times have single sessions available and can use these to see someone quickly if appropriate while they are waiting.

Appointments are available during the day as well as on Tuesday and Thursday at 5.15 and 6.15pm.

If you are unable to attend an appointment, please let us know as early as possible. Missed appointments and late cancellations mean losing one of your sessions.

Waiting List Policy

There are times when the wait for counselling is longer than we would like. This happens when the demand for counselling is greater than the number of appointments we can offer, but it is also due to a minority of staff not confirming or not keeping appointments - and thus the appointments are 'wasted'. To reduce waiting times for everyone, we have the following policy:

Priority on our waiting list takes into account the severity or urgency of your situation and the length of time you have been waiting. When an appointment offer is made we ask that you confirm it by a given date. This then secures your appointment. However, if you do not respond we will reallocate the appointment to someone else. If you do not attend a confirmed appointment we will normally, at your request, reinstate you on the waiting list but only from the date of your request.

We do our best to accommodate personal and work commitments but, if your available times are very restricted, this is likely to increase your wait. The more flexible you can be the more likely you are to be seen promptly.

Individual and Group Counselling

The majority of the Staff Service work is individual counselling, but the Service does offer various counselling groups for staff.

Liaison with GPs and Mental Health Services

It is sometimes helpful if you inform your GP that you are seeing a counsellor at the UCS. If it is appropriate, and with your consent, we can liaise with your GP to make referrals to a variety of psychological, therapeutic or psychiatric services in the community. Your counsellor would discuss this with you if this seems the best way forward.

Arranging Counselling

If you decide you would like to speak to a counsellor you can apply in the following ways:

  • Please read the above information to check you are eligible for the service and to understand how sessions are allocated.
  • Complete the 'Pre-Counselling Form' on the secure website and submit it direct to the Counselling Service online. You will need your Raven password to use this facility.
  • If you prefer to download a Word or RTF version of the 'Pre-Counselling Form' and complete this by hand, please click on one of the following links: You can print out and complete the form, and then bring it to the Staff Counselling Service, First Floor, 17 Mill Lane, or put it in the (free) internal mail addressed to Reception, Staff Counselling Service, First Floor, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge.
  • If, for any reason, you would like to come to counselling but feel unable to complete the form, please contact the Service by phone 01223 762160 or email and we will arrange an initial meeting in person.
  • Occupational Health or Human Resources can refer you directly.
  • In case of technical difficulties, the form is also available as an email attachment or in hard copy from the Service. You can contact reception on 01223 762160 or by email

If completing the Pre-counselling form, it is important to complete the availability chart on the Pre-Counselling Form to indicate times when you will be able to consistently attend.

When we receive the form:

  • We will acknowledge the receipt of your Pre-Counselling Form by email (or phone if you have requested contact by phone).
  • If possible, we will offer you an appointment straight away, but there is often a wait for counselling, depending on how busy we are and your availability. Up to date information about waiting times can be found on our News page.
  • If there is a waiting list, we will inform you of the likely waiting time.
  • When an appointment becomes available, we will contact you with an offer, and ask you to reply to confirm you are coming by a set time / date.

The information you give will remain confidential within the Counselling Service, and helps us to place you with an appropriate counsellor.

Other Sources of Help in the University

You might also find it helpful to approach these services directly or to read the University policies:


Further Information

Further information about the service is available from our FAQs page, as well as from a series of leaflets specifically written for Heads of Departments, Tutors and other Staff of the University. These give strategies to help with many common difficulties and are available on this website or from the UCS.