Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some frequently asked questions about accessing counselling at Conestoga College.
- Who can access counselling at Conestoga College?
Counselling services are only available to Conestoga College students. Please refer to the Eligibility for Services section of this website for specific details on services available to you based upon your program status. If you are a faculty member at the college, perhaps you may be interested in information regarding EAP Services.
- What types of counselling services are offered? What issues can I access counselling for?
We offer individual counselling for personal, and academic difficulties. Basically, our goal is to assist students with any sort of barrier which is interfering with their success at college. For a further description of our counselling services and sample issues for which students can access counselling, please refer to personal, academic, or career types of counselling.
- How much do I need to pay for counselling services?
All counselling services at Conestoga College are free to students. This includes individual counselling sessions, groups, and workshops. If you request a referral from us for a specific type of counselling service in the community, rates would be set and negotiated with you by that particular agency.
- Where are your Counselling Services located?
Counselling Services are offered at various campuses of Conestoga College. To check for the location at your campus, check out Location & Hours.
- How do I make an appointment?
You can make a counselling appointment by walking into the counselling office located on your campus or by phoning the receptionist. For specific information related to your campus, check out Making an Appointment.
- Who will know that I have accessed counselling?
Any time a student has accessed counselling services, the information shared between you and your counsellor is strictly CONFIDENTIAL. That means family members, friends, faculty, or anyone else who may make inquiries about whether or not you have accessed counselling cannot be given this information without your written consent. Our confidentiality policy extends to staff members within Counselling Services (eg. our receptionist would need to book an appointment for you).
In exceptional circumstances, by law we are required to break confidentiality for more serious issues. For a complete description of our confidentiality policy, refer to the Confidentiality section of our Policies and Procedures. If you have any questions about confidentiality, feel free to ask a counsellor any questions.
- Can I choose my own counsellor?
When you make an appointment to access counselling, you will be asked for your name, program of study, whether or not you have seen a particular counsellor before, and if you would prefer a male or female counsellor. If you have any sort of preference for your counsellor, you can state this and we will do our best to schedule you with a counsellor who is suitable for you.
- What if I feel my counsellor and I are not a good match?
Students always have the right to choose a counsellor with whom they feel comfortable. This does not happen very often, but if you do think you and your counsellor are not a good match, request a transfer from your counsellor to work with another counsellor or talk to our receptionist about scheduling you with another counsellor.
- I am having thoughts of suicide. What do I do?
If you are having thoughts of suicide, it is important to seek professional assistance to help you at this difficult time. For some college students, these thoughts can arise during times of stress. What we know is that talking about thoughts of suicide does not contribute to the occurrence of suicide, but rather it helps in dealing with this serious issue. It will be important that you feel listened to and also that you have a trained professional assist you in problem-solving and getting the resources which you need.
If you are on campus, you can access counselling in the Counselling Services Office (Room 1A101) or Health Services (Room 1A102). When you phone or walk in to make an appointment, it will be important that you indicate the urgency of this appointment so that you are seen that day or right away. If it is after hours or on the week-end and you think your situation is urgent, access assistance at the Mobile Crisis Team, 519-744-1813 or 1-866-366-4566 or go to the nearest emergency department at the hospital nearest you. (Also see Emergency Contacts - Community)
For more information on this important topic, please refer to our article on Recognizing Signs of Students At-Risk For Suicide. If you are a faculty member concerned about a student at risk for suicide, you may also want to refer to the above-mentioned article as well as Situations Requiring Immediate Referral.
- I'm having relationship problems. Can my partner and I access couples counselling?
Counselling at Conestoga College is for individual students only. You could access individual counselling initially to discuss your concerns. However, if couples counselling (or even family therapy) is what would be most suitable, our counsellors can assist you with a referral to a community agency which offers couples or family therapy.
- One of my faculty (family member, friend, etc.) has suggested I need to see a counsellor but I'm not sure if I want to or not. What do I do about this?
Counselling at Conestoga College is free, confidential, and voluntary. That means it is always your choice whether or not you would like to access counselling. No one can mandate counselling for you. At the same time, our counselling staff does a lot of outreach to the college community to try to inform every one of the services available. Your faculty member (or friend or even family member) may feel you could benefit from some of the services which are offered and suggest this to you in a helpful way. If so, you may want to check us out and see if talking to someone about your particular issues would help. However, the ultimate decision of whether or not you would like to access counselling is yours.
- I'm worried about a friend (or family member) but he/she is not a student here. What can I do about this?
Counselling services are available to students of Conestoga College only. However, as a student, you could make an appointment to talk to a counsellor about your concerns regarding another person and the counsellor can assist you with problem-solving this situation. Worry about someone else is a stress which can be negatively affecting you. As well, counsellors can give you referral information about agencies in the community which your friend or family member could access.
- How many counselling sessions can I access?
Our Counselling Services guidelines indicate that following your initial assessment interview, you can access between 1-8 counselling sessions for the issue for which you are seeking counselling. The number of sessions is typically negotiated between you and your counsellor, depending upon your needs. Counsellors can also refer you to community resources.