For many issues, group counselling can be the optimal treatment choice. Talking in a group about one’s emotional, physical, academic, interpersonal, social, and family problems can help reduce distress and bring insight and change. Group Counselling provides a safe and supportive environment in which personal change can be made. The benefit to participants is that they receive professional assistance as well as the opportunity to interact with other participants who may be in a similar situation, or who may be able to provide different perspectives. Thus, group participants have the opportunity to see themselves in a different light and explore possibilities for themselves. Although many clients are initially hesitant to join a group, participants consistently find group counselling to be a very beneficial and positive experience.
In a Group Counselling session, a small number of people, (usually between six and 15 persons), meet weekly with one or two counsellors to discuss their concerns. Counsellors act as facilitators to assist group members in articulating their thoughts and feelings in a way that promotes growth for themselves and for the members of the group. At CCS, we offer various groups to address the needs of our students. Some groups (themed counselling process groups) may focus on a specific topic, e.g. body image, grief and loss. In other groups, (counselling process groups) the issues to be discussed each week arise from the members rather than being initiated by the leader. Personal concerns or problems from everyday life e.g. relationships with friends, family members or significant others may be discussed. And participants may discuss their reactions (thoughts and feelings) to events or situations in their lives – eg., the stress or anxiety associated with school or with relationships; the feelings of sadness or depression that they are experiencing, etc. . Interactions within the group enable the members to work through problems and to learn from the facilitator and from others who have similar concerns, to try new ways of relating, and to learn new ways to respond and deal with situations. Members can explore and better understand themselves and learn how to cope with difficulties.
Individual Personal Counselling
Individual personal counselling involves a relationship between an individual client and a personal counsellor. Through ongoing conversations, this relationship fosters a safe place where individuals can identify and explore issues that may be causing distress and/or interruptions in their academic and/or personal lives. This collaborative process can work to create new ways of seeing oneself, highlight one’s existing strengths and improve problem-solving strategies. One of the advantages of seeing a counsellor on an on-going basis is that you have the opportunity to form a respectful, working alliance which many have found to be very helpful to the success of a counselling encounter. A typical session lasts approximately 50 minutes. There is usually a week or two between counselling sessions.
The client’s role is to put forward any concerns and be as open and honest as possible. The counsellor’s role is to listen carefully and highlight patterns of thinking and responding and to invite clients to consider improved ways of seeing and dealing with their situation.
Although our professional counsellors have their own theoretical orientations which form the basis for their clinical practice In some cases clients may be able to take part in a group counselling experience after completing some individual counselling and vice versa.
The frequency of sessions may range from weekly to monthly (or longer). Rapid progress is often achieved with this approach.
From time to time, those who access our services are facing challenges in their personal relationships. Couples counselling may serve as a helpful tool for addressing these issues. As in individual counselling, the counsellor’s role is to help the couple identify problem areas and collaborate with the couple on making useful changes. Please note that, due to the demand on our services, we cannot provide both individual counselling as well as couple counselling to the same student at the same time.
Our crisis services are designed to assist individuals who may be experiencing life-threatening circumstances, current or recent traumatic crises or severe psychological difficulties. These services are not designed to deal with immediate safety issues.
In the event that there are immediate concerns about or threats to someone’s safety – whether that be your own safety or the safety of someone else – call 911 to request that they attend immediately.
Examples of crises that CCS may be able to help with include but are not limited to:
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Acute emotional distress of an overwhelming nature.
- Thoughts about harming another person.
- Recent assault or abuse.
- Concern about your own safety.
- Knowledge of another person being abused or assaulted.
- Hallucinations and delusions.
- Recent death of a loved one.
- Witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event.
We hold all aspects of clients’ involvement with CCS in utmost confidence. Personally identifiable information regarding individuals using our services is not discussed with outside parties (e.g. parents or partners) without prior written consent of the client. Receptionists and other staff do not acknowledge to anyone making such inquiries whether or not an individual is a client of CCS. Client records are maintained for 5 years after the date of the last contact and are then destroyed.
Note: Counsellors are ethically and/or legally allowed or required to disclose confidential information to the appropriate authorities under certain circumstances. See our privacy statement for further information.
Clayton Counselling Services tries to meet the needs of all clients. As the year progresses, there is an increasing demand for our services and, consequently, waiting lists rapidly develop. In order to accommodate many individuals, we need to ensure that every available appointment spot is used. Therefore, we request that clients keep their appointments as scheduled.
Unless warranted by exceptional circumstances, if a client misses two intake appointments, two individual, or two group counselling appointment without notifying us at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment time, s/he will not be allowed to book another appointment . Also, clients repeatedly cancelling individual or group counselling sessions may be refused additional services. However, CCS reserves the right to make decisions about services on a case by case basis, taking clinical information into account.