Counselling Conditions Of Service Use

UCC Student Counselling & Development

Counselling support is available in-person and online using MS Teams. Counselling is intended to support students in managing challenges related to their academic and personal development. It is offered alongside other supports, including our self-help resources and workshops that are available throughout the year. Should you need urgent support, please go to this section for a list of crisis support services.

Student Counselling is not intended to provide emergency or long-term support, and the number of sessions is determined by the Student Counsellor’s assessment of need and available resources. On average students receive between 2 and 6 sessions. The service is free of charge and available to registered students who are currently in the Republic of Ireland. 

Please Note: To avail of an appointment, it will be necessary for you to confirm that you have read and accept the following Conditions of Service Use:

Confidentiality: The information that you provide within Student Counselling & Development (SCD) is confidential to the Service except in the following exceptional circumstances:

  • If there is a serious concern that there may be a threat to the safety or life of yourself or another person.
  • In the context of criminal behaviour and disclosures required by legal process.
  • SCD staff are legally obliged under the Children First Act 2015 to report child protection concerns/retrospective disclosures of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional and neglect) to Tusla.
  • Any telephone/email/internet contact remains confidential as per professional ethics. However, UCC/SCD cannot guarantee that this method of contact is completely secure due to limitations of technology beyond UCC/SCD's control.

If it becomes necessary to break confidentiality it will be done sensitively on a need-to-know basis and your Student Counsellor will make every effort to discuss it with you before taking that step. It will be standard procedure for your Student Counsellor to initially ask you to provide an In Case of Emergency contact name and number, and your Eircode. Further details on third-party information sharing is given in our Privacy Policy.

Where it may be of benefit to the client, SCD also works closely with other helping professionals within UCC and externally. In particular, SCD may collaborate with Student Health and other colleagues who adhere to the same high standards of confidentiality. Such collaboration will not be undertaken without your agreement.

Record Keeping: In keeping with the code of ethics and practice for psychotherapists/psychologists, confidential records of consultations will be maintained by SCD. These records will be destroyed after 7 years. For detailed information see our privacy statement (GDPR) in this section.

Session Terms: Student Counsellors will engage in online/in-person work during normal office hours only. At the beginning of your first appointment the following information must be provided to SCD:

  • Your Date of Birth
  • Student ID Number
  • Current Address including Eircode
  • Mobile Phone Number
  • Your GP
  • In Case of Emergency contact (name and phone number).

The Student Counsellor will always aim to talk to you prior to contacting your ICE person.

Should you change your mind about engaging in counselling please speak to your Student Counsellor about this. If you feel that you cannot do this, please email counselling@ucc.ie to inform us that you do not wish to engage further with the SCD service at this time.

Online/In-Person sessions are 40 minutes duration.

Arranging Your Appointments: Your Initial Assessment will be scheduled by Counselling Reception. This will be the soonest available appointment time and you will need to make yourself available for this first meeting. If you have any difficulties in scheduling an appointment, or have needs that require accommodation, please indicate these on the intake form.

Following initial assessment, the counsellor will discuss with you the most appropriate supports for your needs. You may then be offered ongoing individual sessions, signposted to appropriate support, referred externally, or invited to attend one of the groups or workshops run by SCD during term time. Ongoing individual sessions will be scheduled at a time that suits you where possible and within service opening hours.

Cancellation Policy: There is a very significant demand for appointments at SCD and at peak times many students must wait to see a counsellor. We strive to see students as quickly as possible, so reducing the number of unused appointments helps to both minimise waiting times and make the service available to as many students as possible. Students can assist in reducing waiting times for everyone by adhering to the following policies:

  • Cancellations: It is very important that you let us know at least 48 hours in advance if you cannot attend a session for any reason. This allows time to reallocate the appointment to another student who is waiting. At busy times it may not be possible to reschedule immediately so you may have to wait for another appointment. Research shows that therapy outcomes are better with regular attendance. Late cancellations will count as one of your sessions. Two or more cancellations will result in you being discharged from the service. You can reapply in the future to be put back on our waiting list.
  • How to Cancel: If cancelling, please email counselling@ucc.ie  Please do not contact your counsellor directly as they may not pick up messages in time. 
  • No-shows: One of SCD’s key goals this year is to reduce wasted appointments by at least 5%. We ask the student body to support us in achieving this target. With this in mind, failure to attend more than one booked appointment will result in closure of your registration with the service.
  • Lateness: We value your time and endeavour to start and finish sessions on time, unless there is an emergency. To get the most from your session, please arrive a minute or two before your appointment is due to start so that we can get started on time. We are unable to extend appointments if you attend late as another client may be waiting. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late the appointment may need to be recorded as a no-show, as there won't be sufficient time to complete the session and the slot can’t be given to another student.

In-person Counselling: When attending sessions in-person it is agreed that you will adhere to current protocols. These will be given to you by Counselling Reception when booking your appointment.

Online Counselling: Your Student Counsellor will video call you on MS Teams at the time allocated for your online appointment. When engaging in online support, it is agreed that you:

  • Are logged onto the Microsoft Teams app using your UCC email account
  • Will not contact your Student Counsellor on Teams outside of your scheduled appointment
  • Treat the session the same as you would a face-to-face session
  • Be ready for the session
  • Be in a confidential and quiet space
  • If using camera, sit facing the camera
  • Assume you can be seen and heard by one another while the call is connecting
  • Keep pets and children out of the room
  • Ensure that you are not interrupted by friends/family
  • Have practiced use of Microsoft Teams prior to the session
  • Keep alternative modes of contact on mute throughout the session

Your Student Counsellor will never intentionally disconnect the call during the session. However, should the system fail, the Student Counsellor will attempt to contact you by phone. If using a different device to access MS Teams, please also ensure that your phone is charged and with you during your online appointment time for this purpose.

  • The Chat Function should never be used. MS Teams is used by the Student Counselling & Development Service for delivery of counselling sessions only.
  • No online sessions should be electronically recorded. Failure to comply with this will lead to intervention from the University under GDPR legislation.

Although online counselling sessions can never be guaranteed 100% secure, there are some proactive steps that you can take to ensure the highest levels of security:

  • Always use a password to access your device (phone, computer, iPad) and update this password frequently
  • Ensure that the security software on your device is updated
  • Update your communication software regularly
  • Ensure that you have a quiet, confidential space in which to engage in the session
  • Close all unnecessary browsers and programmes on your device to maximise your internet connectivity during your online counselling appointment.

 

Student Counselling & Development

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