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Counselling FAQ's

How do I make an appointment?

  • You can make contact with the counselling service during drop-in hours, 10-11a.m., and 2-3p.m., Room CM073. Please note, intake forms must be filled out no later than 10 minutes prior to the end of drop-in. At this exploratory interview you will talk to an assistant psychologist to decide the best way forward. Some find this exploratory session sufficient on its own; others will want ongoing individual counselling, a group, or referral to other help. The Service gets very busy, especially during term and so we often have to operate a waiting list for ongoing counselling. However, every effort will be made to see you as soon as possible.

In the event that a student is not able to attend for a scheduled appointment it is his/her responsibility to notify the service at least 24 hours in advance, so as that time-slot can be allocated to somebody else. You can contact Marion.kinsella@ul.ie or phone 061-202327 if you need to cancel your appointment.

  • Students will be allocated an appointment with the first available counsellor. Student requests to attend individual counsellors cannot be catered for. Specific requests to see a counsellor of a particular gender will be considered on merit.

Counselling is not the same as giving advice. Rather, a counselor seeks to help you to focus on and understand more clearly the issues that concern you. By respecting your own values, choices and lifestyle, the counsellor can work together with you towards making choices or changes that are right for you. Counselling is not any one thing but is adapted by the counselor to fit the needs of the student. Counselling is basically about a relationship with another person who is skilled and has expertise in dealing with the difficulties encountered by students. This relationship is will be one of support and advice, education and challenge, warmth and empathy. It will normally be on a weekly or fortnightly basis, for as long as both counselor and student consider necessary. Each session normally lasts up to 50 minutes and takes place in a comfortable and private setting.

  • The first meeting will consist of a detailed assessment and evaluation of the situation presented by the student. Here, also, the Counsellor will explain about the nature of the work and what the student might expect. Goals and objectives of counselling will be established at this point.
  • Most people are seen individually, but group counselling can also be offered when appropriate.


Most personal, relationship or identity problems can be helped through counselling - this includes anxiety, stress and depression, family and/or relationship difficulties, sexual problems or identity issues. It also includes talking over adjusting to a new culture, or dealing with dilemmas or difficult decisions, and well as more specific problems, such as addictions or eating problems.

Counselling aims to address all problems of psychological survival and coping, whether seemingly major or minor. Oftentimes students will say that they didn't think their problem was serious enough for counseling and that they didn't want to be wasting the Counsellors time. Talking to somebody at this stage, before things have escalated is often the best and is to be encouraged. Don't wait until a problem has grown very serious - we would much rather you came when something is relatively minor, so that it can be resolved more quickly.

Approximately 1200 students avail of the service annually.

  • If it is appropriate, referrals can be made 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.
  • All students should be registered with a G.P. and it is often helpful if you inform him or her that you are seeing a counselor at the University

When a matter is a genuine emergency, we will arrange for you to see a counsellor quickly so please do not feel that the service is too busy to see you when something is urgent. Emergencies will be given priority and will be seen at drop-in on the day.

  • The service is confidential and operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by the Psychological Counsellors In Higher Education (P.C.H.E.I.) Code of Ethics and Practice. This means that your personal details are not disclosed to anyone outside of the service without your expressed permission, except in exceptional circumstances regarding safety including suicidal intent, sexual abuse and threats to lives of others.
  • We maintain case notes on all clients. These are stored on a password protected database, on a locked computer, in a locked office. 
  • Click here for our terms and conditions 

Important Information

Please note, UL Éist do not:

- Provide certificates for attendance

- Extend assignment deadlines

- Give interviews for coursework


To access the counselling service, you need to come to drop-in first. There is no need to make an appointment for drop-in, simply call in during our drop-in hours.

During term-time

Drop In: 10-11a.m. & 2-3p.m. daily 

Please note, intake forms must be filled out no later than 10 minutes prior to the end of drop-in.  You will be asked to fill in some demographic details and a baseline screening questionnaire on an Ipad. You will then meet with an Assistant Psychologist for 10-15mins. Occasionally, drop-in gets very busy. It is possible that not everyone will be seen within the drop-in hour. Should this happen, you are welcome to return at the next drop-in time.

Find Us: CM073, Main Building

Contact No: 061-202327

Ger Hanley - Monday 5-6.30pm during term time Email: gerard.hanley@ul.ie 

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