What to Expect During Your Counselling Appointment

Review this key process information to learn more about what to expect.

Counselling sessions are offered in-person, virtually or by phone. 

Start with a 'Navigator

If this is your first time seeking mental health support, you will be booked for a 20-30 minute appointment with a Student Wellness Navigator within 24-48 hours of your call. The Navigators will clarify what you need and provide options for support. The Navigators will also help you connect with the appropriate counselling resources. You may call ahead to book an appointment with a Navigator and same day appointments are usually available. x52131

Before your appointment:

If this is your first-time appointment:

  • You will receive an email  with instructions about your appointment 
  • The email will have attachments for you to read prior to your appointment. Please review these prior to your appointment
    • Consent and Confidentiality form
    • Risks and Benefits of Counselling form
  • You will also receive an appointment reminder two days before your appointment. 

If you are returning for a counselling appointment:

  • You will receive an email/text reminder two days before your appointment
  • The instructions for your phone or online video session are in that email/text.

At the time of your appointment:

For in-person sessions:

  • Please check your appointment reminder instructing you on the location of your appointment.
  • Most appointments are at the Vaccarino Centre for Student Wellness in the JT Powell Building.  Please check in with the reception on the first floor, and they will provide the next steps.
  • Some Appointments are booked at the Prairie South Residence directly across from the Prairie Residence Cafeteria. When arriving, please wait outside the office doors, and a Counsellor will come out to greet you at the time of your appointment. 

For phone sessions:

  • the counsellor will call you at the time of your appointments
  • The caller identification on the phone may say “Private caller”

For online Video sessions (please use Chrome):

  • Invite to the video session comes 5 minutes before the appointment by text and email
  • Using Chrome as your browser, Click on the link and use the code provided to log onto the session
  • You will be prompted to provide several permissions. Click if you accept these. 
  • You will be placed in a virtual waiting room
  • Your counsellor will then join the session 
  • Please turn on your video – control located in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  • if the session is interrupted your counsellor will contact you by phone  
  • During virtual appointments, the counsellor also operates as the receptionist.  They will begin the session by checking some of your information such as your address and your emergency contact information.
  • They will also review privacy information, consent to therapy, and risks of virtual appointments.

This is a confidential and safe space:

  • All information is confidential and private. Your information will not be shared with any other departments at the University without your permission. See the policy information.
  • Counselling Services is part of a Circle of Care with Student Health Services, which means the two services share the same record-keeping system and collaborate to provide service.  
  • A counsellor will break confidentiality: ​
    • If you are at immediate risk of harming yourself
    • If you intend to harm another person
    • If you or your counsellor has a strong reason to think that another individual may be at risk of harm based on information that you provided in your session
    • If you have a complaint about a regulated health professional (e.g., doctor, nurse, psychologist, chiropractor, massage therapist...) with respect to their inappropriate sexual behaviour towards you, and you provide us with that individual’s name, we are required to report this complaint to their regulatory body
    • If you are involved in a court case and the judge thinks that counselling is relevant to the case, your file might be subpoenaed.
    • If there is a reasonable suspicion that a child (under 16 years of age) is at risk of emotional and/or physical neglect or emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. We are required by law to report this to the Children’s Aid Society immediately

Let your counsellor know if you require more clarification regarding confidentiality or privacy of your information.

Counselling Quick-Links: