UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

Counselling

Qualified mental health professionals offer:
  • Confidential individual psychotherapy/counselling
  • Appropriately tailored groups for psychoeducation and support (e.g. groups that deal with adjustment, bereavement, self-esteem, termination of pregnancy, body confidence, sexuality and mindfulness)
  • Specifically designed psycho-educational workshops
  • Trauma debriefing sessions
  • Internship programmes to Wits Psychology Masters Students

What is counselling?
Counselling is a process by which a client (you) meets with a helper (the therapist) to talk over an issue. A basic principle of counselling is that everyone is capable of solving their own problems and the therapist facilitates this process for the client. All information from sessions is strictly confidential, unless it is perceived that you are a danger to self or others. No other information will be disclosed unless it is with your written permission.

Who will be my therapist?
Our staff includes psychologists, social workers and mental health interns.

What happens during therapy?
You and the therapist usually meet once a week for approximately 45 minutes. It might seem that the counsellor is running the session but he/she is actually taking direction from you. You describe the problem, the therapist asks questions, clarifies and reflects back what you have said to help you see the situation from different angles. This helps you to decide what you want to do about it and/or identify options for further exploration. The therapist therefore uses his/her skills to help you help yourself.

The therapist does not give advice, try to persuade you, or impose his/her beliefs on you. Rather he/she listens, empathises and facilitates you coming to your own decision or solution.

Does it work?
Whether or not counselling works depends on a number of individual factors, such as, how well you and your therapist relate to one another, and your readiness to engage in the process.  Success of therapy is also dependent on your goal and expectations of the process.

Group vs individual therapy
You may see a therapist for one-on-one therapy or join a group where there will be other students and one or more therapist(s). Group therapy is a space where common psychological issues such as personal growth, self-empowerment and development can be worked within a group context. The duration of a group session can range from 45 minutes to 1 and a half hours and sessions are held on a weekly basis.

How do I arrange for counselling?
At CCDU you may be seen for up to 10-12 sessions. Because of the number of students seeking help, we mainly offer short-term therapy. Depending on the problem, referrals may also be made to other Health professionals or organisations. You can come into CCDU or phone 717-9140 for an intake session. This is a short session with a therapist to identify your counselling needs. Appropriate referrals are then made for counselling. An intake session is offered on a walk-in basis.  However, please note that it is not always possible to get an appointment immediately as capacity is limited.