Student Counselling Services in Ontario

The transition from high school to university can be a significant and exciting change, but it can also be challenging and stressful. Some common experiences that students may have when changing roles from high school to university include:

  • Increased independence
  • Greater academic demands
  • New social environment
  • Homesickness
  • Cultural adjustments

Overall, the transition from high school to university can be a significant change that can bring both challenges and opportunities. It is important for students to be proactive in seeking support and resources to help them navigate this transition and succeed in their studies.

Students may face a variety of mental health challenges, and the specific challenges that a student may experience can depend on a variety of factors, including their individual circumstances and experiences. While each school has their own counselling services, we often get students contacting us as the school service may be too brief, or have long waiting lists.

Some common mental health struggles that students may experience include:

Whether you’re being proactive or reactive, we’re here to help increase your odds of success and hopefully ensure you thrive through this transitional space of your life.

Proactive mental health means identifying your patterns and worries and building skills and insights around them. Reactive just means something has gone off the rails, and you’d like support getting back on track. Wherever you’re at, we’ll meet you there.

Psychotherapy for students can look different depending on the specific needs and goals of the student and the approach of the therapist. However, in general, psychotherapy for students may involve:

  • Identifying and exploring the student’s challenges: The therapist may work with the student to identify the specific challenges they are facing, such as stress, anxiety, or difficulty adjusting to university life.
  • Developing coping strategies: The therapist may help the student develop coping strategies to manage their challenges, such as relaxation techniques or problem-solving skills.
  • Setting goals: The therapist may help the student set goals for themselves and track their progress over time.
  • Providing support and guidance: The therapist may provide the student with support and guidance as they navigate the challenges they are facing and work towards their goals.
  • Encouraging self-reflection: The therapist may encourage the student to reflect on their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and to develop insight into their experiences.

Another domain which often arises with our student clients is that of navigating conflicting value systems. For example, in post-secondary institutions, you’re not just exposed to a whole new wave of ideas, but you’re also exposed to a whole new wave of people. A lot of new information about how to exist in this world floods in and it can be difficult to manage. From substances to religion to relationships to hobbies, everything can feel up in the air again, undefined and uncertain. Our team has all gone through that and are here to help you navigate that. We will never impose our values upon you, but rather we’ll help you cultivate your inner voice to thrive. We’ll sit with you and go through an exploration of your values, the costs of these positions, and examine the rich yet complex history behind these values. Human beings never “accomplish” a value, as values are goals. They are like a compass–they help us make choices based on the directions in which we want our lives to go. It’s a dense web and it can be scary, but we’re here to help you get your bearings.

The post-secondary period of your life can be a time of significant growth and change, and students may face a variety of value struggles as they navigate this transition.

One of the reasons many students choose our practice is that while we’re not all young and with it (whatever “it” is) we are still very flexible in our hours, and very comfortable providing virtual services. Since our hours are 8-8 Monday to Thursday, 8-6 on Fridays, and almost always have slots on weekends, we are able to work around your busy schedule. We’re all also lifelong students ourselves, as we keep learning, and growing. We’re intimately familiar with the feelings associated with not knowing, having a list of demands upon us, and developing healthy methods to manage it all.

Your therapist will work with you to support you applying a blend of modalities based on the context. We occasionally suggest adjunct workbooks to help. Everyone’s experience is unique and that’s why Psychotherapy has to be tailored to the individual.

We also offer sliding scales in terms of rates as we know not all secondary institutions offer great benefits. Reach out and we’ll do our best to ensure you have access to care. If it ends up not being with us, that’s fine, we’ll still try out best to help you receive the best care you can get.

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FAQ

If a mental health concern affects your schoolwork, relationships, or daily tasks for over two weeks, seeking help is advisable. Concerns to be aware of include:

  • Depression, lethargy, or apathy.
  • Feelings of helplessness.
  • Irritability or mood swings.
  • Persistent worry or rumination
  • Personal problems impacting academics, sleep, concentration, or relationships.
  • Prolonged sadness.
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

We do not differentiate between big or small problems, all issues that affect you are valid to explore. Timely intervention helps prevent escalation. Addressing issues promptly is crucial, fostering mental well-being and effective coping strategies for an improved quality of life.

You can discuss a broad range of issues during your sessions. Whether facing academic stress, personal challenges, relationship issues, or mental health concerns like anxiety or depression, your Psychotherapist is here to provide support. Your sessions are a safe space to explore and navigate various aspects of your life. From everyday stressors to more complex emotional struggles, our services are designed to assist you in finding solutions, coping strategies, and promoting overall well-being. Your sessions are confidential, and we are trained to address diverse concerns, fostering a supportive and understanding environment for your unique needs.

Counselling often plays a crucial role in enhancing academic performance by addressing various factors. It assists in managing academic stress, developing effective time management skills, and improving study techniques. Our counsellors collaborate with you to identify challenges impacting your academic journey and work towards practical solutions. Whether it’s overcoming procrastination, navigating exam anxiety, or fostering better communication skills, counselling provides tailored strategies to optimise your academic experience. By addressing both emotional and practical aspects, counselling promotes a positive academic environment, empowering you to navigate challenges, set goals, and achieve academic success.