Find out the latest guidance and information about the impact of COVID-19 on the University.

COVID-19: ADVICE FOR STaff, STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY

Counselling through a crisis

Katy Yule
Katy Yule is one of the Student Counsellors based at RGU who has been working throughout the period of lockdown to assist any students who require support. In her community story, she outlines a bit about her specific role and the work of the counselling team during the pandemic and beyond.

“As a student counsellor in a time-limited framework, I work with what is most urgent and of interest to the individual student, agreeing on realistic goals and checking in on how effective the work is towards this goal.  

“As a gestalt therapist (psychotherapeutic counsellor) I see my role as being myself with students, as they bring themselves just as they are, with whatever concerns, questions or distress they need to explore in this time.    I work with what is happening in the here and now, raising awareness of repeated patterns relating to themselves or others, as they arise in the relationship, and what they want to change.  

“We can offer our students a space to untangle thoughts or develop more presence in the here and now - perhaps making decisions or reducing the urgency of anxiety or panic is what's needed. For some students this brief therapy is significant work that enables broader long-lasting change.

“When lockdown was introduced and working from home implemented, we moved swiftly to online sessions, with very little break in appointments, making sure we had confidential space and a range of platforms to meet students remotely and attend to what they need in the moment.

“While we may not be able to see each other in the same way we are being creative about how we connect and offer robust, meaningful support.  Our wellbeing advisor is able to offer students information about services, online resources, make referrals and our administrator is holding the system to make sure students still have a smooth journey through the service. 

“We cannot underestimate the effect of this current situation we are all in, and perhaps won't fully see the impact until semester begins again. As we would expect with any traumatic event, individually or collectively, during times of crisis we can be skilled at adapting quickly, holding things together to get through it. It is once the initial urgency is over and we settle again, and exhale, that we see and feel what it has meant emotionally, physically, relationally - to hold on, to get through, to 'just manage'.  So, we will welcome students to the service with whatever they bring and however the impact of COVID19 shows itself, now, and in the coming weeks and months.

“In our current situation it may feel harder for all of us to reach for what we need. We want to make that journey easier for you and are available for phone, video call, or email sessions. If you have ideas about how we could support you differently we would love to hear from you.  If you have any barriers to accessing these routes then please do let us know and we will see how we can help. If you have concerns or questions, for example about confidentiality or waiting list times, please just get in touch.”

You can book an appointment with Student Counselling and Wellbeing at ask.rgu.ac.uk.

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