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Counselling and mental health support

  1. Overview
  2. Types of support available
  3. Advice for parents

Types of support available

There are many types of support available to you, this includes self-directed resources, workshops and individual counselling.

Self-help tools

A range of eBooks are available to provide you with information on both resilience and mental health topics.

Ebooks about managing your life in general:

Ebooks to help you with emotional concerns:

Ebooks to help you learn to manage your workload:

Workshops

Throughout the year we run a series of free talks aimed at helping students deal with common areas of difficulty. They cover a range of topics and you can attend as many as you like each semester. If you can't make it on the day, online versions are available under each workshop below.

Stress is a part of everyday life and is also a normal reaction to the demands of university life. However, stress can become overwhelming and if not managed may impact on your academic and professional potential. This workshop will explore ways to make stress work for you.

Workshop content

This workshop explores the causes of stress and the effects of ongoing stress through group discussion and interactive exercises. From understanding the physiology of stress, changing thinking patterns, and connecting with emotions, emphasis is placed on learning healthier ways to think about stress.

By the end of the workshop you will have learned:

  • to identify what stress is and how it affects your productivity
  • how you currently manage stressful situations
  • how to focus on your studies, stay calm under pressure and enhance your productivity through the skill of mindfulness.

The benefits include:

  • strategies for reducing the harmful effects of stress
  • increased awareness of how to become more resilient to stress
  • setting the foundation for future effectiveness at university and in the workplace.

When

Thursday 16 March, 1–2pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Learn new ways of coping with distress to improve wellbeing and enhance your performance at university.

Workshop content

This workshop series will focus on helping you learn how to better navigate your emotions and develop coping tools for stress. The four-week course, consisting of two-hour weekly classes, will introduce the concept of stress- surfing, mindfulness skills, and how to navigate distressing emotions. If you are feeling pressured and stressed, or just want to learn a new skill that can enhance your life, this workshop series is for you.

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • increased understanding of acceptance and mindfulness approaches to wellbeing
  • improved ability to cope with stress
  • increased self-awareness.

The benefits include:

  • stress reduction
  • improved focus
  • increased cognitive flexibility
  • increased productivity.

When

Monday 24 April, 11am–1pm (for 4 weeks) at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

High standards can motivate us to produce excellent work. Paradoxically, sometimes the drive to do well can actually impair performance. Indeed, the need to do everything well can stop us from completing anything, or we spend so much time trying to get things exactly right that there is no time for anything else. Moreover, when the standards we set are either too high or only achievable at a great cost, it makes it very difficult to feel good about yourself. In this workshop, you'll learn strategies for achieving both excellence and wellbeing.

Workshop content

You will first explore perfectionism, to learn how it works for and against us. You will then learn strategies for sustainable excellence, including how to accept imperfection, skillfully manage your time and effort and engage in activities that give you vitality and meaning.

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • learned to set appropriate goals and standards for yourself
  • learned practical strategies for reducing perfectionistic behaviours
  • re-evaluated the importance of achieving.

The benefits include:

  • increased awareness of the negative consequences of high standards
  • increased confidence in your ability to deliver your best work
  • setting the foundation for future effectiveness at university and in the workplace.

When

Wednesday 22 March, 1–2pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Even the most successful people experience setbacks. However, your own thinking patterns can either undermine or contribute to your ability to effectively navigate the impact of these issues. They can include anything from small disruptive hiccups to full-scale disasters. Learn about the strategies that help you maximise your performance at university by understanding how your brain learns, how your thinking can work for or against you, and how to create the right mindset for success.

Workshop content

In this workshop you will first learn how the brain learns and how to harness the brain’s capacities. Next, you'll identify whether you have a growth or fixed mindset and the implications of your mindset for both your academic and long-term success. You will also learn practical strategies for ensuring that what you say and what you do result in winning attitudes this semester.

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • improved your ability to understand how to enhance the functioning of your brain
  • identified whether you have a fixed or growth mindset
  • learned skills to develop a growth mindset.

The benefits include:

  • improved flexibility
  • increased openness to feedback and criticism
  • more effective problem-solving skills.

When

Wednesday 5 April, 1–2pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Healthy relationships are integral to people's happiness and wellbeing. They make us feel confident, respected, loved and secure. However, it is common for students to have a limited on-campus network, experience relationship break- ups and/or struggle to juggle relationships and study commitments. Indeed, settling in to university life takes time and it is not uncommon to feel confused, anxious, lonely or sad. This workshop will assist you to develop and foster healthy relationships and communicate effectively.

Workshop content

You will first learn why relationships are so important for well-being and academic success. Next, you'll learn practical strategies for developing and maintaining healthy relationships. You will also learn how to communicate effectively with other people and make an impact.

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • an improved ability to understand how to develop and maintain healthy relationships
  • learned tips for effective communication.

The benefits include:

  • improved communication skills
  • increased confidence in ability to initiate relationships
  • networking opportunities.

When

Tuesday 28 March, 1–2pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Do you feel like your mind ‘goes blank’ during exams? Do you find yourself thinking ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I’m stupid?’ It is normal to experience anxiety both in preparation for and during exams; indeed a moderate level of anxiety is actually a prerequisite for optimal performance. However, the challenge is to recognise when anxiety levels have increased past an optimal level and learn to manage anxiety so that it doesn’t hijack performance.

Workshop content

In this workshop you'll first learn to understand what exam anxiety is and how it affects academic performance. Next, you'll learn to identify what causes you to become anxious leading up to and during exams. You will also learn practical strategies for coping with exam and performance anxiety.

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • an improved ability to understand what exam anxiety is and why you experience exam anxiety.
  • learned skills to manage exam anxiety at university.

The benefits include:

  • improved academic performance
  • reduced stress and anxiety associated with exams
  • increased sense of control/sense of mastery/confidence
  • reduced frustration.

When

Wednesday 7 June, 1–2pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Do you find yourself constantly dreading that upcoming tutorial presentation or get anxious when speaking in front of a group? If you do, you are not alone. Research has shown that people fear public speaking more than anything else. However, to be successful at university, we have to confront our fears several times each semester. Learn practical strategies to manage your anxiety when faced with having to give presentations or participate in tutorial discussions. They will help to ensure that your nerves don’t get the better of you.

Workshop content

You will first learn to understand what public speaking anxiety is and how it affects academic performance. Next, you'll learn to identify what causes you to become anxious leading up to and during presentations and tutorial discussions. You will also learn practical strategies to ensure anxiety does not impede your academic performance during presentations and in-class discussions.

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • an improved ability to understand what public speaking anxiety is and why you experience it
  • learned skills to manage public speaking anxiety at university.

The benefits include:

  • improved performance in presentations
  • reduced stress and anxiety associated with presentations
  • increased sense of control/sense of mastery/confidence
  • reduced frustration.

When

Thursday 23 March, 1–2pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Do you belong to the majority of students who need to do more with less? Do you find it difficult to find enough time for lectures, tutorials, and work, not to mention fun and sleep? Good time management habits are a vital foundation on which to build personal success at university and beyond. In this workshop, you'll develop personalised strategies to use straight away, to study in the most effective way.

Workshop content

In this workshop you'll first identify your barriers to effective time management, including perfectionistic thinking, procrastination habits and low motivation. You will then learn a range of techniques aimed to improve your time management skills to create an individualised approach to planning and deadlines, which takes into account your time management strengths and weaknesses.

By the end of this workshop you will have:

  • an improved ability to plan and manage your commitments effectively
  • learned techniques to increase your productivity at university and in the workplace.

The benefits include:

  • an increased ability to manage commitments effectively reducing stress and anxiety
  • increased confidence in ability to deliver your best work on time
  • setting the foundation for future effectiveness at university and in the workplace.

When

Tuesday 14 March, 1–2pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Do you often leave your assignments to the last minute? Are you always finding something else to do when you have study planned, like cleaning your room or checking Facebook and Instagram? All of us procrastinate from time to time, but for some students the problem is more serious. It stops them from submitting assignments on time or studying for exams. When this happens it can lead to feelings of anxiety and low mood, which subsequently has a direct impact on feelings of self worth, disrupting their life and studies. This workshop will provide effective solutions for avoiding procrastination, to ensure you get the job done.

Workshop content

You will first learn to understand what procrastination is and the negative cycle of procrastination. You will also identify what causes you to procrastinate. You will learn practical strategies to stop procrastinating and how to challenge your unhelpful assumptions to create an individualised approach for overcoming procrastination.

By the end of this workshop you will have an:

  • improved ability to recognise when and why you procrastinate
  • learned strategies to overcome procrastination at university and in the workplace.

The benefits include:

  • addressing the reasons, beliefs and emotions that can cause procrastination
  • reducing stress and anxiety associated with procrastination
  • setting the foundation for future effectiveness at university and in the workplace.

When

Wednesday 15 March 1–2pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Workshop content

You will first have an opportunity to explore the challenges you face during your postgraduate studies, and to learn how to improve your resilience when faced with these challenges. You will also learn actionable strategies to adopt a flexible mindset during your postgraduate studies.

By the end of this workshop you will have:

  • learned strategies to be more effective in your postgrad studies
  • learned strategies to balance work and other parts of your life
  • identified specific actions you can take that will have a big impact on your work and life.

The benefits include:

  • develop an awareness of the challenges inherent in postgrad studies
  • develop a framework for success in postgrad studies
  • confidence from greater understanding of the key psychological skills for postgrad success
  • opportunities to network with other postgrad students.

When

Thursday 30 March, 10am–12pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Workshop content

In this workshop you'll first learn about low mood and possible causes to explore ways of managing and preventing low mood. You will learn to become more familiar with the workings of your mind; to notice the times when you are at risk of getting caught in habits of mind that activate downward mood spirals; and to explore ways of releasing yourself from those old habits. This includes identifying and challenging negative thoughts, learning self-compassion and mindfulness.

By the end of the workshop you will have:

  • an improved ability to recognise the causes and symptoms of low mood
  • identified negative and self-defeating thought patterns
  • learned how to think in a more balanced and realistic manner
  • learned how to influence our beliefs about ourselves
  • learned ways of preventing mood problems from becoming unmanageable.

The benefits include:

  • strategies for managing low mood
  • setting the foundation for future effectiveness at university and in the workplace.

When

Tuesday 21 March, 1–2pm at CAPS reception (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building)

Watch online

Individual counselling

If you could benefit from more individual contact, we offer individual sessions with psychologists looking at strategies to help you with personal issues. We also provide coaching sessions for students wishing to learn to identify and overcome barriers to success.

Psychiatric appointment

For certain issues we may suggest referral to psychiatric services. Your psychologist will discuss this option with you if they think it could be of benefit.

Confidentiality and Information Storage

Our counsellors are registered psychologists and follow the codes of ethical conduct of the Psychology Board of Australia and the Australian Psychological Society.

Our staff will not discuss your personal information or attendance details with anyone outside of Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS), unless you have given us your written permission. The only exceptions are when:

  • your counsellor judges that not to disclose information would result in clear danger to yourself or to others
  • reporting of information is required by the law
  • your file is subpoenaed by a court of law.

Counsellors are required to keep records of each counselling session for the purposes of monitoring progress and statistical analysis of our service’s efficacy (for example, CAPS attendance numbers, average number of sessions and common presentation issues). We will not use your name, contact details or other identifiable data in these statistics.

Your counselling file is kept online at CAPS, and is not connected to your University student file or to Medicare records. Only Psychiatric consultations have a medicare item record. Only CAPS staff can access your file. We are required under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIPA) to keep this file for seven years after the last date of contact. Or, if your were under 18 at the last date of contact, the file must be kept until you are 25 years of age.

Additional resources

Recommended self-help books

Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) programs

 

Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Address
Level 5 Jane Foss Russell Building G02
Last updated: 28 March 2017

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