Student Counselling

A growing area of practice for us is working with college and university students. There are a number of issues that compel students to seek out counselling services.

One of the common issues we hear about has to do with the adjustment students face as they move from home to a new city, begin living with roommates or in residence, and attend a huge institution where they may feel anonymous and invisible. Many students have gained entry to Western based on exceptional performance and grades. In high school they felt talented, smart, and special. Home life provided structure and stability. In university they are surrounded by smart, talented people and no longer feel special or that anyone sees their abilities. The classes are big and it becomes difficult to form a relationship with professors or a mentoring adult. These changes represent real losses and sometimes take time and effort to sort through.

Another major area of change for students has to do with the development of new relationships. This includes developing new intimate and romantic relationships as well as friendships. There can be challenges dealing with roommates. While these new relationships are part of what make the school experience exciting and fulfilling, these relationships can also be a significant source of pain and distress when things go wrong. What adds to the difficulty is that students are often separated from their usual sources of social and emotional support (family and friends from home). Without these supports nearby, the stresses and conflicts that may occur in new relationships can feel that much more difficult to handle, leaving students with feelings of isolation and rejection.

The transition from high school to college or university is a tough stage in life. There is pressure to make decisions about the future and get it right...the first time! Many students we see are rethinking their choices about their program and future careers and need a place to really sort through what they want to do and what their options are.

Because of all these challenges, many of the students we see are struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship concerns and performance issues. Some have started to cope through excess use of alcohol and drugs and this has now become their new problem to overcome. Others have become socially withdrawn and doubt their ability to finish their program.

If you feel you could use some support to get your life back on track, we would love to help. We are located close by with our office just steps off UWO campus. UWO students have access to extended health benefits that can help cover the costs of treatment.