About our service
Counselling and Psychological Support (CAPS) provide free, short-term counselling to all current students.
The service provides brief, solution-focused counselling, which usually means you see a counsellor for a maximum of six sessions.
Where presenting issues may require long-term therapy or support, your counsellor will discuss with you a referral to community-based services.
If you are overseas for a study tour or study abroad, please contact our study abroad team for further advice on local support options.
Due to the high demand for counselling by students, appointments may be made up to one week in advance, in peak period there could be a two week wait for an appointment.
Counselling is free to students enrolled in a Deakin course with a valid student number.
The service provides brief, solution focused counselling, which usually means you see a counsellor for a maximum of 6 sessions. Most students find that one or two sessions are sufficient for their needs.
Where presenting issues may require long term therapy or support the counsellor will discuss with you a referral to community based services.
During your first counselling appointment, you talk to the counsellor about what is concerning you. They may ask some questions to help clarify what the issue is and what it means to you. They will use their training and experience to assist you to manage the issue you discuss.
Each appointments last about 50 minutes. The counsellor will discuss with you at the end of your first appointment what you would like to happen next. Some students have a single session, while others may arrange for a number of sessions to address their concerns.
Not all issues that students have are appropriate for a university counselling service, so the counsellor will help you find an external counsellor or other health professional in your area when required.
Remember, deciding to see a counsellor can be the most difficult step, but in doing so, you have already set the 'wheels of change' in motion. All change in your life brings mixed emotions, so do changes through counselling. Putting what you think and feel into words for another to hear can be difficult, and you may experience frustration and anxiety as you try out new ways of doing things. With effort and the counsellor's support, the changes will often bring relief and a renewed energy for living and learning.
Counselling can help you:
- understand your concerns so that you can deal with them better
- by offering different perspectives, which helps you think of creative solutions to problems
- develop new skills to manage personal and educational issues. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone not personally involved in your life can bring enormous relief.
Counsellors are well placed to offer advice and information on university procedures and processes (e.g. special consideration), and can refer you to other professionals where necessary.
By making an appointment, you are already assuming responsibility for dealing with the impact the problem is having on you, and this is a good start. Your main responsibility during the appointment is to be as open and honest with the counsellor as you can about your concerns.
Counsellors rarely tell you 'what to do' – your responsibility is to try something new, or take a different approach that may have been raised during the counselling appointment.
If you are running late or need to cancel an appointment, please call as soon as you can to let us know.
If you are looking at making changes, you need to start with the basics of what, why and how. The health and wellbeing resources on our website can help you, as can a visit to a counsellor. Ask yourself the following questions, which may help you organise your thoughts before meeting with a counsellor.
- What are you thinking, feeling, or doing that tells you there is a problem?
- How are your thoughts, feelings and behaviours affecting your study?
- What have you already done to try and fix the problem?
- Will you need to contact your lecturers to seek extensions or Special Consideration?
- Who else might you seek help from?
- What is going well in your life?
- What are you doing to care for yourself at the moment?
- What do you hope to achieve by talking to a counsellor?
Deakin's counsellors are experienced social workers and psychologists, registered with their professional bodies. We will listen to you and take your concerns seriously. We work closely together as a team to provide you with the best possible support and advice.
Counsellors follow strict guidelines for professional behaviour and confidentiality. Generally, counsellors will not discuss information about you with other university staff outside the counselling service, such as faculty staff or general staff, or with others outside the university such as medical professionals or members of your family without your permission. There are important exceptions when confidentiality cannot be maintained:
- when there are serious concerns about your safety or the safety of others
- when counsellors seek legal advice from Deakin's solicitors (who are also bound by obligations of confidentiality)
- when Deakin or the counsellor has a legal obligation to disclose information.
All records are kept in a secure manner and only used by the counselling team in undertaking normal duties.
Access to your personal record can be obtained through the University freedom of information process. You are encouraged to speak with your counsellor before making your application.
Seeing a counsellor can sometimes feel like a big decision. Deakin's counselling team is here to help with any personal issues that you might be facing. You don't have to bring anything to a session and all appointments are free and confidential.
If you prefer to see a male or female counsellor, you can talk to someone when you make an appointment and arrange this. The counselling service will do their best to provide you with the services you need, so don't be afraid to ask if there are things you require or would like to know.
Our CAPS team provide counselling services to students located within Australia.
If you are overseas for a study tour or study abroad, please contact the study abroad team for further advice on local support options.
If you are permanently located overseas, please contact your local health practitioner for further advice and support.
The University manages personal and health information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic.) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic.)
Contact the University's Privacy Officer
+61 3 9246 8144
+61 3 5227 8524 or at