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Frequently Asked Questions

What is counselling?

Counselling is an interactive process that can take the form and speed that you want. As you identify your goals for the process, you work together with the counsellor in a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment. Anything that you share is confidential, and is kept between you and the counsellor.

Is there any cost to see a counsellor?

No. All counselling appointments and drop-in appointments are offered free of charge.

I’m worried about talking to a stranger. What should I expect?

The main focus of counselling is YOU. Sometimes students find it odd to discuss their most personal problems with a complete stranger that they know almost nothing about. However, the beauty of counselling, as opposed to talking to a friend or family member, is that you get an outside, third-party point of view. You won’t have the person you’re talking to change the subject or start talking about themselves instead. They won’t belittle or judge you, and they can help you at the pace that works best for you. They might be able to offer options both personally and academically that you may not know existed. Even though your counsellor will not be a “friend,” a close relationship of a different kind is often developed, where trust, acceptance, and support are key components.

What kind of issues can a counsellor help me with? 

Counsellors can help with a wide range of personal and academic concerns including problem solving around academic issues (advocacy), coping with anxiety and/or stress, doing better in your courses, time management, learning strategies, homesickness and transition to Sheridan, financial problems, feelings of depression or sadness, body image and eating disorders, self-harm or suicidal feelings, coping with loss and grief, relationship and family issues, sexuality concerns, getting control of your drinking or drug use, confidence and self-esteem, working effectively in groups and teams, anger/conflict etc.

Are there different types of counselling?

While much of counselling is often referred to as “talk therapy,” where simply talking about problems or issues can be therapeutic itself, counselling can also take on other forms, such as Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). These are different approaches to counselling that might be used to best help you reach your goals.
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy looks at finding solutions to problems and working on imaging other ways to reach your goals. This is usually a shorter term method of counselling, and is often used in conjunction with other approaches. By helping you identify what you might want to change in your life as well as what you might wish to have happen in the future, SFBT can help you to create a vision of a preferred future for yourself.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an approach that helps you look at the thoughts behind your emotions, where these thoughts might have come from, and how accurate they might be. Oftentimes, if we don’t analyze and challenge our automatic thoughts, these can take on unhelpful forms that can impede our way of living and get in the way of achieving our goals. Sometimes we may not even be aware that these thoughts exist or that they might actually be untrue. CBT can help you identify more helpful ways of thinking that can then change how you are feeling.