Counselling for all
7 March 2012
Counselling support for postgraduate students
A new programme of counselling support based on creativity and collaboration is available to postgraduate students. Here, Counsellor Sarah Worley explains the joined up approach behind the new initiative and what’s on offer.
“Postgraduate students are a unique group within an academic institution. The process of research and writing is generally a solitary one, even when part of a research group. You are expected to focus intently on a specific topic, devoting hours of energy, time and effort to, hopefully, achieving a successful outcome. You also need to manage your relationships with your supervisors; not always an easy task! And what about having a life outside of your PhD?! Do you have time, or energy, left for family life and friends; who often do not really understand the challenges of writing a voluminous thesis? The frustration of often not getting the results you expected, the writer’s block, the self-doubts about your choice of research and your abilities; let alone coping with a job, and the stresses that life throws at us! Add to that a common tendency to perfectionism amongst postgraduates, and life can be pretty tough!
“Naturally, common themes when postgraduates attend the Counselling Service are: anxiety, stress, depression and perfectionism. Often the intensity of the PhD process, and the focus on producing a high quality piece of research, that you hope will be heralded as significant in your field, can lead to debilitating anxiety and concerns over self identity – who am I without this research?
“Seeing these themes and issues regularly brought to counselling, led us to look at how we could provide further support, beyond individual counselling, to post graduate students. So, in discussion with the Graduate Centre, my counsellor colleague Fenia Christodoulidi and I have developed a new, creative and collaborative programme of workshops, specifically to support the needs of PhD students.
“These include a one day course, ‘The Only Thing we have to Fear is Fear Itself’, aimed at managing anxiety; a specific workshop on ‘Perfectionism’; and a monthly workshop ‘Dr…Who?’, aimed at exploring the PhD process as a ‘relationship’.
“To find out more or to enrol on a course visit http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/counselling/
Counselling for all
Free seminars on how to deal with anger, grief, low self-esteem, pressure and worry are on offer for all members of staff throughout March.
The Winter/Spring Wellbeing Workshops are run by the Staff Counselling Service and take place across the Cathays campus.
They include the following:
Living with Uncertainty - Struggling to cope with uncertain times? Learn how to think your way through (Tuesday 13th March, 1pm to 3pm)
Under Pressure - Feeling stressed and under pressure? Learn to relax and mange your stress effectively (Thursday 15th March, 1.30pm to 3.30pm)
Don’t let the Worry Blues get you Down - Are you caught up in your worries, feeling like you can’t stop worrying about everything in your life? (Thursday 22 March, 1.30pm to 3.30pm)
Places can be booked on any of the workshops by calling the Staff Counselling Service on 029 2087 9572 or by emailing email@example.com.
For more information on other workshops and seminars available, visit the workshop page of the Counselling Service website.