Update: Learn more about the integration of Counselling and Mental Health Services and the new Psychiatric Services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Counselling Services about?

Trained and experienced in dealing with the broad scope of difficulties encountered by university students, clinicians in Counselling Services emphasize our clients' strength and capacity for change. The counselling process works to enhance a student's ability to solve problems, make decisions, and cope more effectively with life's major stressors and daily demands. To learn more about our approach, please see the About Counselling web page.

How much does it cost?

Counselling is available to all full and part-time McGill students who have paid student services fees. Other than a modest cost-recovery charge for vocational testing materials, as well as for some workshops, counselling services are free of charge to McGill students.

Is it confidential?

The information shared in counselling is strictly confidential, and is released only with the student's written permission or if required by law, as in the case of child abuse or the immediate threat of harm to self or others.

What types of concerns do students who visit Counselling Services have?

Concerns are wide-ranging. Students discuss personal issues such as self-esteem, depression, anxiety, anger, grief, sexuality, relationships, family, etc. They also discuss academic issues such as exam anxiety, procrastination, motivation, study skills and time management. Students may also have career concerns related to vocational interests and decision making. In effect, the issues raised by students cover the scope of human experience.

Can I choose a male or female counsellor?

Yes. Both female and male clinicians are available. When booking your initial consultation, please let the receptionist know.

Can I see a French speaking counsellor?

Yes. Both male and female counsellors are available to students who would prefer to speak in French. When booking your initial consultation, please let the receptionist know.

What to expect for my initial consultation?

At your first appointment (consultation), you will meet with your Primary Clinician for about an hour. The clinician will try to understand the challenges that you are facing and together you will develop a personalized action plan best suited to your needs. This clinician becomes the ongoing point of contact for follow-ups around your action plan. For more information regarding the counselling process, please see our approach.

What kind of training do the graduate students doing their field placements have?

Master's and PhD students completing their practicum or internship requirements with Counselling Services are in the final stages of their training. They have been carefully selected, and they are closely supervised by clinicians in Counselling Services and professors in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology.

Can I get a letter of support to defer an exam or get an extension on a paper?

We do provide letters of support but only within certain parameters. A student who is involved with a clinician prior to exams or deadlines may receive a letter outlining the circumstances that have contributed to their academic difficulties. 

Letters are not written after the fact if the clinician has no prior knowledge of the circumstances leading up to the difficulty. Students requiring same-day supporting documentation who are not already known to Counselling Services should go directly to an off-campus clinic.

Will I benefit from meeting with a counsellor?

As in all things, there are no absolute guarantees. Counselling is not a magic cure, and there is generally no quick fix to many of life's concerns and problems. What can and often does take place in Counselling is an opportunity for individuals to discuss their concerns and issues in a relaxed and confidential atmosphere with an interested and objective professional. Not everyone benefits from counselling, but thousands of students have found it helpful in dealing with the academic, personal and social challenges of university life.

Is there anyone else on campus that I can talk to?

 

There are many on-campus professional and peer support resources available to you. For a list, please visit our Other Resources page.


Do you have another question you'd like to ask? counselling.service [at] mcgill.ca (E-mail us)!