Counselling Services

Student Counselling Services

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services [CAPS] are available Monday to Friday to help students with:

  • Counselling for individuals
  • Support and transition to university
  • Motivational support
  • Personal skills development
  • Psychological services
  • Anxiety and mood management
  • Stress management programs
  • We also offer online self-help guides and programs and workshops.


Office contacts details

Kensington campus

  • Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building
  • Open hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
  • Email:
  • Phone: + 61 2 9385 5418
  • Fax: +61 (2) 9385 6115

UNSW Art & Design (Paddington campus)

  • Open hours: Monday to Friday 9am-4pm
  • Phone: +61 (2) 9385 5418
  • Location: Room G106, G Block, Crn of Oxford St and Greens Rd, Paddington, NSW 2010

National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)

  • Phone: +61 (2) 9385 5418

UNSW Canberra (ADFA)

  • Phone: +61 (2) 6268 6058

On the day consultations

Request an 'On the Day' consultation

To request an 'On the Day" consultation visit us between 9.30am-12:30 Monday to Friday (except Wednesday mornings); or between 1-3pm Monday to Friday. Depending on availability, you will be allocated an 'On the Day' consultation with a counsellor in either the morning or afternoon of that day.

It is also possible to speak briefly with a counsellor by requesting an 'On the Day Brief Phone' consultation. These brief phone consultations will allow you to explore the issues of concern with a counsellor who can assist you take the first step in addressing your concerns. These phone consultations will provide you with information (as a minimum), explore some immediate options for action, and/or help you find the most appropriate referral option for your situation.

During the teaching weeks we receive strong demand for our individual counselling appointments so it is possible that you will need to wait for an initial consultation. In these situations we encourage you to also see support from the following services on campus.

You can also consider a consultation with your doctor or one of the doctors at the University Health Service here at UNSW as a first step.

More about your first consultation

Privacy and Confidentiality: Please read this information and become aware of your rights (and the limits) to privacy, confidentiality and informed consent before your CAPS consultation.

What can you expect during a consultation with a counsellor?

Here are some FAQs to get you started. The counsellor will help you assess your situation, understand the complexities and make suggestions as to how your situation might be managed.

The counsellor might suggest any or all of the following: appropriate self- access information, further counselling or psychotherapy, referral to a specialist practitioner or to a UNSW professional or academic staff member. The counsellor will discuss with you how these options might assist and you will be encouraged to explore which options seem most appropriate, useful or needed.

Registering at CAPS prior to your consultation

After you are given a time for an 'On the Day' consultation or a 'Brief Phone' consultation you will need to provide us with some information about yourself. If you are phoning in you will be asked for this information over the phone. If you are in the CAPS office you will be asked to complete the registration information yourself. So be prepared to spend 15-20 minutes stepping through our registration process and completing a brief questionnaire.

Please note:

  • If you are visiting our office and cannot arrive at CAPS before 3.00pm to make your request for an 'On the Day' consultation, it is best to attend on the following day.
  • There are a limited number of appointments and the ’On the Day' consults fill up quickly at peak demand times during semester so be prepared to try again the next day.
  • Each contact with a counsellor is viewed as complete in itself. Each consultation will focus on what you would like to ‘take away’ from that particular conversation.
  • The counsellor will work to ensure the consultation makes the best use of the time available.
  • They will do that by clarifying what is most urgent and important and identify options and constructive steps.

Additional information

Urgent appointments

If your situation is impacting on your safety, let CAPS reception staff know you have an URGENT need for support. An effort will be made to meet with you as soon as possible or facilitate a referral for you to another campus support service, a doctor or a community support service. Please see our urgent help page for emergency contacts.

Further appointments

After the initial consultation there maybe be a follow up consultation. This will of course depend on your circumstances and needs. The follow-up might be in the form of a telephone call, a meeting, or an email contact. In the follow-up contact you and the counsellor will together review the outcome of your previous consultation and what has changed or remained the same in relation to your situation, how you are managing the issues you discussed and whether or not further contact is needed. At this time your counsellor will review with you whether further meetings might be beneficial or if other services may be more appropriate.

There is no set number of consultations. Most of the CAPS consultations are for either 30 or 50 minutes. These contacts are made on an ‘as needed’ basis, one appointment at a time.

Late or cancellation?

If you are going to be late, are unable to attend a scheduled consultation, or need to reschedule an appointment at Kensington, COFA or NIDA please notify the UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services [CAPS] at the main (Kensington) Campus on 02 9385 5418 as soon as possible.

Please note: if you are more than 15 minutes late, your consultation may be offered to someone else.

See also