Counselling Appointments

We can help! Please call us on 9385 5418 to arrange a confidential telehealth appointment or let our staff know if you need to see someone urgently.  We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (AEST).

Cat and notebook

To find out more about about CAPS telehealth appointments and our confidentiality policy read the sections below.  You can read about some common Counselling FAQs here.

International students can contact their overseas health insurance cover provider or ring the Medibank 24/7 Health and Support Line on 1800 887 283 9 within Australia and +61 (2) 89050307 from overseas,Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (AEST).

 

Help and support is also available from the following services on campus:

Need 24/7 help now ?

 

Telehealth appointments

How Telehealth appointments work

Telehealth appointments are conducted on the phone or via video.  If you have a telephone appointment, we will call you at the scheduled time. If it is a video appointment, you will be sent a link via Teams and you can click on the link at the time of the appointment. You can then identify yourself and confirm that you are available and happy to proceed.

We would like to reassure you that our confidentiality policy remains the same for telehealth appointments. If you would like to know more about this, please discuss this with your Psychologist at your appointment.

Meeting in a virtual space for an appointment is different. To make the best of this situation, it would be helpful to keep the following in mind:

 • Organise a time to be available and be on time at the agreed time.

• Set up a private space where you are free to talk openly with your Psychologist.

• Try and ensure that no third person would be present for any period of time during your video consultations (unless you have a toddler).

• No recording of any consultation or part thereof would be made without the other’s explicit and informed consent

Technical Setup:

  • For video counselling, your device needs an operating video camera and microphone. Many devices have these built in, but not all do. If these are not available, you may want to switch to a phone session.

  • Whatever device you are using, please make sure that the camera is about level with your eyes. It may require propping up your device or monitor on other items, such as books.

  • Please make sure that you have enough light in the room, and try to avoid having a bright light source directly behind you.

Be sure to move your computer as close as you can to your WiFi or better yet — plug your computer into the router with a cable. To optimise the quality of the video, switch off as many of the Internet-reliant apps or activities you can.


On the day consultations

Request an "On the Day" consultation

On the day consultations

When the campus is open to face to face teaching again we will have "On the Day" consultations available by appointment between 10.00am and 3.30pm, Monday to Friday (except Wednesday mornings). These are filled on a first come basis. For the morning appointments you should come to CAPS between 9.15 and 10.00am and for afternoon appointments come between 12.30 and 1.30pm.

The “On the Day” consultation will last for 25-30 minutes. This consultation is designed to get an overview of your situation and your main concerns. This allows the clinician to advise on the best course of action to address your concerns. That could mean a follow-up appointment with a counsellor or referral to another more appropriate service on campus or an external specialist service.

Please note: that while we try and accommodate all students there are times when we receive strong demand for our individual counselling appointments.  In those cases, you may have to wait for an initial consultation. In these situations we encourage you to also seek support from the other campus services above.

More about your first 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 you 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

Further appointments

Further appointments

After the initial consultation there may 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.

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 ?

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, Art and Design Paddington Campus 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.

Confidentiality

We would like to reassure you that all the staff at CAPS take confidentiality seriously. We do not share any information about you unless we have your permission, or if you are a risk to yourself or someone else. If you would like to know more about this, please discuss this with your Psychologist at your appointment.

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.


External help and support

Prefer to see counsellor/ psychologist off campus?

Access a Mental Health Care Plan

If you would like to see a psychologist or counsellor off campus independent from the university, the CAPs staff can help you apply for a Mental Health Care Plan by writing a referral letter to your GP.  Read about Mental Health Care Plans here.

Once the GP has assessed that you qualify for a Mental Health Care Plan via Medicare you will be referred to a psychologist or a psychiatrist in private practice.

Your CAPS counsellor can also help you understand the Medicare Rebate and what costs might be involved.

The UNSW Health Service  employs doctors and a mental health nurse are also familiar with mental health  challenges faced by university students and can also help with a Mental Health Care Plan.