Students begin life at third level with hope and ambition. They look forward to their years on campus and the possibility of a career following their studies. This is a time of great change. Students move away from the known, secure environment of their home and second level education to a place with new people, new demands and new expectations. While definitely exciting, it is also challenging. For many, there are mixed feelings: excitement, freedom and fun, along with personal responsibility, self-doubt, insecurity and/or loneliness. For some there are also unexpected life events: illness, bereavement, relationship breakdown, accident and trauma.
Here at the Institute we believe that all students, whatever their personal circumstances, should have every opportunity to achieve their potential. We also realise that there are times when student life is not easy. Life does not always run smoothly. Everyone experiences challenging and difficult times - times when they need the support of a professional person who will listen and have your interests and well-being at heart.
The Counselling Service offers a specialist, professional, confidential service that is sensitive to the developmental path of students and gives appropriate support during times of need. It provides an opportunity for students to talk, on a one-to-one basis, and explore issues that are of concern to them, in an environment that is safe and non-judgement. Counselling aims to enable students become more effective and resourceful in their academic, social and personal lives. In addition to one-to-one counselling the service also organises a series of lunchtime workshops on various aspects of wellbeing.
Our service is currently staffed by a qualified, experienced chartered psychologist & integrative psychotherapist who has worked as a psychologist both here and abroad. She has experience working with people with a wide range of personal issues and from a range of different cultures /backgrounds. In addition there are also a number of trainee psychotherapists working who are equipped to deal with a wide range of personal issues.
We advise that if you have difficulty and need help, don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment. It is important to have the opportunity to tackle these problems early so that they do not become so big that they interfere with the student's time at the college. It is important to seek help in time.
Student counselling is a free, confidential service available to all registered students of IT Tralee. It is available on both campuses Monday to Friday from 9-5.30 p.m.
What is the Student Counselling Service?
It is a specialist, professional, confidential and free service. The Service offers individual counselling and workshops to students. Individual counselling provides an opportunity for students to talk about and explore the issues that are of concern to them in a safe and supportive environment. The Student Counselling Service also provides a variety of workshops to students on areas such as stress management, managing exam anxiety, and dealing with presentations in class, etc. If you or your friends are interested in having any workshops organised please do not hesitate to contact the Counsellor.
Counselling is not the same as giving advice. Instead the Counsellor tries to help you to focus on and understand more clearly the issues that concern you. By respecting your values, choices and lifestyle, the counsellor works together with you helping you make choices or changes that are right for you. Counselling is therefore a relationship with another person who is skilled and has expertise in dealing with the difficulties that students come up against. This relationship will be one of support, education and challenge, warmth and empathy. It will normally be on a weekly/fortnightly basis, for as long as both the counsellor and student consider necessary. It takes place in a comfortable and private place.
Who is the Counsellor?
The service is currently run by a professionally trained psychologist who has worked as a psychologist both here and abroad. She is used to working with people with a wide range of personal issues and from a range of different cultures/backgrounds.
Clotilde (Clo) O'Keeffe-Lyons,
Student Counsellor - Ext No: 1690/2260
Where is the service located?
The service is currently located on the North Campus in the U BLOCK
On the South Campus the Counsellor is located in Room A124 - go down the corridor opposite the student canteen, last door on the left and the Counsellor's office is the second door on the right, beside the Access Officer's room.
What will happen?
Once you make contact with the main office / counsellor an appointment will be made for you to see the counsellor for an initial appointment. At this appointment with the Counsellor, you will need to discuss your concerns/worries. You will then decide with the Counsellor what the best course of action needs to be for your circumstances. Some students need one or two sessions and others can need more. It really depends on what is happening for you at that time and the nature of the problem.
How to Contact the service?
To arrange an appointment
They will arrange your initial appointment with the Counsellor. You will be asked to complete a registration form for the service. At the initial appointment with the Counsellor, you will have an opportunity to discuss your concerns/worries. You will then decide with the Counsellor what the best course of action is for your particular circumstances.
Why Would I Need Counselling?
We all go through times that are difficult either personally, in our relationships or in our work/study. Many people though find that it can be hard to talk to friends/family during this time. This is quite normal for us all. The Counselling service offers you the opportunity to talk to a Counsellor in private to help you resolve these issues. So if you find that something is interfering in some way with you here at College, book an appointment to see the Counsellor.
How Does Counselling Help?
Counselling aims to provide a confidential space for people to share their concerns and worries. Undisclosed issues and concerns can weigh heavily on us. They can affect our view of ourselves, of others and of the situation in which we find ourselves. Being listened to in a non-judgmental way can provide a sense of release and relief. It can provide reassurance that our concerns are worthwhile and that we are valued as people. In addition to airing our concerns, counselling aims to help us clarify what it is that concerns us and then to identify and explore our options so that we can live in a more personally satisfying way.
What kinds of Issues Concern Students?
Counselling aims to help with problems of psychological survival and coping, whether they seem minor or major to you. Most personal, relationship or identity problems can be helped through counselling. This includes anxiety, stress and depression, family and/or relationship difficulties, sexual problems or identity issues. It includes talking over difficulties you might experience adjusting to new situations, including settling into college, dealing with dilemmas or difficult decisions as well as specific problems related to your course: study skills, motivation, exam anxiety, and procrastination.
Will Anyone Know That I've Been to See the Student Counsellor?
The Counselling service is confidential and operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by the Psychological Counselling in Higher Education, Ireland (PCHEI) Code of Ethics. This means that personal details are not disclosed to anyone outside the service without your expressed permission, except in exceptional circumstances regarding safety. This will be explained to you when you come to see the Counsellor. It is a separate service to the academic services of the College so there is no feedback to academic staff without your consent.
Will the Counsellor Tell Me What to Do?
No! Counselling is not about giving advice. Counselling is about you. You are the best person to decide what it is you want and how best to get it. The counsellor's role is to facilitate you in identifying what it is you need and how you can best achieve it. Counselling will help you to clarify your issues of concern, to explore the alternatives and decide on the course of action that helps you best.
What if I need more help?
If appropriate referrals will be made to a variety of psychological, therapeutic or mental health services within the community. The counsellor will talk to you about this if it seems the best way to proceed.