The Counselling Centre enhances the work of the University of the South Pacific by providing an approachable and professional counselling service to students and staff (also referred to as clients).
We maintain a strict Code of Practice on confidentiality and other ethical principles at all times. The primary focus of the Counselling Center is to provide short-term counselling to help students and staff members deal with personal and/or adjustment issues that may interfere with their ability to progress academically and/or professionally to their fullest potential.
The Counselling Service provides support and information to the USP University community in a number of ways: Individual counselling, liaison, consultancy, referral and as a response team to critical incidents. The Counsellors will generally determine which of the services are appropriate.
Individual counselling is provided for a wide range of issues including those that are academic and study-related and those of a personal or social nature. It is when students/staff meet with a Counsellor individually to discuss a variety of concerns. These may include personal feelings, relationship issues, coping with stress and anxiety, adjusting to university life, family conflict, academic problems and/or other personal issues.
As a general rule, counselling services are intended to help students and staff whose problems can be dealt with in a limited number of sessions focusing on short term objectives. The primary mission of the Counselling Centre is to provide immediate help and support to facilitate students’ and staff members’ success and adjustment.
If your situation requires counselling beyond the scope or capability of the Counselling Centre, you will be referred to an outside agency. You are responsible for any expenses incurred for services you receive from outside sources.
The Counselling Service staff members are highly experienced professionals in areas of Counselling, Psychology and Social Work. Sessions generally last for approximately fifty minutes.
Group counselling is where students/staff members can share common concerns in a group environment and may involve working with one or two Counsellors exploring a specific topic. Group sessions may focus on relationships, self-esteem, family issues, group conflict, stress management and/or other issues.
Within the USP, Counselling Service staff may liaise with individual Schools and Offices regarding programs and services offered as well as to support students and staff members in private and/or academic/professional areas of concern.
Counsellors are available to provide consultancy services in areas of their expertise to Schools and Offices of the University. For example, Counsellors may be able to assist with specific techniques to support students or staff members who are affected by an unforeseen traumatic event, such as bereavement or other personal crisis.
Counsellors are also available for consultation in relation to concerns that students or staff might have with work or study related issues.
The Counselling Service has access to a range of information regarding on campus or community facilities in the event that a referral off-campus is needed. Before a Counsellor refers a client and provides any information to another professional, the permission of the client is sought. If psychiatric evaluation and/or intervention is required, clients are referred to appropriate institutions.
Also, students may be referred to specific areas within the University for further assistance. For example, a student may be referred to Halls of Residence if there is a housing issue or to the Career Centre for career and/or job seeking skills, should the need arise.
The Counselling Service has special expertise in the area of Critical Incident Response. It is important that any traumatic event such as an episode of violence, exposure to crime, suicide or threat of harm to self or others is dealt with in a supportive manner facilitating healing and recovery of those affected.
Services may include attending to emergency and crisis situations such as Counsellors.
- Visiting sick students in hospital and/or disabled students at home
- Supporting bereaved students/staff members who are away from home
- Assisting clients with travel arrangements to visit the home country and attend funerals
- Accompanying students to court appearances and/or police investigations
- Visiting clients in prisons when confined due to the nature of their problems