Find out about our therapeutic and counselling services.

About our service

We provide students with wellbeing and mental health support to help them focus on their studies.

Our therapists and psychological wellbeing practitioners offer:

  • short-term individual therapy and counselling sessions
  • group therapy and psycho-educative workshops.

These may be in-person, online or by telephone.

Depending on what is most appropriate for your needs, we will use low- and high-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Psychodynamic Therapy.

Operating hours

With the exception of the summer vacation, when we are closed in the evenings, we are open:

  • 9am to 5pm on Mondays and Fridays
  • 9am to 9pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.


Therapy and counselling is free and available to all the following:

  • foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) students registered with the University of Sussex (including those registered through International Study Group, but not through Pearson)
  • postgraduate students registered with the Institute of Development Studies.

We cannot provide services for students: 

  • taking online distance learning courses 
  • at Brighton & Sussex Medical School (BSMS) – if you are a BSMS student you can request therapy from the University of Brighton’s Wellbeing Service
  • who are physically located outside the UK requesting online therapy. This is due to both safety and legal reasons. We suggest you arrange therapy for the time when you in the UK.

How to request support

To request therapeutic support, you’ll need to complete a Therapeutic Services form, so our team can assess and refer you for the most appropriate support.

All our psychotherapists, counsellors and practitioners are trained in issues relevant for university students.

If you want to request support from a therapist with a specific identity such as gender, you can tell us at your assessment session and we will try to accommodate your wishes. We will also consider any accessibility needs for inclusive facilities.


You will be assigned a therapist or practitioner who will work with you short-term, for a number of weeks which will be agreed in your initial assessment.

Therapy sessions last 50 minutes and usually take place at the same time and day each week.

Alternatively, if we think you would benefit more from a group or workshop, you will be provided with relevant details and invited to one.

We have a number of groups and workshops throughout the year including for:

  • low mood
  • anxiety
  • self-esteem
  • social anxiety
  • homesickness
  • managing emotions.

Limitations of access

We are unable to see students who:

  • we feel have issues that are better managed through another service
  • are already having psychotherapy or counselling with the NHS or a private therapist
  • are receiving treatment from, or have been referred to, NHS psychiatric or psychological services
  • have complex or high-risk mental health conditions for which our services are not appropriate or helpful.
  • will not provide details of their doctor/GP or consent to us communicating with them in high-risk situations.

We cannot take on the role of the NHS and, in these situations, we will refer you for more appropriate support.

Waiting times

We aim to give you the best possible support and respond to you as quickly as possible, but remember:

  • we aim to see all students within a reasonable time frame, but there will be times during the year when waiting periods will be longer and cases will be prioritised in order of urgency
  • if you have indicated that you have a limited amount of time available for therapy, you are likely to have to wait longer for sessions to start
  • if you don’t attend your allocated session, you are creating a delay for someone else
  • you need to keep us up-to-date with changes to your circumstances, such as your address, contact details or timetable.

If you want longer-term therapy, find out more about low-cost services in the local area [PDF 292KB]

Your privacy

You can read the full privacy notice for the Directorate for Student Experience.

Ethics and confidentiality

We are committed to the principles of ethical practice.

University therapists subscribe to the Codes of Ethics and Guidelines of their professional training bodies: BACP, UKCP [PDF 428KB] and BABCP [PDF 105KB].

We will not breach confidentiality unless there is a serious risk of harm to either you or to others (to protect your vital interests or that of another), including to children or adults at risk. We will always try to inform you first before breaching confidentiality, but this may not always be possible.

We are committed to the principles of Equal Opportunities and Open Access and have full disabled facilities.


If you are unhappy with our service, you can email or use the University’s complaints procedure.

Group sessions and workshops

See all group sessions and workshops.

See more from Getting help