Counselling Services

Adjusting to a new learning environment and being away from home, can be a stressful event without one realising it. Students may face different challenges from communicating with others, balancing personal and study time, understanding and meeting the demands of their course, etc.

Our counsellors support students as they navigate their university experience by providing the following services: individual/group counselling, career guidance, educational wellbeing, personal development, referral and crisis intervention.

“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand”
– Oprah Winfrey

Adjusting to a new learning environment and being away from home, can be a stressful event without one realising it. Students may face different challenges from communicating with others, balancing personal and study time, understanding and meeting the demands of their course, etc.

Our counsellors support students as they navigate their university experience by providing the following services: individual/group counselling, career guidance, educational wellbeing, personal development, referral and crisis intervention.

Individual Counselling

Individual Counselling

You will be individually attended to by the student counsellor. We hope to enhance your ability to adapt and eventually achieve self-development. Besides providing emotional support, the counsellor also helps to develop your coping skills; identify decision-making style; improve relationships with friends and family as well as to help you tap into your unexplored potential and strength.

Group Counselling

Group Counselling

Group counselling is for a group of students who may be experiencing similar personal difficulties, or to seek personal growth and development. Group counselling provides a unique way to learn about your own self and your relationships, to gain confidence or to develop new skills and abilities. You will also learn healthy ways to give and receive support and feedback from others. Some of our group counselling topics include stress management, communication skills etc.

Career Guidance

Career Guidance

Counsellor will help you to explore your career options using various tools. Career guidance can help you increase your self-confidence and a sense of direction. It can provide you with the support and inspiration you need to help you get to where you want to be. We provide guidance on career information, career decision making and career assessment.

Referral

Referral

Referral to community resources will be done when students’ presenting concerns are beyond IMU Student Counselling Unit’s scope of practice. The counsellor will attempt to provide the student with all necessary information about the referral source.

Crisis Intervention

Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention is a service offered to students who are in serious or immediate emotional distress. Counselling staff are available to handle emergencies such as suicide attempts, suicide ideation, reports of rape or attempted rape, physical assaults, and other types of crises.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality

The IMU Self Development Unit works within the ethical framework for good practice in accordance with the Malaysia Counsellor Act 1998 (580 Act).

The IMU counsellors are committed to work together to provide professional counselling services to the students adhering to the Counsellors Code of Ethics as set by “Lembaga Kaunsellor” (Malaysian Board of Counsellors).

Hence all clients’ information and counselling notes are kept confidential in accordance with professional, legal, and ethical guidelines. Only the attending counsellor will have access to his/her counselling notes. No one will have access to the counselling notes unless the client releases them in writing. They will not become part of the client’s academic file, and even the fact that the client has come to the unit for counselling will not be divulged to anyone without the client’s permission.

Monthly and yearly statistics are compiled as part of the university requirement. Rest assured no names are revealed and only statistics are mentioned.

In order to ensure the quality of the counselling services, the counsellors may consult with their supervisors or colleagues. However the name of the client is not revealed whenever possible. The exception will be as follows but are not limited to:

  1. When the life or safety of the client is at risk;
  2. When the life or safety of any other person is being threatened or is at risk;
  3. When the client, any child or elderly person is being physically, sexually or in any other manner abused; and
  1. When such other situations where in the reasonable opinion of the counsellor, such information should be divulged to the relevant authorities or other relevant individuals.

Much as above may seem intimidating to some, the IMU SDU counsellors works on the basis for the safety of the client within our professional ethics. As mentioned, the counsellors will discuss and inform the client on the information revealed, if any.

We balance this with working with the client on the most effective therapeutic environment for the client. IMU SDU encourages students to develop a relationship of trust with the counsellor and to be candid about their concerns and risk behaviours. Therapy and counselling are effective if there is trust. Students are always free to share (with anyone they want) information revealed during counselling sessions.

Number of Visits

The Counselling Service at IMU adopts a short-term therapy model.  Normally sessions may vary between 4 sessions to 10 sessions.  However, the number of visits is determined by each student’s unique situation.  You may see your counsellor to work on different areas where more sessions will be required.  This will be agreed between you and your counsellor.  Where appropriate, referral is made.

We will always see students in an emergency situation, regardless of the number of previous sessions they have attended.

Counselling Services at other clinical campuses i.e. Kluang and Batu Pahat are outsourced. As students are there for either a few weeks or just for Semester 10, the counselling service operates on a short-term therapy model. Hence each student is allocated a maximum of 10 counselling sessions per semester. The number of sessions is based on previous experience of the need of the students in the past.

Payment for Services

The counselling services are free for all IMU students and IMU Alumni (for one year after graduation).  This covers intake assessment, and counselling and/or referral.

Students will need to pay for their own therapy at the referred centres e.g. IMU Healthcare, hospitals and other external centres.

At Batu Pahat and Kluang clinical campus, the student will need to pay for counselling services after he/she has reached a maximum of the allocated 10 free counselling sessions.

Making an Appointment

You may walk-in, call, or email the counsellors between 8.30am to 5.30pm.  If the counsellor is available, he/she will be able to see you immediately. Otherwise appointments may be arranged within the next five working days.  Please click on Contact Us for our contact details and the different ways to make an appointment.

For after-hours assistance, please refer to After-hours assistance contact numbers under Contact Us.

If this is a life threatening emergency, please call 999 immediately.

 

Common Myths about Counselling

MYTH #1: Counselling is only for people with serious emotional problems

FACT: Seeing a counsellor doesn’t mean that you are mentally ill or “crazy”. Everyone has difficulties at some point in their lives. Being able to ask for help is a sign of maturity, health, and strengths.

MYTH #2: Seeking counselling is a sign of weakness.

FACT: It takes courage to explore sensitive feelings and painful experiences. Individuals who enter counselling are taking their first steps in resolving their difficulties.

MYTH #3: Counsellors will tell you what to do and how to “fix” your problems.

FACT: Counselling is not a “quick fix” cure to your problems. The counsellor is there to help you explore your feelings, thoughts, and concerns, to examine your options, and to assist you in achieving the goals you set.

MYTH #4: Counsellor cannot understand you unless he/she has had similar experiences or is of the same background.

FACT: Counsellors are  trained to be sensitive to and respectful of individual differences, including the specific concerns of students with regard to gender, racial/ethnic, cultural, religious, age, sexual preference/orientation, and socioeconomic issues.

FACT: Counsellors are  trained to be sensitive to and respectful of individual differences, including the specific concerns of students with regard to gender, racial/ethnic, cultural, religious, age, sexual preference/orientation, and socioeconomic issues.

 

Adapted from: http://www.upstate.edu/currentstudents/support/scc/myths.php

FAQ

1. Where is the counselling service located?

We are located on the 2nd Floor at Bukit Jalil Main campus.

At Seremban clinical campus, we are located on the 2nd Floor.

Please click on Contact Us. Scroll down to view a map to our location.

2. What are your office hours?

Bukit Jalil Main Campus: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Seremban Clinical Campus: 12pm – 3pm on Thurs.

Mon-Wed & Fri are by appointment basis.

Other clinical campuses:      Services are outsource at branch campuses.

Counselling sessions are by appointment basis.

Please click on Contact Us for the contact details.

3. Who can use the Counselling Service, and what does it cost?

All registered and paid IMU students are eligible for free counselling services at SDU at Bukit Jalil main campus and Seremban clinical campuses.

Counselling services are outsourced at Batu Pahat and Kluang. Students at clinical campuses (BatuPahat and Kluang) are allocated 10 free sessions as we work on a short-term therapy basis for semester 10 students and visiting students at the branch campuses.  Should the student need further counselling after 10 sessions, they will need pay on their own.  The 10 sessions was a number set based on previous experience of the needs of students in Semester 10.

Alumni are allocated 12 free sessions for a period of one year after convocation at our Bukit Jalil main campus.

Students will need to pay for their own therapy at the referred centres e.g. IMU Healthcare, hospitals and other external centres.

4. How do I make an appointment?

You may walk-in, call, or email the counsellors between 8.30am to 5.30pm.

If this is a life threatening emergency, please call 999 immediately.

Please click on Contact Us for our contact details and location map.

5. What will happen at my first appointment?

When you come, you will be asked to complete a “Counselling Registration Form” and read through the “Informed Consent Form”, which take about 5-10 minutes. At this point, you may state your preference of language i.e. Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia or English.  Counselling is more effective if it’s with one’s mother tongue.

You will be attended to by a counsellor who will explain the counselling process and confidentiality. After filling out the form, you will meet with the counsellor to discuss your personal concerns and expectations of the counselling sessions. The counsellor will then work with you on which objective(s) you wish to work with.

Usually the counsellor will proceed with counselling unless he/she feels that another counsellor may be more suited to provide counselling as different counsellors have different areas of expertise.

6. What if I need to talk to someone sooner than my scheduled appointment time or after office hours?

If you feel that you need to talk to someone urgently and cannot wait for your scheduled appointment time, you may request for an earlier appointment.

If this is after office hours and you are unable to contact the counsellor, you may refer to the After-Hours Assistance where there is a list of available telephone numbers to call. These are Telephone Counselling Providers.

7. What is your policy on confidentiality?

The client may choose to disclose to family, friends, mentor or other university personnel on your use of the counselling services. Only the SDU counsellors will have access to your mental health records. Nothing will be disclosed without your signed consent. Rest assured that the records will not become a part of your academic file. Even the fact that you have come to SDU for counselling will not be divulged to anyone inside or outside the University without your consent.

An exception to confidentiality would be a situation in which you were assessed to be a danger to yourself or others. In this situation, we have a legal obligation to inform the appropriate persons and/or authorities. If you have any questions about this policy, please raise them with your counsellor.

8. Is there a limit on how many sessions I am allowed at SDU?

Usually the number of sessions is agreed upon between the counsellor and the client depending on need basis.  The counsellor will explore the needs of the client and an objective is agreed upon. The number of sessions will depend on the objective.

The client may end the session at any time.

Usually after the objective has been met, the counsellor will discuss with the client if there are any new objectives or if it’s a good time to end the session.

We will always see students in an emergency situation, regardless of the number of previous sessions they have attended.

9. How long is one session?

For the first session, it may take 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 min including the time taken to fill-in the registration form.

Follow-up session is approximately 60 minutes. Some sessions may be longer (90 min) if expressive art activities are facilitated during the session. This is normally discussed and agreed between you and the counsellor.

10. What if I am concerned for a friend or family member?

Supporting friends and family in need may be stressful or one may be worried for them but is unsure of what to do.  You are welcome to make an appointment with us to discuss on your concern and get some guidance on how to help your friend or family.  Rest assured that this will be kept confidential within the limits as mentioned under Confidentiality.

11. How may I support a friend or family in need?

You are welcome to consult the counsellors on how to support your friend or family in need.

You may wish to join the Peer Support club where we conduct training for peers on how to support their friends. Please click on How to Help a Friend for more information.

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