How to Connect with a Counsellor

VIU students sitting on grass in the summer at Nanaimo campus

To set up your first appointment, drop by the Health & Wellness Centre on the 3rd floor of Building 200 or call 250 740-6416.  Hours are 8:30-4:00 pm, with extended hours (mid-September- May 31), Tuedays till 5.

  • please check-in with the front office when arriving for appointments.
  • international counsellors only see international students

red arrow pointing rightEmergency and After Hours Support

Urgent Concerns: If you have an urgent concern and need to talk to someone today, we have urgent sessions (25 minutes) available. Come to the Counselling Centre and we will book you in to meet with the next available counsellor.

What can I Expect in my Meeting with a Counsellor?

In the first appointment, your counsellor will work with you to understand your needs, clarify your goals for change, offer you empathy and work with you to develop a plan. The specific approach and number of sessions will depend on the nature of your concerns, your goals, and your specific circumstances. Therapy need not be a lengthy process; however, change rarely occurs overnight.

What are my Responsibilities?

Your commitment and willingness to take an active role in counselling is critical for success.  It is important to be open and honest with your counsellor including sharing any concerns you may have about the quality of your relationship with them. If your needs are not being met or you are not comfortable and you would like to switch, please discuss this with your counsellor.

The work you do outside the counselling session is also essential.  These may include reflecting on what you discussed, practicing a new skill, keeping a journal, or reading an article or book.

Please arrive on time for your appointment and check in with the front office so your counsellor can be notified of your arrival.  If you are not able to keep an appointment please call 250-740-6416 to cancel so that we may accommodate other students.  Failure to cancel your appointment, “no showing” your appointment, or arriving more than 15 minutes late may result in losing your appointment.