What Is Counselling?

What do you think of when you hear the word counselling? Many people think that it means admitting that you are weak, helpless or even crazy. As such, people may be too ashamed to go for counselling because of a wrong perception of what counselling is about, or because they are influenced by peers who don’t understand the benefits of counselling.

Counselling is not:

  • Someone else making decisions for you
  • A sign of weakness
  • A sign that you are crazy

Counselling is:

A learning-oriented process which usually occurs in an interactive relationship with the aim of helping a person to gain greater understanding and knowledge:

  • About him/herself
  • About others
  • About situations and events related to issues and conditions, and
  • About how to apply such understanding to being an effective member of university and society as a whole.
  • Counselling is a CONFIDENTIAL process. The role of the psychologist is to display care, empathy and concern towards the person who comes to see them. The aim of the therapeutic space is to facilitate personal development, growth and positive change through


The basic aims of counselling are to facilitate students:

  • Understanding of themselves in terms of their personality, ability, Interest, motivation, emotions, behaviour and potential.
  • Gaining insight into the origins and development of emotional difficulties, leading to an increased capacity to take control of their feelings and actions.
  • Changing maladaptive behaviours into adaptive ones.
  • Developing effective coping skills for traumatic life experiences.
  • Moving towards the direction of fulfilling their potential.
  • Learning skills, awareness and knowledge that will enable them to address interpersonal difficulties.
  • Gaining insight into the world of work and how this relates to their specific area of study.
  • Developing decision-making and other important life skills.
  • Developing skills that facilitate academic success.


Why consider going for counselling?

At any stage of development in our lives we can face difficulties with adjusting and coping. Because as humans we are fundamentally relational, when we go through struggles, we need support from those around us. Although it is good to have support from people we are close to, sometimes they are too involved and it helps to get an outsider’s perspective. They might also have their own problems that they are dealing with and are therefore not always able to help.

Going for counselling is helpful because the psychologist’s role is to listen to you and help you gain insight and find solutions. It is a professional, confidential and safe environment in which you can express your difficulties and explore solutions.

You might struggle with any of these personal or relational issues:

  • Emotional distress – anxiety, depression, anger etc.
  • Actions that leads to negative consequences.
  • Grief over the loss of a loved one.
  • Difficulty making friends.
  • Adjustment concerns and stress.
  • Struggling with interpersonal difficulties.
  • Personal development issues.

Online Counselling: 

In line with the Covid-19 regulations online counselling is being offered by Student Counselling through secure and confidential platforms. For further information and to book a session with a psychologist please email counsellingdbn@dut.ac.za or counsellingpmb@dut.ac.za