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E-counselling FAQs

What happens if there's a technical failure?

If you can't email us, don't worry. We will wait to hear from you in due course. You may be able to reach us from a different PC or you can always come in to Student Gateway reception (Ground Floor, Gateway House) where you can leave a msg for your counsellor.

If the failure is at our end, we will call you on your mobile number (as agreed on the form you'll send us) and work to re-establish contact as soon as we can.

Why an online questionnaire?

Asking the questions we do helps us to work with you in the best and safest ways, keeping the risk to you down. If you indicate a risk of any of the following in questions two or three, please tell us more in question three:

Rape - please tell us when this happened and whether you are currently in danger.

Eating disorder - please tell us what form this takes, how frequently you take this action and whether it seriously affects your health, for example if you have ever needed to go hospital because of it.

Sexual abuse - please tell us when this happened and whether you are currently in danger.

Suicide attempt - please tell us when the attempt took place and what action you took. Are you seriously contemplating taking your life now?

Self harm - please tell us what action you take and how frequently you do it. Does it seriously affect your health, for example have you needed medical or hospital attention because of it?

Thoughts of harming others - please tell us what form this takes and how frequently you have these thoughts. Are you seriously contemplating harming someone now and do you feel able to control your actions?

At risk of being harmed by others - please tell us the nature, severity and frequency of the risk.

What about confidentiality and security?

We have rigourous procedures to ensure student confidentiality. Visit our confidentiality| page to find out more.

Additionally we ensure as high online confidentiality as possible by using Google mail accounts.

You also need to take responsibility yourself for securing your computer and emails against unauthorised viewing such as password protecting exchanged files (if you keep them), deleting sensitive files from your recycle bin and by avoiding the use of public terminals such as libraries and internet cafes.

In spite of the precautions that we and you take, you need to acknowledge that email can never be 100 per cent secure. If you are unhappy about that, ecounselling may not be for you.

As a service, we will not communicate the content of your emails to a third party except for the purposes of supervision and to comply with UK law.

We also agree that neither party will post text or any part of any text outside the exchanges agreed upon. Any breach of these points will be deemed a breach of our online agreement and we may terminate ecounselling exchanges.

How can I express myself in emails?

You can write to us in plain text, and you can use embellishments like emoticons if you find they help you to express yourself, for example :-) for happy and :-( for sad.

Some people find capitals expressive for shouting. Some people like to use brackets to express feelings while telling about something else (I feel OK about that).

You will find your own way to express yourself, and your own way will be perfectly acceptable. If we don't understand something you write, we'll ask you for clarification.

What happens if I'm not happy with the service I receive?

As part of the Student Services team at DMU, we want to make sure you are satisfied with our service. We have rigourous procedures to follow up if you are not. We have both informal and formal procedures. Ask us about them if you would like more information.

Because we also adhere to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Ethical Framework for Good Practice, you can also make a complaint to our professional body. Contact BCAP to find out how.  

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