Individual counselling

We provide free and confidential short-term counselling to currently enrolled La Trobe University students. You can choose to participate in counselling face-to-face, via telephone, or Skype.

Drop-in appointments

Melbourne and Bendigo Campuses have counselling drop-in times every day. Please contact reception to find out the times.

*We can provide supporting documentation for Special Consideration applications only for students who have attended previous counselling appointments at our service.

Indigenous counselling

We provide a specific and culturally-sensitive support program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The counsellor is currently located on the Melbourne Campus and they can assist you with:

  • support for your study
  • referral to other appropriate agencies
  • general psychological support as well as help with relationships, personal issues and a range of other practical supports.

Our counsellors are all fully qualified and adhere to a professional code of ethics. The service is free and confidential. Students from any campus can access the service by phone or face-to-face.

Request an appointment

Read more about our Indigenous Student Service Unit.

LGBTIQ counselling

We have a Queer Counsellor for our LGBTIQ students at the Melbourne, Bendigo and Shepparton Campuses.

How we can help

Some of the common things that students talk about in counselling:

  • study-related issues (e.g. procrastination, exam anxiety)
  • coping with placements
  • relationship or family problems
  • stress, anxiety and depression
  • adjusting to university life and homesickness
  • loneliness and social isolation
  • low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • sexuality and gender identity
  • loss and grief
  • coping with physical or mental illness
  • eating problems and body image issues
  • substance abuse and addictions.

We see students about all sorts of issues. Please don't exclude yourself from counselling because you think your problems are 'not serious enough'. We encourage students to come in sooner rather than later. The earlier you connect with us, the sooner we can support you to get back on track or navigate through a difficulty. Talking to a counsellor can help you get perspective on a situation before it becomes more of a problem.

You can also meet with a counsellor if you are concerned about a friend or family member.

What to expect in sessions

Counselling sessions are usually 50 minutes in duration. Depending on how busy we are, we may also offer first intake appointments that are 30 minutes long. In the first sessions your counsellor will focus on listening to you and exploring your circumstances in order to understand what you are experiencing.

Counselling is a confidential and non-judgmental process that is built on trust. The only time that confidentiality is waived is where there is a risk of harm to you or another, or we are required by law to disclose information. The counselling relationship is built on mutual respect and collaboration. We work together with you to increase your insight into your experience and to build on your strengths so that you may overcome your problems.

In some cases, our initial discussions with a client may reveal that referral to a service in the community is more appropriate. If that happens, we may still meet with a client to provide support for study-related issues.

What to do while you wait

There are peak times during semester when demand for individual counselling is particularly high (e.g. in the weeks before the exam period). You may then be placed on a waiting list.

Check out our tip sheet [DOC 1.96MB] for what you can do while you wait for a counselling appointment. You can also use self-help resources.

Make an appointment

You can make an appointment by calling us or dropping in to the Counselling Service. You can also register online and we will endeavour to contact you within two working days to make an appointment.

Request an appointment.

After-hours counselling

We offer free and confidential after-hours telephone counselling for La Trobe students on

1300 687 327 (5pm - 9am weekdays, 24 hours weekends, and public holidays).

  • Kids Helpline - available if you are 25 years old or younger. 24/7 call 1800 55 1800, online counselling, and email counselling.
  • Headspace - available if you are 25 years old or younger. Call 1800 650 890, or chat online, or email.
  • Beyond Blue Support Service - for depression and anxiety-related difficulties. 24/7 call 1300 22 4636, chat online (3pm – 12am, 7 days a week), or email (get a response in 24 hours).

Appointment etiquette

  • There is a high demand for individual counselling and there is often a waiting list, especially as exam time approaches. If a student doesn't turn up to an appointment or cancels on the same day, it limits our capacity to offer the time to another student.
  • Notice of cancellation - if for any reason you cannot make your appointment, please call or email us as soon as possible to cancel or reschedule.
  • Missed appointments - if you miss two appointments without notifying us, you will be placed back on the waiting list.
  • Late arrivals - if you arrive more than 15 minutes late to your scheduled appointment, you will be deemed to have missed the appointment. Your session may also be given to a waiting client.

Special Consideration letters

You can apply for Special Consideration when you have experienced adverse and unforeseeable circumstances that have a short-term negative impact on your ability to complete or attend an assessment task.

Legitimate grounds for special consideration fall into 3 categories:

  1. Serious illness or injury
  2. Emotional disturbance
  3. Misadventure.

We can provide supporting documentation for Special Consideration applications only for students who have attended previous counselling appointments at our service.