Frequently asked questions

What is counselling? 

Counselling is a talking therapy where you can explore and address specific emotional difficulties.

The LSHTM counselling team’s approach is relational-psychodynamic. This means that we work with the underlying roots of issues that students find troubling or distressing. We work on the basis that all of us operate with relational templates (often developed in childhood). We can then repeat these relational templates in adulthood, even when other ways of being might help us to be more effective in the world. 

Psychodynamic counselling aims to make people more aware of the ways of relating that they habitually adopt, with the hope of helping people to have more awareness and more choice over how they relate in the present and in the future. 

What is the difference between counselling and mental health advice? 

Mental health support is largely concerned with helping students to manage manifestations of distress in the context of their academic work. The work tends to be short term in nature. 

Student counselling is more concerned with offering students ongoing weekly sessions with a broader focus. Here, the emphasis is on working with students to understand their dominant relational pattern(s) and how these may impede them in their adult life. 

What should I do if I have a long-term mental health condition? 

People with a variety of diagnoses, and none, engage with counselling services at LSHTM. We are not primarily focused on diagnosis, more on an open exploration of the complexity of each individual’s experience. 

We can refer to a psychiatrist where this is appropriate. 

How do I book an appointment? 

For more details and to book an appointment, visit the student hub

Get in touch with our counselling team by emailing

Will I have to wait a long time for an appointment? 

Usually, students are seen for an initial consultation within two weeks. We do not have a waiting list. 

What kind of issues do people get counselling for? 

The most common issues that students approach the counselling service about are listed below: 

  • Stress & anxiety
  • Academic and exam anxiety
  • General issues around relating to self and other
  • Feeling trapped in negative patterns 
  • Self-harm
  • Eating disorders
  • Understanding and expressing gender and sexuality
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Parental separation & divorce
  • Anger
  • Bereavement
  • Traumatic events and complex trauma
  • Phobias
  • Perfectionism, overwork
  • Feeling that one is only valued for academic achievement or for caring for others as opposed to having intrinsic worth
  • Complex childhood experiences
  • Experiences of prejudice and discrimination 
  • Sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault 
Is counselling free? 


Is counselling confidential? Will any information be shared with my tutors? 

Counselling at LSHTM is confidential. It will not be placed on either your academic or your medical record. At times, the team may share some information with other student services eg mental health advisor and student advisor to enhance the overall level of service. 

Is there an out of hours service? 

We have some evening and weekend availability, and we are actively working to increase this provision. 

Find out about other student services.