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Counselling Services

About RRU Counselling 

Life can be complicated. This is especially true when you are trying to juggle your life and your learning. We recognize that from time to time personal issues may arise that may have a profound effect on your life. To support you during difficult times, RRU offers a voluntary, free personal counselling service to provide confidential information and referrals, counselling and support. Students can access one-time support, or short-term ongoing counselling (usually up to five sessions). Counselling is provided in-person, over the phone, via Skype and via email.

Make an appointment

Please use one of the following options to book a counselling appointment:

  • Book an appointment using our online booking system
  • Phone: 250.391.2600, ext. 4515
  • Toll-free: 1.800.788.8028 (please ask for "Counselling Services")
  • E-mailRRU Counselling

Please submit a Consent to Counselling form (.docx) before or at your first appointment. Emailed submission is fine.

If you require an appointment urgently, or outside of the hours provided in the online booking system, please email us.

We are also able to refer students to:

  • Empower Me  - a 24/7 phone counselling service for undergraduate students who are members of RRU's Student Association: 1-877-234-5327
  • Vancouver Island Crisis Line, a 24-hour crisis support response service: 1.888.494.3888

Confidentiality is of the utmost importance and is maintained at all times, so that every effort is taken to ensure client anonymity.

Who are our counsellors? 

Image: Sarah Chettleburgh, Counselling ServicesSarah Chettleburgh is a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association. Sarah completed a Masters of Education Degree in Counselling Psychology in 2011, and has been working with Royal Roads University since 2012. In addition to her counselling work at RRU, Sarah has also worked as a career counsellor, internship advisor, instructor and team coach at the university. This varied experience has ensured Sarah has a very thorough understanding of the challenges and rewards faced by Royal Roads’ students.

Although she utilizes a variety of counselling approaches and theories to be effective, Sarah always holds the students’ individual needs at the centre of her work. Drawing on elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Coaching practices, Sarah works collaboratively with students to ensure their goals are met in an effective and efficient manner. Open, approachable and encouraging, Sarah creates a warm and comfortable space for positive work and interesting conversation. 

Image: Gemma Fraser, Counselling ServicesGemma Fraser is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and has a Masters of Education Degree in Psychology. Prior to starting this part-time role in 2016, Gemma has worked as a contracted Counsellor and Academic Coach with Royal Roads for more than two years. She has a solid understanding of the unique RRU student experience. 

Using her varied experience, Gemma works with students to come up with a counselling or support plan to meet their individual needs.  This sometimes involves Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy or utilizing Positive Psychology interventions.  Sometimes it means just listening quietly and allowing students to talk freely about what's on their mind.  In all cases, Gemma is highly motivated to ensure therapy is as efficient as possible and works collaboratively with students to ensure their goals are being met in a timely manner. Gemma is encouraging without pressuring, and her style is straighforward, warm, proactive and solution-focused.

Counselling Services also works with long-term contracted counsellors to ensure students find a suitable fit, and have access to appointments in the evenings and weekends when requested.

What kinds of services are available?

Our counsellors will discuss any range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Anxiety and stress management
  • Depression
  • Loss/grief
  • Confidence/Self-esteem
  • Family challenges/transitions
  • Relationship issues
  • Group dynamics and interpersonal skills
  • Sexual or physical abuse/assault
  • Substance abuse and addictions
  • Identity
  • Academic and learning challenges
  • Time management

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