Information and procedure for the provision of Advisory Services and Psychological Support
Within the framework of the services provided by Student Welfare, the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus offers psychological support, free of charge to any student who requires it, from a registered specialist or psychologist (see Records of the Council of T.S.C.C, 02/11/2016, and Application (Form No. 200.1), based on Article (17) “On Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education and the Establishment and Operation of an Agency on Related Legal Matters” of 2015 and 2016. For Evaluation-Accreditation of the Program of Studies entitled: “Theology (4 Years/240 ECTS, Bachelor’s degree)”, see CY.Q.A.A.: 7.14.248.001).
The Counselling Centre offers a secure area where students of the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus can discuss freely and confidentially issues concerning management of difficult situations, emotions, and personal affairs.
The primary aim of the Counselling Centre is to contribute to the personal development and well-being of the students, so that they can enjoy the best possible experience during their studies. At the same time, the skills, self-awareness and self-confidence that are developed through the counselling process can prove useful after the completion of their studies, in the various personal and professional challenges that they are likely to encounter.
All students of the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus are entitled to free confidential services from the Counselling Centre.
Counselling services are offered within the framework of short-term, focused psychotherapy. Issues usually troubling students visiting the Counselling Centre include various psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression, adapting to the academic environment, interpersonal relationships, loss, such as mourning and separation, and personal and professional dilemmas.
The psychologist can provide counselling, personal and group psychotherapy services, and a basic assessment of mental health. No evaluation with psychometric tools is offered.
The psychologist has the obligation to inform the students about the course of psychotherapy and the procedures that will be followed.
The psychological services are offered by a specialist, registered psychologist, who has been approved by the T.S.C.C.
The meetings are held at the Counselling Centre of the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus (Isokratous 5 – 7, Nicosia).
In the first meeting (which lasts two hours) the student and the specialist psychologist discuss how to plan the psychological support offered, its objectives and, if necessary, any referral to other services.
The first appointment with the psychologist is intended to evaluate each student. During this meeting, the initial reason for the appointment and the history of each student are discussed. The counselling to be provided is then agreed upon and, if needed, a referral to another specialist or psychologist.
During peak periods, the Counselling Centre may have a waiting list for its services. In such cases, the psychologist may arrange appointments before the scheduled date in the event of an emergency.
Students have every right to discontinue their meetings at any time. If they wish to return, they will have to rejoin the waiting list and go through the initial evaluation process again.
The psychologist of the Counselling Centre sets the days and times for each meeting together with the student.
The cooperation between student and psychologist and the information they share is highly confidential and is protected under the Laws of Cyprus and the Codes of Conduct governing the profession of the psychologist.
There are, however, cases where the psychologist is legally obligated to break this confidentiality. Such cases are the following:
1) If the student has stated in writing that information be passed on to specific individuals, (e.g. other specialists, doctors, etc.), the psychologist will disclose the required information.
2) If there is information relating to physical, psychological, or sexual abuse of minors, the elderly, or persons with disabilities, the psychologist is obligated to inform the Police or the Welfare Office of such abuse.
3) If there is an immediate threat to the life of the person receiving counselling or to another person, the psychologist is obligated to report this threat to the Police for their protection.
4) If a court order is served, the psychologist is obligated to provide the requested information to the judge.
In all such cases, a meeting with the student will be conducted first and an attempt made to provide only as much information as is strictly necessary.
Each meeting lasts 45 to 50 minutes. It is essential that students arrive on time for their meetings. If they are late the meeting will proceed but it will end at the previously appointed time.
After the initial evaluation, (duration 1 to 2 hours), 12 individual meetings will be scheduled in order to deliver the required support.
If the psychologist deems it necessary, the student can request an extension to the number of meetings.
The psychologist will re-evaluate the need and propose a course of action. In such cases, if the student needs medication, they will be referred to a psychiatrist. Failure to visit a psychiatrist or negligence on the part of the student may lead to the cessation of this cooperation.
In the case of a cancellation, the student is obliged to inform the psychologist no later than 48 hours before the scheduled time of the session. Otherwise it is considered as a cancellation on the part of the student.
After three unjustified cancellations the psychologist is allowed to terminate their cooperation with the student. The same student may apply for support again provided they are committed to attending the scheduled meetings.
For reasons of confidentiality, students are required to communicate with the Counselling Centre using the email provided on the School’s contact lists.