What is e-counselling?

It is a service, which involves communicating with a counsellor via email exchanges. Should you choose email exchanges, or via Zoom video link, your thoughts and feelings are expressed in password-protected Word documents to be attached to emails you send to us.

Learn more about how e-counselling works.

To help you consider whether e-counselling is the right form of support for you please read the following key points:

Who is this service for?

Online counselling can be an effective source of support if you are unable to physically access face-to-face appointments due to:

  • being away from university on a work or training placement
  • having irregular timetabling/schedules
  • having parental or carer responsibilities, which makes attendance difficult
  • illness or disability issues make it difficult for you to attend the service in person.

Some considerations you need to be aware of

  • You will be required to use your University student email account for these exchanges because this offers maximum security and confidentiality. Computers used by the online counsellors are also password accessed and protected by anti-viral software. However, although every care is taken to ensure confidentially, intrusions such as hacking mean that total security cannot be guaranteed.
  • We encourage you to protect your own privacy when writing your session so you will need to consider access to your computer by others, installing appropriate anti-viral software and not reading or sending emails in a public place.
  • We request that no information about the content of your sessions or counsellor comments, either directly from transcripts or re-told in your own words, are to be posted in the public domain, such as on social networking sites.


  • working with a counsellor without being able to talk directly to them or see them may feel strange
  • sometimes technology breaks down and there may be a delay in response
  • there will be a time delay in receiving a response to your words
  • there is a possibility of misinterpretation of written words
  • more self-discipline may be needed to complete the sessions.

E-counselling can be helpful in a wide range of circumstances. However, it does have limitations and is not suitable for everyone. Upon receipt of your online form, Student Wellbeing Services will support you into the most appropriate/helpful service to meet your needs.

Important: The e-counselling service cannot operate as an emergency service. Please refer to support in times of crisis if you need urgent help. 

How to apply for e-counselling

Make an appointment and complete the online self-referral form.

Student Wellbeing Services – Plymouth campus

Student Hub, Charles Seale-Hayne Library, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA

Opening times: Monday–Friday, 8:30–17:00 (Wednesday open 10:00, Friday close 16:30)