Center for Student Counseling & Development
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Psychotherapeutic-support: FAQ

​​​​​Will my lecturers or parents know what I am sharing here?

No. The service is confidential and private.

What costs are involved?

The psychotherapeutic and counselling services are free. We charge a nominal fee for certain workshops.

Can you prescribe me medication?

No, we cannot prescribe medication. But we can refer you to a general practitioner or psychiatrist in private practice, who will evaluate you and prescribe medication according to what the evaluation highlighted, at a private fee. If the doctor prescribes medication, you will have to pay for it. If necessary, we will refer a student, who does not have access to funds, to the local public hospital or clinic.

If you provide a free service, does that mean you are not a professional?

Our service is completely professional, and the staff are registered and qualified psychologists, counsellors and social workers who have strict guidelines and are accountable to various professional boards.

Can I have a letter?

We do not usually provide letters to students. Letters of any kind will only be provided to students in exceptional circumstances, and always at the discretion of the therapist or social worker. If the counsellor or psychologist concludes during the treatment that a student's psychological problems are likely to affect his or her academic performance, the counsellor or psychologist may decide to provide the student with a letter setting out this opinion. If we have only seen a student for one or a few therapy sessions, it is unlikely that the counsellor or psychologist will have enough information to form a thorough, professional, and honest opinion. You can ask for a note confirming the days on which you kept appointments for therapy sessions. As a rule, we only write letters if we already know students or if students already use our services.

My doctor or psychiatrist sent me for cognitive behavioural therapy. Can you help?

We offer cognitive behavioural therapy as one of our modalities, but its use depends on the counsellor or psychologist's training and their assessment of the client's need or profile. Cognitive behavioural therapy is just one of the approaches we follow and is not indicated for all clients and all problems.

Do I have to make an appointment?

Yes. We work by appointment. Make an appointment by emailing supportus@sun.ac.za or phoning our offices at 021 808 4994 (Stellenbosch cam​pus) or 021 927 7020 (Tygerberg campus).

Do you have an electronic service? For example, can I receive therapy via an online platform or email?

We offer online sessions via MS Teams or other online platforms. The therapist, together with the student, will decide if online therapy is a suitable mode of therapy. Email is mainly used for communication and mostly not a suitable platform for therapy.

What is your office hours?

We are open between 08:00-12:45 and 13:45-16:00, Monday to Friday. We have an after hours crisis service (ER24 crisisline at 010 205 3032), that is available after hours to support students who experience emotional and pychological crises.

Can you see a family member, partner or friend of mine?

We only see registered students and will only consult with significant others outside of the university, together with the student, in exceptional cases where it is in the interest of the student’s therapeutic process. 

Can I be seen immediately?

We work according to appointments. We do a screening session during which a student’s needs and the urgency thereof are assessed, and appointments are made for students based on availability.