10 FAQs

Counselling and Psychological Services

  • Counselling is only for people who are depressed or suicidal?
  • I am not sure if I should see a counsellor…
  • Will my parents know I am seeing a counsellor?

10 FAQs


Both psychiatrists and doctors receive academic training from medical school and can prescribe medication. Clinical psychologists, on the other hand, provide psychological assessment, treatment and counselling. The counsellors working in CEDARS have diverse professional background. Some are Clinical Psychologists, while the Counsellors have their professional training in family therapy, social work, or counselling.

Both part-time and full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University of Hong Kong are eligible to use the service.

You can seek counsellors’ help when:

  • You need some brief advice on your personal concerns;
  • You want to understand yourself better in a biopsychosocial perspective;
  • You want to improve your skills and capabilities in certain aspects of your life;
  • You want to obtain some help to deal with your emotions, resulted from a distressful life situation.
  • You need psychological treatment for anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems.

The Intake Assessment is a one-to-one interview to discuss and understand your concerns, and to provide you with some advice and suggestions. You and the Case Counsellor will work collaboratively on the mutually agreed goals and make plans for additional sessions. When necessary, the Case Counsellor may suggest referring you to medical or psychiatric services, or services in the community or private sector.

Our counselling team adopts a client-need-oriented short-term counselling principle. The exact number of sessions will depend on the nature of issues and mutual agreement.

You can contact us during office hours. We will arrange the Case Counsellor to meet with you as far as possible. Otherwise, our Duty Counsellor will assess your needs and decide the appropriate arrangement for you.

You are highly encouraged to consult a professional in agencies or institutions in the local community. For details, please refer to the Local Community Resources.

It is voluntary for students to seek counselling. Therefore, it is the students’ own choice and responsibility to make an appointment for our service. If the student asks you to help making an appointment, call us while the student is with you. You may also consider accompanying the student to come to our centre. In the circumstances that you are worried about a student who is ambivalent about seeking our service and you would like to facilitate his/her help-seeking, you can consult our duty counsellor for advice and special considerations. If the student is resistant or not ready to engage in counselling, the session will not be helpful to the student.

You should inform us as soon as possible, preferably 24 hours in advance so that another student in need may take your timeslot. After normal working hours, an answering machine can take your message.

No. Only medical doctors are qualified to prescribe medication. If you need medication, you are advised to consult a medical doctor at the University Health Service.