Frequently Asked Questions


What should I expect in counseling?

If you have decided it's time to see a counselor, then you've already taken a major step. You have recognized that you need professional help to support you with your needs.

You can expect your counselor to be happy to see you and to be interested in getting to know you better. Your counselor will respect and listen to your concerns and provide you with a non-judgmental, safe environment to freely express yourself.

Counselors work in different ways. Some counselors focus more on providing you with tools to help you cope better. Others are more insight-oriented, helping you look through the lens of your personal history and understand the root of your issues. There is no right or wrong approach, but you can get a sense of what might resonate with you in the first few sessions.

Counseling is a confidential relationship that allows you to explore your concerns, gain a better understanding of yourself and learn effective coping skills and strategies. Counseling is a collaborative effort, which means that you are an equal and active partner in the counseling process. Your counselor is a facilitator, encouraging you to talk openly, freely, and without judgment and helping you to reflect on your experiences

Is counseling the same as giving advice?

Giving advice means telling people what they "should" do or "ought" to do. This clashes with an important value in counseling, which is Autonomy. Counseling honors a client’s freedom, autonomy, and right to choose. Your counselor will give you the space to make your own decisions and choices and will not impose their own values and beliefs onto you. Your counselor will help you explore options, possibilities, and limitations. Counseling can help you find the path that is right for you.

How does it feel to be in a session for the first time?

In the first session, you may feel guarded or nervous. Don’t worry! This first session is just to get to know your counselor. You don’t have to discuss anything you are not comfortable sharing. Your counselor will guide you through a conversation about who you are and why you are seeking help. It takes a process to become comfortable. Counseling works better when you’re open and honest. Even when you talk to a professional, it’s normal to take time to build up trust. With some people, this takes longer than others.

At the end of your first session, your counselor will reflect with you on what you shared, help you identify your goals for counseling, and offer a plan for how you’ll work together.

You have the right to ask your counselor about their training, expertise in the issues you are facing, and the treatment modalities they use. Not every counselor will be a good fit for you, so try to connect with how it feels to be in the room with the counselor you meet. You might not be able to decide if you clicked with your counselor from the first session. We encourage you to share with your counselor any discomfort and reflect on your feelings together. This might reveal important information to you and give you and your counselor the opportunity to address important feelings together

What do I do if I don't feel better?

Don’t expect a quick fix. You might feel worse before you start to feel better. This is because counseling sometimes involves talking about difficult or painful experiences. If that happens, be sure to share it with your counselor to help you manage the experience.

Is my information safe with my counselor?

All communications with your counselor are confidential, meaning private and secure. This includes but is not limited to the contents of your sessions, email correspondence, and counseling records. Your information will not be released without your written consent.


The limit of confidentiality is reached if your counselor believes there is a serious threat of harm to you or someone else.

Confidentiality and its limits will be discussed in detail and further clarified with your counselor before you begin your work together.


How will my progress be assessed?

People come to counseling for a number of reasons; some people want to change something specific, others may want to understand themselves better. The first few sessions can be used to identify your goals from counseling. Your counselor will help you work towards the goals you identify together.

You and your counselor are equal and active participants in the relationship, meaning you can collaboratively reflect on your progress together and make changes to the counseling process accordingly. Be as honest as you can with your counselor about your feelings about the counseling process.

Can my counselor prescribe medication or make referrals to get a prescription?

Counselors use Talk Therapy to support students with their difficulties. Sometimes other types of therapy may be used such as Art Therapy. However, counselors will NOT prescribe any medication. If you or your counselor believe you need additional support, a referral can be made to a psychiatrist off-campus to conduct an evaluation and if needed, write a prescription. Taking medication is a personal choice and you will never be pressured to do so by your counselor.

What are my rights in counseling?

You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

You also have the right to make your own choices. This means that you have the right to choose whether to seek counseling, which counselor to meet with, what goals to set for the counseling, and when to terminate it.

To make these decisions, you have the right to be fully informed of the services offered.

You have the right to privacy and confidentiality and to be fully informed of the limits of privacy.

What are my responsibilities in counseling?

For counseling to be effective, you need to be actively involved in the counseling process. It is your responsibility to attend your sessions when you schedule them and to inform the center if you may not keep the appointment.

Being mindful of the effects of counseling on you and engaging in self-reflection to check whether counseling meets your needs and expectations is very useful. Letting your counselor know if you have any doubts, concerns, or need to adjust your counseling is also your responsibility.

Your counselor will be happy to hear your reflections and work with you on tailoring the counseling to meet your needs.

How can I book an Appointment?

To book an appointment, kindly follow the steps below:

  1. Visit this link

  2. Sign in with your ZU Student ID

  3. On the upper banner menu, please click on " Booking appointment."

  4. For New students choose General Consultation

  5. For starting counseling sessions choose Counseling Intake Assessment  

  6. For existing student Choose Personal Counseling - Appointments for Existing Clients

  7. For Emergencies & crises please contact the Student Counseling Centre’s Administrative Officers.

Dubai Campus:  



  • Fill out the required forms

  • Choose the date/time that suits you

  • Choose your preferred counselor

  • Email us if you wish to cancel your appointment

Contact Us

Administrative Officer. Ms. Sara AlMarzooqi. Direct Tel: 04-4021637. Email:

Office: R-GF-077. Location: Female Promenade, Ground Floor, The Student Affairs Deanship Office, Student Counseling Center.

Book appointment

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