Before I decided to go to the counseling center, I was worried…
Before I decided to go to the counseling center, I was worried about I cannot exactly convey my real thoughts and felling to counsellors because of the language. However, no matter how broken my words are, counselors always try their best to understand the meaning without any impatient.
Counselors are quite kind, experienced, and professional. I understood I am quite sensitive person, however, I could not observe any insecure signal at their tone, facial expression. They truly know how to gently communicate with a sensitive person, pull out the pain in the heart and solve them. If I metaphorize the mental pain as water droplets, what the counsellor did is let them drop from the heart and then take out the sharp part, gently catch the round part and vaporized them into the air. I received much help and appreciated counselor’s effort on solving my problem.
I regained my courage to make important life decisions
I was very lucky to be able to share my anxious thoughts with my counselor in English. She helped me to regain my courage to make important life decisions and step into my future with an open mind.
The counselling office has people who genuinely want to help you feel better and figure out your problems
I had my first counselling session in my first year, after experiencing multiple anxiety attacks that hindered my day-to-day activities. Before starting at Hokkaido University, I had a bad experience with counselling, which made me wary or even disliked the idea of attending counselling. However, after I decided to go when I was at my lowest, I realised how foolish that was. The counselling office of our university has people who genuinely want to help you, so you feel better and help you figure out your problems. Best of all, it’s free of charge for members of the university, so you don’t need to worry about finances at all. I recommend counselling even for those who think they don’t need it or don’t have “big problems” in their lives. The weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly sessions to discuss the things you have noticed, have been struggling with, or have been bothering you, are exactly what you need to prevent negative moments as much as possible.
I got the opportunity to learn new ways of soothing my anxiety
The counseling service helped me navigating through the challenges that inevitably come up when being a student in a foreign country. I got the opportunity to learn new ways of soothing my anxiety.
I was struggling with school and hoping I could get some advice to get my life together
Originally, I began counseling here because it was free to be quite frank. I was struggling with school and hoping I could get some advice to get my life together; at the time I was heavily struggling with oversleeping and really did not like my classes nor my professors. If you happen to have a disorder like I found out, the Reasonable Accommodations may be invaluable to you as well!
Of course, the therapists can’t do much about the structure and culture of the school itself, but they can offer incredibly helpful techniques depending on each counselors’ training background. Mine was more so along the lines of what you’d imagine a normal therapy session… venting and talking about personal things. Some may be more about practicing mindfulness and other techniques to stay calm/focused.
It doesn’t really matter why, what only matters is that if you feel like you want to talk to someone then that’s all there is to it. It’s a free service to all so don’t hesitate to try it, there’s nothing that could go wrong really. And if you are afraid of being hospitalized or something then don’t be afraid to ask about the confidentiality policy.
Almost every time I learn something new about myself and my life
I started using the International Student Counseling Office services one month after I came to Japan. I have been going regularly, every week or two, for the past three months now. Initially, I had the same thoughts as many people do, “I don’t know what I could talk about with the counselor.” But I knew that mental health was as important as physical health, so although I hesitated at first, I ended up trying it. I decided to go to the Counseling Office because I had just moved to the other side of the world and broke up with my partner back home. The sessions really helped me in overcoming the situation and it gave me a different perspective on things, even the things we think are an absolute truth.
Nowadays, I keep going to counseling sessions. Not because I have any problems or frustrations in my life, apart from the normal ones, but because even if I don’t know what we’ll talk about in the session, it always ends up being an interesting conversation and almost every time I learn something new about myself and my life. I fully recommend the services the Counseling Office provides.