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Counsellor - Counselling Services

Department: Counselling Services Effective Date: July, 2011

USG 10.13

35 hr/wk

Reports to: Director of Counselling Services

General Accountability

The Counsellor is accountable to the Director of Counselling Services for the provision of counselling in the areas of personal, career and/or study skills to the University of Waterloo students, faculty and staff. 


This position involves the competent application of appropriate counselling procedures in an ethical manner in accordance with standards as set by the Government of Ontario (e.g., College of Social Workers & Social Service Workers, College of Psychologists,  etc. ) and the applicable professional associations.

Nature and Scope

Counselling Services provides counselling for individuals and groups in a variety of formats to current students, and faculty and staff under the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).   This Service covers three general areas:  personal issues, academic skills and career planning.  These areas are vital to maximize the effectiveness and participation of students in the academic and nonacademic opportunities provided by this University as well as enhancing their abilities to move toward their educational, career and personal goals.  The Service provides both individual appointments as well as group/workshop appointments.


Counselling Services has 13 counsellors and one administrative assistant who report directly to the Director of Counselling Services. 


The students admitted and entrusted to our University are highly qualified.  However, various factors can interfere with the realization of their potential.  The provision of appropriate and competent counselling is cost-effective in enabling students to choose and carry on with their programs and to assist staff and faculty to work effectively. 


The number of clients seen by Counselling Services continues to increase.  As well, the severity and complexity of clinical issues presented by the clients continues to rise.   The Counsellor utilizes a spectrum of skills in individual as well as group counselling to facilitate the students’ progress through their university experience, and to enhance the staff and faculty’s ability to function well within their work environs. 


Help is provided for a full range of personal concerns, distresses, and objectives.  The Service has adopted a short-term brief therapy model and the expectation is that most clients can be assisted within a limited number of meetings.  Where clients have received a psychiatric diagnosis or have other medical difficulties, service is generally provided in conjunction with the physician(s) involved and/or staff in Health Services or the Office of Disabilities Services.  These contacts, as in the case of all contacts with others outside the department, are only carried out with the written permission of the client.  Exceptions are made in circumstances such as when there is a threat to life or when mandated by law.


In conjunction with the growth in client demand, parents, community professionals, University personnel, and others are becoming increasingly involved in client matters.  The Counsellor must field these sometimes-delicate interactions and ensure that a consistent approach be maintained that balances confidentiality with client welfare and community safety.


Outreach to our client population is another focus for Counselling Services.  To assist in this focus,  the Counsellor provides individual and group counselling as well as skill training and presentations for students, staff and faculty in a myriad of campus settings.  


The Counsellor participates on various University committees and other groups with mandates related to the quality of life at UW. 


Statistical Data

Number of potential clients:     24,000 students

1600 staff

  850 faculty


Number of clients seen per term:          more than 1500  (individuals including more than 100 staff and faculty)

more than 1000  (workshop participants)



Specific Accountabilities


Additional Responsibilities of USG 13 Counsellor


The Counsellor will have responsibilities additional to those of a typical counsellor.  These additional responsibilities will include coordinating more than one major program area (e.g., Study Skills program, Intern Training & Supervision program, Career team, etc.), participation on several internal committees, have active responsibilities on external committees and related organizations (e.g., Canadian University & College Counselling Association) and acts as Director of Counselling Services during any absence of the current Director.  


Working Conditions