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Adriana

March 6th, 2023

My experience with LSE’s Student Counselling Service

1 comment

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Adriana

March 6th, 2023

My experience with LSE’s Student Counselling Service

1 comment

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

In the summer before arriving at LSE as a postgraduate student, I had a traumatic experience on a plane. While traveling from Quito, Ecuador to the city of Cuenca, our plane began going through a series of jolts and dips in the air quite beyond the realm of typical air travel turbulence. Ever the wary flyer, I gripped the hand of my travel buddy with one hand, clenched the armrest of my seat with the other, and white-knuckled through the longest flight of my life. When our bumpy ride took a turn for the worst, falling through the sky for seemingly endless seconds, I found I wasn’t the only one fearing for my life. My screams were neither the highest-pitched nor the loudest as we continued our journey through several other “zero-gravity” moments and extreme wobbles, and finally hit the ground—hard—at our destination.

Upon landing, I thanked the universe for delivering our plane safely and planted my feet firmly on what I thought was stable ground. However, a few hours later, I found myself suddenly overcome by vertigo and dizziness that did not subside for days. This, I learned, was a PTSD-like response that my brain had developed to the plane ride, and would haunt me for weeks, even months to come. My episodes of vertigo waned with time, but I felt it would be best to set up a support system for myself at LSE, just in case my future weekend trips to Berlin or Dublin triggered any mid-semester dizziness. Without conducting much prior research, I signed up for LSE’s Student Counseling Service.

After filling out a quick online form, someone from the Student Counseling Service reached out to speak with me on Zoom, and better understand my needs. I told my story and was given a timeslot within about two weeks. Each LSE student is entitled to six free counseling sessions, and often even just one can make a huge difference.

Knowing students seek counseling for a wide variety of issues or circumstances, I was confident that my assigned counselor would be able to listen to my situation and advise me on how to proceed. Still, I was nervous. I felt my personal circumstance was weird, truly out-of-the-ordinary, and perhaps beyond the realm of the LSE service’s expertise. I could not have been more wrong. In addition to talking through my concerns with me and screening for any other potential sources of conflict that might impact my first term, my counselor suggested I read about a trauma-processing strategy known as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and offered to set up an EMDR session with me. These sessions, among many other mental health workshops and specialized sessions (offered at no additional cost) are led by LSE’s trained professional counselors and have helped LSE students cope with a wide range of traumatic experiences and other mental health stressors.

The task of figuring out which LSE mental health and wellbeing service is best for you shall be (in the words of my stats professor) left as an exercise for the reader. However, I highly encourage each LSE student to reach out and learn more about the many programs, workshops, services, and sessions offered through the Student Counseling Service. You may have never even heard of the thing that ends up helping you the most, which is exactly why LSE has trained professionals onsite to point you in the right direction. Don’t be shy!

About the author

Adriana

Hi, I’m Adriana! Originally from NY, I’m having a blast pursuing an MSc in Social Statistics (Research) at LSE while cycling around London and dancing salsa in the streets! My interests lie at the intersection of family planning and education, and I’m passionate about conducting social science research through a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods.

Posted In: Student life

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