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What is Counselling?

Sometimes you might feel you are struggling with an issue and it would help to talk it through with someone who is neutral; someone who is not a friend or a member of your family, or connected with your academic course.

Counselling is not ‘giving you advice’ or ‘telling you what you should do.’ It is a process whereby, through exploring the issues that are causing you anxiety and stress, you can reach your own decisions on the way forward, or find a way of coming to terms with what is happening in your life.

Counselling Services at RCS

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland offers a range of counselling services for students.

Counsellors can help with a range of issues which may be encountered by students, such as:

  • Homesickness, loneliness, isolation
  • Sexual and cultural identity
  • Relationships
  • Self-confidence
  • Life changes
  • Bereavement and issues connected with loss
  • Depression, self-harm, and suicidal feelings
  • Exam or study stress
  • Alcohol or drug use

Contact the Counselling Team

The counselling team is available online or in person to support you.

If you would like to have a chat about how counselling works or the different types of counselling available, please contact Dr Jane Balmforth or Manisha Gosar, RCS Counsellors:


The Counselling Team at RCS is as follows:

Dr Jane Balmforth

Person-centred counsellor, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Jane works at RCS on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 9 am-5 pm.

Manisha Gosar

Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, member of the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), Practitioner member at COSCA and NCPS Accredited Registrant member.

Manisha works for RCS on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Anthony Davis

Integrative counsellor, accredited member of BACP. Anthony works online with RCS students from his office in London. Anthony works with Black and minority ethnic students around various areas of racial/ethnic discrimination and trauma. Anthony also specialises in working with the LGBT+ community.

Please state that you are an RCS student when contacting Anthony for an appointment.

Mairi Gillies

Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT), accredited by BACP. Mairi works from her own office, external to RCS, and provides up to six sessions of CBT for RCS students.

Please state that you are an RCS student when contacting Mairi for an appointment.

Mairi works weekdays from 9 am-5:30 pm.

Stephanie McDermid

Stephanie is a member of BACP and a Person-Centred Counsellor. Stephanie provides counselling in British Sign Language (BSL) to Deaf students and also offers person-centred counselling to hearing students. She currently works using Zoom and can offer evening and weekend appointments. She is also fully trained in email counselling.

Stephanie works Monday to Wednesday during the daytime and can also offer evening and weekend appointments.

There is no limit to the number of counselling sessions for students. Please state that you are an RCS student when contacting Stephanie for an appointment.

Delores McPherson

Integrative counsellor, member of BACP. Delores works with RCS students remotely from her office in London.

Please state that you are an RCS student when contacting Delores for an appointment.

Ross Paterson

Person-centred counsellor, accredited by BACP.

Ross provides counselling from 5-8 pm on weekday evenings either at RCS or at his office in the West End of Glasgow. Ross provides up to six sessions of counselling for RCS students.

Please state that you are an RCS student when contacting Ross for an appointment.

Additional Counselling Services

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RCS also provides support through Togetherall, an online mental health support service for RCS students. Log in with an RCS email address to access support 24/7.

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Music Minds Matter is a 24/7 mental health support line for the UK music community. They offer advice and information as well as emotional support.