Macmillan Press Ltd (2000)
There is no doubt that for many students, university life can be a very stressful and traumatic experience. Using case studies as examples, Ravi Rana's publication utilises a psychodynamic model of student counselling to provide an insight into students' experiences at university and how psychological and developmental factors impact on this.
In the first half of the book, Rana explores in depth the effect of our past experiences on psychological development and how relationships within the family can shape our identities and personalities. Separation is investigated, specifically the emotional trauma associated with separation and early loss in childhood and the subsequent effects these can have on the transition to university.
Following this, the link between mental health and learning/study difficulties is explored. Rana looks at the common difficulties experienced by students with academic work, some of the processes involved with learning and additionally the link between intellect and the ability to handle emotions.
Serious breakdown, self-harm and suicide both within and outside of the university setting is studied in detail and some of the precursors to these are examined.
The book concludes by looking at the university context, its parameters and their potential effects on a student's mental health. The role of counselling in dealing with students' problems is also addressed, looking at the assessment process and its importance in determining appropriate levels of treatment and support.
This publication is of relevance to counsellors, students and anybody with a personal or professional interest in student well-being.
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