Are you feeling low, stressed, anxious or unable to cope? Our team are here to help.
Our wellbeing service offers virtual and face-to-face support and counselling to young people, aged 10-25 in Suffolk and North Essex, who need someone to talk to.
Over the course of around 12 weeks, we work with you to improve your outlook, wellness, and mental health through 30-minute sessions, delivered once a week.
These sessions provide the knowledge, tools and coping strategies you need to deal with your mental health in a positive way during the Coronavirus outbreak and through lock-down restrictions. We make sure each session is personalised to you, so you receive the support you need.
We aim to provide an appointment with a counsellor within 7 days of the first contact.
How do I get an appointment?
Please contact [email protected] or call/text 07720 087487.
Once we’ve heard from you, we’ll complete an initial assessment to find out more about what you hope to achieve from your sessions. After this, we will book a consultation appointment for you with our counsellor. We aim to offer you an available appointment slot within 7 days of your first call, text or email.
About our Counsellor
Sharon is an experienced and qualified BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist and has carried out over 4,000 hours of counselling.
During her career, she has worked with individuals, couples, families and groups and has delivered clinical supervision to professionals and trainees.
As well as leading our free wellbeing service, she has a private practice and offers CPCAB counselling courses, approved by BACP. Sharon has worked in the education sector for over 20 years and has led many of our own personal development programmes – so you can be confident that you’re in experienced hands.
As an Accredited member of BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy), Sharon abides by their code of ethics. As part of this, the quality of her work is monitored by ongoing, regular supervision.
About our Service
When you’re worried, anxious or down, it can feel like the hardest time to reach out and ask for help.
There are many reasons why people decide to go to counselling. Perhaps you’ve been affected by loss, shock or trauma; you’re struggling to connect with others, or you have a sense that something just isn’t right. Whatever the reason, talking regularly in a confidential setting with a qualified counsellor might be of value to you.
We believe that everyone is unique, and their expectations of counselling are all different. You are your own expert, and no one person has the same needs. In our sessions, Sharon uses a blended approach to tailor the experience to your individual experiences.
Counselling is all about understanding your story, to accept your story, to be able to respect your story. Once this has been achieved, clients often learn to recognise their triggers and develop coping strategies, so they no longer feel overwhelmed or consumed by their feelings or emotions.
How do I know if I need counselling?
Only you can decide whether you wish to try counselling. For many people, talking to someone confidentially who is not a friend or family member can make all the difference.
Counselling provides a regular time for you to explore your feelings and talk about any problems you’re experiencing. A counsellor can help you develop better ways of coping, allowing you to move forward and get the most out of life.
What kinds of concerns can counselling help me with?
Our wellbeing service has worked with young people facing all kinds of challenges, including:
stress, anxiety, depression, addictions, relationship issues, anger, abuse, low self-esteem, bereavement, bullying, terminal illness, child-related issues, domestic violence, low self-confidence, OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder, post-natal depression, attachment disorders, gender dysphoria, phobias, acquired brain injury and many more.
How do I know the Counsellors are qualified?
By choosing a Counsellor registered with a professional body for example BACP or UKCP you can be reassured that they have met the rigorous standards of training and experience they require.
All of our counsellors follow the BACP ethical framework and undergo regular supervision. Being registered or accredited with BACP/UKCP means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience.
When you chose a counsellor who meets professional standards, you can have confidence that your therapist has studied, meets recognised standards, and participates in ongoing professional development.
What kinds of people seek counselling?
Almost everyone can benefit from some form of counselling. We welcome you, regardless of your culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or employment group. At the present time, our service supports 10–25-year-olds, living in Suffolk and North and Mid Essex.
Does my GP need to refer me for an appointment?
No. You are free to contact us yourself if you wish to try counselling.
How do I start counselling?
To start your counselling you can email us, phone us, or text us to book your initial assessment at a day and time that suits you.
How long will it take to be seen?
Typically, we offer weekly counselling sessions within 2-4 weeks of your initial assessment session. We aim to keep our wait time to a minimum so you can start receiving support as soon as possible.
How long does each counselling session last?
Each session will usually last 30 minutes.
How regularly will I see my Counsellor?
We offer weekly sessions.
Why do I need to attend weekly sessions?
Weekly sessions help you make gradual, steady progress so you can see real results. In some cases, a Counsellor will agree to two or more sessions per week, if you both deem it beneficial, and they have availability.
Can I have more than one session a week?
Yes. If you require more than one session a week, Counsellors may be able to accommodate this, with a review as things start to improve for you. The frequency of appointments will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on counsellor availability.
I only want one session - will the Counsellor be able to help?
The first session you have with your Counsellor will be a consultation appointment. This allows you to identify your issues as you see them, and for your Counsellor to start to gain an idea of what your needs are.
Unfortunately, having just one session is unlikely to have any lasting benefit. However, you are welcome to use this session to decide whether your counsellor is right for you.
I need to change my time slot for next week, is this possible?
Once you have agreed to a mutually convenient slot with your Counsellor, you will be allocated the same day and time on an ongoing basis. In the case of an emergency, where you’re unable to attend your slot, your Counsellor may be able to provide you with an alternative appointment, subject to availability.
How much does counselling cost?
Our counselling is free for up to 8 sessions.
Can I have counselling online or face-to-face?
We offer counselling both online and face-to-face, depending on how you feel most comfortable.
Our face-to-face counselling is currently only available at our consultation room in Ipswich.
What can I talk about during my sessions?
You can talk about anything that is on your mind.
Counselling is a safe space where you can bring up anything you’d like to discuss.
Is the service confidential?
Yes, what you say to your counsellor is confidential and all of our staff adhere to a code of conduct and policies regarding confidentiality. Information you provide will not be shared with a third party, other than in exceptional circumstances, such as where we identify a safeguarding issue or if required by law.
Can I speak to a Counsellor before my appointment?
Counsellors are in sessions with clients during the day and are unable to speak without an appointment. However, our advisors would be happy to give you more information about the service via phone, text or email.
If you think counselling is right for you, the first session provides an opportunity to ask any questions, find out more about the counselling process, and discover if you feel a connection with your counsellor.
Can a Counsellor prescribe medication if I need it?
The counsellors are not able to prescribe medication.
Can a Counsellor make a diagnosis?
The Counsellors are not able to make a diagnosis.
Can I contact my counsellor between sessions?
As we are not an emergency or crisis service, your counsellor will not be available to you between sessions. If you need an emergency service, such as an ambulance, please dial 999.
If you need urgent medical advice, you can call the NHS on 111 or talk to Samaritans anytime on 116 123.
Can I bring someone to counselling with me?
Unfortunately, you cannot bring someone into the counselling room with you as it is a confidential service.
If someone has transported you to a face-to-face appointment and wishes to wait, we offer free parking on-site.
What happens if I want to end my sessions?
Regardless of how long you have been attending counselling, it is helpful to let your counsellor know that you are thinking of bringing your sessions to an end. This gives your counsellor the chance to explore this with you and will allow you to work towards a planned ending together.
What do I do if I have a complaint about the service or the counsellor?
We always welcome comments about the service we offer. If you do have a complaint you would like to discuss, we recommend telling your counsellor first to see if they are able to resolve any issues. If the complaint is about your counsellor, please see our complaints procedure here for more information on how to submit a complaint.
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