What is counselling and who is it for?
Counselling is about sharing your thoughts and feelings in a safe and confidential setting. Talking about your problems or worries can help you feel less alone and will enable you to make sense of what is happening in your life. Counselling can help you make your own decisions in order to bring about positive change in your life. You decide what to focus on and, whatever the issue is, our counsellors won’t be shocked and they will not judge you. They will listen and help you decide how you want to move forward.
Our doors are open for anyone who feels they would benefit from counselling, although we have a special responsibility towards young people aged between 12 and 25 and those who care for them. To find out more about whether counselling is for you and the sort of issues clients bring pleaseclick here.
Are the counsellors trained?
All our counsellors are carefully selected and trained, or in ongoing training, to meet our high standards. They have to update their skills each year and are also police checked under government requirements.We are an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and our counsellors all follow their Ethical Framework for Good Practice.For more about our counsellors and how they work click here.
What happens when I phone? You can be sure of a friendly reception when you phone and someone will listen to you even if it is difficult for you to explain what you need. When you call you will be asked for your basic details (name, age, contact numbers) and you will be added to our waiting list. If you phone when our counsellors are with clients you can leave a message on our answerphone and someone will call you back to take your details. We do have a waiting list but we try to see people as soon as possible. This often depends on when you can come for an appointment.
What will happen when I come for my appointment?
Your counsellor will be waiting for you and will take you to one of our comfortable counselling rooms where he or she will introduce themselves. The counselling session lasts 50 minutes and this is your time to share or talk about whatever you wish. Should you arrive early we have a private waiting room. At the beginning of your first session your counsellor will explain a little bit about counselling and about the person-centred counselling approach which we follow at both Number 22 and Youth Talk. We will also talk to you about confidentiality and make a contract with you, which is a verbal agreement between you and your counsellor about how you will work together.
Do I need a referral?
No, anyone can just call and make an appointment.
How much does it cost?
The service we offer is completely free. All our counsellors are volunteers. Of course we do have running and other costs but we fundraise and accept charitable donations and grants. We will not ask you for any money, although if you wish to make any donations we will receive it gratefully. You can make donations via this website or while visiting one of our centres.
How long can I continue to see my counsellor and how often?
You can see your counsellor for as long as you need; we do not restrict the number of 50 minute sessions you can have. Most people like to see their counsellor once a week but we are flexible and will always try to meet your specific needs.
Will the counsellor tell me how to sort out my problems?
Our counsellors do not give advice and won’t tell you what to do. We believe that people can make their own decisions about what is right for them. Our counsellors are trained to help you make the right choices for you, however hard some choices may be. They will not apply pressure one way or the other; they will listen, understand and be honest and open with you. Our counsellors may offer useful information and can help you clarify how and why you feel the way you feel. They can help you to move forward in a positive way.
My problems may seem small compared with others?
We do not make comparisons. If you are feeling troubled then we are here to listen and support as you talk things through. Sharing your concerns and worries doesn’t mean you are a ‘failure’ or ‘weak’ – rather it shows that you want to sort things out and want the best for yourself. Counselling can also stop difficulties from spiralling into bigger problems.
What if I’ve been sent to Number 22 or Youth Talk but I do not want counselling?
No one will make you do anything against your wishes. You will be able to tell your counsellor if you are not happy about being at Number 22 or Youth Talk. He or she will understand and won’t attempt to make you stay.
Can I complain if I am not happy?
You should try to raise your concerns about the service with your counsellor in your session and aim to resolve them together. If this is not possible you can make a written complaint to the counselling co-ordinator at our address.
“My counsellor offered me something I had never had before – unconditional, trustworthy support. She helped me to find myself”