What is counselling?
Counselling is an opportunity to talk about any emotional issue with someone who is trained to listen on a weekly basis.
You may be feeling:
- Overwhelmed and stressed
- Isolated and powerless
- Low about yourself
- Frustrated with relationships
- Worried about the future
Whatever you are going through right now, if you are struggling to find ways to cope with your experience, talking things through with someone who will not judge you or tell you what you should be thinking, feeling or doing, can be useful.
Who can use the service?
The counselling service is open to anyone physically caring for, or emotionally supporting a relative, partner or friend with a disability, long-term physical or mental illness, or frailty. We do not currently offer this service to young carers under the age of 18.
You will have an hour with a counsellor to talk confidentially and in private. Counselling usually takes place on a weekly or fortnightly basis. How long you continue in counselling depends on your circumstances. Initially you will be offered up to 35 sessions, after which there will be a chance to discuss how the sessions have gone. There is then the opportunity of continuing in counselling for longer if you need ongoing support and you are benefiting from the service.
What we offer
Once your counselling referral or request is received by Carers Lewisham, we will invite you in for an initial assessment with a trained counsellor. During the assessment you will have the chance to talk over with the assessor how things are for you at the moment and discuss how counselling might help you. Following this assessment you will be added to our waiting list for a counselling appointment.
At Carers Lewisham, we offer an initial 12 free counselling sessions to carers. After these 12 counselling sessions are over, there is a chance to discuss how the sessions have gone. There is then the opportunity of continuing in counselling for longer if you need ongoing support and you are benefiting from the service. These additional sessions will be at a cost of £5 per session.
Counselling takes place on a weekly basis and you will have 50 minutes to talk confidentially and in private. Your counsellor will try and help you understand how you are feeling and help to put this in context with your experiences. Appointments are available Monday – Friday 9-5.
In order to access counselling, you will be required to pay a returnable deposit of £20.00. Please bring this with you to your assessment appointment.
If you attend all of your sessions (including the assessment) without a DNA (Did Not Attend), your £20.00 deposit will be returned to you in full. Please give 24 hours’ notice if you are unable to attend your appointment(s). You can contact the office on 020 8699 8686. If you do not attend an agreed session, or fail to give 24 hours’ notice of cancellation, the £20 deposit will come to Carers Lewisham to help us cover our costs.
We understand that it can often be difficult to keep appointment
Who are the counsellors?
The counsellors are all unpaid volunteers of differing ages and ethnic backgrounds. All have either gained or are currently studying towards a Diploma/Degree in Counselling.
Carers Lewisham is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy [B.A.C.P] and as such, we abide by their strict Code of Ethics and Practice, and their Complaints Procedure.
Our counsellors are required to work within the B.A.C.P ‘Ethical framework’, and to Carers Lewisham’s policies. In particular, this means that both your attendance at the service, and what you talk about with your counsellor, remains confidential under virtually all circumstances.
However, all counsellors receive monthly supervision from a qualified and experienced Counselling Supervisor, in line with B.A.C.P requirements, and may therefore discuss their work with clients, and some of the issues presented by them, within these supervision sessions.
We are currently only able to offer counselling in English, however if you need counselling in another language please let us know and we will see what we can do to help.