HELP Counselling Services

Free And Low Cost Counselling

Reg Charity No: 297034

Established 1983


The Process

How do I make a request for Counselling?

Once you have contacted the office you will be sent a pack containing three leaflets, which explains the service and counselling. Within the pack, the green form needs to be completed and sent back to us.  Alternatively you can apply for counselling (here). Once the form is received we contact you and arrange an initial appointment. These initial assessments take place between Monday and Friday, between 8:30am and 13:00pm and our aim is to see you within 3 weeks of first contact.

What is an Initial Assessment?

This appointment will be made for you to meet a senior member of the counselling team. This will be like a counselling session, you will have time to talk and explain what your needs are. The terms of counselling will be explained more fully and you will have the opportunity to ask questions.

How long will Counselling last?

A counselling session lasts for 50 minutes. How many sessions you require will depend largely on the presenting issues. You and your counsellor will review the work after 6 sessions and if necessary continue up to 12 sessions. You are free to discuss terminating your counselling at any time with your counsellor.

Are the Counsellors qualified?

All our counsellors are qualified to a minimum of Diploma level or are in the Diploma year of training. Senior counsellors are working towards accreditation with The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and are here at HELP Counselling Services voluntarily. HELP Counselling Services is a member organisation of the BACP and follows its Ethical Framework.

When can I come for Counselling?

Most appointments are between 8:30am and 2:00pm, as well as an evening clinic on Thursdays. Our aim is to find you an appropriate counsellor within your time restraints

Following your initial assessment there may be a waiting period before you get your first counselling session. This can be cut down, depending on what preferences you gave for your availability. It is our aim to get you into counselling by six weeks from the time you first contacted the agency.  During this wait the office staff, who are trained counsellors, are available to you for support.

Counselling and your Counsellor

The relationship between counsellor and client is unique and outside the family circle and friendships. It is based on the development of trust and confidentiality, and the ability and skill of the counsellor to listen and reflect. It aims to help you, the client towards making your own decisions and working through fears, stresses and anxieties that may be troubling you. Within counselling you will be encouraged to talk and the counsellor will listen, giving prompts if you get stuck and helping you look at your problem from different angles and depths. The aim is to help you find ways to explore, understand and cope better with your situation. The counsellor won't tell you what to do or impose his/her values on you.


It is essential that you are able to feel safe within counselling. Your counsellor is bound by The Ethical Framework laid down by The BACP and will not disclose any information about your work together. However all counsellors are under strict supervision to ensure the safety of the work. Certain notes may be taken for use in educational clinical work and privacy will be respected by using a carefully disguised form.

How long will counselling last?

The initial agreement will be for six one-hour sessions, on a weekly basis. This will be reviewed and extended if necessary.

Keeping your agreement

You, your counsellor and the office team share the responsibility for making your agreement work. 
You are required to give reasonable notice if you are unable to attend an appointment. If an emergency arises on the day of your appointment you should inform the office at the earliest possible time. The office will inform your counsellor of the cancellation. 
Your counsellor will keep the office informed of any changes to appointments they agree with you and will give the office sufficient notice of cancelling an appointment in order that you may be contacted. 
You and the counsellor will be responsible for telling each other about holidays or anything else that will cause a break in appointments. At your last session before a break it will be the counsellors responsibility to confirm your first appointment after the break. Your counsellor will inform the office of breaks in appointments. 
If you do not attend an appointment without giving notice of cancellation, you will be contacted, seeking confirmation that you will keep your next appointment. If you do not wish to continue with counselling, the office will offer a last appointment with your counsellor to bring counselling to a conclusion. If there is no response a final letter will be sent, formally ending your agreement with us.

How much does Counselling cost?

HELP Counselling Services is a free or low cost service. We ask every client for a donation towards the cost of Counselling. 

As a gentle guide we recommend:

Family Income under £15,000 per year                 £1 to £5 per session
Family Income £15,000 to £20,000 per year         £5 to £10 per session
Family Income £20,000 to £30,000 per year         £10 to £15 per session
Family Income £30,000 to £40,000 per year         £15 to £25 per session
Family Income £40,000 +                                      £25 +