A Happier, Healthier You
What is Counselling?
Counselling is a talking therapy where you meet with a dedicated counsellor in a safe, confidential space to discuss any problems or difficulties you may have encountered. Our counselling service offers a non-judgmental and accepting environment where we will endeavor to really hear and understand your story. We will accept you and respect your feelings and whilst we will not tell you what to do, we will work with you so that you can find your own way and solutions.
We will not discriminate against anyone regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
You will usually have a number of planned, regular sessions lasting approximately 50 minutes. How often you see your therapist and how often will depend on your individual circumstances.
You will see your therapist on a one-to-one basis or occasionally you may speak to them over the telephone or zoom. They may go through specific exercises designed to help you with the problems you're experiencing, or you might have more general discussions about how your feeling. All sessions are client-centered and client lead.
What you talk about will vary depending on the problem you want help with and the type of therapy you are having, It could include:
- your relationships
- your childhood
- your emotions
- your thoughts
- your behaviour
- situations or events you find difficult
Your first session
Every therapist has their own way of beginning therapy. They may start by talking about what will happen in therapy or they may begin straightaway by asking what has brought you to therapy. Either way is fine, but there are a few things your first session must cover:
Your therapist should spend a few minutes introducing themselves. Don't be scared to ask them about their qualifications, who they are registered with, their insurance and if they have any specialist training. All our therapists will be more than happy to share this information with you.
Some of our therapists, like doctors, are doing on the job training. Even therapists who have been trained for many years go through periods of retraining/upskilling every year.
Your therapist will explain about confidentiality and the limitations of it. How everything is private and confidential between you and the therapist unless you tell them that you are being harmed or someone you know is being harmed. Then we will work together to try and keep everyone safe.
Therapists will usually take notes or records of their sessions in some way for their own professional use such as external supervision. They should tell you how they will do this. Sometimes a therapist may ask for your permission to audio record your session. They will always ask your permission to do this and you have the right to refuse.
Your therapist will carry out a systemic assessment, asking questions about your family, background and other historical information to allow us to get a better picture of how life is for you. They may ask you to complete some forms, or go through information they have received about you, particularly if your referral was from a 3rd party. They may just ask you to "tell your story". Whatever format the assessment takes, you should feel you can tell the therapist about the issues that brought you to counselling.
Your therapist should discuss with you the number and frequency of sessions you will have, and they should also explain what happens if you miss a session or are away on holiday.
During the first session, or at any time during your therapy, you can ask your therapist anything you want about your therapy and question anything you don't understand. Your therapist should encourage you to do this.
Your relationship with your therapist is very important. To get the best out of the process it is important that you have confidence in them. Trust your instinct and if you're unsure about the therapist feel free to ring in to the central office on 02896 208284 and ask about being referred to another one.
This applies if you have any concerns at all about any aspects of your therapy please call through to the central office or we have a complaints process in place.
Our team of counsellors are able to see clients in either our Antrim or Crumlin offices, all of whom are accredited and/or registered members of the National Counselling Society, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy or the Association of Family Therapists.
We feel very privileged to be able to offer the wealth of experience and skills for free in a community setting.
With mental health and emotional well-being being the topic at the forefront of everyone's mind, we are in the position to be able to offer meaningful support to people in our communities.
Counselling can help with a diverse range of issues. It can help with positive events such as choosing a direction in life or reaching your full potential. Perhaps you are feeling a ‘bit stuck’ and would value being able to explore various scenarios with a counsellor. There may be things from your past that you would like to tackle or there may be things in the present that you want to try and change. Perhaps you are experiencing significant events in your life such as getting married and starting a family, leaving home for the first time or coming to terms with the death of a loved one. Counselling services may be able to help with all of the above.
Please get in touch if you feel this is a service you would like to access.
Currently we have a waiting time of a couple of weeks, in comparison to the several months wait at GP surgeries and Community Mental Health Teams.
Life coaching has grown to be a hugely successful form of talking therapy, to the extent that it has helped turn people's lives around. A life coach is someone that looks to empower others by helping them make, meet and exceed goals in both their personal and professional lives. Siobhain, our qualified and registered life coach, works with individuals to help them move forward in their lives.
Coaching helps people move forward and set personal and professional goals that will give them the life they really want. Most life coaching clients are healthy, successful people who might be a bit stuck or simply want to make a big change in their lives and want the support of their own personal coach to do so.
If you feel that you would like some support to move forward with your life but that perhaps counselling isn't the way for you, then maybe life coaching is.
Get in touch with us and have a chat about having some sessions with Siobhain.
Life Coaching works, Wine doesn't!
Education & Training
Back in May 2017, we began the process of developing a strategy that would see us future proofing the charity moving forward. This saw us spending endless hours writing volumes of policies and procedures, attending meeting after meeting and doing some training ourselves we never envisioned we would have to do.
Siobhain & Carolyn both undertook their Level 3 in Education and Training and passed, meaning they could deliver training within the further and higher education field.
This meant that not only could we provide emotional support within the remit of our professional training's, but we could offer high quality training in these areas also (as well as many others).
Then in August 2017 we decided to develop our Education and Training strategy further and decided to have our professional training courses quality approved by one of our main regulating bodies - The National Counselling Society.
The National Counselling Society (NCS) has reviewed several of training courses, including our Counselling Skills course, trauma training and assessment training and has awarded them with the Quality Checked training recognition status. The NCS offers student membership and waivers the joining fee for applicants on NCS recognised courses – this is a reduction of £40. There are many benefits offered to students via this membership. For further about membership click on the following links: NCS Membership and NCS Benefits.
Our future partnership working with the NCS became firmly cemented after a very exciting meeting at the beginning of October in Belfast. As well as having our other training courses currently with them for quality assurance approval, we have begun the process of writing the materials for the online Continuing Professional Development which counsellors will be able to access in the very near future.