Counselling sessions are run by qualified professionals in a private room at your doctor's surgery or at the Wellbeing Centre.
What is counselling?
Counselling is intended to help you to deal with life’s difficulties and get your life back in order or back on track. It is an opportunity to talk about your troubles with a professional who has been trained to listen, to help you to understand your feelings and behaviour better. Counselling does not offer solutions to problems, but it can help you to find your own way forward and come to your own decisions.
The counselling we offer is face to face, with each session lasting 50 minutes. It is generally more short-term, offering 6 – 8 sessions to each individual. This approach provides an opportunity to develop a trusting relationship with a therapist who has empathy and uses their experience and skills to work effectively, in a way that is open, nonjudgmental and insightful, thereby facilitating the process of change.
The first meeting is an assessment, which will help to identify whether counselling is appropriate for you. If counselling seems appropriate, you will be offered up to six further sessions lasting 50 minutes each with a professional counsellor.
Who is counselling for?
Anyone over 16 years old can receive counselling if they are registered with their local doctor in the Gateshead area. We see men and women, people from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and people from within the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. All are welcome.
Sessions are only available on a referral basis from your GP or another member of the primary care team.
Common reasons why people seek help through counselling include:
- Experiencing relationship difficulties, such as a break up or difficulties with family
- Feeling stressed e.g. problems at work
- Needing to come to terms with difficult or painful feelings
- Low self esteem
- Coping with injury or illness
- Childhood trauma
- Self image and identity issues
- Feeling low, depressed or anxious
- Life transitions (e.g. pregnancy, birth, and the months afterwards)
Counselling aims to support individuals who:
- Are willing to look at their problems thoughtfully and honestly
- Are open to change and to finding better ways of coping
- Can commit to attending counselling for a regular period of time
How can I access counselling?
If you live in Gateshead and feel like brief counselling could be right for you, you can contact your GP to be referred into our service.
What happens next?
Once you have been referred, we will contact you to arrange a telephone assessment. This assessment will last up to 30 minutes. During the telephone assessment, we will complete this form and talk to you about what you would like to get from counselling. If we feel that a more specialised service may better meet your needs, we will discuss this with you.
If we feel that short term counselling will meet your current needs then you will be put on the appropriate waiting list and will be contacted when a counselling appointment becomes available.
Will everything I say remain confidential?
Your counsellor will discuss confidentiality with you including any exceptions. This is the counselling agreement that you will read and go through with your counsellor in your first face to face session. It is advisable to read through this where possible before your sessions so you can prepare any questions to ensure informed consent. Your counsellor can pass any information on to your doctor or another member of the primary care team if you would find this helpful.
When you are finished, your counsellor is required to provide written feedback to the professional that has referred you for the service. Your counsellor can discuss the content of this with you if you wish.