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** Referrals now open **

Please note, we are not a crisis service.  If you need urgent or crisis support with your mental health, please follow this link.

What is counselling?

Counselling can help lead to positive change with increased self-confidence, self-esteem and the ability to face the future.

We understand that taking the first step to accessing counselling can be a big hurdle and we want to make it as easy as possible.

  • Counselling gives you the opportunity to talk about issues affecting your life in a safe and confidential environment.
  • It helps you to explore your thoughts and feelings in order to change behaviours and achieve your goals.

If you want to find out more about what to expect, please follow this link.


What is a counsellor’s role?

Everyone has ups and downs and for most of the time we cope with them. But on those occasions when we need help, a counsellor is someone who will:

  • Actively listen without making judgements
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • They will not give advice or tell you what to do, but they will help you find your own answers, reflect and explore your feelings safely

Trusting, caring relationships are a core foundation of our mental wellbeing. If we feel safe, secure and valued we are much more likely to stay well and recover faster.

Our counsellors are caring and compassionate and will see you for a series of appointments, which can be weekly or fortnightly to suit your needs. You will be offered a range of sessions to improve your sense of wellbeing.

How to access counselling

Everyone who uses our counselling service will be contacted by Claire, our Counselling Team Leader. Claire will discuss your needs with you, and arrange a FREE initial assessment.

If you have any other questions, please email Claire at


During your assessment, Claire will talk you through the difference between our counsellors and which one will be most appropriate to work with you. For example, if you present with mild to moderate mental health isses at assessment stage, you’ll have some degree of choice as to what level of counsellor you’ll see (depending on availability). If you present with complex trauma/s, Claire will likely advise seeing an experienced counsellor.

We don’t charge for your initial assessment, but we do for the sessions that follow.

Payments must be made at least 24 hours prior to the session and can be made via bank transfer, credit card or PayPal. This will also be explained at assessment.

Our Counselling sessions run for 50 minutes, and the rates are as follows:

  • £20 per session – with a Trainee Placement Counsellor (coming towards the end of their training)
  • £30 per session – with a Qualified Placement Counsellor (qualified and extending their training)
  • £40 per session – with an experienced Freelance Counsellor

Our Counsellors:

Our counsellors are qualified to (at least), or working towards, a Diploma in Counselling (Level 4). They all work within their own ethical framework of the organisation of which they are a member, including the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the National Counselling Society.

Claire Sirmulis

Everyone that accesses Counselling with Dorset Mind will speak to our friendly experienced Counselling Team Leader Claire for a initial assessment.

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Cathy Satherley

Cathy is a qualified Volunteer Counsellor who’s aim is to empower clients to make their own decisions on how to move forward.

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Kathryn Littlewood

Engaging with clients, listening to them in an empathic, non-judgemental way gives our qualified Volunteer Counsellor Kathryn huge satisfaction.

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Ruth Hutton

Ruth is a qualified Volunteer Counsellor. She doesn’t try to fix or tell clients what to do but offers them support as they find their own answers.

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Vick Ashley

Qualified Volunteer Counsellor Vick believes counselling can be a life-changing opportunity where you’re supported to find your own answers.

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Matthew Pitman

Qualified Placement Counsellor Matt believes talking therapies are important, offering people non-judgmental support and care when needed.

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Louise Devereux

Our Trainee Placement Counsellor, Louise, believes that talking therapies provide a special kind of relationship between counsellors & clients.

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Lucy Crescent

Our Trainee Placement Counsellor, Lucy, looks forward to help people become more in tune with themselves & develop strategies to cope with everyday life.

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Romy Simpkins

Romy, is one of our Ambassadors and a Trainee Placement Counsellor. Romy, is passionate about helping others.

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Chris Pickard

Our Trainee Placement Counsellor Chris believes counselling is an opportunity for self-exploration to gain a better understanding of personal issues.

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Young people counselling

We also offer counselling for young people. Follow this link to counselling on the Dorset Mind Your Head website for further details.

Student placements

We offer student placements for both adults and young people counselling. Please email either (adults) or (young people) for further details.

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