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Counselling FAQs

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.

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 judgement
  • 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.

Everyone who completes our Referral form for our counselling service will be contacted by a member of the Counselling Team. They will discuss your needs with you, and book in you initial assessment (at a cost of £15) at a time that suits you.

The initial assessment costs £15 and will be payable on booking a time to suit you.

During this assessment, the team member assessing you 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 issues 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, we will likely advise seeing a more experienced counsellor.

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 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.

We offer student placements for both adults and young people counselling. Please select ‘Volunteering’ and complete this form.

Meet our counsellors:

Cathy Satherley - Qualified Counsellor

Cathy previously worked for an older person’s community mental health team. After retiring from the NHS, Cathy joined Dorset Mind as a volunteer. Her aim is to empower clients to make their own decisions on how to move forward. 

Louise Devereux – Trainee Placement Counsellor

Louise previously worked in a secondary school, gaining insight into a variety of life experiences. Louise believes the talking therapies provide a special kind of relationship. Providing a safe and confidential space to talk.  

Kathryn Littlewood – Qualified Counsellor

Kathryn has years of experience in counselling and supporting people in educational environments. She enjoys engaging with clients and listening in an empathic, honest, and non-judgemental way. Kathryn believes counselling helps people to understand themselves better 

Chris Pickard - Trainee Placement Counsellor

Chris previously worked for Dorset Mind as a befriender. Chris has personal experience of mental health challenges due to work-related stress. He believes counselling is an opportunity for self-exploration and encourages self-reflection as part of the journey to mental health recovery.  

Ruth Hutton – Trainee Placement Counsellor

Ruth previously working within the education sector. Her personal experience of mental health has given Ruth an understanding of the impact of ill mental health on daily life. Ruth believes individuals are experts in their own lives. She offers support to clients as they find their own answers. 

Lucy Crescent - Trainee Placement Counsellor

Lucy has worked in various health and social care role including working as a group facilitator for one of Dorset Mind’s wellbeing groups. She believes counselling helps people build resilience and learn to believe in themselves again 

Darren Northeast

Darren is a volunteer counsellor, currently working towards a Level 4 qualification in Therapeutic Counselling. He strongly believes in the power of talking therapy and understands first-hand the difference it can make for people.

Lee Ellaway

Lee is studying his Level 4 counselling qualification. He got involved with Dorset Mind, to give back to others, having previously accessed mental health support himself. He believes, being able to talk to a professional counsellor, who is trained to help individuals look inside themselves for their own answers to these challenges is hugely important.

Sarah Butcher - Trainee Counsellor

Sarah is a qualified counsellor. Sarah has a passion for supporting others and exploring their feelings and working towards developing compassion and understanding, to help live a more balanced and emotionally fulfilling life.

Please support our work

Dorset Mind is a self-funded local charity that helps people in Dorset experiencing mental health problems access the vital support they need. The charity is at the very heart of our communities shaping futures, changing and in some cases literally saving lives.  

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