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YP Counselling FAQs

Counselling provides a safe space for you to talk about your thoughts and feelings with a trusted counsellor. It is not unusual to struggle with feelings/emotions. Our counsellors are trained to enable you to feel listened to and supported in a way that suits you best. Counselling is usually short-term and often focuses on finding solutions for a specific problem that you are struggling with now.

A counsellor will work with you in a supportive way to help you understand and think about what is going on in your life and discuss how you might make things better.  Counselling is suitable for a variety of mental health challenges you may be experiencing such as anger, anxiety, bereavement and loss, bullying, friendships, low self-esteem, problems at school/college/workplace, relationships, and self-harm.

Dorset Mind Your Head offers a counselling service for young people who are aged between 11 and 17.  If you are 18+, you will be referred to Dorset Mind’s adult services for counselling.

When we receive your referral, we will contact you to book an online assessment, to confirm if we are the right service for you. After this, you will be offered weekly counselling sessions, for up to 6 weeks and each session will be 50 minutes. When the service is busy, there may be a waiting period before your counselling sessions begin.

We have face-to-face counselling in some locations but also offer online counselling sessions. Sessions are either run from a private and confidential space or on a secure online platform. You can discuss this during your online assessment.

Our counselling service is self-funded and, for the service to continue, it is necessary to charge a fee.

The initial assessment session is free, following your initial assessment you will be signposted to the most appropriate service/counsellor.

  • Free Assessment (confidential) – CYP Team Leader
  • £15 per session – with a Qualified Counsellor doing additional training to work with Children and Young People (CYP)
  • £30 per session – with a Qualified CYP Counsellor

Payments for the sessions must be made in advance of the sessions and can be made by bank transfer, credit card or PayPal. We will send full details about how to make these payments after the initial assessment if you choose to have counselling sessions with us.

Christchurch, Somerford Arc

Dorchester, Quaker Meeting House, DT1 1LF

Ferndown, The Centre

You can discuss your options further at your assessment.

Currently Dorset Mind’s Children & Young Persons (CYP) Counselling Service only accepts referrals from parents, GP Practices and professionals working with young people, provided parental consent is given (for those 13 and under).

For immediate access to online support, try Kooth – free, safe and anonymous online support for young people, or  Shout, free crisis text line for young people.

For free live chat counselling, Relate and The Mix both offer a webchat with a trained counsellor.

We offer student placements for both adults and young people counselling. Please email contact us and select Volunteering before your message.

Meet our Counsellors:

Christine Bridger – Qualified YP Counsellor and YP Team Leader

Christine is an experienced BACP Accredited counsellor, working with Children and Young people who need mental health support with Dorset Mind. She encourages taking a first step, by reaching out to talk things through. 

Barbara Montagna – Qualified Counsellor and YP Team Leader

Barbara previously worked in students’ services in higher education. Her personal experiences and desire to make a difference to the mental health of young people in Dorset encouraged her to pursue working within counselling. She believes we should all be kinder to ourselves.  

Anne Ringrose – Qualified YP Counsellor

Before joining Dorset Mind, Anne worked for ‘It’s Your Choice’, which supports 11-25yr olds. Anne, has a pro-active approach to counselling, focused on the individual with the aid of resources when suitable. She believes counselling has a positive impact on a young person when they feel heard and understood.  

Ruth Allen - Qualified Counsellor training to work with YP

Ruth wants to use and develop her skills as a communicator to make a positive difference to people’s lives. Ruth specialises in working with children and young people aged 11-17 and is a person-centred counsellor. Ruth helps young people understand the things they are finding difficult in life. Developing a trusting relationship can help young people feel supported in exploring their challenges and empower them to make changes.

Lucy Palmer – Qualified YP Counsellor

Lucy is a member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy). Lucy is passionate about supporting young people through their counselling journey, providing tools so that they may feel empowered to take care of their mental health and wellbeing. 

Laima Puteikyte – Qualified Counsellor training to work with YP

Laima qualified as a Humanistic Counsellor at the University of Chichester. She can speak in English, Lithuanian and Russian. Laima‘s approach to counselling is unique to the individual. She believes everyone can turn things around in life to reach their own goals and dreams. 

Rachel Smitheman – Qualified Counsellor training to work with YP

Rachel has always wanted to work with Children & Young People and uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in counselling sessions to encourage them to tune into thoughts and feelings to aid problem solving. She says that young people are experts in themselves and believes counselling is a valuable space for young people to talk about their worries in a non-judgemental environment 

Become a Student Counsellor

Want to do your student counselling placement with us? We can offer places for some students to work with young people in Dorset. Go to our contact page and select ‘Volunteering’ to let us know about you.

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