Our Services

Accessing CCS services

Clients can self-refer to CCS by emailing, phoning the office or completing the referral form here on the website. Referrals can also be made via GP, NHS Mental Health Team and other agencies, but we do not require you to be referred by other services.

Opening hours

We are open Monday to Friday, 10am – 7pm for counselling. Appointments are on the hour and last 50 minutes; the first at 10am, the last at 6pm. The phone lines are staffed from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Please leave a message if we are not there and we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you are experiencing an immediate mental health crisis please use one of the emergency/ out of hours numbers on the homepage of the website.

Assessment

Once we have your referral, we will offer you an assessment appointment, lasting about 50 mins, where we can ask you for a summary of what problems you wish to address in counselling, and your history of life experiences which are relevant to your issues.  After assessment, if you and we think that counselling is the best way forward we then put you on our waiting list to meet with a counsellor when a suitable one becomes available.

Waiting times

Unfortunately, there is a waiting list to start counselling, and it can take a number of months before you will start. The length of wait will depend upon your availability, choices about what kind of counsellor you and we think is best for you, and the number of people coming to us. We like to remind clients that although there will be a wait, you are waiting for a long-term engagement, so when you get in you will have the time you need to work on your issues.

Counsellors

We have a team of over 50 counsellors, some qualified, some in training, who all work part-time, volunteering the hours that they can each week. All counsellors, trainee and qualified, are members of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) or the British Psychological Society (BPS) and work to their Ethical Framework guidelines, so you can be assured that your counsellor is working according to professional industry standards. All counsellors are also DBS-checked and insured for public indemnity.

Cost

As an independent non-profit organisation we do not receive funding from any outside sources. We fund our service partly by providing training courses, and partly by asking clients if they can manage to make a weekly donation for the counselling work to go towards the upkeep of the practice and premises. As a guide, we are thinking of £10 per week, but clients can tell us what they can afford. We never refuse anyone because they cannot afford a donation; our purpose is to offer counselling to all in our community without prejudice to costs and other obstacles, so we will work with clients who cannot afford a donation for free.

Counselling Approaches

Most counsellors at CCS are trained in Humanistic and Relational counselling theory and practice. There is a range of different counselling theories included in the Humanistic approach, all founded upon putting the client at the centre of the work, listening to their experiences and utilising the relationship between client and counsellor to help the client work on their problems and discover how they would like to deal with them. Many counsellors here will have been trained in Person Centred theory, where the counsellor considers the client to be the expert in their own life and gives the space to the client to grow and develop in the way they want to, which is referred to in that theory as ‘self-actualising’. 

Many counsellors are trained in Integrative Counselling, where the counsellor studies many different theories and integrates an approach to the work with the client based upon what they find to be useful for that particular client. These counsellors will have a knowledge of Person Centred, Transactional Analysis, Psychodynamic Theory, Gestalt and CBT, amongst others.

What happens in the sessions?

You will meet weekly with your counsellor, and the counsellor will listen to you and what you bring, and help you to reflect upon your issues, thoughts and feelings as you seek to find your own way to deal with your problems and make your own meaning of them in relation to your life. Your counsellor will aim to try to understand your feelings, and what it is like being you – being heard in a safe space where you can say what you are thinking and feeling has a very powerful effect on working with problems. 

Counsellors will each work in their own way – some might use images or offer some other creative means of working; some might use charts or diagrams to help to illustrate points or other metaphoric means such as stones or cards; and some will simply listen and reflect with you – all counsellors will try to find the best way for you to help yourself to find your own understanding and solution to your problems.

Counselling Issues we work with

We work with a broad range of client problems, including mental health issues, and the many personal and relational difficulties that people can all face, such as bereavement, relationship problems, low self-esteem, life changes and crises, gender issues, loss, stress, traumas, abuse, anger and, of course, anxiety and depression.

Queries

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us on telephone: 01227 766441

Email: office@communitycounsellingservice.org.uk or complete the contact form on our contact page.