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What is Counselling?
Counselling is a safe and private space to discuss issues that may be causing you a problem or simply to think about a new direction for your life. It may be initiated by an external event, for example, a change of role at work, redundancy, bereavement, a marriage, a separation/divorce, or it may just come out of the blue that you feel dissatisfied with some part of your life and want to think about how you could improve your lifestyle to meet your needs.

Counselling can be done individually, in couples, or in groups at Your Safe Harbour.

Individual counselling is when you meet one to one with a trained professional and fully registered counsellor and psychotherapist at a pre-arranged date and time. All good counsellors would initially begin with an assessment session, to see whether your needs could be met by counselling or psychotherapy or if it would be better to refer you over to a different type of therapy. This session is a chance to check out your therapist and to see if you can work together, it is also an opportunity to set your expectations at a reasonable level. It is often not possible to say if the work will be long term, but after this meeting you will be offered either a set of 6, 12 or ongoing sessions. Young people would usually be offered shorter term therapy or counselling and will have the opportunity to review on a regular basis. A maximum for someone under the age of 16 would be 2 years without a break, although they would always be able to return should the need arise later.

Couple counselling is when you, as a couple, meet with a trained professional and fully registered counsellor and psychotherapist at a pre-arranged date and time. You would then discuss what you hope to achieve from the sessions and decide whether the counsellor is right for you. Again at the first session the contract would be agreed and you can decide if you wish to meet again.

Group counselling is when a group meets at a pre-arranged date and time and work together on a given topic. This group would be facilitated by a trained therapist and would be a therapeutic space. Because of this, the group would agree to certain mutually desirable "rules" for the group e.g. confidentiality, respect for others in the group etc. The group will set their own agenda and the facilitator will work with them to help the group members to each gain what they need from the group. A progress review would be part of the agenda for all groups, to ensure that everyone was getting what they needed.

For all the different types of counselling there would be an agreement made between you and the counsellor as to how you will work together, this would then be known as the contract. For an example of an individual contract, please see Terms of Engagement.

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Your Safe Harbour - Psychotherapy and Counselling
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