If you are aged 11-25 and live in Winchester or the local surrounding district then you are eligible to come to us to receive free counselling. You can contact us yourself by phone or e-mail or you can be referred by someone else. If you are unsure about whether your home address is in our district, then please contact us to check. If you are outside the area we cover we will do our best to provide details of an alternative counselling service more local to you.
Counselling will not be able to fix everything but it will give you an opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings in a calm, non-judgemental way with an experienced counsellor who will be able to listen and support you as you work your way through difficult issues. People ask for counselling for a variety of reasons, it may be that you are finding life difficult, there may be problems at home or with friends, maybe you are being bullied, confused about your sexuality, or just feeling low and not too good about yourself. There may be a problem with alcohol and drug use, either yours or someone close to you. It really doesn’t matter what the problem is, if something is worrying you then an opportunity to talk to someone else can be very helpful.
We have a team of ten counsellors some paid, some volunteers. Our counsellors all have (or are working towards) a BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) or equivalent recognised counselling diploma. Our counselling team has a wealth of experience of working with young people in a variety of situations from schools to prisons. Areas of knowledge and experience include bereavement and loss, autism spectrum, nature therapy, relaxation and wellbeing, sexuality, depression and anxiety.
You will be matched with a counsellor by the service and this may be either a male or female counsellor. We do understand that in certain cases it may be difficult for you to see a counsellor of a particular gender and we will do our best to match you with the counsellor who may be most appropriate to help you. If you want to specify a male or female counsellor please let us know either when you first contact us, or in your initial meeting and, wherever possible, we will do our best to accommodate this.
When you first contact us (or someone contacts us on your behalf) we will need to take some details from you such as your name, address and age and the name of your GP. We will also ask you to give us an idea of the issues you would like counselling to help with. You do not have to go into detail or to tell us anything you are not comfortable with sharing. The information you give us will be kept confidential. Once we have your details we will offer you a 20 minute initial meeting which will be an opportunity for you to meet with one of our counsellors and discuss how we can best help you. You will also have an opportunity to ask any questions. We will try to offer you an initial meeting within a week or two of you contacting us. After this there may be some time to wait until we are able to offer you ongoing counselling and we will discuss this with you in the initial meeting.
Most of our counselling sessions take place at our counselling rooms in Winchester.
When you first contact us we will ask about your availability to attend appointments and will do our best to offer you a day and time which is convenient for you. We will probably be able to offer you an appointment more quickly if you are able to be flexible especially if you are available to attend during a day as our evening appointments tend to be in high demand. When we are able to offer you a place to begin counselling we will offer you a weekly appointment which will take place at the same day and time each week. Please note that we are closed on Fridays and at weekends.
There is no charge for our service. We are a registered charity and are able to offer free counselling thanks to the backing and generosity of our supporters. If you are able to make a contribution to the cost of your counselling sessions it will be gratefully received but there is no obligation for you to do so.
Your initial meeting will be a short, 20 minute meeting so that we can assess how we can best help you and you may ask any questions you have about counselling. Once you begin counselling each session will last around 50 minutes but sometimes you may agree shorter sessions with your counsellor.
Our aim is to provide enough counselling sessions to help you work through issues until you feel ready to finish counselling. For this reason we do not generally specify a time limit but instead this is something you will discuss with your counsellor so that you can work towards an ending when you and the counsellor feel would be appropriate. You are free to end your counselling sessions at any time but we would ask that you let us know if you decide to finish so that we can offer the space to someone on our waiting list.
If you are not able to attend your counselling appointment please let us know as soon as possible. You can e-mail us at admin@winchesteryouthcounselling.org or call us on 01962 820444, please leave a message if we are unable to answer when you call.
At Winchester Youth Counselling we respect and value confidentiality. You can speak to your counsellor about anything and be sure that it will be treated in confidence within the service. In exceptional circumstances we may be required to disclose information if we feel that your safety, or the safety of others, may be at risk. If this arises wherever possible this will be discussed with you first and your consent will be obtained. If you would like to see our confidentiality policy please ask and we will be happy to send you a copy.
Yes, we have a ramp at the entrance for access to the building. The building has disabled toilet facilities and a wheelchair lift for access to all floors.
Yes, our service is open to everyone between the ages of 11-25 who lives in the district of Winchester. If you have any additional needs please let us know so that we can do our best to offer you the right support. Our counsellors are experienced in working with people with many conditions and will do their best to tailor sessions to your needs.
Most of counselling is carried out in English but we do have counsellors who speak some additional languages. Please let us know if you would prefer to work in another language and we will see if we are able to offer that.
There is a seating area where you are welcome to wait before your session. Your counsellor will come and call you from the waiting area when it is time for your appointment.
Counselling involves you speaking on a one to one basis with a trained counsellor. It is important that you have this space as your personal time and we therefore ask that anyone who accompanies you waits in our waiting area (or waits in the local Winchester area if they would prefer) while you meet with your counsellor. In some cases your counsellor may be able to have a short introduction to the person accompanying you if you specifically wish them to. You are welcome to discuss this in your initial meeting. Your counsellor will never discuss the contents of your sessions with anyone who accompanies you.
We hope that this situation will not arise but we understand that there may occasionally be times when problems occur and you would like to speak with someone else. In the first instance we would suggest that you try and discuss the issue with your counsellor. Our counsellors are all here to help you and will be happy to try and work through any problems which have arisen. If you would rather speak to someone else then please contact our Project Manager, Jill Guppy at the office tel: 01962 820444 e-mail: admin@winchesteryouthcounselling.org