Counselling / Therapeutic Support
One to One Counselling –
We have a large team of counsellors, many of our counsellors are person-centred trained using an integrative based approach, and give you space to explore your thoughts and feelings in a safe environment. Others are cognitive behavioural therapists and take more of a structured approach. While some counsellors will work creatively using art, toys, writing and drawing. All our Counsellors are registered members of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), adhere to the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.
Person or client-centred therapy is based on the view that everyone has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change, given the right conditions. Rather than being seen as the expert and directing the therapy, the counsellor offers unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence to help you come to terms with any negative feelings and to change and develop in your own way.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT aims to help you change the way you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). Rather than looking at past causes, it focuses on current problems and practical solutions to help you feel better now.
The way we think about situations affects the way we feel and behave. If we view a situation negatively, we may experience negative emotions and feelings which lead us to behave in an unhelpful way. Your therapist will help you identify and challenge any negative thinking so you can deal with situations better and behave in a more positive way.
What to expect from counselling
If you have decided to try counselling, you might be feeling anxious about your first session. Making the decision to get help and address the issues you are facing is an important first step and should be commended. Knowing what to expect from a counselling session should help you feel more prepared and less nervous about your first appointment.
Following a brief assessment over the phone, you will then be contacted by a counsellor to arrange your first appointment with them.
In your first session, it's likely that your counsellor will ask you some questions in order to gain an understanding of what's worrying you and the way your thought processes work. All of the information obtained here will be used to help you in future sessions and you are in control of what you would like to talk about.
Some questions your counsellor may ask include:
Why are you seeking counselling?
- You'll most likely be asked what it is that has brought you here. This is your opportunity to discuss exactly why you are there and what you hope to gain from counselling.
What is your current situation and personal history?
- It is important to let your counsellor know your current situation, this includes any day-to-day issues you are facing and even your work and home life. Discussing your personal history will give your counsellor a chance to understand more about you as a person and why these issues may have occurred.
What symptoms are you experiencing?
- Whether these are physical or psychological, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your counsellor.
It is advised that you be honest and open when answering these questions in order to get the most out of your counselling sessions.
During your counselling experience, you should aim to build a trusting relationship with your counsellor so that you feel safe and confident discussing your worries. If for any reason you do not feel comfortable talking about your problems with your counsellor, it is perfectly acceptable to let us know and we can look at arranging for you to see a different counsellor.
Your counsellor should establish some clear boundaries when you begin your sessions that cover the following:
- dates and times of the counselling sessions
- confidentiality agreement
- clarification of the professional nature of the counsellor/client relationship
- how and when the counsellor can be contacted outside of sessions
The counselling Process
Counselling often requires you to discuss upsetting emotions and painful memories. Bringing up these thoughts can feel difficult to start with and initially, you may feel worse. This process is necessary to move forward and in time, you should start to feel better.
To get the most from your counselling sessions you should aim to make them consistent. Some sessions will feel more helpful than others, but it's important to realise that everything your counsellor is doing is designed to help you in the long run, even if it doesn't feel like it in the beginning.
It's also worth remembering that counselling is not a quick fix, and that your counsellor will not be able to tell you what to do. The counselling process requires a strong relationship between you and your counsellor and a degree of effort on your part - together these two elements create a successful method to help you resolve your issues.
RASA Counselling provision is free service for survivors or sexual abuse and those impacted by it. However, we always welcome donations from any individual to assist us with meeting the running costs of the service. You can donate online by clicking here.
Pre-trial therapy for survivors of sexual abuse refers to therapeutic support provided to individuals who have experienced sexual abuse or assault before their case goes to trial. This type of therapy aims to address the emotional and psychological impact of the traumatic experience, and it can play a crucial role in helping survivors navigate the legal process.
There are legal provisions in place to protect the confidentiality of therapy sessions for our clients.
Therapists offering pre-trial therapy for survivors of sexual abuse typically use trauma-informed approaches. These approaches recognise the impact of trauma on an individual's mental and emotional well-being and emphasize creating a safe and supportive therapeutic environment.
Therapists may collaborate with legal professionals to ensure that the therapy is conducted in a way that complies with legal requirements. This collaboration may involve providing information to the court about the therapeutic process and its importance for the survivor's well-being.
The police and/or CPS may request to see the notes we make during sessions if they believe the notes may contain material relevant to the investigation or trial.
Only material relevant should be disclosed to the police or CPS and you have the right to agree to the disclosure, to see the notes, and to agree to all documents released to the police. Although our notes will be minimal, accurate, general and objective; you also need to be aware that if disclosed, these notes will be viewed by the defence.
What would happen if I remembered anything new about the incident?
If you remember anything new relating to your current police investigation during one of your therapy sessions, we will ask you to complete a “First Disclosure Form” where we state the new information you have disclosed. This form will be objective, concise, and factual.
How to refer for counselling
You can make a self-refer by clicking on ‘Make a referral page’ or calling the office on 0151 558 1801 or email