Our free, confidential and non-judgemental Community Counselling Service is for young people (aged 12 to 18) in East Lothian.
If a young person feels unable to access our School Counselling service (i.e. if the young person does not wish to be referred by school staff or have other professionals involved), they can access our Community Counselling Service. Referrals can be made directly to us by themselves or from parents/carers.
Counselling is the chance to talk in confidence about anything that’s worrying you, with a person outside of your daily life who’s trained in listening and putting themselves in other people’s shoes.
You might talk to them about things from the past or the present, or worries you have about your future.
Counsellors can help you deal with a range of issues including:
- relationship problems
- self-esteem problems
- self harm
- eating problems
Counselling can help you understand the way you feel, think and act. It can also help you feel more in charge of your life and able to make positive decisions for yourself.
Your counsellor’s job is to listen to you and support you without judging you.
Number of sessions and waiting times
You can have up to 12 one hour, weekly sessions.
How long you’ll wait to see a counsellor depends on how many other people have been referred to the service.
If you’ve been waiting longer than you expected, give us a call to double check where you are on the list and how much longer it will be.
We won’t give information about you to others without your permission unless we think that you, or someone else, is at risk of harm.
Your counsellor will always do their best to let you know you if we have to share information about you.
You’ll talk about confidentiality with your counsellor at your first meeting.
Your counsellor won’t judge you
All counsellors work in a non-judgemental way.
How much you tell yours is completely up to you. They won’t analyse you or try to read your mind, and you won’t have to lie on a couch!
Once you feel relaxed and safe with your counsellor, you may find yourself opening up more.
How you’ll know if counselling is helping
You may find that you notice changes in your thoughts and feelings when you’re having counselling.
Young people who have had counselling often say that they:
- understand themselves better, and that they realise that their feelings were normal
- can feel less anxious and sad and can deal with their problems better
- notice changes to their physical health like sleeping and eating better
- are calmer and less likely to get into arguments
Young people have also told us that counselling helps them make sense of difficult relationships with their family and friends.
What do do if you’re not coping between appointments
If you’re finding it hard in between sessions, it’s important that you tell your counsellor. They can then help you work out what you are experiencing and explore things you can do to look after yourself and/or get more support.
If you get upset and cry, it won’t matter
You won’t be forced to talk about anything that you don’t want to, but getting upset and crying is normal and could happen at your sessions.
Your counsellor is there to support you, and may suggest taking a break if things get too upsetting for you.
What to do if you don’t get on with your counsellor
If this is how you feel, we hope that you are able to tell the counsellor so you can try and resolve things.
If you don’t feel able to do that you can phone us and ask for a different counsellor.