At Signpost, we offer accessible and affordable counselling to carers and former carers. We have years of experience in delivering counselling. We understand the challenges your caring role brings and through counselling support we aim to alleviate some of that distress for you.
Counselling is a kind of talking therapy that provides you with a safe and confidential space to talk about your issues and concerns. Our counsellors are skilled in supporting you as a carer and can work with you towards better emotional and physical health.
All our Counsellors have expertise and skill in supporting carers. They all are members of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and attend regular supervision.
What issues can we help you with?
Stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness are often issues that people bring to counselling. As a carer, you will relate to those issues but it may be that you may bring to your sessions issues around feelings of guilt, resentment, isolation, communication, trauma, setting boundaries to name a few. Carers come away from sessions with a better understanding of themselves or the situation they are in, improved confidence or self-esteem, coping strategies to name a few of the benefits.
How does it work?
We offer a free initial assessment over the phone which takes around an hour. You will then be placed on a waiting list and when a Counsellor becomes available, you will be able to start your sessions.
We offer six 1-hour sessions either on the telephone, on Microsoft Teams or in person at the Heatons Centre. Your sessions will be with the same Counsellor and will be on the same day and same time each week.
If you and your Counsellor feel you need more sessions, these can sometimes be extended to 8, 10 or 12.
What do I pay?
In order to keep our counselling service sustainable, we are asking carers referred into us from the 1st September 2023 to pay a contribution of £15 per session. It costs us £50 to deliver a counselling session. A private counselling session costs £45-70 so we believe £15 is an appropriate request.
The £15 payment will be made at the beginning of each session in cash, by cheque or by debit card.
If you feel you are unable to afford this contribution, then please talk with your Counsellor or the Counselling Manager about this. We will do our very best to accommodate your needs.
To find out more about our counselling service, please contact the Counselling Manager or the Carer Support Team on 0161 442 0442.
To help you understand what counselling is and isn’t, we’ve put together some common queries and concerns below…
It is not unusual to feel this way and it’s completely normal, particularly if you didn’t connect with your counsellor or were left feeling deflated after your sessions.
It’s important to remember – just because you didn’t find one Counsellor helpful, it doesn’t mean this will be the same with another. We like to offer flexibility – if you aren’t clicking with your Counsellor, you can request to move to another. The relationship between you and your Counsellor is important and should be one you feel good about, so please do not be put off by a not so positive past experience.
It’s also may be the last time you had counselling that it wasn’t the right time for you. Counselling requires you to attend each session consistently, be honest and committed to working through things. The more committed you are to your sessions, the more you will get out of them.
Counselling cannot fix all your problems for you. Unfortunately, Counsellors do not have a magic wand to wave to make things better. As mentioned above, you have to put in some effort to get the most out of your counselling.
Let’s face it, nobody really likes being told what to do. Your Counsellor can’t tell you what to do. They may present you with options based on what you have discussed in your session. Your Counsellor can also then support you with the outcomes of your choices and reflect on the decisions made.
Your Counsellor will not judge you. Your Counsellor will see people from all walks of life and to support everyone in the best way possible, it is important there is no judgement. Your Counsellor will offer compassion, empathy with lots of open questions and at times maybe asking some challenging questions to help you best work through your issue. An essential part of the practice is that the space is judgement free and confidential.
Your counselling sessions are confidential. From the beginning of and throughout your counselling journey with Signpost, the importance of confidentiality will be discussed with you by your Counsellor.
If you do speak about anything in your session where you or someone else is at risk or if you speak about something illegal however, then your Counsellor will need to raise this with their Manager. The Counsellor will inform you of this.
There also may be times when a Counsellor may discuss your case in supervision. Supervision is when Counsellors share best practice with each other and get support. This means that they can better support you. A Counsellor would not give your name and full anonymity is guaranteed. Confidentiality is of upmost importance.
Some people believe that counselling isn’t for them as they’ll seem “weak”. Or sometimes they “should” be strong enough to deal with things on their own but this is absolutely not the case. Counselling is a really effective way for you to receive support in not dealing with things on your own. The stigma attached to counselling has reduced in the past few years, it is much more accepted. Many people will have been to a Counsellor at one point or another in their lives. It also takes courage to go to counselling and begin working through what’s affecting you – it’s brave and requires strength.
Counselling can build your resilience, help you tackle things from the past that are holding you back, struggles with the present or prepare you for the future. It doesn’t need to be scary and especially as a carer it is important you take some time for yourself.