“I’ve come to terms with my past, it’s not going away, but it doesn’t have to define me. I’m so much more than that. There’s new history being made every day.” – Client
Counselling is a form of help that focuses on your needs. It offers you the opportunity to understand your thoughts and feelings. It is a place where you can talk to someone who is not involved in your life; someone who has no preference concerning your decisions. Counselling is not about telling you what to do or how to run your life, but it is about exploring your difficulties with another person. This might mean you talk about past and present relationships. You may begin to turn your thoughts and feelings into actions that help you come to terms with your experiences and make new choices.
The team have helped me save my life. I was at a point where I had given up on everything. I was supported brilliantly throughout and now I am at a place where I can like my life without the past haunting me. I will forever be grateful.” – Client
Who can access counselling at First Step?
We offer free anyone who identifies as male (aged 13+)
There are many reasons for seeking counselling. As a male survivor you may feel a sense of:
- low self esteem
- loss of childhood
- anger or helplessness
- fear of intimacy
- uncertainty around sex or sexuality
- poor body image.
Such thoughts and feelings are not unusual when moving towards recovery. Counselling may be something that you feel might be helpful for you to understand your thoughts and feelings. Our service may enable you to talk about your experiences in as little or as much detail as you want so that you may explore and discover ways of healing yourself.
Whilst we acknowledge that the majority of male survivors do not go on to perpetrate sexual crimes, however there are a small number who may. You are welcome to read our statement on why, in most cases, we are unable to ethically work with these clients who hold ‘dual status’. If you have any questions about this please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I access counselling at First Step?
Making first contact
You can decide how best to make contact. Telephone or text to 07581 568 144 or email to email@example.com. Whatever works for you, works for us! Please note we are closed Friday, Saturday & Sunday and all texts, voicemails, and emails will be responded to as soon as possible.
Arranging an assessment
When we hear from you we won’t be asking you lots of questions. We will ask for your full name, DOB, and contact number, then simply arrange an assessment meeting. Ideally this will happen within 14 days of your initial contact with us. The assessment will happen face-to-face, however, if accessibility to our office is an issue please let us know and we can discuss remote options.
At the assessment you will be asked to share a range of information, including: contact details; GP details; medical history. You will also be given choices. You may prefer to work with a male or female counsellor – if so, your choice will be honoured. Your preference of time and day will also be taken into account as we want to ensure that any ongoing support you receive works for you long term.
We will ask you some details about your past experiences, but our job is not to probe unduly. We know that these experiences can be difficult to talk about and our staff are experienced in carrying out the assessments in a safe and trauma informed way.
The way we conduct our assessment process, down to every question we ask in it, is based on the feedback of our clients. Nothing is written in stone as we are continually shaping the service delivery at every point to ensure the client is at the heart of all of our work.
Making a decision
The person providing your assessment appointment will discuss with you what they feel would be the most appropriate journey with us. If someone approaches us in crisis or presents signs that they would currently struggle to explore, understand and process their thoughts and feelings, then this would indicate that emotional support would be more suitable. The decision will be reached in partnership with you and there will be a discussion if this is deemed to be the most appropriate service in the first instance.
At assessment it may well be felt that you are ready and able to undertake the counselling journey.
Starting counselling or emotional support
Following assessment the next time you will hear from us will be to offer you a counselling/emotional support place. When you receive this offer it is your responsibility to say whether it is the right time and day. Remember if it is going to be difficult timewise better to say now so that you can fully commit to the work and ensure you remain with the same counsellor throughout your journey.
There will be members of staff on site. Usually for your first session we try to ensure it is the person who assessed you, we know how hard it is to come in and it is important to feel you have an established contact within First Step already.
Download our ‘Making the Most of Your Counselling‘ leaflet