What is Counselling?
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.
Who is it for?
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.
Emotional Support Sessions
You may alternatively be offered support sessions. The support session is about providing additional support which could be practical – e.g. supporting someone at Juniper Lodge or going with a service user for a medical appointment or simply providing emotional support (also offered on as week-to-week basis). The support session could also be useful to allow you to begin the process of sharing prior to counselling.
How Long is a Session?
We operate an appointment system and you will be reserved one hour for each session that is booked with your counsellor. This is your time.
To cancel an appointment we ask that you give us as much notice as possible. To do this please ring 07581 568144 stating the name of your counsellor, time of your appointment and any other information you want to share.
If you miss two sessions in a row without giving any notice, then ‘first step’ will contact you to check if you want to continue with your counselling. After this, if you make an appointment but do not keep it ‘first step’ will assume that you want to stop your sessions. You can re-start your counselling when you feel able to, however we cannot guarantee that it will be the same counsellor.
Who are the Face to Face Counsellors?
First Step has female and male counsellors, so we aim to give you a choice of counsellor whenever possible. All our counsellors have completed awareness training around the difficulties faced by male survivors of sexual abuse.
Our counsellors are either fully qualified to a Diploma level or above, or students on a counselling placement working towards their Diploma. All attend regular supervision and follow British Association for Counselling Codes of Ethics and Practice for Counsellors and our own internal policies. Our services are confidential and all counsellors work within the ‘first step’ confidentiality policy.