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What is counselling?

Counselling provides an opportunity to address issues that may be troubling or causing you problems. Your counsellor will not know you or have any involvement with the issues you wish to discuss and instead will provide a space where you are able to explore and reflect on the difficulties you are experiencing. As a result hopefully you will develop a greater understanding of your difficulties and be able to move forward in your life.

Can counselling help me?

Counselling has been proven to help people with a wide range of difficulties including anxiety and depression, relationship difficulties, work and family problems etc. Once you have decided you would like counselling you will be offered an assessment before you commence counselling. The assessment provides the opportunity to decide whether counselling would be appropriate for you or not.

Who does GCS provide counselling for?

GCs provides a wide range of counselling services for young people, adults, couples and families. Details of our different services are on the website.

How often would I meet with my counsellor?

You would meet weekly with your counsellor at the same time and the same place. This space is held for you each week and as a result if you are unable to attend for any reason you will be expected to pay for the missed sessions.

Will I have the same counsellor?

Yes once you commence ongoing counselling you will see the same counsellor (this will not be the counsellor you saw for the assessment).

Can a friend or a relative be with me during counselling?

No counselling is a one to one experience to allow you to consider matters without anyone else’s input or involvement, however well intentioned.

Will my counsellor be qualified and experienced?

All GCS counsellors are supervised and managed within GCS and work within the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Ethical Framework. Most of our counsellors are qualified but some are in training but work to the same high standards as qualified counsellors.

How long does counselling take?

There is no one answer to this question as it depends on the issues you wish to address and the depth to which you wish to explore them and other related matters. Counselling maybe for some weeks or years but on average it tends to be for up to 24 weeks.

Where will I have to go for counselling?

GCS has counselling venues in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, Cirencester, Tewkesbury and the Forest of Dean. You will be offered an appointment at the venue most convenient to you if at all possible.

How long will I have to wait for a counselling appointment?

Once you have registered for counselling you will usually be offered an appointment for an assessment relatively quickly, usually within two weeks. How quickly you will be offered an appointment for ongoing counselling will depend on a number of factors including your availability and the demand on the service. Usually you can expect to be offered an appointment within a few weeks if your availability is good.

How much does counselling cost?

GCS offers an affordable counselling service and does not turn anyone away on cost grounds alone. However, we are a charity and receive no Government funding and to provide a service we do make a charge. There will be both a charge for registration and assessment and for ongoing counselling. Details of our standard fees are published on our website but at your first counselling session the fee will be discussed with you by your counsellor to ensure it is affordable to you.

Please see our guidance document on fees below.

What if I am unhappy with my counselling?

In the first instance if you are unhappy with any aspect of your counselling you should discuss this with your counsellor as it may be related to the issues you have brought to counselling. If this is inappropriate or does not resolve the matter you can write to the Head of Counselling at GCS setting out your concerns. If you are still unhappy you can use GCS’s formal Complaints procedure. Finally you may also contact the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the body our counselling service is accredited with, to raise your concerns.

British Psychoanalytic Council

GCS specialises in providing counselling and training of counsellors to professional standards. GCS was established in 1980 and has over 60 counsellors offering high quality affordable, counselling to the community of Gloucestershire in venues across the county including Stroud, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Cirencester. All our counsellors are supervised and managed within GCS and work within the BACP ethical framework. Some of our counsellors are counsellors in training; they work to the same standards as our qualified counsellors.