Frequently asked questions
When is a good time to have counselling?
Counselling can help people deal with mental health problems and emotional distress. It may help with:
- Anxiety or an inability to cope or concentrate, feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulties in dealing with stress or recovering from stressful situations
- Lack of confidence and self-esteem
- Coping with the effects of abuse or violence either as a child or adult
- Making or keeping healthy relationships or repeatedly becoming involved in unsatisfying or destructive relationships
- Difficulty in coming to terms with losses such as bereavement, relationship breakdown or unemployment
- Self harming behaviours or urges
- Panic attacks and phobias
- Difficulties in managing feelings like guilt, shame, anger or trusting others.
If you would like support with any of the above, it may be a good time to consider counselling. Your reasons can be discussed further at your initial appointment.
I’m new to counselling – what happens?
Starting therapy is a brave step, and it can take some people many years before they feel comfortable seeking help. At WCTS, we believe that it’s almost always a case of better late than never. Your therapist will understand the courage it has taken you to contact us, and they will treat you with sensitivity and respect, no matter what your background is or why you’ve turned to us for help. We will take some important practical steps to help you feel safe with us.
- We’ll match you to a therapist who we think will suit you, and carefully explain how therapy works and what you can expect from it.
- We always try to work flexibly, in ways that suit your own particular needs, personality, availability and lifestyle.
- We can provide an interpreter who speaks your language to help with any communication difficulties between you and your therapist.
- We can offer long-term therapy lasting up to two years, which means there’s more time to help you and less pressure on each session. Don’t worry though; some of those we help respond quickly to therapy, often coming to us for just a few months.
- All our therapists are women: they have a deep understanding (and often personal experience) of the issues that particularly affect women and mothers.
What kind of therapy/counselling do you offer?
We offer individual and group counselling. We also have different short courses that run throughout the year, for example courses focused on managing wellbeing or dealing with trauma.
All of our counselling puts you at the centre. Our counsellors have a range of core training but many have been counsellors for a long time and have been trained in different specialisms.
The counselling is talking therapy, but some of our therapists also use the creative arts, like art therapy.
How can I make an appointment for counselling?
Alternatively, please contact a member of our Reception team on 0113 245 5725 to arrange for a postal form to be sent to you.
What happens after I send in the appointment form?
Your form will be received and acknowledged by our admin team and then passed to one of our counselling teams.
After this, someone from the counselling team will be in touch for a phone call to briefly discuss your current circumstances. During this phone call, a longer meeting / appointment will be arranged. This is a key discussion with an experienced therapist, to work out together whether the service will be an appropriate and helpful step for you. If counselling is appropriate for your needs, we can talk about the different types of therapy that we can offer you.
How many sessions will I be able to have?
We’ll invite you to an initial meeting / session where we can talk about your needs and what you’re looking to get from counselling. At this meeting we’ll discuss your reasons for coming to the service and decide with you if therapy can help, and how many sessions might be offered.
The number of sessions you are offered will depend on individual need; most women start with between 4-20 sessions of therapy. After an initial period, if you find that counselling helps you make changes, we can talk about offering further sessions. Most women come to counselling for around nine months. The service can offer up to 2 years of counselling. Sometimes you might have a period of one-to-one counselling therapy, and then join a therapy group at a later date.
What is the cost of accessing therapy with you?
All of our services are free. Donations are welcome but not expected or required.
If travel to our office or community venues is a financial barrier for you, or if there will be additional childcare costs in order for you to attend sessions, we may be able to help with these costs. You can discuss this with a therapist during our initial call to discuss your referral, and explore what assistance we can offer.
What shall I do if I need urgent support?
WCTS is not a crisis service. If you feel you need crisis or out of hours support, or have an emergency, please contact:
- Your GP Surgery
- Ambulance, Police, Fire Brigade: 999
- Accident and Emergency Department
- Leeds General Infirmary: 0113 243 2799
- St James University Hospital: 0113 243 3144
- NHS Direct: 0845 46 47
- Samaritans: 08457 909090 (24 hour service)
- Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Centre / Connect (mental health) Helpline: 0808 800 1212
- SARSVL – 0808 802 3344 (Phone Helpline is open Monday 12-2pm, Tuesday 8-10pm, Wednesday 6-8pm and Sunday 6.30-8.30pm)
- SARSVL Text and Email Helpline – 078 600 22 880; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leeds Women’s Aid Helpline: 0113 246 0401 (24 hours)
Information on other mental health services in Leeds and nationally can be found at Mindwell Leeds www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk
Do you offer remote (telephone or video) counselling?
We currently deliver our service face-to-face however remote therapy may be offered to you after an initial discussion, if we decide that it’s appropriate for both your needs and situation.
I have been a client before, can I come back?
We welcome women who have used the Service before, but you will need to have had a break of at least four months before making a new ‘request for service’. This is so that the impact of previous counselling has had time to ‘settle’ in your life.
How long is the wait?
We try to keep waiting times as short as possible, we try to ensure that no one waits more than six months to start counselling, as research shows that waiting for longer than this can have a negative effect on mental health.
The wait time for group therapy is often shorter than individual therapy. Early morning or evening appointments often have the longest waiting time.
Can I bring my child?
Our service is only for adults over the age of sixteen, and WCTS is unable to provide childcare. We ask that you arrange childcare for your appointment. We may be able to offer support with childcare costs in order to help you attend your appointment.
What age girls do you work with?
We work with girls age 16 and over.
Can I change my therapist?
It is possible to ask for a change of therapist. We encourage you to discuss this with your current therapist, if you feel comfortable to do this. This is because voicing something that is worrying you or troubling you can lead to a better therapeutic relationship in the future, and it can be helpful to both you and the therapist. All of our counsellors are keen to hear your experience and your feedback. If you would rather contact our reception team, they will pass your query to the service manager.
Will anyone/my family need to know I am coming to counselling?
It is your choice whether or not to tell anyone else about your counselling. The issues you bring to therapy will be confidential between you and the therapist, unless there are concerns that might mean you or another person could be at serious risk. Any concerns regarding confidentiality and risk will be explored with you fully at assessment and during therapy.