What happens in counselling?
Counselling provides a safe, confidential place where you can explore difficulties, talk about your feelings and get some support for the challenges you are facing. Your counsellor won’t give you advice or tell you what to do but will help you to try to find your own way of understanding and coping with your difficulties.
How many sessions will I have?
We offer clients up to 16 sessions, but initially six sessions are offered during which you and your counsellor will review your situation and decide whether it would be helpful to continue with counselling for up to sixteen sessions.
Where and when does the counselling happen?
We see clients in Frome, Warminster, Trowbridge, Widcombe, the RUH in Bath and in Weston-super-Mare. We will send you detailed information about the counselling venue before your first session.
Sessions last for 50 minutes and are usually offered at the same time and on the same day each week. Having a regular time for the sessions is helpful for both you and the counsellor.
What if I’m not sure whether counselling is right for me?
The first meeting with your counsellor will provide an opportunity for you to explore together whether counselling might be helpful.
Is it confidential?
Everything clients share with their counsellor remains confidential. As part of professional practice our counsellors receive supervision. They will take work to supervision anonymously, so as to protect the identity of clients. The supervision process is itself bound by confidentiality.
In exceptional circumstances, where the counsellor has grounds to believe that a client or someone else is in danger of serious harm, they might have to break confidentiality. Where possible the counsellor would discuss this with the client beforehand. There are certain legal circumstances under which counsellors can be required to reveal information.
What if I don’t get on with my counsellor?
The first session will give you an opportunity to decide whether you feel you can work together. If, for some reason, the relationship with the counsellor feels problematic, it’s important that you let the counsellor or the clinical manager know. It may be possible for us to arrange for you to see another counsellor.
How can counselling help?
Counselling can help in many different ways. It can offer you an additional source of support through a difficult time. It provides you with a safe, confidential space where you can talk freely about your thoughts and feelings without fear of hurting or upsetting others, or of being judged. It can be helpful to have time set aside each week that’s ‘just for you’ where you can take the time to understand better what you need and find ways to move forward.
Counselling can help those who are bereaved to talk about their grief and mourn their loss.
What happens if I can’t come every week?
We understand that clients are sometimes unable to attend sessions. Talk to your counsellor if you think it will be difficult to attend all the weekly sessions or if you discover that you have an arrangement that clashes with a session, let us know as soon as possible.
Will the counsellor be able to talk to me about my diagnosis?
Our counsellors are professionally trained and experienced in working with people affected by cancer and other life threatening illnesses but we are not medically qualified and can’t provide medical advice or information.
Can I refer someone to PAC?
You can suggest to someone that they contact us. If possible we like people to get in touch with us themselves. If there are reasons which make it difficult for you to do this in person, by all means ask someone to contact us on your behalf.
Do I have to pay for my counselling?
We would like to ask you to make a contribution towards the cost of your weekly sessions if you are able to. We are committed to providing counselling free of charge because we understand that cancer can cause financial difficulties. We rely entirely on donations from individuals, community fundraising and support from grant making trusts to offer this service. We receive no Central Government funding. To make a contribution please talk to your counsellor.