How to get Counselling from Seren

Below we explain how to get in touch if you want counselling with us and what happens then

How do I make contact with Seren?

Simply write to us, stating that you were sexually abused as a child and would like counselling now. There is no need to give any details in this letter.
write to: Seren
PO Box 54
Machynlleth
SY20 0AJ

or telephone us on 01654 700659 or 0845 4561657

or email serenaberystwyth@hotmail.com     please give us an address where we can write to you

What happens next?

We will contact you and send you some information about our service. We will ask you to complete a brief reply slip to confirm that you would like your name to be placed on our waiting list for an assessment appointment with a counsellor who is specifically trained in working with people who were sexually abused as children.

Where will I see the counsellor?

In a confidential setting in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Carmarthen or Haverfordwest.

Will I have to wait for an appointment?

Unfortunately we do have a waiting list.
We will send you an assessment appointment as soon as we can but please be aware that it may take some time.

What will happen at the assessment appointment?

At your first meeting with a counsellor you will be invited to talk about yourself and ask questions about counselling with Seren. At this appointment both you and the counsellor together will discuss whether counselling with Seren will suit your needs. If it is agreed that Seren counselling is appropriate for you at this time, you will be put on a waiting list to commence a series of twelve 1:1 counselling sessions.

How long is an appointment?

Each counselling session lasts for one hour.

Will anyone know I’m having counselling?

Counselling sessions are confidential (see note at the end) but counsellors on the project will meet together for support and supervision; they do not discuss people who come for counselling with anyone else outside the project.

What if the counsellor knows me?

Counsellors do not usually see people who are known to them elsewhere.

Will I see the same counsellor each time?

Your series of twelve counselling sessions will be with one counsellor throughout. However, this may be a different counsellor from the one you met at your assessment appointment.

How often do I attend?

Normally you will come once a fortnight for 12 sessions – so counselling will be spread over 6 months.

What happens in the counselling sessions?

You will be encouraged and helped to talk about yourself in your own time, and the counsellor will listen to you and try to understand what you are saying and how you are feeling.

You may experience a range of feelings (e.g. sadness, anger, guilt) in the counselling sessions and also between sessions, as you talk and think about what has happened to you in the past and how you are now, and perhaps make connections between past events and present difficulties.

It may take a few sessions for you to feel really able to trust the counsellor – the counsellor will understand this and give you time to get used to the counselling situation.

Things can often feel like they are getting worse at the beginning of counselling, although you may also feel a lot of relief at having someone to talk to about what has happened to you.  You can tell your counsellor about how counselling is affecting you, or if you feel that it is difficult to continue. You can also contact the office if you feel that you are having a problem working with your counsellor.

Unpleasant memories and feelings may cause you distress, flashbacks or nightmares for a while – the counsellor will help you to cope with these.

You may need extra support outside of the counselling sessions e.g. a friend/ family member to talk to; a GP/alcohol or drug worker who knows you are having counselling.

You may want to have phone numbers that you can call at any time you want to talk to someone. We enclose a list of national and local help-lines which you can keep in a safe place.

What should I do if I can’t keep an appointment?

Phone the Seren number, 01654 700659 or 0845 456 16572, as soon as you know that you cannot come, and another appointment will be arranged with you.  If you can’t let us know beforehand, please phone to arrange another appointment.  If you miss an appointment without contacting us, we will write to you about another appointment.  If you miss two appointments without contacting us, we will give your place to someone else, but you can still re-apply at another time.

What will happen at the end of counselling?

We will ask you to fill in an evaluation sheet where you can say what counselling was like for you, so that we can improve our service, based on the feedback we are given.

You will be invited to become a member of Seren, and there may be the opportunity to participate in monthly workshops in a variety of therapeutic topics.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Seren provides a confidential service.  This means that no one will be informed that you are coming for counselling or about what is discussed, although counsellors will discuss their work within Supervision (see above; please ask your counsellor if you want to know more about this).

However, you should be aware that counsellors can be ordered by the courts to disclose information.  Also, if your counsellor has serious concerns for your safety, or the safety of another person (especially a child), as a result of what is discussed, they may discuss with you whether other services should be informed.  If someone is at risk of serious harm, Seren counsellors reserve the right to break confidentiality – but you will normally be informed if this is likely to happen.