What is counselling?

counselling and psychotherapy can be helpful

Experiencing abuse or a false accusation can leave you feeling broken, angry, devastated, anxious, confused, humiliated, embarrassed or depressed.  It is not uncommon for victims of abuse or false allegation to feel incredibly ashamed about what has happened to them and to feel suicidal.  You may start to question everything around you and feel quite alone.

Counselling (or psychotherapy) is a safe space to reflect and talk about what’s been happening for you in a confidential environment and without judgement.  It is somewhere you will be listened to, not judged and you will be heard – really heard.

You’ll explore and start to process what has been happening, how it has affected you and look at discovering and implementing a way forward that works for you.

There are different types of counsellors who work in differing ways.  All MenCASA associate counsellors have committed to work from a gender-inclusive approach (whatever gender they are themselves) and they all are registered with a professional membership organisation that has an ethical framework and complaints procedure.  Each of them will be able to talk to you about how they work and how they might be able to help you.

Counsellors are not generally there to advise you or fix anything for you.  They might be able to give you information should you need it but the real value in counselling (or pyschotherapy) is often in the relationship you have with your therapist.  A relationship like no other – during your sessions you can expect their undivided attention for a time that is yours – is about you and your needs.  It is a unique relationship in that it is always and only a therapeutic relationship – they’re not your friend or your family and they never will be, so you are free to say what you need to say – express what you need to express.

How much does it cost?

Most of our associate counsellors are in private practice and require payment for counselling.  Each of them will be able to talk to you about their individual fee structures and how much you will be expected to pay. Some show their fees on their listing on MenCASA and some show this information on their own website. Some counsellors may offer a reduced rate to those on very low incomes.

If you are unable to finance your counselling at all there are free services available through the NHS, however these services may be limited in terms of duration and the type of help you receive.  There may also be a waiting period.  If you wish to access NHS mental health services please visit your GP to be referred.

If you are employed – check with your employer to see whether they have an “Employee Assistance Programme” – some employers offer these to their employees and often counselling is available free of charge (to you) and part of the service your employer has paid for.  Most EAPs have a list of approved counsellors and they may not be MenCASA associate counsellors.  If you’ve chosen a counsellor you would like to see from the MenCASA directory and they are not on the list of your employers EAP provider it can sometimes be worth contacting the EAP provider to talk through the options with them.

If you have health insurance (e.g. BUPA) you may be able to access counselling through your insurance.  However, most health insurance companies have a list of approved counsellors and they may not be MenCASA associate counsellors.  If you’ve chosen a counsellor you would like to see from the MenCASA directory and they are not on the list of your health insurance provider it can sometimes be worth contacting your health insurance provider to talk through the options with them.