What is counselling?
Counselling can mean different things to different people, but generally it refers to a process that people seek when they want to change something in their lives or simply explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth. It allows people to discuss their problems and any difficult feelings they encounter in a safe, confidential environment with a qualified or trainee therapist.
It often requires discussing upsetting emotions or painful memories, and because of this, initially, you may feel worse. This is necessary to move forward and in time, you should start to feel better.
To get the most out of your counselling sessions, you should aim to make them consistent. While some sessions may feel more helpful than others, it is important to realise that everything your therapist/counsellor is doing is designed to help you in the long-run. It is also worth remembering that counselling is not a quick-fix and your counsellor will not be able to tell you what to do. Instead, counselling requires a strong relationship between you and your counsellor.
Our counselling service is an evolving provision; we pride ourselves on being able to change and adapt to the ever-growing needs and demands of our clients.
When sessions have started or are due to start we aim (with the full consent of the client) to work collaboratively with the client’s associates i.e. the person supporting the individual; this may be a Key Worker, Care Co-Ordinator or family member – this is to ensure continuity and quality of service. Towards the end of therapy we can (with the full consent of the client) invite this associate to join the session(s) as a means of continuing the supportive element of therapy once it has ended. Since incorporating this mode of working, we have noticed a considerable decrease in people returning to therapy.
Clients often come with multiple issues, and due to this we can refer them from one specialised therapist to another. Added to this, we offer a negotiated number of counselling sessions and not a fixed amount.
More recently, the counselling service has begun to provide therapy workshops delivered via Zoom that cover a range of topics from Dream Interpretation to Hoarding. To find out more about these fantastic workshops, please see the SPARC Therapy Group Facebook page for more details on how to access these groups.
At present, we can accept referrals from all clients who are part of SPARC, Horizons, Pure Innovations Mental Health Network, Prevention & Personalisation Service, Stockport Mind, CMHTs and psychiatrists, as well as SPARC projects, Man about a Dog and SPARC4Youth if SPARC’s main service criteria are met (please see About > How to access SPARC).
You will need to complete a counselling referral form, and send this to SPARC’s counselling Co-Ordinator, David Richards. A member of the counselling team will then be in touch to discuss your needs.