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Your Mental Health

What is counselling?

Many of us experience distressing symptoms such as anxiety or depression. None of us is immune from the ‘knocks of life’ and the challenges that face us. These experiences can have an impact on the quality of our lives, leaving us feeling confused, isolated and distressed. Such problems not only affect us, but can also have an impact on our relationships.

Counselling can provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space where you can talk about how you are feeling and thinking – a space where you can explore the reasons why you have come to counseling. It can help to speak with someone you ‘don’t know’ such as a counsellor about this. Through counselling you can be enabled to enable yourself to bring about change.

Do I need counselling?

People have counselling for different reasons, some of which include:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Abuse
  • Relationships
  • Fears and phobias
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Addictions such as to alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling
  • Getting a diagnosis which has an impact on your mental / physical health
  • Bereavement
  • Being a carer
  • Self esteem
  • Unable to cope
  • Facing redundancy.

How can counselling help me?

This very much depends on the reason you are considering counselling. There are different types of counselling for different problems, and it can be for a shorter term or longer term.

  • Counselling can help you manage distressing symptoms such as feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • The focus of some counselling is to help you explore your options and find solutions to your problems.
  • Counselling can offer new ways of coping with situations.
  • Counselling can help you to reflect upon what is troubling you, to express your feelings and thoughts, and to gain new insight or understanding.
  • Counselling can help you to share your feelings and thoughts in a safe place.

How can I refer myself for counselling?

If you feel counselling might be helpful, please speak with your GP about how you are feeling. Alternatively you can refer yourself for counselling. The list below includes both NHS funded and private agencies.

  • TTT (Take Time to Talk) click here
  • Wandsworth and Westminster Mind Talking Therapy and Wellbeing Service click here
  • Help Counselling click here
  • Steps2Recovery - call 0207 923 1364 or 07949245334 or email or complete a referral form
  • The Alcohol Service - call 0800 014 7440 or complete a referral form
  • Recovery and Wellbeing Network - call 0330 3038080
  • To see a private counsellor click here

When to speak with your GP immediately

If you:

  • are experiencing distressing symptoms and you already have a mental health diagnosis (such as schizophrenia or bi-polar)
  • are struggling with an addiction
  • are self-harming or actively suicidal
  • are concerned that you may harm someone else
  • you have had counselling and are still feeling low.

Please urgently speak to your GP, who can offer you support and advice.

If you would like any further information about any of the above, please contact Lucy Arnold, Patient Support at

Last updated on 1 March 2017

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