*Please note: Our counselling waiting list is now around 6 months – if you are on the waiting list and require support please remember our helpline can provide emotional support in the meantime*
Our counselling service offers women and girls up to 25 sessions of one-to-one counselling on a weekly basis. We offer the service in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Brandon, but will try to work with you to find a solution if you are unable to access these sites. The specialist counselling service is open to anyone who identifies as a woman or girl aged 14 and over who have been affected in any way by sexual violence. This includes childhood sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, coercive sexual violence within relationships, FGM or so-called ‘revenge porn’ (Image-based abuse). Whatever the sexual violence you have experienced, we are here to offer support. Whether you are a survivor of recent or historic sexual violence you can access our service and find a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment.
The counselling team are all women and provide a space in which you can feel heard, validated and believed. The service provides a chance to explore what you have survived, the impact this may have had or is having on your day to day life, and help you find ways to move forward and let go of difficult feelings or coping behaviours that are no longer useful to you.
Our counsellors are all registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and adhere to their strict ethics and code of conduct.
How do I refer myself for counselling?
If you would like to self-refer to our counselling service please download the form below, complete it and return it via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on (01473) 231200 or complete the ‘contact us’ form here and someone will get back to you.
We are happy to take referral from agencies for clients in the Suffolk area, to refer someone please complete the agency referral form below and return it via e-mail to email@example.com or give us a call on (01473) 231200
What will happen after my referral?
First, we will contact you to arrange an Initial meeting with one of our counsellors, in the location most convenient to you. At the initial meeting the counsellor will explain to you how our service works and will take some information from you, it is important to remember that you only need to tell us what you feel ready to tell us there is no need to go into detail. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have surrounding our service or counselling in general.
After the initial meeting you will be put on the waiting list for your convenient location, the waiting time is generally 12 – 14 weeks depending on location and how flexible you can be with your times and days.
Whilst you are on the waiting list you will have the option to be put on our ‘check-in’ call list, this would mean one of our helpline volunteers would call you once a month just to check in with you and see how you are getting on. This has proved helpful to those on our current waiting list as it has given them the opportunity to offload and chat with somebody outside of their family/friend group without judgement or blame.
Your weekly sessions will be on the same day and time each week for 25 weeks in your most convenient location. You will stay with the same counsellor, giving you the opportunity to build trust in them and work together to explore your experiences. However, just because you are receiving the service due to an experience of sexual violence, this does not mean that you must spend every session talking about what you have been through. The service works holistically, it’s about you as an individual, you may want to explore other issues you have experienced throughout your life, or just concentrate on the here and now and how to move forward… this is fine, the most important part is that you feel in control and empowered by your sessions.
Although counselling is a step towards recovery, it can also bring about positive and negative thoughts and feelings therefore it is important to look after yourself before, during and after your sessions. For self-care resources please click the links below:
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