Counselling

Individual, couple & group counselling for people in Bristol.

We are available and want to hear from you during the Covid-19 pandemic. We offer sessions over the telephone or online via Zoom. 

If you live in Bristol or surrounding areas and any of the following statements apply to you, please contact us for more information about how to access our service:

  • I am an adult facing death or dying (defined as having a serious or life threatening illness).
  • I am an adult who is close to someone who is facing death or dying (includes family members, friends, and loved ones).
  • I am an adult who has been bereaved following illness (within the past two years)

Your counselling sessions provide a time and a place where you can explore how you are feeling about what is happening and speak about things that maybe difficult to share with others. You will also be supported to consider the impact of previous experiences, which may help you to make more sense of what is happening now.

If we can’t offer counselling ourselves, we will do our best to direct you to other agencies who may be able to help.

We hope you enjoy our videos below and find them useful. We did them ourselves so they are not professional quality and you may need to turn the volume up or down! 

What happens for you and how

Individual counselling

Weekly 1:1 counselling

This therapy is on a 1-1 basis and is weekly. Clients can use counselling sessions to discuss whatever they wish.

Couples counselling

Weekly couples counselling

When one or both members of a couple is facing death, dying or bereavement, it can create all sorts of changes to the relationship.

Group therapy

Regular group meetings

Regular therapy groups in Bristol for people who are struggling to cope with life-threatening illness, and feel very isolated or alone with their feelings.

What happens next?

The 'care pathway'

We have a ‘care pathway’ which stretches from your first contact with us through to your last session and review. 

Individual counselling

This therapy is on a 1-1 basis and is weekly. Clients can use counselling sessions to discuss whatever they wish. Regular themes include:

  • Exploring the impact of death, dying and bereavement.

  • Talking about fears and concerns about loss.

  • Discussing relationships with family and friends.

  • Paying attention to how clients think and feel about their medical treatment.

Couple counselling

When one or both members of a couple is facing death, dying or bereavement, it can create all sorts of changes to the relationship. 

Coming for counselling together can help to make sense of these, and to find ways to cope and to strengthen your relationship. 

We know that couples can draw enormous support from one another at difficult times, but it can be a huge challenge to know how to do this. Illness may require different ways of being with one another, and the roles you have become accustomed to taking in the relationship can change. 

Regular weekly therapy helps to understand what is happening, and to make changes that can help.

Group therapy

Group therapy at The Harbour

The Harbour runs regular therapy groups in Bristol. These groups are for people who are struggling to cope with life-threatening illness, and feel very isolated or alone with their feelings.

Joining a therapy group can help people to recognise that they are not alone. Our groups offer an opportunity to explore and understand feelings in a safe and supportive environment. The groups draw on individuals’ life experiences as a way of helping make sense of what is being faced. As trust is built in the group, members can find it possible to share some of their most difficult thoughts and feelings.

There is an opportunity to learn new ways of relating to others, and to change old unhelpful patterns of communicating. This learning can be taken into relationships in everyday life with family, friends and colleagues, and can enrich relationships which may have altered since being diagnosed.

Group members can come to feel understood and supported by others in the group and this can reduce stress and help develop inner resources which make their experience more bearable.

1-1 meetings with the group therapist prior to joining the group allow for any questions you may have to be explored, so that you and the therapist can work out together whether this is likely to be a helpful direction for you to take.

What happens next?

We have a ‘care pathway’ that starts from the moment you contact us. 

  • You contact us to express your wish to talk some more about the possibility of counselling with The Harbour. You may reach us via the website contact form or by telephoning 0117 925 9348.
  • Our Clinical Administrator, Amy, will call you back. You will briefly talk over what brings you to The Harbour. Amy will record your name, email address and telephone number and create your ‘self-referral’.  
  • The Clinical Administrator will send you an email with a link to a short client information form for you to complete. Please fill in your address, date of birth, GP Surgery, and some space is offered for you to write some more about what brings you to counselling.
  • Once you’ve submitted your client information form, Amy will telephone you with a date for your Harbour ‘Assessment appointment’. You will also receive another email containing a link to a short pre-assessment questionnaire focused on your feelings over the previous two weeks.  
  • Your Assessment appointment will be with one The Harbour therapists. It will be 50 minutes. 
  • Following this initial assessment you may be offered up to 16 weeks of weekly counselling sessions
  • To allocate your sessions, Amy will contact you with a commencing date, day and time for your regular sessions.
  • Halfway through your programme of sessions with the Harbour (approximately 8 weeks), your therapist will give you a mid-term review form for completion – called our ‘Mid-term review’
  • In your penultimate week your therapist will give you an ending evaluation form for completion – called our Ending evaluation.