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!

Counselling options and next steps

FEATURE 1
Individuals

1-1 counselling in weekly sessions with a therapist who will work closely with a client to provide a space where they can talk in depth about their experiences

FEATURE 2
Couples

For partners who are either dealing with a diagnosis, supporting someone with a life-threatening illness, or require support to cope with a bereavement

FEATURE 3
Groups

Groups build a mutually supportive community with other people who share similar experiences while guided by an experienced therapist

Next steps
Next steps

We have a ‘Care Pathway’ that starts from your first contact with us

Individuals 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 you think and feel about your medical treatment

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.

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 in room at The Harbour Bristol

The Harbour Therapy Groups invite people affected by life-threatening illness in Bristol to come together to speak openly and honestly about the realities of their experiences.

We have an ongoing group for people living with life-threatening illnesses which meets weekly. We are also welcoming clients for a new group for individuals who have lost a close friend, family member or partner following life-threatening illness. People who join our groups might feel very isolated or alone with their feelings.

In group therapy, you can build a mutually supportive community with other people who share similar experiences while guided by an experienced therapist.

The importance of bereavement counselling

Paul North, Clinical Manager at The Harbour talks about the importance of bereavement counselling and the particular challenges people are facing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

What happens and when?

We have a ‘Care Pathway’ that starts from the moment you contact us.

You contact us

You can use our contact form (we’d prefer that), email us, or call the office (likely to be an answerphone)

We reply to you

Our Clinical Administrator will call you back to discuss your situation. If you have email, we will send you a ‘referral’ form via email. If you don’t have email, the Clinical Administrator will ask for some basic details on the phone and send you a printed ‘referral’ form to complete and send back.

You tell us what your situation is

You will receive a short ‘referral’ form asking about your situation and important information (e.g. your doctor)

We book an Assessment Appointment for you and send you a ‘Personal Health Form’

This is a short form asking how you have been feeling over the last two weeks – which gives a good starting point for discussion in your assessment appointment.

You tell us how you are feeling

You fill out our short ‘Personal Health Form’ about your feelings. You then meet with a therapist for an ‘Assessment’. The therapist and you will explore what is going on for you, how you are feeling, and how you think counselling would help.

We book in your counselling

We will find the most suitable therapist and time for you based on your Assessment Appointment, and confirm you counselling appointments with you.

You have counselling with a therapist

These are 50 minute sessions, 1:1 in private with a therapist. You talk together about whatever you want.

Halfway through we ask how it is going and how you feel now

It is important and useful to reflect on how it is going halfway through. We will send you the ‘Personal Health Form’ again for you and therapist to explore how you are feeling at this point. And how you feel the therapy is going.

You continue your counselling

These are 50 minute sessions, 1:1 in private with a therapist. You talk together about whatever you want.

Near the end we ask how it has been and how you are feeling now

It is important and useful to reflect on how the counselling has gone for you. We will send you the ‘Personal Health Form’ again for you and therapist to explore how you are feeling at this point. And we will ask for your feedback on the counselling so that we can make the service the best that we can for everyone.

You have your last counselling session

You can discuss your feelings and your feedback if you want to. And this is a good time to draw the counselling to a close. Your counsellor may recommend other possible counselling options if you are interested.

We close your ‘Case’

We learn from our experiences of this process every time, and work to improve our service so that we can offer help to others facing death, dying and bereavement. You are always welcome to get back in touch.

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