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 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 will call you back. You will briefly talk over what brings you to The Harbour. She 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.
  • The Clinical Administrator will telephone you with a date for your Harbour ‘Assessment appointment’. You will also receive another email containing a link to a Personal Health Form which is 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, the Clinical Administrator will contact you with a commencing date, day and time for your regular sessions.
  • Halfway through your programme of sessions with the Harbour, your therapist will send you our ‘Mid-Term Review form’. It has two feedback questions and the Personal Health Form to see how you are finding the counselling and how you are feeling.
  • In your penultimate week your therapist will send you our ‘End-Term Evaluation Form’. It has a few questions about the counselling, and the Personal Health Form about how you are feeling.
  • In your last session you can talk about how you are feeling and how the counselling went for you with your therapist.

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