We hope that these FAQs are useful and accurate!
If you can’t find an answer to your question, please contact us and we will answer your question, and quite possibly add it to this list.
How does counselling help?
People find that having a space and time to explore their own thoughts and feelings is a huge relief.
Often it is difficult to express some of what you may be feeling to the people closest to you.
The counselling relationship is a place where you don’t have to worry about anyone else. It can help you to come to terms with what is happening, to better understand yourself and others, and to find a degree of stability and peace when things feel overwhelming.
Am I eligible to access this service?
The Harbour supports adults (18+) who have been affected by life-threatening physical illness. 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 physical illness within the past two years*
*We do not offer counselling to people within three months of being bereaved. This is because, from our experience over many years, we know that the immediate aftermath of a bereavement is not the best time to access our service.
If none of the statements above apply to you, we are unable to offer you counselling at this time. We are unable to offer counselling to people whose bereavement was due to trauma, such as a suicide or road traffic accident. Please see our signposting page for a comprehensive list of other organisations which may be able to support you, here.
I’m interested, what do I do?
To refer yourself to our service please submit a therapy enquiry form.
To find out more about our service please ring us on 0117 925 9348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that we are a small charity and a small team. If we are not able to take your call please leave a message and we will contact you as soon as we can.
Can I self-refer?
Yes, please submit a therapy enquiry form to enquire about accessing our services. If you are unable to complete the form online please ring us on 0117 9259348. We will help you if we can, or, if we are unable to, we will suggest other agencies that might be more appropriate.
Can I refer someone else to your service?
We do not accept referrals from third parties. If you are a professional with a query about our service, please call us on 0117 925 9348 or email email@example.com for the attention of the Clinical Lead.
Please note: we are a small charity and a small team. We will respond to you as soon as we can.
What happens when I contact The Harbour?
The first stage in accessing our service is to fill in a short therapy enquiry form to confirm your eligibility to access our service and and provide your contact details.
You will then be emailed a link to a referral form. This collects more information on your current situation, emergency contact details and your preferences for therapy. If you need help completing this form you can call us on 0117 925 9348.
Once you have completed the referral form, we will contact you to book an assessment appointment with one of our therapists.
During the assessment meeting you will have the opportunity to explore your reasons for coming. This will give both you and the person you see an opportunity to decide whether further sessions through the service are appropriate for you.
How long will I have to wait?
We try to make an initial appointment for an assessment with a counsellor within three to six weeks of your phone call. We will try and see you as quickly as we can, but at times of great demand there may be a delay before we can offer regular counselling.
What happens in a session?
Everyone is different and the sessions will develop according to your own need and your situation. The impact of death, dying and bereavement is far reaching and you may want to use your sessions to explore a variety of issues that are important to you.
Your therapist will not have a set agenda for the sessions and will encourage you to talk about whatever is most pressing for you.
How often do I have to come for sessions?
If you are offered regular sessions they will take place at the same time each week, for an agreed number of weeks. Each session lasts 50 minutes. It is important that you are able to make a commitment to weekly sessions, and this is something that you will be able to talk about in your assessment appointment.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak we are now offering all sessions over the telephone or online via Zoom.
Can my child come for counselling?
No, The Harbour can only offer counselling to adults (18+), but there are other agencies that can help if a child is ill, or if you are concerned about the impact on children of another family member being ill. Please see our signposting page for more information about organisations that can help.
Are all your employees experienced and qualified?
The Harbour’s counsellors and psychotherapists are all professionally trained and particularly experienced in working with issues of death, loss and bereavement.
All of them adhere to The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Code of Ethics and Practice.
We also offer supervised placements for a limited number of counsellors and psychotherapists in advanced stages of their training.
Is the service confidential?
Anything discussed in the counselling sessions is confidential.
With your permission, we will notify your GP that you are coming to see us for counselling, and when you have finished.
We will not include any information about your circumstances or the things you have discussed with your counsellor in these letters.
In exceptional circumstances, we may contact your GP or other healthcare professionals in addition to the letters described above. We will do this if we are concerned that there is a risk of you harming yourself, or others, and wherever possible we will discuss this with you beforehand.
Do you charge for your service?
We are a small charity and we ask all clients, if they are able, to contribute toward the cost of their therapy at a rate of £65 per session.
If the fee of £65 is not possible for clients, we invite them to determine a sum which feels right for them.
For those clients for whom a contribution is not possible we offer fully funded sessions.
Can I arrange an appointment outside of office hours?
Counselling sessions can be arranged outside office hours by appointment, however please note this may mean a longer wait for regular sessions.
Where are you and is there parking close by?
Our main building is in the centre of Bristol opposite the 02 Bristol Academy at 30 Frogmore Street, BS1 5NA. This is easily accessible on most main bus routes. There is a large multi-storey car park a short walk away from our premises. Alternatively there is a car park to the rear of the Council House.
For people living in BS3 or BS4 we are also able to offer sessions at Knowle West Health Park, BS4 1WH. There is ample parking including disabled spaces available.
We also offer remote sessions online if you are unable to attend in person.
Does The Harbour have wheelchair accessibility?
The Harbour at 30 Frogmore Street has wheelchair accessibility and an accessible toilet. We ask all wheelchair users to please wait for assistance from their counsellor before entering or leaving the premises. Please telephone us in advance of coming if you do have special requirements.
I am travelling from outside of Bristol, how do I find you?
- Rail (Temple Meads): You can catch an 8 or 9 bus from directly outside the Railway Station to the bottom of Park Street and we are only a 2 minute walk from here
- Bus Station: We are only a short walk away (approx 10 minutes)
- Park and Ride: The Park and Ride service is available from Portway (Shirehampton), Long Ashton and Bath Road (Brislington) directly into the centre of Bristol
Information for Trainees
PLEASE NOTE: We are not recruiting trainees at the moment, but will be doing so again in January 2024.
The Harbour accepts applications from trainee counsellors or psychotherapists.
These placements are offered to students who have experience of working therapeutically with clients, are studying for a full professional qualification in counselling or psychotherapy which must include a psychodynamic component, are in their own personal weekly therapy and also demonstrate a commitment to working psychodynamically and learning more about psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory.
What we offer you:
- A chance to apply psychodynamic work in this context
- Free educative supervision from experienced psychotherapists
- Working with a varied client group
- A supportive and lively team setting
What you offer us:
- An openness to learn about working psychoanalytically
- A commitment of 2 years offering 3 client sessions per week
- Your experience and expertise in your own field
- Your enthusiasm
To apply for a placement please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org