Low Cost Counselling – What’s it all about?

The UK Counselling Network CIC provides affordable, low cost counselling and psychotherapy to clients nationwide. We are passionate about helping people overcome the common barriers to therapy; cost and local access. We are also committed to ensuring that our low cost counselling clients get access to the same quality of service that is available in the Private sector. We are one of the few organisations that offers access to long term psychotherapy and Couples Counselling at an affordable rate.

Does low cost counselling mean less value?

Every client that comes through our low cost counselling service is nurtured and welcomed from the moment they make contact which is usually on the same day. What takes place next is a telephone assessment.  We really value this part of our service as it means that each individual client has the opportunity to share relevant personal information.  This enables us to make a sensitive match with an appropriate therapist.  This can often be based on their needs and sometimes, specific requirements such as a male or female therapist.

Once the client has been allocated a therapist, contact is made and the first appointment is secured.  Our clients are often surprised to find that we have no limit on how many sessions they can have.  We don’t believe the mental health needs of an individual should be restricted. Weekly sessions then follow by zoom, face to face or telephone.

How much does it cost?

We like to keep our structure simple so here is a breakdown:

  • Part-time salary       £15
  • Full-time salary           £20
  • Couples                      £40

Focusing on social inclusion

Many of our counsellors are attracted to the UK Counselling Network CIC because of our focus on social inclusion and affordable access to low cost counselling. As a result our team is motivated and focussed on our mission. This is passed down to the excellent service delivered to all our clients. We now have placements from all over the country and we are expanding every month.

We provide a supportive and nurturing clinical placement for trainee counsellors and offer autonomy and professional development to those qualified counsellors looking to develop their skills further. We have created a culture of inclusivity that allows everyone involved to feel empowered and part of an organisation that cares.

The Future

Over the next 12 months our main focus is to expand our client base across the country so that we can provide our low cost counselling service wherever it is needed.  We believe that offering therapy on-line will allow us to reach areas that often feel excluded from therapeutic services e.g.: rural areas and areas of social deprivation. We are also keen to develop a range of specialist services to work with marginalised client group’s e.g. neurodiverse clients.

So if you or someone you know is in need of our low cost counselling service, they can self-refer through our website www.ukcounsellingnetwork.co.uk or ring us on 0113 285 2899.

This article was written by Sally Benson, Director of The UK Counselling Network CIC

The lonely grief of bereaved parents

Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel all-consuming for bereaved parents. The pain resulting from the death of a child is particularly overwhelming. For bereaved parents, this terrible experience of loss arouses all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness.

Additionally, as both parents experience their suffering together they also sensate grief at a deeply person level. They are both drawn together and pulled apart in the pain of their grief. As a result relationships can be placed under intense pressure. The situation is compounded by the couple’s experiences of their external plexus of family, friends and work. These relationships may become equally fraught for the couple as the rest of the world searches for the appropriate way to respond to the death of a child.

Society generally develops a script for dealing with death as can be seen in customs and rituals. There is a language of grief which people internalise from somewhere in our shared social conscious.

In the case of the death of a child there appears to be no such script, only a blank sheet which the bereaved couple must somehow learn to express their feelings in ways they help them to negotiate their tortured emotions and feelings.

Theres no right or wrong way to grieve

Grieving is a highly individual experience; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style.

Inevitably, the grieving process surrounding the loss of a child takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried and there is no timetable just as there appears to be no familiar script.

In counselling bereaved couples, I believe the quest is to discover a unique compass which will help couples to steer their way towards some form of acceptance. As a therapist I have found that bereaved parents can co-create their own survival script based upon the resources they did have before their loss based on their existing styles of attachment. This helps them to both comprehend and access their relationship to love and loss through bereavement, and also to consider ways in which appropriate memorialisation of their child can begin the process of reconciling that which they maintain and accept of that which what is gone.

Giving yourself permission to live once again

Bereaved parents may feel change in weeks or months, but rarely call it feeling better. For others the grieving process may ultimately be measured in years. Whatever the experience is therapy can help bereaved parents to consider the possibility that grief can be relocated into acceptance through positive memorialisation of their lost child and permission to live again rather than to merely exist.

Allan Todd  is a  psychotherapist at the UK Counselling Network CIC  with experience of delivering a specialist service for bereaved parents.

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