How the PF Can Help You
Counselling may help you if you have a sense that something is not quite right and it’s beginning to affect the quality of your life day to day. Counselling at the PF offers support to individuals over the age of 18, in the form of a confidential place where professional counsellors can help you explore the roots of your problems and work towards resolving them.
On this page you can read about:
- Why people come to counselling
- Who can get counselling at the PF
- How you get started at the PF
- How much it costs
- Who will be your counsellor
- How often you meet, and for how long
- Our appointments and waiting times
(You can click the the words above to be taken straight to that section.)
Counselling at the PF can help with a wide range of issues, including:
- bereavement and loss
- difficulties in relationships (family, social, intimate)
- self confidence and self-esteem
- childhood issues
- depression, anxiety
- work issues
- sexual difficulties
- gender/sexual identity issues
- abuse, violence
- spiritual and existential issues
At the PF you will receive a professional service where you will be given the opportunity to:
- talk through your situation in complete confidence
- be supported to reach a better understanding of your difficulties
- explore and decide the best way forward for yourself
Even if you have no idea what’s troubling you, counselling at the PF could help. Counselling is also available for those who want to explore their own potential for personal change or growth.
Anyone can request counselling at the PF as long as –
- You are over 18 years old. We cannot see children or young people under 18.
- You request counselling for yourself alone.
- We do not accept ‘referrals’ or requests on behalf of other people, even close family members.
- We cannot normally offer couples counselling, as we have very few counsellors who are trained in this work. We would suggest Bright Light if you want to see a counsellor as a couple.
- You can speak sufficient English to discuss the issues you want to explore. Although we occasionally have counsellors who are willing to work in different languages, we are not able to offer a multilingual service, or to provide translators.
If you would like counselling at the PF, the first stage is to complete a Counselling Request form. The form can be completed online here, or we can send one to you by post on request.
After we have received your Request form, you will be invited for an initial appointment as soon as one becomes available.
The initial appointment will last about 50 minutes and you will have the opportunity to:
- find out about counselling and what we offer at the PF
- discuss why you are seeking counselling, and hear about what it could offer you
- talk about the things that are affecting you
- assess your needs and discuss together whether counselling would be suitable for you
- discuss any donation you may be able to make for your counselling sessions (including the initial session itself)
- discuss your availability for a regular weekly appointment
If we agree together that counselling could be helpful, your name will be placed on our waiting list for a regular weekly session, and you will be offered one as soon as we have a suitable counsellor available.
The length of time you will have to wait for both the initial appointment and regular session depends greatly on your availability. The more flexible you can be, the more quickly we will be able to find a suitable first appointment. You can find out more about this, and keep up to date while you are waiting, by viewing our Waiting List page at any time.
We will welcome you to the PF regardless of your ability to pay. However, we do ask all clients to make a regular donation at each session, according to their genuine ability to do so. Private counselling elsewhere typically costs around £45 per session and client donations to the PF range from less than £5 up to this full amount.
A small and efficient team of staff supports the work of the volunteers, and our main costs are administration, premises, and professional supervision of our counsellors. We have to fundraise over £25,000 every year to balance the books, so every pound donated by clients and other supporters is essential to our survival.
All our counsellors offer their time on a voluntary (unpaid) basis. However, they are all professionally qualified to at least diploma level, or in the final stages of training with an accredited institution. All receive regular ongoing professional development to support their work, as well as professional supervision provided by the PF. All adhere to the COSCA Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice.
Our counsellors have a wide variety of backgrounds and training, and may use, or draw from, approaches such as:
You will meet with your counsellor every week, at our premises in Morningside. Each session will last for 50 minutes and take place on the same day and time each week, for the duration of the counselling.
We offer 12 sessions initially, and this can usually be extended up to two years.
We aim to offer an initial appointment with one of our experienced Assessment Counsellors within around 4 weeks of receiving your completed Request form. This appointment lasts about 50 minutes and is an opportunity for you and us to find out about each other. For more details see How do you get started? above.
If at the initial session it is agreed that counselling would be helpful for you, then you will need to wait until a suitable counsellor becomes available. You will then be offered a regular weekly appointment at a time when you have said you are available. This waiting time is currently 2 - 6 weeks after the initial appointment. Please note evening sessions are in highest demand and the wait for these may be longer.
Regular weekly sessions last for 50 minutes and take place in the PF premises at the same time, on the same day each week. You would be expected to attend these consistently unless you are ill or on holiday. The weekly rhythm of counselling is important to its effectiveness.
Sometimes only a few sessions are required and you and your counsellor will know if it is appropriate to end sooner than the 12 sessions offered initially. After this period you can discuss with your counsellor whether to extend to longer term work.
When you become a client at the PF, you will be given a Client Information sheet. This outlines various important aspects of how we work with you as a client. We want to ensure we help you in the most effective and efficient ways possible. You can view this information by clicking the image to the right: