What is counselling?

Counselling provides a space for you to reflect on issues that are troubling you, away from the pressures of everyday life, in a non-judgemental, safe and confidential environment. You will be invited to share your concerns of either a personal or work related matter with a counsellor and together make sense of how you are feeling and how it is affecting you. Regular appointments are helpful to build a supportive, relationship between you and your counsellor and this continuity helps keep a focus on the work, enabling exploration,understanding and change.

What happens next?

When you begin your counselling you will be asked to complete a quick questionnaire asking how you have been feeling over the past week. This is used anonymously to evaluate and monitor the service we provide and you will be asked to complete one again at the end of counselling.

This service is bound by the Code of Practice for Counsellors, which is published by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Please visit the Advice A-Z page for a list which also includes links to external counselling sources

When and where are appointments available?

Appointments are available as follows:

  • NBT Southmead site, Gloucester House OH Department: Monday – Thursday during office hours
  • UH Bristol site, Whitefriars OH Department, Lewins Mead: Monday – Friday during office hours
  • Offsite counsellors (NHS associated) – across Bristol in private practice locations: Monday – Friday office hours and some early evening times.




What if I need to cancel an appointment?

If you need to cancel an appointment for any reason, please contact the service (our telephone number is below). We ask that you let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend so that others may be given the appointment.

What if I miss an appointment?

If you miss your first appointment without informing us, we will assume that you no longer wish to undertake counselling, and the therapy will be ended (however,this does not preclude you from using the service at some further point if you wish to do so). Any other counselling sessions missed without notice or with short notice (less than 24hrs) will be deducted from the total number of sessions available. In the event of two counselling sessions being missed consecutively,we will assume that you no longer wish to continue counselling and the therapy will be ended.

Is the counselling confidential?

Yes, this service is confidential. No information will be given top any manager, doctor, personnel advisor or another person without your permission. The only exceptions are in the event of significant harm to you or others, which could be prevented or minimised by the involvement of another professional. However, should such circumstances arise, your counsellor would discuss these concerns with you where possible and support will be provided.

The counsellor/qualifications

All counsellors are professionally qualified, are members of The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), and adhere to BACP/UKCP Codes of Ethics. The service offers a choice of seeing a male or female counsellor.

APOHS Counselling Leaflet