Some people may be put off from asking for help because they're not sure what 'counselling' is and we hope to explain
what it is and is not on this page


There are numerous definitions of counselling, but one of the most appropriate ones is the following:

"Counselling is an activity freely entered into by the person seeking help, it offers the opportunity to identify things for the client themselves that are troubling or perplexing. It is clearly and explicitly contracted, and the boundaries of the relationship identified. The activity itself is designed to help self-exploration and understanding. The process should help to identify thoughts, emotions and behaviors that, once accessed, may offer the client a greater sense of personal resources and self determined change." (Russell et al from Sanders,1998)


Here at the Alcohol Advisory Service, we tend to use a client or 'person-centered' approach to counselling (whereby the client is the centre of the process), but also with a heavy emphasis on Motivational Interviewing Skills (essential to promoting change.)

The service's premises are well hidden and there are no outward signs as to who we are. Inside, there is no waiting room or reception - clients are met and brought straight in to a counselling room - thereby maintaining confidentiality. We also try to keep the environment quiet, relaxed and informal.

Usually we see clients once a week for about an hour each times (although this is changeable as to the individual's needs - and can be less or more accordingly.) We also advise that clients can remain in contact by the telephone in between appointments if they wish. We will always try to accommodate appointment times and dates as best we can.

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