What can you expect from counselling?

Counselling can otherwise be described as ‘talking therapy’. It is based on conversation with a trained professional to enable you to make sense of the difficulties you may be experiencing.  It provides an opportunity to talk in confidence with a person outside of your situation. Counselling allows space for you to explore thoughts and feelings, gain deeper insight into your difficulties and, most importantly, provides time for you to concentrate on your needs. It is not about giving advice and does not necessarily provide quick and easy answers.

The aim is to help you find better ways to understand yourself, or to bring about changes to help you manage the way you think or behave to improve your mental and emotional well-being.

Below are links to additional information regarding counselling published by the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) and COSCA (Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland).




About our counsellors

Our counsellors are professionally trained, having qualified from courses accredited by either the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) and COSCA (Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland). We also offer student placements to counsellors in training.

Our counsellors abide by the ethical guidelines and code of conduct as stipulated by the BACP and COSCA.

Counselling Care Skye and Lochalsh is operating within a small rural community. This can provide some challenges around confidentiality and professional boundaries. In the unlikely event that you know or are known to the counsellor, every effort will be made for you to be seen by another counsellor.

Types of problems our counsellors can help with

Our counsellors can help with a range of issues, for example:

  • Abuse (domestic, psychological, physical, sexual – past and present)
  • Anger
  • Bullying
  • Childhood abuse and trauma
  • Stress, worry and anxiety
  • Bereavement and loss 
  • Low mood and depression
  • Separation and divorce
  • Major life changes
  • Low self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Work related issues
  • Health issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Trauma and PTSD

Please note our counsellors are not able to support people with the psychiatric diagnoses of schizophrenia, psychosis, bi-polar disorder, OCD, eating disorders or personality disorders.

Referrals to Adult Service

You can be referred to our Adult Service by your GP or make a referral yourself by phoning or returning the completed referral form by email. Please check the contact page for more details.

What happens after a referral has been made to the service?

Referral/Initial contact
Upon receipt of the referral, our Referral Co-ordinator will contact you to arrange an assessment session with a counsellor. We aim for the initial contact to happen within a week from the receipt of the referral and the assessment session to be scheduled within a month thereafter.

Assessment session
You will be offered an initial 90-minute assessment during which you can explore, with the counsellor, the nature of your concern and decide whether ongoing counselling may be helpful. During the assessment, the counsellor will ask certain questions about you and your life. This information helps to make an initial assessment of your circumstance.

Some questions asked may include:
 – Why you sought counselling?
 – Your personal history and current situation
 – Your family history
 – What do you hope/expect/want from counselling?

It may also be helpful to write down your reasons for seeking help prior to your assessment session.  This will make describing your feelings to a counsellor more comfortable. Identifying what you hope to gain from counselling helps to give you something to work towards in future sessions.

Another aim of the assessment session is to determine if the service we provide is suitable for your needs. If the service provided by our counsellors cannot meet your needs, the onward referral to other services will be discussed with you.

Counsellor allocation and location of the sessions

If you agree with the counsellor assessing you that counselling through our service would be beneficial to you, you will be allocated a counsellor for your on-going sessions. In the unlikely event that you know or are known to the counsellor, every effort will be made for you to be seen by another counsellor.

Unfortunately, due to high demand, there is a waiting list for counselling with Adult Service. Waiting times depend on your location and will be discussed with you at the assessment session.

Sessions are usually held in a room allocated to us within a local GP surgery, but occasionally, sessions are held elsewhere.  The location of the sessions will be discussed with you at the assessment session. There is also a possibility of having counselling delivered by phone or video link if we cannot match your availability and location with an available counsellor but only if you feel comfortable with this. Please note that during the Covid-19 pandemic counselling sessions are delivered via phone or video link.

On-going sessions

Your sessions will take place on the same day and time each week, unless agreed otherwise by your counsellor.  Counselling sessions last for 50 minutes. This requires a commitment from you to attend weekly counselling sessions over a period of time.  Please keep this in mind before you apply for counselling.

Cost of counselling sessions

Although we do not charge for the counselling service, as a small charity, we are dependent on grants and donations.  We would be very grateful if you would therefore consider making a donation to help sustain the service. Typically, the cost of a session would be £65, however, we would not expect you to pay the full amount.  The suggested contribution for each counselling appointment is listed below:

Unemployed/receiving benefits                  £5.00 per session

Income under £10,000                                 £10.00 per session

Income up to £15,000                                   £15.00 per session

Income up to £20,000                                   £20.00 per session

Income up to £25,000                                   £25.00 per session

Income above £25,000                                 £30.00 per session

All client contributions received will help us to continue to offer a professional, accessible and much needed local counselling service to all of those who need it across Skye and Lochalsh.