How do I get Started?
To increase the detail in your referral we ask that people be referred through an organisation, such as GP, school or Social Services. This has two benefits to you; the first is that you do not have to keep explaining your situation to different professionals, as the person who has recommended you contact us can refer you to us directly. The second benefit is that the amount of detail the professional will include is likely to mean that we know enough from the referral to decide whether counselling would be of benefit to you, and be able to assign you to an appropriate waiting list. In other words, if your GP or someone else suggests you contact us, we now recommend asking them to refer you directly to us.
You can still self-refer if you have not heard about us through an organisation.
IS IT SECRET?
Attending counselling with Open Minds does not appear on your NHS record, because we are an independent charity.
Counselling is confidential and what is said is kept between you and your counsellor unless someone is in danger.
If we have reason to believe someone is in danger we have a legal obligation to act to protect them. This may mean contacting Social Services, the Police or the NSPCC depending on the nature of the concern. We would normally discuss this with you before contacting anyone, unless we believe this would endanger people further.
The exceptions are that in supervision your counsellor will need to discuss their work with you, but not to report what you have told them, instead to ensure they are working ethically with you and to the best of their abilities.
The counsellor will keep brief notes which are kept in your file and locked in our filing cabinet. The office is then locked and the building locked, padlocked and two separate burglar alarms are in use.
Once your counselling ends we will archive your file and then store it in secure cabinets for 7 years, or if you are under 18 we store them for 7 years once you are 18.
You can ask us to destroy your information at any time however as part of compliance with the 2018 GDPR law.
HOW OFTEN WILL I COME AND HOW LONG FOR?
We offer 10 sessions initially, but you may find that you do not need all of these. If you find that 10 sessions is not enough your counsellor will discuss this with you and request an extension. Counselling is not intended to last forever but we understand that some difficulties and distress take a long time to explore, understand and overcome. You can come for as long as the counselling is therapeutically useful.
You will see the same counsellor every session unless you request someone else.
We have both male and female counsellors available.
We have ground floor counselling rooms available
We open both inside and outside school and work hours.
Day-time and evening and weekend appointments are available
All of our counsellors primarily speak English but we do have one counsellor who is fluent in British Sign language.
Each session lasts 50 minutes.
We are very sorry for any delay in contacting us.
We are open 49 hours per week.
We have 2 telephones and are also frequently contacted by e-mail for appointments, and this does mean that it can take a while to get through to us.
If you phone us on 07765 224564 and leave a message (or text that number) we are likely to respond sooner as the landline does not have an answer phone.
If you have left us an answerphone message, text or e-mail and not heard back within a week we suggest phoning again.
Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Thank you for your time and we look forward to receiving your referral.