OUR SERVICES - what can we do for you? 

Counselling one to one or in groups 

(Person-Centred, Humanistic and Integrative)


Art Therapy one to one or in groups 

(from a qualified, certified Art Therapist) 

Who do we work with? 

Clients attend with a wide variety of issues and for many reasons. We work with clients on any issue, providing their mental health is sufficiently stable for them to access counselling safely. 


In the last 5 years the referrals we received for children and adults have more than doubled, as has the complexity of the difficulties our clients face. For example we receive around 350 new referrals a year, and many of our clients have extremely complex mental health needs, including having survived childhood abuse, adult domestic violence and having symptoms of attachment difficulties, PTSD, personality disorder and other conditions which can complicate their lives. 

Through counselling the client can address historical traumas, the way they see themselves and relationships, and deal with ongoing difficulties in their lives.  Clients work through a lifetime of abuse or dysfunction to develop new coping mechanisms, increased confidence and renewed self-belief. Counselling also empowers the client to develop the skills to overcome obstacles they may encounter in the future, and to end abusive relationships. 

This is often long term work, especially for children, who may still be having contact with a parent who has in the past been violent. Our therapies allow child, or adult, to work through their past trauma, deal with difficulties in daily life and find healthier ways of living and being in the future. 

To manage this influx, and ensure that suicidal children and young people are prioritized we have moved resources from family and relationship therapies into one to one therapy with children and adults.  Sadly this means longer waiting lists for family therapies and relationship therapies. Please still enquire. We have a small cohort of counsellors currently training in relationship therapies and may be able to help. 

In 2017 of the young people we worked with 31% of under 18s had self-harmed, and 41% had expressed suicidal thoughts, with 9% considered high risk of suicide. 25% of children and young people attending are Neuro-atypical.  


Adults (one-to–one) on any issue 

We categorise clients according to whether they are a risk to self or others, and the extent to which they are experiencing mental illness or may have experienced severe trauma. 

Such clients are categorised High Intensity as they require very experienced counsellors who have the insight to recognise the difference between typical responses to complex trauma, and responses which indicate the client’s mental health is deteriorating.


These clients are often suicidal and it is possible that they are not sufficiently mentally well to engage in counselling. This is because counselling requires the client to explore past trauma and current feelings, thinking and behaviours, and we do not want to trigger the client to become more suicidal. As a result we now assess all clients who might be considered High Intensity.


The waiting list for high intensity adults varies from 6 - 12 months dependent upon the complexity of the client’s needs. We deeply regret that we cannot see more people sooner, but even with providing 200 client hours a week we do not have enough resources to make the waiting list any shorter at this time. 


The waiting list for low intensity adults, who are not a risk to self or others, varies from 2 - 4 months dependent upon the client’s availability 

Children and young people (one-to–one) on any issue 

The waiting list for under 17s is approximately 6 months after assessment 


In family groups and for couples 

on relationship skills and on managing shared trauma e.g. sexual abuse or suicide 

​To allow us to provide family therapy we now charge £30 per hour to families who wish to attend 

What difference do we hope to make?  


NICE guidelines suggest 50% of people will recover from depression and anxiety within 10 sessions. 


In the UK 25% of pre-schoolers, 10% of under 16s and half of adults suffer anxiety or depression, with 17% suffering other mental illnesses.


Studies show counselling has a larger positive effect than the average surgical or medical procedure.  At Open Minds 86% of adults and 97% of under 17s improved their psychological well-being.



Many of our clients are survivors of abuse including children traumatised by violence,  neglect and sexual abuse.


Nationally 1 in 3 adult mental health conditions relate to childhood trauma.


Women who experienced childhood trauma have a 66% increased risk of early death. Two or more traumatic events increase this to 80%, reducing life expectancy by 20 years.


In 2014 Johns Hopkins University found that talking therapies reduced long-term risk of suicide by 26%.


In the UK Suicide was the most common cause of death in 2015 for both boys and girls aged 5 - 19. 


Open Minds works to build the adult or child client’s resilience, access their inner strengths and resources and help them develop healthy relationships to help them grow.  94% of Open Minds’ child clients and 90% of adult clients reduced their suicidal thinking.



Open Minds provide therapy to survivors of abuse, and also separately to perpetrators of aggression. 

Therapy for survivors of abuse helps them to recognise and understand symptoms of PTSD such as flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, rage, panic attacks and difficulties feeling safe and being able to trust in other relationships. Survivors learn through therapy that they are good enough, that they did not deserve the treatment they experienced, and teaches them that they can be valued and respected, and treated well. 

Therapy to perpetrators helps to improve their relationships, manage their anger and impulsiveness and reduce the risk of harm they present to other people. 


Therapy to those with anger-management issues helps them to uncover the trauma and negative ideas about themselves and relationships which drive their aggressive and helps them to build healthy, non-violent relationship skills. 

In 2013 Doncaster Children’s Services had 60 Domestic Violence contacts a month. 


In 2017 45% of adults and children on Open Minds' waiting list were perpetrators or victims of Domestic Violence, and were referred to our unique counselling which incorporates anger-management therapy to reduce domestic violence by exploring trauma to then resolve dysfunctional thinking, disproportionate feelings and destructive behaviours. Aggression was reduced in 91% of Open Minds' adult and 96% of our child clients.



through accessible, affordable counselling and support.


In 2014 75% of people with a common mental health problem did not get treatment, and most people with mental illnesses received only medication.

Nationally mental ill-health is the primary reason for claiming health related benefits.

Doncaster is in the 10% most deprived areas in England, with extensive long term physical and mental illness.


We do not exclude people by ability to pay;  only 35% of children attending Open Minds had a parent in work and 40% of families cannot pay, with all of those who do,  paying £5 or less per session.


Open Minds work with 83% more clients now than in 2014 (482 a year compared to 264). These clients have often been subject to severe trauma, and continue to suffer mental ill health. Through therapy at Open Minds they are able to significantly improve their psychological well-being and ability to cope. This includes an average of 119 children and young people a year. 



by training therapists in specialist skills e.g. anger-management.  Open Minds have supported 140 counsellors through placements,  mentoring and training since 2007. Many continue to volunteer with us after qualification. The network of Open Minds current and former therapists means we can share opportunities and knowledge more effectively and build on our, and their strengths. This also gives Open Minds a resource of more therapists than a typical service, increasing our capacity. 


Open Minds is a Registered Charity no. 1155119 and a not-for- profit Company no. 06695828 



We have more than 50 volunteer counsellors but despite the wonderful The National Lottery Community Fund we cannot employ enough children's counsellors to meet demand, and are very short staffed for office volunteers so please be patient;

we will get back to you as soon as we can 


28 Christchurch Road 


​DN1 2QL 



07765 224564 


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07765 224564 
01302 344192 


We do not have a fax 



Monday - Thursday

10am to 7pm 


Friday and Saturday:      10am - 3pm 

Counselling, Mentoring, Training and more for adults, children, couples and families 


Charity no. 1155119 

Company no. 06695828 


​If you would like to make a referral to Open Minds please follow the link below to complete our online referral form. 








Thank you for your time and we look forward to receiving the referral. 

We are very sorry but we are not accepting new referrals for counselling during this period of pandemic as we are not in a position to triage, assess and allocate clients to therapy at present.

We are very sorry for any delay in contacting us. 


We have 2 telephones and are also frequently contacted by e-mail for appointments,

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. 


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. 


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