Counselling at OSARCC seeks to provide a safe and facilitative therapeutic relationship within which survivors of sexual violence feel unconditionally accepted and understood. Our non-directive approach is based on our belief that women are the best experts on their own lives and situations: we will seek to respect your values, choices and culture, and help you to find your own way forward.
There may be a bit of a wait to access our counselling service, but we can tell you more about this when you contact us.
Who the service is for
The counselling service is open to any self-identifying woman over the age of eighteen years old who is a survivor of sexual abuse and/or rape, whether in the past or recently, as a child or as an adult.
In line with OSARCC’s current policy on women-only space, we cannot offer counselling to anyone who does not identify as a woman. However, every effort will be made to identify appropriate counselling services for men and non-binary people.
Counselling is only one therapeutic method amongst many, and it may not be the right option for everyone. We will help you to think through the other support options that we provide, and can signpost you to other services that may also be helpful. We don’t expect you to know exactly what you hope to gain from counselling, or to have any specific goals in mind – although you may do. Counselling is about providing a safe space which feels right for you.
What to expect
We offer counselling in blocks of twelve weekly sessions. If you and your counsellor agree that it is right for you, then you can access up to 48 session from OSARCC. Each session lasts between 50 minutes to an hour and is free of charge.
There is no pressure or agenda, and you can take your time to work through what’s happened. It can be upsetting or can bring back memories, so after your session you might need some support or a bit of space.
Your counsellor will never judge or criticise you, she will understand and help you take back control of your life and move forward in your own time. She can’t give you advice but she can listen and help you find your way through, which might include giving you practical information about where else you can get support.
All our counsellors are women and either qualified or undertaking a recognised training course. They have also all undergone OSARCC's internal training programme which covers the topics of rape, sexual abuse and trauma in more depth.
As a service, we hold organisational membership of the National Counselling Society which means we agree to abide by the Society's Code of Ethics.
All queries will be treated in confidence by our service coordinator and your details will not be shared with any other organisation.
Any information you share within the counselling service will be kept confidential within OSARCC. Some information about women attending counselling may be shared with other OSARCC team members and the clinical supervisors.
We use non-identifying demographic data in our reports to funders and only share feedback from service users when we have permission to do so.
We maintain boundaries of confidentiality between the counselling service and OSARCC’s phone, email and text listening services, so that members of the groups can still access these services as an alternative, confidential support mechanism.
We will only break confidentiality if you ask us to, or if you’ve given us relevant information that makes us concerned for your or somebody else’s safety. For more information about this, please read our Child Protection policy - we will also discuss this with you at your initial meeting.