New Client FAQ

This is a list of frequently asked questions by those seeking to use our service:

We provide one-to-one counselling to adults (aged 18 and above), either face-to-face, or by telephone, on a wide range of emotional and behavioural problems, including anxiety, stress, depression, trauma, abuse, loss and bereavement, low self-esteem, difficulties in forming or maintaining relationships, anger, guilt, jealousy and procrastination.

Our service can be categorised as a primary care service, providing counselling for problems such as those listed above. Persons struggling with serious or more complex mental health needs (for example, psychosis, anorexia, schizophrenia, chronic alcohol or drug addiction) who require the support of a specialist on that issue, would not be suitable for counselling at this counselling centre.

We are based in The Church at Carrs Lane building, but our counselling service is not religion based and is suitable for people of all faiths and none. Our counsellors use an approach based on Rogerian person-centred values, and integrate a variety of techniques from other therapeutic models to best fit the needs of each individual client.

Each counselling appointment is for 50 minutes, once a week, and these are offered within the times shown below. Please note, you will need to be able to commit to a fixed day and time each week. For example, if your first appointment is at 10.00 hours on a Monday, every other appointment you have will be at 10.00 hours on a Monday:

Face To Face Counselling Appointments:
Monday: 09.15 – 16.00 hours.
Tuesday: 09.15 – 19.00 hours
Wednesday: 09.15 – 16.00 hours
Thursday: 09.15 – 16.00 hours.

Telephone Counselling Appointments:
Monday: 09.00 – 16.00 hours.
Tuesday: 09.00 – 19.00 hours
Wednesday: 09.00 – 16.00 hours
Thursday: 09.00 – 16.00 hours.

The last counselling appointments of the day start one hour before the end times shown, except for Face to Face counselling on Tuesdays which start at 18.30 hours.

Carrs Lane Counselling Centre is a registered charity funded by donations. The cost for private counselling sessions in Birmingham can start from £35 upwards. We understand that for many this makes the service inaccessible.

We therefore ask all clients to make a contribution where possible, of £5 per counselling session if unemployed, and £10 per session if employed. If you are able to give more than the minimum contribution, this will greatly help us continue to deliver our much needed service, especially to those who cannot afford the cost of private counselling services elsewhere.

Assessment Consultation Fee: For the first meeting with your allocated counsellor, there is a set consultation fee of £10.00. Thereafter, for each counselling session, we ask you for a donation, as explained above.

To access a counsellor of this service you will need to first have a telephone assessment. This enables us to check that you are eligible to use the service, and gain an understanding of your reasons for seeking counselling, so that we can be sure counselling will be able to assist you, and allocate the best counsellor for you. The telephone assessment usually takes about 15-20 minutes, and will involve talking about the reasons why you are seeking counselling, so we suggest calling from a place where you can talk freely. Our lines are often busy, so if you can’t get through leave a voicemail giving your first name, telephone number and simply say that you are seeking counselling, and we will respond as soon as possible.

The number to ring for a telephone assessment is 0121 643 6363 between and 5pm Monday to Thursday.

Anyone seeking counselling from our service must contact us directly.
We do not accept referrals from third parties, such as a friend, a family member, or a Doctor.

If you do recommend our service to someone, for reasons of confidentiality, we will not be able to confirm or deny that they have accessed the service. You would need to ask the person concerned to obtain the answer.

Once the telephone assessment is complete, you will be added to our waiting list to see a counsellor. The time it takes to see a counsellor depends on your own availability, your choice of either face-to-face counselling or telephone counselling, and the days and times appointments become available. This can be just a week or two, or a month or more depending on what you choose. For example, if you want only face-to-face counselling, and can only attend in the evening, this may result in a longer wait than if you can attend at any time.

The initial Telephone Assessment that you receive enables you to be put onto the waiting list. There will be an interval before you see your counsellor, so when you meet them for the first time, they will also conduct an assessment with you. This is so that they can gain an understanding, at that time, of your issues and what you hope to achieve through counselling. They will also explain how they work, some of the ‘house rules’ governing the counselling process and the counselling contract. There will also be some forms to complete, and you will need to supply your GP’s name and surgery address. At the end of the assessment appointment, the counsellor will schedule your first counselling appointment for the following week.

People can feel a sense of relief at having the opportunity to speak openly, often for the first time, about their feelings and difficulties. It is important to be aware that starting to work on the issues you face can also give rise to some uncomfortable feelings, such as anxiety and worry. This is a normal reaction, but it will pass as you work together with your counsellor.

We understand that everyone has different needs so our sessions are booked in blocks of 6. After 6 weeks you will review with your counsellor and can extend for another 6 weeks. This pattern can continue for some time until you and your counsellor choose an appropriate time to end. 

It is important to note that we cannot offer unlimited sessions in order to keep our service accessible for all, but your counsellor will let you know in advance before it is time to start working towards the ending.

For your counselling to be successful, it is better for you to be open and honest about your thoughts and feelings with your counsellor.  If you feel you cannot do this for some reason, we would first suggest that you discuss your concerns with your counsellor. Difficulties like this are not uncommon, and your counsellor will not judge you because of this. If after talking through the issue with your counsellor, you still feel that you want another counsellor, then speak to the Centre Manager. In order to see another counsellor you would be put back onto the waiting list, and so there may be a delay before you can be seen by another counsellor.

Only the client and the counsellor are allowed in the counselling room.
We are not able to offer an area for children or friends/family to wait in the building.