When filling in the form, please make sure you include your phone number and email address if you have one so we can get back to you. We ask for other information too, the more you can give here, the better we’ll be able to find support that’s right for you.

Once you’ve submitted your form, you’ll get an automated receipt to let you know we’ve received it. We’ll aim to get in touch with you within 10 working days.

Here’s more information about what to expect when you get in touch

What to expect next

A member of our team will call you to introduce themselves and to have a quick chat about the support available to you and to let you know more about what you can expect from us.

We’ll explore your options, and ask you a few short questions to direct you to make sure the support we offer helps you. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask us any questions.

If you wish to continue with support, we’ll arrange an initial conversation with the relevant team – we’ll try to book a time that suits you. Waiting times for this vary from service to service, but we’ll let you know more about that when we first chat with you.

Ahead of the initial conversation, we might ask you to complete some forms, depending on which service you’re accessing.

Getting to know you

The initial conversation is about getting to know you before support begins. This is an opportunity to share information that feels important and comfortable for you. It can be helpful to find a comfortable and confidential space you can be in for around an hour.

During this conversation we’ll complete some forms so we can support you safely and ask you some questions about what you hope to get out of support. We’ll also explain what to expect next.

Support waiting times

While we try to keep this to a minimum, occasionally there is a waiting list for our services, particularly individual support.

While you wait, you can:

  • attend our groups to give you some support in the meantime
  • access our mental health resources.

Please be assured that we have your information and will get in touch when support is available, but please let us know if your details change.

What to expect from individual support

We approach all support in a trauma-informed and person-centred way with our values at heart of what we do – see our Purpose, Approach and Values page to learn more.

Person-centred support means that you are the centre of the support we offer. Our aim is to help you to live your life in the way you want through having choice and control, setting goals, building good relationships, and most importantly to listen to you.

You can expect to feel validated, and we’ll always show you compassion and understanding. Our staff and volunteers always aim to be open and honest, even when this can feel difficult and take bravery. We want you to achieve your goals and realise your potential. We will have faith and believe in you.

You can expect support to typically last for 3-6 months. Support is usually weekly and can be facilitated in a way that works for you.

What to expect from group support

We offer many different styles of groups support and understand that going to a group for the first time can feel daunting. We work hard to make our groups are a safe space for you to explore your mental health and wellbeing. This means being respectful and non-judgemental, and using words that are easily understood. To make sure all our groups feel safe and comfortable, we expect all participants to uphold confidentiality, respect, dignity and reasonable boundaries.

Our groups are person-centred, meaning we understand that each person is different and should be supported to make their own choices, be listened to and be treated with dignity and respect. We understand that you’re the expert of your own life and our support focuses on helping you to achieve your hopes, goals and aspirations.

We offer a variety of content in our groups. These include:

  • activity-based groups that can help you explore various coping strategies to support good mental health
  • peer-to-peer groups that present opportunities for shared learning through lived experience of mental health recovery
  • psycho education-based workshops to encourage learning and understanding around mental health and recovery.

All our work is centred around the five ways to wellbeing: to encourage connection, to take notice, to be active, to give and to keep learning.

What to expect from counselling

Counselling sessions take place at an agreed time and place. The counsellor will provide a safe place which is confidential and where you won’t be disturbed. If you’re having counselling on the phone or online, we ask that you find a private space where you won’t be overheard. Sessions last for 50 minutes and the number of sessions depend on which service you’re accessing.

You and your counsellor will take this time to talk about the issues that’ve made you seek counselling. It’s more than just a friendly chat. Your counsellor might offer information but they won’t give their opinions or advice or try to persuade you to a particular point of view.

What you’ll talk about will vary, depending on what brought you to counselling, what you want help with and the individual approach of the counsellor you’re working with. Some examples of what may be talked about, include: your childhood; relationships; feelings, thoughts and behaviours; past and present life events; specific situations which you find difficult or problematic.

Your counsellor will help you explore your concerns and help you identify for yourself the best course of action or find new ways of coping.

At your first session, the counsellor will introduce themselves and share with you how they work. You’ll be invited to participate in a short assessment, which helps the counsellor gather a brief history and understand how best to help you in the work. Together you and the counsellor will agree the terms of what’s on offer and how you can expect the service to be delivered. This will include the cancellation policy and confidentiality.

To get the most from counselling, it’s important that you feel comfortable with the counsellor, so that you can be fully open and honest about yourself and your issues. Anyone accessing our services are encouraged to give feedback about their counsellor and their experience of using our services.

We currently provide the following counselling services:

  • South East and North East Edinburgh Counselling Service – up to 12 sessions for adults living in South East or North East Edinburgh
  • Counselling for Survivors of Sexual Abuse – counselling for up to 6 months for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse living
  • Lothian Deaf Counselling service – counselling for adults who are Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or deafblind throughout Lothian.

We also provide Trauma Counselling Line Scotland – a telephone and video counselling service for adults who experienced abuse in childhood.

To enquire about one of our counselling services listed, please fill in the enquiry form.

What to expect from trauma support

Trauma support is usually offered in person. On occasion, support can also be offered online or by phone.

We offer trauma support for women living in Edinburgh who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Trauma support is available for men living in Edinburgh who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse or men who have experienced rape/sexual abuse or domestic violence as adults. We can provide this support remotely if you’re living in Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian and aren’t able to travel to Edinburgh for in-person support.

We also offer an Historic Adoption Trauma Support Service for people who’ve experienced historic adoption practices in Scotland.

Our long-term trauma support services offer practical and emotional support to develop coping strategies, build self-confidence and reduce stress and anxiety. Support is provided for up to 12 months.

Our short-term service of up to 12 weeks supports people with the impact of trauma, and specifically focuses on stabilisation, increasing self-management tools and improving mental health and wellbeing.

We also offer a range of groups, courses and workshops informed by the needs of people who use them. Group support includes holistic wellbeing activities with a focus on practical self-help, personal development, and creativity.