If you have experienced any kind of sexual abuse, or are confused about a sexual experience it may be helpful to talk about it to someone who understands.

Counselling provides a safe space where you can talk freely and openly in a way that is not often possible with friends or family.

Our Adult Counselling service is available to Brighton & Hove residents and there is currently a waiting list due to high demand, with an estimated 20 month wait.

Our Young People’s Counselling service is available to Brighton & Hove and East Sussex residents.

Information about Counselling

What is counselling?toggle accordion content

Counselling at Survivors Network provides a space for survivors of sexual abuse or violence to talk about feelings and to feel support after a traumatic experience. It is about helping you to develop insights into your problems and finding your own resources and strengths. We seek to help you to make your own choices and decisions.

Counselling is always your choice and no one can be ‘sent’ for counselling. A referral from a professional supporting you can be made on your behalf, with your consent.

Our service is confidential. Your contact details are kept securely and are not available to anyone other than Survivors Network staff.

How do I access counselling?toggle accordion content

When you first contact Survivors’ Network, your first contact will be with our Welcome Team and they will arrange a phone assessment with you. If your goal is to access counselling, they will then allocate you to the counselling service and your name will be added to our waiting list. Once your name reaches the top of the waiting list, we will contact you to arrange an assessment with one of our counsellors.

This is an opportunity for you to talk about what is concerning you, for us to get relevant information and answer any questions you may have.

After the assessment process is completed a decision will be made jointly about moving forward with therapy

Who can get counselling from Survivors’ Network?toggle accordion content

Our adult counselling service is available to those who identify as women and non-binary people who feel that this is the right place for them to access support. This service is open to over 18’s who live in Brighton and Hove.

Our Young People’s counselling service is available to any gender 14-18 years of age in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex.

The number of sessions we offer will depend on what your goals for therapy are and current capacity of the service.

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Our adult counselling service is donation-based but we do not operate under a sliding, means tested scale. This means you will only contribute if you can and you will be the person making a decision about this.

If you would like to have a chat about this, please contact us and we will arrange it.

Our Young People’s counselling service is free.

Is the service accessible?toggle accordion content

We welcome people with disabilities to use our service. Please get in touch with us if you have any access or communication needs and we will seek to accommodate these. Although our building is an old one, and there is not a lift to the main counselling rooms, we can arrange for the use of a ground floor room in another building that is private and accessible. Our building does not currently have hearing loops fitted. If you have any concerns about being able to access our office, please do get in touch.

We also offer online sessions, via secure video platform.

Is the service confidential?toggle accordion content

We aim to provide you with the opportunity to explore whatever issues you want to, in a space that is safe where you can feel accepted and supported. Part of creating this space relies on you being able to trust that whatever you talk about will be treated with sensitivity, respect and confidentiality. All counsellors have regular supervision from an independent supervisor – this is also a confidential relationship.

In certain circumstances a counsellor may feel a client is at risk of harming themselves or someone else, in which case they will discuss with you the best way to help you. This may in very rare cases mean contacting your GP or other medical advisor, and/or the Therapeutic Services Coordinator, but if possible, your counsellor will always discuss this with you first and would encourage you to participate in any further action taken.

Below is a list of concerns that we are legally bound to breach confidentiality on. If possible, we only do this with your knowledge. Only in an extreme emergency would any action be taken without your consent.

  • Where there are concerns about a child’s safety.
  • If your counsellor is concerned that you may endanger your
    own, or another person’s life.
  • If we are ordered by a court of Law to breach confidentiality.
  • If we gain knowledge of an act of terrorism.
  • If both parties are in agreement that confidentiality can be
    broken in a particular instance.

Is the service confidential if I intend to report to the police?toggle accordion content

If you have an open police case, or are considering reporting this to the police, we will follow a pre-trial protocol. This means that there will be limitations to the confidentiality that we can offer in order to protect you in the event of any investigation or court case. If you would like further information about this, please contact the counselling team.

Our counselling is largely offered on-site in Brighton.

Follow our walk-through to get to know the building!

We have lots of resources designed to support you with a range of topics, including a comprehensive self-help guide.