Helping Families. Changing Lives.

The Counselling Process

What is Counselling?

Counselling is a professional relationship, between a client and a counsellor. It is a chance for a client to discuss personal issues in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space. The counsellor will work cooperatively with a client, to assist them to alleviate and overcome emotional issues which are causing them distress or upset. A variety of therapeutic interventions are used in the sessions, in order to achieve this.

Therapeutic approaches used by Abacus include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Transactional Analysis (TA) and Person Centred Therapy. All meetings are entirely confidential, unless you inform your counsellor that you or someone you know is at risk of harm. If this is the case, the counsellor will need to discuss this issue with you further and may need to inform external organisations.

How the Counselling Process at Abacus Works

Once you have been referred and allocated a counsellor, an appointment will be made for you to have your first meeting.  Appointments are generally 50 minutes long, where you meet in a confidential space, to discuss your issues. The first meeting will be an introduction to your counsellor and the service provided. Further sessions will then be negotiated and arranged, as required. In the first few sessions, you'll be asked to complete a brief assessment. This will allow the counsellor to gain a basic understanding of your presenting issues and will guide the focus of your sessions, going forward. You'll be asked to complete the same assessment, at the end of your sessions. This will help you to see the progress you have made, in your sessions. In your last session, you will also be asked to complete an evaluation form. This will give you the opportunity to provide feedback, on the service you have received.

Abacus Counselling and Support normally offers initially six sessions, with a review. Further sessions can be offered, if you and your counsellor feel this would be worthwhile.

Counselling Services Offered

Abacus Counselling and Support currently offers three kinds of counselling sessions:

Individual Counselling

A client meets with a counsellor on a one-to-one basis, to discuss a variety of personal and emotional issues.

Couples Counselling

A couple will meet with a counsellor, to discuss relationship and marital issues.

Family Counselling

Several members of a family will attend one-to-one counselling appointments, at the same time.

Clients and families can access one form of support or several, as required.

Other Services

Abacus is able to offer counselling supervision, for counsellors external to Abacus.

Abacus can run group activities, relating to a range of personal issues. Please contact the service, to discuss further.


Private client sessions are offered on a sliding scale of charges, dependent upon household income. Please contact us to discuss further. Further concessions may be made for clients who work, reside, or are educated in Shoeburyness.

Couples counselling sessions cost £40 per session.

If you are a member of a professional organisation e.g.schools, please contact the service to discuss charges and payment options.

Services for counsellors: A supervision session costs £40 per session.

Group Work: Costs will vary depending on length of course, number of attendees and length of individual sessions. Please contact Abacus to discuss further.

“I honestly don’t know how I would have coped without the support my counsellor has given to me, over the last few months. His guidance has allowed me to find myself again and move forward in my life, in a more positive manner.”

LM, age 37

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