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Counselling and
Therapeutic Services

BCWA’s Therapeutic services offer specialist counselling for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and sexual exploitation, to explore their issues and feelings in a safe, confidential environment.


If you have experienced abuse, counselling can help you overcome problems arising from these potentially devastating experiences.  Counselling does not claim to be the only answer to your problems but does offer the opportunity to move your life towards better and more effective ways of coping.

What is counselling?

Counselling is a talking therapy which provides a space for people to discuss their experiences, issues and feelings with a trained professional.

Counselling involves the counsellor listening to your situation, and exploring with you how what has happened has impacted on your life. Counselling can help you become more self aware, this process can help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings, enabling you to make beneficial, informed choices and decisions.  

The counsellor will not judge you, will be impartial and actively listen, creating the safe space for you to share your problems and any emotional pain.  A counsellor will also support you to explore other possible sources of help should that be necessary and or appropriate.

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icon representing therapeutic services for the Black Country Women's Aid

“I remember when you first started counselling me, I was frightened, insecure and had low self esteem… I blamed myself for the past. You have helped me so much…I have now found myself in life…thank you for helping me to see that life can be great.”

Black Country Women's Aid sofa

How can I access counselling?

Your BCWA support worker may suggest counselling to you or you can ask her about counselling yourself. To come to the decision that counselling is appropriate for you at that time, your support worker will discuss counselling with you, giving you a chance to explore what counselling is and what it isn’t. This process can really help with managing any expectations you may have and helps to give a clearer understanding of what is involved.

We work with a number of specialist counsellors who are all registered with the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and are experienced at working with the issues of domestic abuse, rape, sexual violence and sexual abuse.

Counselling sessions take place in our quiet, private Counselling Suites at our Cedar Centres.

Questions you may have about counselling

Can I self refer?

No, the internal referral is made through your support worker

How long will I need to wait?

There are waiting lists for our counselling, which are different for each location and service area. Ask your support worker what the current waiting time is, it can be as little as 4 weeks and at very busy times it can be up to 5 months. The more flexibility you have with your day and time the quicker the process can be.

How many counselling sessions will I have?

You will initially be offered 12 weekly counselling sessions. Each session lasts between 50 minutes and 1 hour. It is recommended that you commit to attend the full course of counselling so that you can gain the full benefit.

Try not to go along thinking counselling will be the answer to all of your problems in the first session.  It takes time to explore your thoughts and feelings, counselling is not a quick fix.  Counselling is not an easy process because it involves talking about events and feelings that are emotional, sensitive and difficult or have at times felt overwhelming and you may have tried to push them to one side, avoid or ignore altogether.

What if I can’t make my appointment?

If you can’t make the pre-booked appointment then we ask you to call either the main landline number 0121 553 0090 or let your support worker know as soon as possible.  We ask that you try to call at least 24 hours before the appointment is due.

BCWA or your support worker can then make the counsellor aware If 2 sessions are missed without contact we will assume that it is not the right time for you at present and re-allocate your session to another client.

What if I don’t feel comfortable with my counsellor?

All of our team understand that not everyone get on or feels comfortable with everyone and do not take this personally. If you would like to see a different counsellor then although this may feel awkward or difficult do please talk to your support worker and they can organise for you to start with another counsellor. The important thing is that you get the support that you need.

All our team are women but you can request to see a male counsellor.

Can I choose my time slot?

Yes, you can state a preference of which day of the week you would like and we have pre-assigned time slots throughout the day at 09:30am, 10:45am, 12pm, 1:15pm, 2:30pm and 3.45pm.

There are also two late-night slots on a Monday evening in West Bromwich 5pm & 6pm and two in Dudley on a Tuesday.

Is everything I say confidential?

In your first session with the counsellor they will go over what is termed your ‘Counselling Contract’. In that it sets out the circumstances in which we would not be able to keep what you have said confidential. The counsellor is bound by the law in these circumstances. These circumstances would be anything that comes under Child Protection, if there is a risk of serious harm to yourself or an other and acts of terrorism as examples.

What if talking about things starts to make it feel worse?

The counsellor will talk to you about what lead you to counselling, there is no expectation that you go into great detail about the actual events, you can explore the impact those experiences have had and the feelings that have resulted.

Your safety and stability are what is most important and if you are concerned that this may happen the counsellor can spend a few sessions to begin with looking at how you manage difficult and overwhelming feelings which then gives you the confidence to be able to talk more openly and in depth.

“I learned to distance myself from my thoughts and take a step back to evaluate…thank you for being here to help”

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Where we work

Our counselling and therapeutic services are available to people we are supporting in Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Please click below for contact details and information in your area.

Don’t suffer in silence. Talk to someone, it can help.

Contact us