Counselling FAQs



  • How do I make an appointment?
    You can call 0161 440 0055 for more information about our services and to register for counselling.
  • I’m worried about someone else, can I refer them?
    Currently all of our public services work on a self-referral basis, meaning that if you’re worried about someone else you should encourage them to get in touch with our office.

    If your place of work is part of our employee assistance programme, get in touch with your manager or HR department for more information about how to get a referral.

    If you’re a parent or guardian, we do offer private practice appointments for young people which you can enquire about on behalf of your son or daughter by calling 0161 440 0055.

    If you’re worried about someone’s immediate well being the following numbers may be helpful:

    Samaritans 0161 480 2222 / 08457 90 90 90
    CALM 0800 58 58 58
    PAPYRUS HOPELineUK 0800 068 41 41
    Mind 0300 123 3393
    The Sanctuary Manchester 0161 637 0808
  • Where can I see a counsellor?
    We offer counselling for adults at our main site in Stockport town centre as well as other community venues such as Disability Stockport and SPARC.

    For children and young people, we offer counselling at our main site in Stockport and we counsel in 20 schools across Greater Manchester.

  • Do I have to be referred by my GP?
    No, the bulk of our counselling is offered on a self-referral basis. If you’d like to get in touch about counselling today call 0161 440 0055.
  • Does Beacon House have disability access?
    Our main counselling centre, Beacon House, does not have disability access currently. Beacon House does have a ground floor counselling room if stairs might be difficult.  We do however offer counselling in community venues with disability access, including Disability Stockport.
  • Can I request a specific counsellor?
    When you register for counselling you will be offered an appointment at the earliest opportunity. If you would like to specify a male or female counsellor, you can.

    On our private practice services you can specify a counsellor if you’d prefer, but to see a counsellor as quickly as possible we would encourage you to see the first available counsellor.

  • Do you have a service for young people?
    We counsel children and young people at Beacon House, in schools, and through our community projects.

    We offer counselling in over 20 schools across Stockport and Greater Manchester. If you’d like to know whether we counsel in your child’s school or for further guidance please get in touch with the office on 0161 440 0055.

    We offer counselling for children and young people of any age through our private practice. We offer a range of times throughout the week, including after school hours. Get in touch today for further information on 0161 440 0055.

    Our community projects are also specifically for young people as well.


  • How often will I come to counselling?
    Counselling works best when attended regularly. At Beacon, we offer weekly counselling appointments.
  • How long will I wait to see a counsellor?
    If you go directly onto our private practice (either for adults, children or couples) we can usually book you in for your first appointment within 4-6 weeks.

    If you would like to go down the funded or donation-based route, or if you’re not sure which service is for you, we can book you in for an initial appointment. This is a one off appointment which can usually be booked in within two weeks. At this appointment you will be able to choose which service is best for you.

    If you choose to go down the donation-based route the wait for ongoing counselling can be between 4-8 months at the moment depending on your availability.

  • How much will counselling cost?
    As a charity, we believe that everyone should have an equal chance of good emotional well-being. For that reason, we offer one-to-one counselling on a donation basis and some projects are funded (and therefore free).

    Our work in schools and our community projects are funded and therefore attendance is free.

    Some of our one-to-one services are funded, and therefore won’t charge; others ask for a donation. Donations help us to continue supporting people every day through our services, and we ask for whatever you can reasonably afford.

    Our private practice costs £45 per session for adults and children. Our couples counselling services is £55 per session.

  • Can I come to my appointment with a friend, partner, or family member?
    The counselling we provide to individuals works best when a counsellor can develop a relationship with an individual. If you would like a friend or family member to accompany you to the appointment, they can always wait in the waiting room.

    As well as one-to-one counselling, we also offer a couples counselling service which is designed to work with you and your partner together. These sessions will be attended by both you and your partner.

  • If I have childcare issues, can I bring my children along?
    Unfortunately, we do not have facilities for unattended children at our sites, and therefore children under the age of 16 must not be left alone in the waiting areas. It is not possible to bring children into your counselling session.
  • How long are appointments?
    Our counselling appointments for individuals and couples are 50 minutes long. It is useful to arrive 10 minutes before each appointment.
  • What happens if I need to cancel an appointment?
    Unfortunately, from time to time you may not be able to attend one of your appointments. If this is the case you can call the appointments team on 0161 440 0055 to let them know that you cannot attend as soon as you know.
  • Do you offer telephone or video counselling appointments?
    Due to recent developments and restrictions in place because of COVID-19, Beacon is offering counselling sessions remotely. These take place either by telephone or video link. If you decides that video would suit you better, these sessions are carried out using Zoom – an application similar to Skype or Facetime but more secure.

    For the counselling sessions be effective we ask you to be in a safe, quiet and undisturbed space for your appointment. The sessions last up to 50 minutes.

    Make sure the device you are using for the session is charged and you are prepared by sitting somewhere comfortable and quiet. If you are using Zoom, you may also feel more comfortable in an area with a plain background, with no windows or identifiable photographs in view.

    Please try to ensure you can take the call without being overheard or interrupted.

About counselling

  • What types of counselling does Beacon offer?
    Beacon’s 60+ counsellors have different specialities but all provide an integrated counselling approach. This allows our counsellors to tailor the support that they offer to each individual.

    At your initial appointment you will have the opportunity to discuss the service options available and decide which is the right one for you.

  • Who will know about my counselling sessions?
    Our counsellors offer a confidential and non-judgemental service.

    However, on rare occasions, your counsellor may need to share specific information with others. Examples of when sharing specific information may be required is if the counsellor is concerned that you or another person may be at risk of harm. If this is the case the counsellor will normally discuss this with you first and we always aim to gain your consent.

    There are some instances where we will always disclose. These instances include, but are not limited to: information about money laundering, people trafficking, acts of terrorism and other serious crimes.

  • What is Gift Aid?
    If you are a tax payer, Beacon Counselling can claim back the tax you have paid on any donations made to the service. Completing a gift aid form will help us to make your donation go even further to support our work.

Counselling for children and young people

  • What is Counselling?
    Counselling offers your child an opportunity to discover more about themselves and their inner strengths, and it can help to make sense of what is happening to them.  It helps them move on from their issues, building confidence and self-esteem, which increases mental well-being and resilience.

    Counselling is a talking therapy that can help with different kinds of personal problems and emotions that they are finding difficult to manage. Our counsellors work with a wide range of concerns including, anxiety, depression, bereavement, loneliness, self-esteem, difficulties with relationships, eating problems, self-injury and negative thoughts.

    It is based on building a trusting relationship between the counsellor and young person to enable them to talk about their experiences and feelings and try to make sense of them. Counselling can also allow people to express difficult feelings and learn how to manage them in a helpful and positive way. It can help to explore feelings with someone who is not emotionally involved in their lives. Counsellors are trained to listen thoughtfully and carefully to people’s problems without judging or criticising. They do not give advice but support their clients to make positive decisions for themselves by building on the resources that they already have.

  • Is my Child or Young Person seeing someone who is properly trained?
    All of the counsellors working with children and young people for Beacon Counselling are fully qualified to diploma level and some are working towards, or have already achieved, accreditation with the BACP. All counsellors are carefully selected and work within a network of support and supervision. All counsellors have an enhanced DBS check. Beacon Counselling subscribes to the British Associate for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) ethical framework for the counselling professions.
  • What if they say private things about our family unit?
    It is helpful for a young person to feel free to talk about experiences that may be troubling or confusing for them. It is also helpful if, as a parent or carer, you are able to support and approve of their talking to the counsellor. It is normal to feel concerned about what they may want to talk about in their counselling. It is good for you to know that the ethical framework that counsellors work within underlines the importance of confidentiality in counselling. The counsellor may however need to break confidentiality if the child or young person tells them something that mean they, or someone else is at risk of harm.

    The counsellor is not there to judge you or anyone else in your family unit. There sole purpose is to help your young person to manage whatever it is that troubles them, and resolve issues and difficulties in a constructive way.

  • Can I ask my Child or Young Person about their counselling sessions?
    The counselling relationship is very private and personal and each young person will respond differently to it. Some may wish to talk to you about their sessions, whilst others may wish to keep the content to themselves. It is helpful for you to respect the needs of your child or young person. Sometimes Young People may seem more upset after their counselling session and this may be because they have been talking about painful feelings. Showing sensitivity to their distress whilst also respecting their right to privacy can be difficult but very supportive. Sometimes a reassurance that you are there to talk if they would like to also works well.
  • How long will my Child or Young Person need to see a counsellor for?
    We aim to offer an initial assessment session as soon as possible after you register their details, in order to find out if our service is the most suitable place for them to receive support. It is useful to be aware, that at times, our service is in high demand and we may have a waiting list. You may also need to wait longer if your availability is limited. If the young person wants to start counselling, and we feel that we are an appropriate service to work with them, then counselling will begin at the same day and time from the following week. Most counsellors will start with an agreement to see clients for six sessions with a review in the fifth session. Additional sessions may then follow if required. Counselling will continue until the client and counsellor feel that it is right to end, although most of our work rarely extends further than twelve sessions.

    You may be invited to join your young person and their counsellor at the beginning of the assessment session, dependant on the age of your child or young person. Where the counsellor has deemed it appropriate you may also be invited to join part of the review or ending sessions.

  • Remote Counselling – Telephone and Video
    Due to the recent developments and restrictions in place because of COVID-19, Beacon is offering counselling sessions remotely. These take place either by Telephone or Video Link. If your Young Person decides that Video Link would suit them better these sessions are carried out using Zoom – an application similar to Skype or Facetime but more secure.

    For the counselling sessions be effective we would ask that the Young Person has a safe, quiet and undisturbed space to have their appointment. The sessions last up to 50 minutes, although initially these may be shorter whilst your child becomes accustomed to this new arrangement.

    The young person needs to make sure the device they are using for the session is charged and they are prepared by sitting somewhere comfortable and quiet. If they are using Zoom, they may also feel more comfortable in an area with a plain background, with no windows or identifiable photographs in view.

    Please try to make sure the Young Person feels safe to make the call without being overheard or interrupted as trust needs to be established and this would be compromised if they felt anyone else was able to hear them.


See the various prestigious awards and accreditations that Beacon Counselling has received throughout the last few years.

Contact Us

Stockport Centre


50-52 Middle Hillgate,
Stockport,SK1 3DL

0161 440 0055