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How do I access counselling?

You can book a session via this website, to have a chat with the counsellor first, to make sure you have the right fit, by choosing the free 15 minute session using the booking system at a time to suit you or emailing us with your preferred times. A counsellor will contact you and you can ask any questions you might have before starting counselling. There is no obligation on you, just an opportunity to connect with the counsellor before making a final decision.

If you want to move straight to a counselling session, just go to the booking page. The availability of our counsellors in shown on the calendar. Simply select an available time and date for your session. After we have received the booking, the counsellor available for the session will contact you to confirm the date and time. Once this is confirmed, we will send you an email with a link for making the session payment. 

If you want to access counselling with us, please do read the client information sheet. This contains useful information about how the domestic abuse counselling service  works. 

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CounsellingMI: How to
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What happens at the first counselling session?

The first session is a mixture of taking some details from you and asking about what brings you to counselling, how you are doing currently, and what you hope to gain from counselling. 

This allows both you and the counsellor to assess whether the service is right for you. Whilst most people feel they do want to continue, we understand that the 'fit' for counselling has to be right. 

If you feel it is not right, simply let your counsellor know and we can end things there. If you did want to access the service again at a future date, or look to work with another counsellor within Dactari, that would absolutely fine, just let us know.

If the counsellor feels Dactari may not be right for you, they will explain why and provide some recommendations for other services that they feel may be a better fit.

If you are both in agreement to continue counselling, the counsellor will then arrange future session times and dates with you.

What happens after the first session?

At Dactari, we understand that it can be difficult to address previous experiences of abuse and that taking the decision to seek counselling or psychotherapy can be hard. Being faced with questions on topics we are not ready to discuss can be personally difficult and unhelpful.


Our Dactari model is client-led, which means we believe that we will get to wherever you need to be by starting at whatever point seems most important or relevant to you at the time. You could choose to discuss current issues or something that happened to you. We do not have any agenda for therapy, it is entirely up to you. We will, however, help you to explore carefully whatever you choose to bring.


We may, during the counselling sessions, offer ideas, insight, or links to other resources where we feel these may be helpful for you. We provide a service for you, to talk through what you need to explore, which is safe and contained.


At the end of each session, the counsellor will review the session with you and ask if you wish to book another session with us. If you wish to continue, the counsellor will go through the booking process for the next session with you. If you decide that you would prefer not to continue, simply let the counsellor know. If you prefer to book several sessions ahead with your counsellor, you can also do this: just ask them for details.

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How long will counselling continue?

If you decide to continue with counselling, you will book the next session at the end of the current session. This can continue until you feel you have reached a point where it's right for you to end the process. For some people this can be a few sessions, where they have some very specific things they wish to discuss. Others, who may have more complicated or complex histories, may opt to continue therapy for longer.


As the counselling goes on, you may reach a point where you feel that you would prefer to book several sessions ahead so that you know the appointments are there. If you wish to do this, please let your counsellor know and they will guide you through that process.


We do not have minimum or maximum session limits, it is up to you to decide when you feel ready to go. Even after leaving, the door will be open if you choose to return at some time in the future.

How much does counselling cost?

Sessions costs between £35 and £50 per hour.

There are no expectations from us as to how many counselling sessions you will have. Everyone is different and we aim to work with you to meet your needs. Some people have a specific aim for counselling, others want to explore a range of experiences.

If you are unsure of how long you may need in counselling, please talk to your therapist who will be able to advise on options that are right for you.

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How do I end my counselling?

You simply let the counsellor know that you wish to end your counselling so that you can discuss it together and ensure you have everything you need before you end. If you have been working together for a while, you may wish to have a final ending session, but that is up to you.

Are there any people that cannot access the service?

Yes, there are some limits to the service we can offer due to it being an online service. We will not offer counselling to you if you are currently:

  • In a physically abusive relationship. There are specific factors relating to this experience which are better addressed by front-line staff working in domestic abuse agencies. Please see our resources section for more information on where to seek support.

  • Experiencing severe mental health difficulties such as delusions, or paranoia. Any other serious mental health conditions you may have had diagnosed will be explored with you during first session. If you are not suitable for our service, the counsellor will make an alternative referral recommendation.

  • Under the regular care of a mental health team or working with another counsellor. It is important that where there are existing relationships with other mental health professionals, these are maintained. This is often part of the recovery process, and we would not recommend disrupting any treatment plan that you currently have in place.

  • Experiencing difficulties with addiction. If this is the case, please see our resources section for more information on where to seek support.

  • You are currently living outside the UK.

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Want more information?

Full details of our service can be found in our client information sheet.

CounsellingMI: More info

Our counselling philosophy

Our focus in counselling is understanding the experience of abuse from your perspective. We believe that abusers of all genders, sexualities, colours and faiths have one thing in common: an ability to choose something that will allow them to have more power over the other.


Their choice of abuse will be dependent on many factors relating to upbringing, social experiences, and community. The same abusive act will affect individuals differently. We will help you to process your experience, memories and responses. It is this approach that allows us to work with many different experiences of domestic abuse as it is the impact of the abuse on the individual that is vital for us to explore.

All our team members are qualified counsellors, with minimum of 2 years of counselling experience and at least one year working with people who have experienced domestic abuse. We believe that processing experiences of domestic abuse is complex work which requires additional specialist training to be effective. All of our counsellors have had substantial training in a model of counselling based on the client’s preferences for counselling after domestic abuse, developed by Dr Jeannette Roddy over the last 10 years. This model has been tested online in the University of Salford Counselling Centre for over 3 years with very good results.

We also believe that good, regular supervision helps our counsellors to do their best work with clients, and to work with whatever you need to bring. All counsellors attend their own individual supervision and specialist Dactari supervision to facilitate this.

Training, supervision and experience mean that the team are ready and willing to work effectively with you.

CounsellingMI: Philosophy
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