Counselling Plus is a small charity which offers counselling to people on benefits or with low income who would otherwise struggle to access counselling. We counsel on a wide range of issues including: depression; anxiety; relationship issues; suicidal ideation; identity issues; anger; isolation; abuse; self-harm; loss; bullying; attachment disorders; couple counselling; low self-esteem; trauma.
The counselling is delivered by volunteer counsellors and we have an increasing demand for our services. However, despite our high reputation, we have very little security of funding and are therefore reliant upon client contributions.
We were founded in 1992 and ran for many years on a totally voluntary basis. In 2001 we secured funding for a part-time Co-ordinator and Service Manager. Over the years we have managed to increase the staffing level and hours to accommodate the needs of the service.
In 2005 we moved to premises in the centre of Hastings whilst continuing to offer some sessions in Rye, Bexhill and Northiam. In 2012, we added provision in Eastbourne but unfortunately, this service closed in September 2015 due to lack of local funding.
Today we have forty-two volunteer counsellors who give their time without payment.
We are a registered charity and also a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and work within their guidelines.
What We Do
We mainly offer one to one counselling to adults and young people aged 16 years and over. We also offer couple counselling and various groups, eg. Anger Management and Wellbeing in Maturity when funding allows.
Our counsellors have a variety of different approaches but all work within a theoretical framework which is known as ‘person-centred’, which means that the client’s needs and own self-knowledge is at the centre of what we do.
Hastings, Eastbourne and its surrounding district has a high degree of social deprivation. Consequently, we find high levels of most negative experiences: crime, suicide, depression, childhood abuse and low self-esteem. Because deprivation, poverty and family breakdown are major determinants of mental well being, mental health services and intervention are required to help break this cycle.