Washington Mind offers 1-1 Person Centred Counselling which is a Humanistic Approach, based upon the view that everyone has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change given the right conditions.

We aim to provide quality mental health services in a non-stigmatising environment for adults who are experiencing, or who are at risk of, developing mental ill health and emotional distress.

Adult Counselling Service


One in four adults will experience mental illness in any year.

While you are waiting for your counselling appointment you can look at some self-help sites that can give information on coping strategies;

If you feel you are struggling while you are waiting for your appointment then there are services available when you need help immediately, such as:

Find out more about Talking Therapies by clicking on the dropdown links…

How Confidential is Counselling?

The content of counselling sessions is confidential unless something is shared with the counsellor that he/she cannot keep confidentiality about. Here are the most usual reasons:

  • Where you give permission to share information
  • Where a practitioner is compelled by a court of law
  • Where the information is of such a gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained, this includes where:
  • It is felt there is a real possibility of harm to yourself or others
  • In cases of fraud or crime

The counsellor contracts and discusses this conditional confidentiality with you at the first appointment.

Also as all counsellors have a clinical counselling supervision, they share how they work with a counselling supervisor.

What happens when you ring?

A member of our staff will ask you some personal questions such as: name, date of birth, address, contact number, who your GP is etc.. you will also be asked why you are referring yourself.  You can complete the Referral Form electronically if you prefer and send it to: [email protected]. Please note that we are unable to accept incomplete referral forms, but if you are unsure about any other parts of the form, please write ‘unsure’ and this can be completed when we contact you.

You will be asked to complete a form which asks more detailed information about how you are currently feeling – this form is called a PHQ9/GAD7 form.

What happens after you have filled in the form?

When we receive your completed form from you, we will contact you to arrange a telephone appointment (triage) with one of our counsellors. This means you will be asked in more detail about yourself and what sort of help you are requesting.
Click here to download the Initial Triage Form

The counsellor will also discuss with you what will be the most useful help for you eg. Social Support, referral to one of our partner agencies, Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CCBT), Stress Groups or Counselling.

After the Triage Appointment

If counselling is the most suitable intervention for you and you come into Washington Mind’s catchment area your name will be placed on our short waiting list until a counselling appointment is available. We usually offer you between 6-10 sessions of counselling. There is no cost to you for these sessions.  While you are waiting you may wish to access some self-help materials, to help you to develop some coping strategies, click here for information!

Where counselling takes place

Washington Mind counsellors work in various places in the Washington and Coalfield areas. We try to be as accessible as possible and include venues such as; GP Surgeries, local charities and organisations as well as the Washington Mind office in Columbia. Please note that we are unable to offer home visits.

Useful Links

Washington Mind offer counselling services to these GP surgeries (if you are aged 11-25 then you can be seen no matter which GP practice you are with as long as you live in the City of Sunderland, click here for more info), however, if you are over 25 and are not a patient at one of these surgeries, we can transfer your referral to the appropriate service.  You can refer yourself by telephone on 0191 417 8043 or ask your GP or other Health Professional to do so on your behalf.   You can complete the Referral Form electronically if you prefer and send it to:[email protected]. If you are unsure about any other parts of the form, please leave it blank.