Adult Counselling Service

Please let us know as soon as you can if you are not able to make your appointment. During the period 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017 909 arranged counselling appointments were missed by clients, this equates to around 151 waiting for help when they could have accessed support sooner.

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

What is Talking Therapy?
Talking Therapy can help to address emotional difficulties by talking to a trained person in order to work through negative ways of feeling, thinking and behaving. Talking Therapy can build confidence, self esteem, self understanding and promote a more positive outlook which can help to gain greater control of life.
Types of Talking Therapies
There is a wide variety of talking treatments currently available – Click access information of the different types of Talking Therapies and their benefits at and
What is Counselling?
Counselling is a Talking Therapy that gives the opportunity to talk about experiences or events that have been affecting the way you feel. Common themes are stress, relationships, change, loss and distressing traumatic events.

Counselling helps people sort out their thoughts and feelings about their concerns to enable change.

What type of Counselling do we offer?
Washington Mind offers 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. 
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.

How to Refer to Services
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.
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 Washington and the Coalfield areas. These include: GP Surgeries, Washington Mind office. Please note that we are unable to offer home visits.   
Our partnership organisations
Our Partner Organisations
We work in partnership with the following organisations who also offer a range of talking therapies:

Sunderland Psychological Wellbeing Team (I.A.P.T.)
Sunderland Mind
Sunderland Counselling Service

These organisations provide services in other locations not covered by Washington Mind.

What is a BACP Accredited Service?
Washington Mind Counselling Service is an Accredited BACP service. This means we uphold the standards and ethics of this national regulatory professional body.