Who can I contact if I or someone I know experiences suicidal thoughts?

Beacon is not a crisis service. If you need urgent support, contact Samaritans (number below), call your GP or visit your local Accident and Emergency Department.

Samaritans – Helpline and support for everyone. Opening Hours: 24/7.
Free calls to 116 123 or email: jo@samaritans.org Website: https://www.samaritans.org/

How can I make a referral to Beacon?

To join one of our groups, you can self-refer by calling the Beacon Co-ordinator on 01204 546100 or send an email to enquire@beaconcounselling.org

If you are looking for free one-to-one, face-to-face counselling, your GP can refer you or you can self-refer by calling:
- Single Point of Access (SPOA) on 01204 483101 for IAPT services.
- 1point (North West) on 01204 917744 for counselling services.
The above agencies take the initial referrals, arrange assessments and manage the waiting lists on our behalf.
Beacon can accept a small number of direct referrals. For further information, please call us on 01204 546100 or email: enquire@beaconcounselling.org.

Are there any age limits?

Anyone over the age of 16 is eligible for counselling. You must be 18 years of age or above to join one of our groups. There is no upper age limit.

Is there a waiting list?

Beacon Bolton is committed to keeping your wait for counselling as short as possible. Waiting times do vary throughout the year as we try to match the days and times you require with the availability of our volunteer counsellors. You may enquire at any time about the progress of your referral for a Beacon service.

Is there a cost?

Counselling services are free if you referred via Single Point of Access (SPOA) or 1point (North West). 1point notify us when you specifically ask for counselling with Beacon. If you do not qualify for a free service, we may be able to help. Please contact us on 01204 546100 or email: enquire@beaconcounselling.org for further information

What type of therapies do you offer?

Beacon counsellors are professionals who have counselling or CBT qualifications (frequently more than one). Our counsellors can offer: Person-Centred counselling, Integrative Counselling, Brief Solution Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). Integrative therapists are trained to use more than one approach, therefore can adapt the work to suit your needs.

Will my counsellor be qualified?

Beacon counsellors are professionals who have a counselling or CBT qualification (frequently more than one). To ensure that we have counsellors for the future, Beacon offers a limited number of placement opportunities for counsellors and therapists in training.

We take great care to match you with someone who is competent to work with you and the issues you bring. We will inform you about a counsellor’s status when offering you an appointment. Our aim is to help you to make an informed decision before you commit to therapy. We regularly receive positive and complimentary feedback from clients about their counselling experiences with qualified counsellors and students in training.

Where do sessions take place?

All onsite counselling sessions take place at The Bolton Hub, Bold Street, Bolton BL1 1LS. On arrival, the receptionist will ask you to sign in and take a seat. The ground floor is disability friendly with excellent facilities and lift access to the upper floors.

How many sessions can I have and how long will each appointment last?

For one to one counselling, we offer up to twelve weekly sessions with a review in week six. During your review, you can discuss your progress and experience of counselling. You may also have some indication of whether any or all of the remaining six sessions are needed. Each appointment lasts for 50 minutes and will be on the same day, at the same time and with the same counsellor each week. Keeping within agreed timeframes avoids disappointment and helps us to fulfil our commitment to you and to others attending or waiting for our services.
Group sessions may vary between 10 and 12 sessions, each lasting for 90 minutes on a weekly or fortnightly basis; or a combination of the two.

Can I bring a friend or partner with me?

Making the decision to speak with a counsellor indicates your recognition of time for something to change. If you prefer someone to come with you for support, this is fine; however, the counselling hour is for you, so we will ask your companion to wait in reception during your counselling session. We support individuals experiencing family or relationship issues, however, Beacon does not provide couples counselling or family therapy services

I am breastfeeding my baby, can I bring him/her to counselling?

If you are breast feeding you may be able to bring baby to one to one counselling. However, if baby’s presence is overly distracting for you or your counsellor, we may ask you to defer counselling for the time being. We cannot allow babies to be present in group therapy sessions.

Are there childminding facilities?

For health and safety purposes, we cannot allow children under the age of 14 to attend with you. If childcare is likely to affect your attendance, let the Beacon co-ordinator know by calling 01204 546100 or speak to your counsellor as soon as possible.

What happens if I need to cancel?

We will only cancel appointments in exceptional circumstances and wherever possible, you will receive 24 hours' notice. Should you be unable to keep an appointment, please contact our Counselling Co-ordinator on 01204 546100 giving 24 hours’ notice wherever possible. Advance notification helps us to provide efficient services.

Do you offer telephone or online (skype) counselling?

At present, counselling can only take place on site in Beacon’s rooms at The Bolton Hub. Telephone or online counselling is an area under review; however, we do not have any plans to take this route for the near future. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have specific access requirements.

Can I have counselling at home?

At present, counselling can only take place in Beacon’s accommodation at The Bolton Hub but home access is an area being considered. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have specific access requirements.

How do I re-refer for another course of therapy?

We recommend taking a break from counselling to consolidate what you have learned from a course of therapy. If you still find you have more work to do, you can re-refer yourself into the system.

How do I send Comments, Complaints and Compliments?

We welcome all feedback, it confirms what we do well, highlights areas for attention, helps us to address shortfalls and make improvements where we can. Please speak to a member of staff or send a letter by email to enquire@beaconcounselling.org; or send by post to: The Secretary or Service Manager, Beacon Bolton Counselling Service, The Bolton Hub, Bold Street, Bolton. BL1 1LS.

How can I access the latest Beacon Annual Report?

If you would like a copy of our latest Annual Report, please contact us on 01204 546100 or email: enquire@beaconcounselling.org quoting “Request Latest Annual Report” in the subject line.

Beacon Bolton Counselling Service
The Bolton Hub, Bold Street, Bolton. BL1 1LS
Telephone: 01204 546100
Email: enquire@beaconcounselling.org

Registered Charity: CIO Number 1181596