What is counselling?

Counselling can be described as one person giving time, attention and respect to another. By talking through what is going on for you, the aim is to help you to find effective ways of coping and to recognise situations that may be beyond your control.

Real life means we often juggle several issues at a time. Unsurprisingly, we sometimes feel overwhelmed with emotion; confusion reigns or self-esteem is low because we perceive ourselves as less than good enough. Some people find asking for help easy and believe it is a natural thing to do in times of distress. Others struggle, withdraw or try to push on alone. Sadly, some believe their only option is to give up altogether and a life may be lost; this may sound extreme, but it happens. We have people specially trained to offer support across a wide range of issues. Their aim is to alleviate suffering and distress. They will listen without judging, enable you to gain clarity and begin the journey towards restoring or enhancing your sense of well-being.

Issues that people bring to counselling

Bereaved By Suicide
Childhood Sexual abuse
Depression/Low mood
Domestic Abuse
Panic attacks
Post Traumatic Stress
Sexual Identity
Work related
Stuck at a crossroads
Exploring personal potential

"I have found the service invaluable & for the first time in many years I can look forward to a more positive future. I cannot fault the service & I would highly recommend talking therapy to anyone." A client. 2018-19

Our staff and volunteers are real, caring, and genuine people who want to make a positive difference in the quality of peoples’ lives. 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. All offer their services because they have experienced, seen and know that counselling can make a difference.

Beacon is a registered charity but this does not mean we compromise on the quality of service we offer. To maintain high standards that meet the changing needs of individuals and the community, Beacon counsellors go through a rigorous recruitment process, must attend regular supervision, and commit to ongoing learning and professional development. All are members of one or more professional bodies and work within legal, professional and agency guidelines. All are DBS checked.

Our relationship

We believe that the quality of the relationship between Counsellor and Client is fundamental to the effectiveness of the counselling process. We build our relationships on a foundation of mutual respect and trust. Counselling takes place in a safe, private and confidential, non-judgemental environment. You will be encouraged to talk openly and honestly, about your feelings, concerns and any situations you find difficult. As you begin to move from feeling stuck to gaining clarity, it is easier to consider the options and possibilities that are open to you. Ultimately, you will be the one making informed decisions about your way forward and the best path for you. By the very nature of our work, close and trusting relationships form between counsellor and client, nevertheless, the relationship will remain professional at all times.

Eligibility (One to One)

You must be age 16 or above to be eligible for one to one counselling, there is no upper age limit. We support individuals experiencing family or relationship issues, however, Beacon does not provide couples counselling or family therapy services.


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, signpost clients to appropriate services 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. 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


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. Most of our counsellors have day jobs and volunteer a few hours each week to provide you with free services. Keeping within agreed timeframes avoids disappointment and helps us to fulfil our commitment to you and to others attending or waiting for our services. We have strong supporting evidence that commitment and regular attendance improve outcomes and contribute to a better overall experience.


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, and wish to pay per session or donate to the charity, we may be able to help. Please contact us on 01204 546100 or email: enquire@beaconcounselling.org for further information Beacon Bolton Counselling Service is a non-profitmaking charity. All income goes towards providing, maintaining, improving and developing services; this includes training and contributing towards volunteers travel and supervision expenses.

“Excellent. Well run. Simple. Non-judgemental, relaxed environment.”

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

Registered Charity: CIO Number 1181596