We support people with experience of homelessness to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Our 1-1 counselling service aims to promote good mental health and wellbeing by providing a high quality and professional service in a confidential and safe setting. The service is free of charge for all customers of Evolve Housing + Support.

Counselling is based on the building of a close and trusting relationship between the counsellor and the client by regular weekly meetings. These meetings are for 50 minutes and are offered on the same day, at the same time and with the same counsellor each week. It can help people to talk about their experiences, make sense of them and provide a space that allows people to express

difficult thoughts and feelings and learn how to manage them in a more constructive way. Counsellors do not offer advice or tell clients what to do, nor do they represent or advocate on their client’s behalf to other organisations or individuals.

Counselling can be useful in helping people cope with various issues including:

Mild to moderate depression

  • Anxiety, stress and panic attacks
  • Substance use (alcohol and/or drugs)
  • Anger and irritability
  • Relationship and family difficulties
  • Low self esteem and confidence issues
  • Loss, bereavement and separation
  • Workplace or educational difficulties
  • Issues around sex, sexuality and gender identity
  • Difficult emotions or memories about past events and experiences

All of our counsellors are either fully qualified or in the last stages of their training, and work in different ways to help their clients. Most usually they work in an ‘integrative’ way – this means they adapt different approaches and methods to suit each individual client. They all work as volunteers with Evolve and are registered members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). They work within the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. This is a set of guidelines designed to ensure that counsellors work ethically and safely for the benefit of their clients. They also have regular clinical supervision provided by qualified and experienced external supervisors – again this is to ensure the safety and benefit of their clients.

Customers are able to access six counselling sessions, with an option to extend to 12 if required, with volunteer counsellors.  The counsellors provide support for emotional, behavioural, or relationship problems using approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Gestalt depending on individual needs. The City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust, currently funds the project, including a Health and Wellbeing Manager post to oversee the work. For more information on how counselling works at Evolve and getting access, see the service leaflet.

Our counselling service is part of a wider programme which includes health and wellbeing workshops designed and co-delivered by customers, volunteers, staff, and partner organisations. These workshops cover a wide range of topics to support the diverse needs of our customers. For more information, see our work and learning programme page.

 

Each time I've left the counselling, I left happy rather than sad. One time, I was feeling really low and on the way to counselling I was tempted to have a drink. But after talking about my feelings and behaviour, that idea left my mind completely. It's helped me realise why I did things, why I drink, and what I can do to stop my self drinking.

counselling testimonial picture

Michael, a customer at Elizabeth House