Counselling for Survivors Network

for those whose lives have been impacted through the trauma of domestic violence & sexual abuse.

This website has been brought to you by a partnership of voluntary and community organisations in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who provide counselling and therapeutic services.

 Directory of Support Services

Other services that you can turn to for additional support:

About Counselling

What is counselling?

Counselling is an interactive learning process.

Counselling will help to address problems in a positive way by helping you to clarify difficulties, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness.

A safe space is offered to enable you to build a therapeutic relationship to gain trust and confidence. This helps you to focus on your feelings and emotions, empowering you to make changes to your own physical, emotional and mental well-being.

The counselling process can help you to see things more clearly, possibly from a different viewpoint in a safe and confidential environment. During the counselling process you will be heard and supported. Advice by the counsellor will be avoided, as they will help you to develop your own solutions.

Compassion and empathy without judgement will be key when working with you. Counselling is about you, not the counsellor.

The counselling relationship will remain totally professional, no counsellor will get personally, emotionally or physically involved – the relationship between yourself and the counsellor needs to be built on mutual trust. It is the counsellor’s responsibility to provide a safe, confidential environment, and to offer empathy, understanding and respect.

Counselling provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the ways in which, over time, positive changes can be made, giving you the means of exploring difficulties and of working towards resolving personal issues. Overall, counselling is a helping approach that is a process of talking about and working through your own personal situation with a professional trained counsellor.

How do I access counselling?

To access specialist counselling, you can visit your GP or self-refer.

Self-referring means you contact the organisation directly to access support. You can use this website to find the appropriate service and use the links provided to make a self-referral with the service of your choice.

About Counselling

Each organisation works slightly differently but when they have received your referral, a member of the team will usually give you a call to discuss your options and give you information about their services.

You will then be invited to an initial conversation where your needs will be assessed. You can ask any questions to help you decide about the type of support you would like to receive. This is called an initial assessment. Depending on the services required, your individual circumstances and the service you are seeking support from you may be placed on a waiting list.

Once you are near the top of the waiting list you will be contacted and matched with a counsellor who you will work with, either face to face, online or over the phone for an agreed length of time. Additional support such as helplines or group sessions may be available to you whilst on the waiting list, during or after the counselling process.

When should I seek counselling?

If you are a survivor of domestic violence or sexual abuse, it was not your fault, and is a crime no matter what.

Whether it happened recently or in the past, or even if you're not sure what happened, there are several services covering Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland that can help.

Trauma from abuse can manifest in many ways and even if you are able to get through your day, your feelings may present themselves in other ways, for example:

  • You struggle to maintain self-care such as. taking regular showers or baths, brushing your hair, or wearing clean clothes.
  • You feel angry with loved ones or people who are close to you and often snap at them.
  • You feel emotional all the time and the smallest incident can leave you in floods of tears.
  • You have waves of sadness or anxiety.
  • You can’t do the things that you want to do.
  • You turn to alcohol or drugs to block out what happened to you.
  • You are unable to get a good night’s sleep and often have nightmares or flashbacks.
  • You feel numb to your emotions.

If you do feel like these statements apply to you or there are other effects on your life, maybe it is time to take the first step to access counselling.

Please note that counselling may not be appropriate for those who are in crisis.

There are other specialist services that will support you during this time until you are ready to receive counselling. See our ‘Other services’ section, for more information. This website is designed to give you the correct information about the services that are available to survivors. It will provide information to help you to understand which service may be best to support your journey to recovery.

To understand the counselling process in more detail, see our What is counselling? page. To look at the services available to you and help you decide on the right service for yourself, please see our service directory page.

Please note all the services listed in the website adhere to strict confidentiality policies and will keep your information safe in line with safeguarding procedures and data protection regulations.

We believe that domestic violence and sexual abuse is a crime of violence and abuse of power. All organisations listed on this website recognise that the survivor is never to blame for abuse they have experienced.

These services are safe and supportive to allow personal growth, through giving survivors the confidence to talk about any fears or struggles that have arisen from the abuse; or from everyday life.

About Us

The Counselling for Survivors Network aims to strengthen and sustain accessible and high quality counselling and therapy services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The network developed as a result of a project funded by Home Office through the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire. The funding was part of a much larger project focusing on transforming VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) services in Leicestershire.

The project aimed to bring together local providers of counselling and therapy services for survivors to explore ways in which we could work together better, develop new ways of working, agree quality standards and collaborate on key aspects of our service delivery such as volunteer recruitment.

The three-year project was led by new Dawn New Day and facilitated by Ideas to Impact, an independent consultancy specialising in the VSCE (Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise) and public sector.

As a network of counselling providers we are committed to continuing to work together for the benefit of women and men whose lives have been impacted through the trauma of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

This website has been brought to you by a partnership of voluntary and community organisations in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who provide counselling and therapeutic services.

It provides information to potential clients and referral agencies about the services that are available to survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence and serves as the central point of information for survivors or referral agencies to make an informed choice about the appropriate service for yourself or a client.

We know that reaching out for help and support is a big step in the road to recovery for survivors, we aim to ensure this information is all in one place to make this step easier for people.