Counselling

"Being supported to understand patterns of behaviours, and how to challenge these, has been possible through contact with SWEDA."

client, anon

What is counselling?

Counselling is a talking therapy where you will have the opportunity to explore your situation. You will talk about your feelings and emotions, finding ways to move forward. This might be in the form of ‘tools’ to help you in various scenarios or simply provide you with a chance to process any trauma.

Counselling helps you to gain an understanding of how you came to be where you are. It can help you learn more about your ‘triggers’ or finding ways to manage your distress when things are difficult.

Counselling with SWEDA

You may be experiencing an eating disorder, have recovered but require some support, or be a carer for someone with an eating disorder. We offer non-judgmental help, in a comfortable and professional environment.

SWEDA counsellors and psychotherapists are a mix of qualified and highly experienced practitioners and student counsellors in the last stages of the training process. All our therapists must reach a minimum standard of training before we allow them to work with clients. All have been through our professional eating disorder training. Student counsellors will have been declared fit to practise by their training institution.

BACP membership

We are an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). This means that we have been assessed to reach a high standard of professional and ethical practice. 

How can I access counselling?

If you wish to access our counselling service, you will first be offered an assessment. This process involves talking through your situation with our Clinical Lead. They will ask you about your history, current situation and what you would like to achieve in counselling. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and talk about what is important to you. This assessment costs £25.

If you and your assessor both feel that counselling is the right path for you, you will be allocated a counsellor. You can express any preferences you might have – for example, if you would prefer a counsellor of a particular gender. However, we can’t always guarantee we can provide this and you may have to wait longer.

You will be offered a fixed number of sessions. This is likely to be eight, 12, 18 or 24 sessions. The dates for the first six will be agreed with your counsellor and you will need to attend at least five of those if you wish to carry on with the remaining sessions. This is because we believe that counselling doesn’t work well if you don’t attend regularly. Your counsellor will do a review with you after every six sessions to talk about how the therapy is going and to agree further dates.

Counselling is a commitment and you will get the best out of it by coming to every session. Think about what you would like to work on. Your counsellor can work with you to set goals. 

Cost of counselling with SWEDA

Our counselling service is low-cost, which means you will pay significantly less than you would for private counselling. We have a sliding scale of between £10-£35 per session and you will be asked to pay what you feel you can afford. However, no-one will be turned away from our services due to an inability to pay. Read our Fee Policy to learn more about fees.


“During the time I accessed the SWEDA Services I used both the Support Group and one to one counselling sessions. Both services used together offer the life raft that is so desperately needed to bring balance, stability and empowered choice."

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