"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, talk about your feelings and emotions, and find ways to move forward.  This might be in the form of ‘tools’ to help you in various scenarios; a chance to process any trauma that you have suffered; gaining an understanding of how you came to be where you are; learning more about your ‘triggers’ or finding ways to ease your distress and manage when things are difficult.

About SWEDA Counselling

You may be experiencing an eating disorder, you may have recovered, yet feel the need for support or you may be a carer for someone with an eating disorder and feel that you need support for yourself.  We offer non-judgmental help, in a comfortable and professional environment.

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

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 and all have been through our in-house professional eating disorder training.  Student counsellors will have been signed off as ‘fit to practice’ by their training institution.

How does it work?

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 who will ask you, amongst other things, about your history, your 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 to work with moving forward.  You can express any preferences you might have – for example, if you would prefer a counsellor of a particular gender – although 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 overall; this is likely to be 8, 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 and thinking about what you would like to work on.  Your counsellor can work with you to talk about goals and changes you want to make.


Our counselling service is low-cost which means you will pay significantly less than you would for private counselling – as an example, it actually costs us £65 to run a counselling session.  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.  You can read our Fee Policy here.



“I had consistently been losing weight for more than 8 months and had become accustomed to eating very little. This triggered a return of my anorexia, after a 20-year period of recovery. SWEDA were able to offer me an appointment the very next day. When we met I was feeling very ill and frightened.I spoke to them about my fears, but then took the decision to go to my doctor on the way home. I was admitted to hospital within a few days.”

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