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Tel us: 01234 360388

Text us: 07922105200 

Email us: [email protected]

Write to us: 120 Tavistock Street, Bedford, MK40 2SA

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Bedford Open Door is a BACP Accredited Service

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If you are worried about a young person and need support yourself, the following organisations offer help for parents/guardians:


Family lives –

tel:  0808 800 2222  



Young Minds Parents Information Service –

tel: 0808 802 5544

email:[email protected] 

BOD Youngminds BOD Familylives

Information for Parents/Carers



It is only natural that parents/carers may want to understand more about the counselling process when their young person comes for counselling at Bedford Open Door.  You may have some concerns about counselling and how things may change for the young person and the effect this may have on the family unit.  We hope this information may help you to understand what may happen during counselling and how we work at Bedford Open Door.


Counselling is a way of helping people with different kinds of personal problems and emotions which are difficult to manage.  Counsellors work with a wide range of concerns including anxiety, depression, bereavement, loneliness, self-esteem, difficulties in relationships, self-injury and eating problems.


It is based on building a trusting relationship between the counsellor and their client and it can enable people to talk about their experiences and feelings and try to make sense of them.  Counselling can also allow people to express difficult feelings and learn how to manage them in a helpful and positive way.  It can help to explore feelings with someone who is not emotionally involved in their lives.  Counsellors are trained to listen thoughtfully and carefully to people’s problems without judging or criticising them.  They do not give advice, but support their clients to make positive decisions for themselves by building on the resources they already have.


What is Counselling?

 All of the counsellors at Bedford Open Door are trained in counselling skills. Most counsellors are fully qualified to Diploma level and some are working towards, or have already achieved, accreditation. Some counsellors are exceptional students still undergoing training who have very close extra support and supervision of their work. All counsellors are carefully selected and trained by the service and work within a network of support and supervision. All counsellors have an enhanced DBS check.

The service subscribes to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s

Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.

Is my young person seeing someone who is properly trained?

It is helpful if a young person feels free to talk about experiences that may be troubling or confusing. It is also helpful if, as a parent or carer, you are able to support and approve of the young person in your care talking to the counsellor. You might feel concerned about what they may want to talk about in their counselling. It's good for you to know that the Ethical Framework the counsellors work within underlines the importance of confidentiality in counselling. The counsellor is not there to judge you or anyone else in your family unit. Their sole purpose is to help the young person manage whatever it is that troubles them, and resolve issues or difficulties in a constructive way.

What if my young person says private things about our family unit?

The counselling relationship is very private and personal and each young person will respond differently to it.  Some may wish to talk to you about the sessions, while others may wish to keep the content to themselves.  It can be helpful to respect the needs of your young person - either to talk with them about it or not talk about it.  Sometimes young people can seem more upset after a counselling session and this may be because they have been talking about painful feelings.  Showing sensitivity to their distress, whilst also respecting their right to privacy, can be difficult but very helpful. Sometimes, a reassurance that you are there if they want to talk works well.


Can I ask my young person about their counselling sessions?

We offer a young person an initial assessment session as soon as possible after first contact, in order to find out if our agency is the most suitable place for them to receive counselling. If the young person wants to start counselling and we feel we are an appropriate agency to work with them, they may have to wait some weeks for counselling to commence. Most counsellors start with an agreement to see clients for six sessions. At a review at the sixth session, an additional six sessions may then follow if required. In some exceptional cases, it may be that the young person may feel they can benefit from more sessions and, at Bedford Open Door, we allow counselling to continue longer term to ensure that the young person is receiving the support they need. Counselling will continue until the client and counsellor feel it is right to end, although most of our work rarely extends beyond six or twelve sessions.


It is useful to be aware that, at times, our service is in high demand and we may have a waiting list

How long will my young person need to see a counsellor for ?