Get help Our services Counselling Service Counselling Service STARS counselling service provides one to one, trauma-informed counselling, free of charge, for anyone of any age or gender who lives, works or studies in Dorset and has experienced any form of sexual violence at anytime in their life. We operate a person-centred approach, combined with a trauma model. We create a safe and confidential space, allowing the client to explore and address thoughts and behaviours that are overwhelming. Through psycho-education, our counsellors help clients understand the impact of their trauma on their brain and their body, giving them control and choice. All our counsellors have completed or are completing a Level 4 Diploma in Counselling or equivalent, are DBS checked and are members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Full details can be found here: (starsdorsetcounselling-bacpethicalframework.docx) If you would like to see any specific staff training certificates please email [email protected] with your request. Our counselling service is a confidential service and all information remains within the organisation. However if the counsellor feels that someone is at risk of serious harm or abuse, or that a client is in danger, we will pass information onto other agencies in line with the Dorset-wide Safeguarding Protocols. Survivors wishing to access our counselling service can make a self-referral or ask a professional they already receive support from to refer on their behalf. They will be offered an initial assessment appointment, once the referral has been received by our team. Counselling sessions are 50 minutes long and usually take place at our centres in Poole or Poundbury. To heal from trauma you need to feel safe and stable in your life now. For example, living in an unsafe environment or having an active addiction will get in the way of healing. Even positive changes such as moving into a new house or having a baby can be destabilising. For our counselling we require you to be in a safe place and ready and able to engage therapeutically with a counsellor. This means there are exceptions to who we can support. We are unable to support the following people: someone who is currently in a domestic abuse relationship someone who is currently in a refuge someone who has in the last six months attempted suicide someone with severe mental illness someone currently being investigated for, or who has been convicted of, sexual violence or sexual assault someone who is receiving therapy from another organisation. Someone with any substance dependency (alcohol/drugs). We ask that any client who has had a substance dependency is clean for a year before they start their counselling with us. STARS is also unable to work with individuals who are pregnant, we are happy to assess clients in the second trimester, but counselling will not begin until the baby is 6 months. We work closely with other organisations that are best placed to provide support and safety in these situations and we can help signpost you to the correct support service if needed. To make a referral into our Counselling service please head to our Make A Referral Page , fill in a referral form and email it to our Referrals Team. If you would like to provide feedback please feel free to fill in one of our Counselling Feedback Forms here. STARS Dorset does not work with anyone who has perpetrated sexual violence, for those who are looking for support please head to the following charities: Circles South West and Stop It Now.