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). 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 will usually commence within three to four months of referral.

Counselling sessions are 50 minutes long and usually take place in our office in Poole, though we are able to offer appointments in Weymouth and Dorchester.

To make a referral you can either download our self-referral form here or a professional referral form here (where a professional can refer you in).  If you want any further information or help with a referral, please call 01202 308858 or email [email protected]

If you would like to provide feedback please feel free to fill in one of our Counselling Feedback Forms here.