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If you are currently a client in our counselling service  to follow is information on how your counsellor will be working with you through the COVID-19 period. Counsellors will not be meeting face to face with their clients and each counsellor will be in contact with their client and let them know how they will be working together through this period, this will vary between clients and counsellors.

If you are wanting to refer into the service although we will not be assessing anyone in this period you are more than welcome to fill in a self-referral form or if you are an agency or professional fill in the agency referral form  and send it to us via email at [email protected] or contact us via our main office number, 01202 308840, where one of our staff members can run through it with you and fill it out on your behalf and then as soon as we are working face to face again we will organise an assessment time. Please note if sending by email and you do not have a CJSM email account we cannot guarantee sending from your email address is secure.

If you are wanting support but are not a client in the service please call our Telephone Support Line, for the number and opening times click here for all general enquiries our main number is 01202 308840 and will be manned throughout the usual times 9am - 5pm as will our general enquiries email address [email protected]

For those already in the service:

STARS Client guidance for working remotely during COVID-19

Working online/by telephone is different from working face to face. The current situation regarding COVID-19 gives us an opportunity to work in a different way, we may find it challenging but it is a useful way to stay in touch and connected in times of uncertainty.

Your work with your counsellor will be re-focused to ensure you feel emotionally safe during this time, this might mean you choose to take a break from therapy until you can resume in person. This is okay to do; you will not lose your space in the service. Any decision should be made in discussion with your counsellor and we will work with you to find the best way.

The guidance below will help you form a new working relationship with your counsellor until we can resume our full service. All online/telephone sessions will be shorter in duration to ensure appropriate boundaries and safety and we will review how it is going after your second session. You will agree the specifics of how you will work going forward with your counsellor in your first online/telephone discussion.


With your counsellor you will:

  • Agree the platform (Zoom, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype or Phone) you will use, this will include exchanging any usernames/ID names or telephone numbers. We will also ask you for your email address so we can keep you as updated as possible about our future plans
  • Confirm your weekly appointment time and length
  • Review each week whether working in this way is useful for you and confirm the next session


Your counsellor will:

  • Call you at your allotted appointment time
  • If you do not answer your counsellor will try to contact you once more 5 minutes later. If you are not available your counsellor will send you a text to confirm the next appointment time.
  • Ensure they are in a confidential space. They will not be calling from your usual room as we will all be working remotely however they will always call you from the same space.
  • Ensure that there is a beginning, middle and end to your sessions. They will be mindful that working online/telephone is different and therefore they will check out with you how you are doing and that you are safe in the work
  • Inform you of any cancellation due to illness as soon as possible
  • If there is a technological problem they will attempt to ring back two times. If they cannot form a good connection they will reschedule for the following week.


You will:

  • Answer the call at your agreed session time
  • If you cannot be available either due to illness or other reason, you will let your counsellor know as soon as possible by your agreed method so that your counsellor doesn’t ring when you cannot answer – please note the office will be being remotely manned so messages sent to the usual mobile number may be delayed in getting through so please give us as much notice as possible
  • Be in a confidential space. It is important that you are somewhere where you can talk freely, either in a separate room, perhaps in your car (stationary) but specifically be on your own.
  • Consider what you do immediately after your session, you usually have time to travel from STARS to your home or back to work. Think about how you will manage going straight back into ‘normal’ life. Consider having some time to yourself after your session.

If you have any concerns or worries during this time please contact us, our website will be regularly updated and we will be back open to see you in person as soon as we safely can.