My name’s Sarah Millward and for over nine years I've been running the Get help with counselling concerns service, together with my colleague Kathleen Daymond. Between us we have about 30 years of ethical experience and training. The Get help with counselling concerns service is a confidential phone and email information and guidance service for any clients or members of the public who've got questions or concerns about their experience of therapy or a therapy-related service.

We offer help and reassurance where enquirers have concerns or questions about their experience of therapy, about how therapy works and what good practice looks like.

We also offer the service to all members of the public, whether their concerns are about a BACP member or not, and the service has been recognised by the Professional Standards Authority.

You may be completely clear about what your concerns are or it could be that something just doesn't feel quite right and you’d like to talk things through. Either way, we’ll try to help you explain what you feel has gone wrong and what you’d like to do about it. We’ll discuss your experiences with you and act as a kind of sounding board to help you come to a decision about what you’d like to do next. We often find that talking things through can help to pinpoint concerns.

Just being able to say what the problem is can help, and we often suggest writing things down to help you name the things in your mind that your counsellor is doing that you don’t understand. Sometimes, that helps clients feel able to speak to their therapist directly about what’s worrying them. We may suggest ideas to help you sort things out, although we’re unable to give advice and tell you what you should or shouldn’t do.

Our role is to try to help you deal with what’s worrying you, if possible. This could mean going back to your therapist with the guidance and information we’ve discussed about what best practice looks like and being able to work things out with them, or it could be talking with you about potentially making a complaint, if that’s something you were thinking about.

The service is available Monday to Thursday, 9.30am to 4pm, by phone and email.

At other times, or if you have difficulty getting through to the service by phone, you can leave us a voicemail and we’ll call you back, or you can email us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Call us on 01455 883300 option 2, 07811 762114 or 07811 762256 or email us at gethelp@bacp.co.uk

Anything you say will be confidential and you can speak with us anonymously if you prefer. Due to the number of enquiries we receive, we do try to limit the calls to a maximum of 30 minutes, where possible.

We look forward to hearing from you and we’re also going to be publishing a series of blogs relating to client-focused concerns and issues, so watch this space!

Sarah and Kathleen

Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur. Please be aware that we collect and process personal data. For more details, see section 2n of our privacy notice.