Counselling: The Listening Ear

Do you need a confidential space to talk about the things it is difficult to share with those around you?  Counselling can help with a range of difficulties, including but not limited to:

  • Anxiety & depression
  • Bullying, dealing with difficult relationships
  • Bereavement counselling
  • Past traumatic events – trauma is defined as anything you found overwhelming
  • Finding life and work hard going
  • Feeling burdened and isolated.
  • Family relationships including marriage counselling / separation
  • Debt
  • Crisis of faith
  • Issues around gender identity and sexuality
  • Support during and around a CDM process

Counselling can provide an opportunity to explore concerns in a safe and confidential setting with the support of a trained and experienced counsellor or psychotherapist. It enables people to share their thoughts and feelings in a way that can bring new insights.

The professional counsellor does not judge, nor tell people what they ought to do. The counsellor helps people to find their own solutions, to recognise their strengths and weaknesses.

There need not be any immediate crisis, simply a need for a listening ear which is both professional and confidential (except if there are any concerns for your safety or that of another).

For clergy and their partners the first six sessions are free; a further six sessions can be arranged within the subsidised scheme, with a client contribution being negotiated with the counsellor concerned. Cost should not be an impediment to seeking this help. 

This service is available to:

  • licenced clergy and their families*
  • readers and other licensed lay ministers,
  • lay diocesan employees. 
  • Ordinands and readers in training may also access the counselling service by prior arrangement with the BDO or Jeanette Hartwell.

NOTE * Counselling for under 16’s is a specialist area and therefore each case will be considered on an individual basis. Counselling for dependent children over the age of 21 can be subsidised in exceptional circumstances. Please speak to the Bishop’s Advisor for more information.

Counselling Confidentiality and the Diocese:

The diocesan billing system uses an anonymous code for each counselling client so unless you inform the Diocese or your line manage that you have used the service, it is completely confidential. 

Accessing the service:

You can contact a counsellor (or pastoral supervisor) direct from this information.

If you would like to have a conversation about your options, please contact the Listening Ear coordinator, Ursula Pencavel by email.

Any concerns:

Concerns about the counselling service should be addressed in the first instance to Ursula Pencavel, coordinator of the Listening Ear service, and if there are still unresolved concerns she can provide contact details for someone who is independent of the diocese and counselling service.

Healing Ministry

You may also find it appropriate to engage with the Healing Ministry Enablers and services.

Page last updated: Monday 12th February 2024 12:38 PM
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