Am I eligible to access this service?

We support:

  • Any adult who is facing death or dying (this is defined as having a diagnosis of a life threatening illness).
  • People who are close to someone who is facing death or dying (this includes family members, friends, and loved ones).
  • People who have been bereaved following illness (from three months since the death and no more than two years afterwards).

What happens when I contact The Harbour?

When you contact The Harbour for the first time, we will take some details and offer you an appointment for an initial assessment meeting. During this meeting you will have the opportunity to explore your reasons for coming. This will give both you and the person you see an opportunity to decide whether the service is appropriate for you.

How does it all work?

If you come for regular counselling you will be given a regular time each week, for an agreed length of time, (usually up to 16 sessions although longer term therapy may sometimes be available). If session times have to be changed we will offer an alternative time whenever possible. Sessions last 50 minutes.

What happens in a session?

Each client is different and the sessions will develop according to your own need and your situation. The impact of a physical life-threatening illness is far reaching and you may want to use your sessions to explore issues such as:

  • Waiting for a diagnosis
  • Fear and anxieties about becoming ill
  • Living with a life-threatening illness
  • Living with disability and/or disfigurement
  • Caring for a loved one who is ill or dying
  • Fears of death and dying
  • Bereavement, loss and separation
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Managing drug or alcohol use
  • Sex and safer sex issues
  • Surviving a life-threatening illness and coming to terms with the experience

Can I self-refer?

Yes, please ring us on 0117 9259348 or email: info@the-harbour.org.uk and tell us about your own situation. We will help you if we can, or, if we are unable to, we will suggest other agencies that might be more appropriate.

How much does it cost?

All of our counselling and psychotherapy is completely free of charge. However we do welcome donations. As a registered charity we are dependent on voluntary donations to be able to offer a free service.

Do I have to live in Bristol?

Not necessarily, although you do need to be able to come to our premises in central Bristol for sessions.

How long will I have to wait?

We try to make an initial appointment for a consultation with a counsellor/ psychotherapist within three to six weeks of your phone call. We will try and see you as quickly as we can, but at times of great demand there may be a delay before we can offer regular counselling.

How does counselling or psychotherapy help?

People find that having a space and time to explore their own thoughts and feelings is a huge relief. Often it is difficult to express some of what you may be feeling to the people closest to you. The counselling relationship is a place where you don’t have to worry about anyone else. It can help you to come to terms with what is happening, to better understand yourself and others, and to find a degree of stability and peace when things feel overwhelming.

I’m interested, what do I do?

To find out more about our service or to make an appointment please ring The Harbour on 0117 925 9348. If we are not able to take your call please leave a message and we will contact you as soon as we can. Alternatively you can email us at info@the-harbour.org.uk

Can my child come for counselling?

No, The Harbour can only offer counselling to adults, but there are other agencies that can help if a child is ill, or if you are concerned about the impact on children of another family member being ill.

Are all your employees experienced and qualified?

The Harbour’s counsellors and psychotherapists are all professionally trained and particularly experienced in working with issues of death, loss and bereavement. All of them adhere to The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Code of Ethics and Practice. The Harbour also offers supervised placements for a limited number of counsellors and psychotherapists in advanced training.

Is the service confidential?

Anything discussed in the counselling sessions is confidential. With your permission, we will notify your GP that you are coming to see us for counselling, and when you have finished. We will not include any information about your circumstances or the things you have discussed with your counsellor in these letters. In exceptional circumstances, we may contact your GP or other healthcare professionals in addition to the letters described above. We will do this if we are concerned that there is a risk of you harming yourself, or others, and wherever possible we will discuss this with you beforehand.

Can I be seen at home?

We aim to see you at our premises in Frogmore Street. However if you become too ill to attend then we may be able to make alternative arrangements, subject to discussions with your counsellor/psychotherapist.

Can I arrange an appointment outside of office hours?

Counselling sessions can be arranged outside office hours by appointment.

Does The Harbour have wheelchair accessibility?

The Harbour has wheelchair accessibility and an accessible toilet. We ask all wheelchair users to please wait for assistance from their counsellor before entering or leaving the premises. Please telephone us in advance of coming if you do have special requirements.

Where are you situated and is there parking close by?

We are based in the centre of Bristol, easily accessible on most main bus routes. We are situated opposite the 02 Bristol Academy at 30 Frogmore Street, BS1 5NA. A large multi-storey car park is situated a short walk away from our premises. Alternatively there is a car park to the rear of the Council House.

I am travelling from outside of Bristol, how do I find you?

  • Rail ( Temple Meads ): You can catch an 8 or 9 bus from directly outside the Railway Station to the bottom of Park Street and we are only a 2 minute walk from here.
  • Bus Station: We are only a short walk away (approx 10 minutes).
  • Park and Ride: The Park and Ride service is available from Portway (Shirehampton), Long Ashton and Bath Road (Brislington) directly into the centre of Bristol.

Should you require any further details or have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 0117 9259348 or email us at info@the-harbour.org.uk

Information for Students

We offer a small number of placements to students of counselling and psychotherapy who are in an advanced stage of training. Although unpaid, students benefit from regular high quality supervision and a senior clinical therapist oversees placement students. It is an opportunity to develop skills and experience while bringing your own skills to support a very vulnerable client group. In order to ensure a high quality of therapeutic work for all our clients, we have a careful selection process for prospective student or volunteer placements (see Student Placements section for more details.