Our Counselling Service
We provide specialist face-to-face counselling for women and girls aged 13 and above and play therapy for girls aged 5+, who have been raped or sexually abused at any time in their lives and who live in any of the South London boroughs.
We offer up to a year of therapy and we will discuss with you how this works when we meet with you for an initial consultation. We do not charge a fee for our therapy, but we invite women receiving counselling to make a donation that they can afford. Counselling sessions are offered Monday to Thursday from 10am to 8pm.
The service is provided regardless of ethnicity, religion, culture or socio-economic background and is accredited by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions (BACP). All our counsellors adhere to this ethical framework.
Counselling and Play Therapy Support during Covid-19
Our counselling service remains open remotely and our team of specialist counsellors continue to support women and girls by phone or video conferencing.
We are now open to new referrals from women aged 18 and over.
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE
We are continuing to offer specialist counselling support and play therapy to girls aged between 5 and 17 years old. This support is being provided remotely by phone and video conferencing.
We are now open to new referrals, which we can be taken from girls directly, or (with the young person’s consent) from an appropriate third party.
You can find out more about the support provided by all RASASC services during Covid-19 here
RASASC have written our own model of counselling to support women to recover from the impact of sexual violence. We offer an integrative model of counselling which aims to support you in rebuilding your life, look at your strengths and your own choices to aid your recovery and also acknowledge from a feminist perspective other marginalisations you may suffer as a woman as well as sexism and patriarchy. For further information about our model of therapy please click here.
Our aim is to help reduce the debilitating impact of sexual violence and help women achieve the life they want to. Whilst we strive to support any woman contacting our service, we may not have a counsellor who speaks your language. Please see below for any limits of accessibility and how we strive to address these limits so that you can receive the specialist support you deserve you need. You can also contact the counselling coordinator to discuss your needs and we will refer you to another organisation who will be able to support you.
Our counselling offers;
- A strictly confidential and specialist service provided by highly qualified and experienced female therapists.
- A counsellor ‘matched’ to you and your specific needs.
- A counselling session once a week at our premises in Croydon or at one of our satellite services in Bexley, Kingston and Southwark, at the same time, in the same room and with the same counsellor, for up to one year.
- Group therapy for six months following face-to-face counselling.
Our counselling is;
- Gentle and empathic. We fully understand that it can be both painful and frightening to be asked to make a trusting relationship with a counsellor so we take things slowly and gently and do everything we can to support and care for you throughout the process.
- Rooted in respect, honesty and empathy without judgement to facilitate a better understanding of those difficult thoughts and feelings.
- Informed by our therapeutic model of empowerment.
Our counselling does;
- Ask you to self-refer for face-to-face counselling because this means you are in control of the process from the moment you make the decision to give it a go. You will be sent out a self-assessment form to complete and when this is received back you will be invited into the centre for a consultation.
- Ask you what type of counselling/counsellor you would feel comfortable with. We will then ‘match’ you to one of our counsellors.
- Have a waiting list. Whilst you are on the waiting list the Counselling Coordinator will keep in touch and as soon as your counsellor becomes available a session will be offered to you. You are in control of the whole process.
Our Counselling does not
- Use volunteer or placement counsellors. All our counsellors are highly qualified and specialised in the area of sexual violence.
- Ever instruct, advise or tell you what to do.
- Close the door. If you find it too difficult the first time, you can always come back at a later date when you feel more ready.
- Judge or lie.
For women reporting through the criminal justice system as survivors, we offer specialised ‘grounding sessions’ of 6 weeks. These focus on supporting survivors to work with and manage their feelings of anxiety and stress associated with going through the system. They will not impact on the criminal justice process as they focus on supporting you to recognise and develop ways of coping.
Play Therapy for Children
We provide specialist play therapy for girls aged from 4 years old who have survived sexual violence. Our play therapy takes into consideration the specific needs of children and particularly where language may not always be available to adequately express what they have experienced.
Our play therapy is designed to create a space where children can feel safe to explore and which gives young survivors an opportunity to express their feelings through play and art at their own pace.
Play therapy is facilitated by qualified and experienced therapists, who specialise in working with children, as well as in working with sexual violence.
We ask that girls aged 13 years and over are supported to contact us themselves and self-refer. This is part of our model of empowerment and ensuring that young people have space to make their own choices about whether they want support right now.
For girls aged under 13 years old, we can also take referrals from parents, social workers and NSPCC.
From experience working alongside survivors of sexual violence, we know that with the right support, children and adults find ways to re-build and move forward from the sexual violence they have had to endure.
To contact us about counselling, or to talk through any fears, concerns or questions you may have, please call our office on 0208 683 3311 and ask to speak to our Counselling Operations Coordinator.
To find out more about play therapy for children aged under 13 years old, you can also ask to speak to our Child and Young Person lead.
Our counselling service for survivors of all ages can be contacted on our office number between 10am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
What if I live outside of South London?
You can find information about your nearest Rape Crisis Centre through Rape Crisis England and Wales.
If you live in Scotland then please go to Rape Crisis Scotland for further information and support.
Information about counselling support can also be found through The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy