If you have questions about HYCS and our service, do feel free to contact us for more information, we are happy to help.Alternatively, check out the list below for some commonly asked questions.

“It’s when someone listens to how you feel. They won’t tell you that you’re wrong. You are allowed to feel how you want to feel”.  (Client’s words)

We all need support from time to time and counselling provides a safe, supportive and confidential space to explore and work through whatever is troubling you with a trained counsellor. We are here to listen with acceptance, empathy and without judgement.   

There are many different types of counselling and at HYCS we offer a Humanistic approach –we believe that we are all able to grow and change given the right conditions.  Our counsellors will therefore listen carefully to what you say, without judging and in confidence, helping you to work through problems and to develop in your own way so that you can achieve your potential.

If you want to know more about the different types of counselling to see if this is the right approach for you – click here

If you are looking for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) please speak to your doctor who will be able to advise.

Often people come for counselling because they are feeling confused, upset and don’t know what to do. If you are experiencing or feeling ongoing anger, depression, sadness, anxiety, or other emotions or feelings that are causing you physical or emotional discomfort, you may benefit from talking with a Counsellor.

When things feel tough, sometimes it's hard to share with friends or family even though they can be or want to be supportive. You may not want to hurt their feelings, feel embarassed or guilty to talk about certain things or may not want to show strong emotions in front of them or make them worry.  

Talking to one of our counsellors gives you the opportunity to speak about and explore feelings that you might not feel able to tell friends and family. And talking is the important thing in counselling. When we talk about what we feel or what we have experienced it help us to make some sense of it all. If the problem stays inside us it can get to grow bigger and be more of a problem and then it is even harder to tell someone else.

Counselling can help you to feel and think about your life in a different way, helping you to find your own solutions to problems.  It can support you in gaining understanding of yourself and others, in developing options in your life and in seeing that there may be another way; it's a place where you can explore your values, express feelings, change behaviour without judgement in a safe, supportive place. 

HYCS stands for Hounslow Youth Counselling Service and we are a registered charity offering a free 1-2-1 counselling service for young people aged 11-25 in Hounslow Borough.

We have more than 30 years specialist experience in supporting vulnerable young people and our service is Accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). 

We also have been awarded the London Youth Bronze quality mark and are a member of the Youth Access Network.

It is always our intention to keep what you say to us confidential. This means that what you say to the counsellor will normally, only be spoken about within the Service. A counsellor will usually only speak to their HYCS' clinical supervisor or other relevant HYCS' member of staff to ensure we are offering you the best service.

There are however some limits to confidentiality. If we are very worried about your safety because the situation you say you are in makes us think your life or the life of someone else, is being threatened then we will talk to you about the need for other people to know.

Your counsellor will normally only take action to talk to someone outside of the service without your consent if they feel it's an emergency or they are very concerned about what you have said.

There are other exceptions, for example:

•  in rare circumstances our records can be subpoenaed by the Court or we may be called to testify.

• we are obliged to report to the police if we know about acts of terrorism or drug trafficking and laundering of drug money.

• child protection is another area where counsellors need to think carefully about confidentiality.

Please just ask your counsellor if you want any more information or are concerned about this.

When a child (anyone under 18) or a vulnerable adult is at risk of serious harm then HYCS’ counsellors will need to think about the safety of that person. At HYCS we have procedures which will guide the counsellor and the client through what can be difficult situations.

Our service is by self-referral only, you do not need an adult or professional to refer you to us, you just need to talk to us to request support. 

If a professional such as your doctor, teacher or a social worker, has suggested that you contact us, they are probably concerned about you. 

They might have already contacted us and asked us to see you. However, we will always talk to you before we offer you counselling to see if you want counselling.

If you do want counselling, you just need to contact us and we can book you in for an introductory session

If you don’t want counselling then you do not have to see a HYCS' counsellor.  We will not persuade you or force you.  If later on you change your mind, just call and we will arrange for you to meet with one of our counsellors for an introductory session.  It is your choice.

We are a service for young people who are 11-25 years old - but please note, due to waiting times, we cannot register you as a client if there is less than 6 months until your 26th birthday.

The law is fairly clear that you don’t need permission to have counselling and we don’t need permission to work with you as long as you can understand what counselling is.   The most important thing is to get help if you need it.

You are also free to tell your parents or carers that you want counselling from us or that you are receiving counselling and listen to their advice.

You can call us on 020 8568 1818, text us on 07784 481308 or email us at ask@hycscounselling.co.uk

If nobody is available to answer your call, please leave a message - make sure you tell us your contact name, contact number and best times to call.  We will get back to you as soon as possible.  

Our services are open weekdays only - our office team are available during normal office hours and sessions run at the following times:
Monday - 3pm - 9pm
Tuesday - 11am - 9pm
Wednesday - 11am - 9pm
Thursday - 11am - 9pm
Friday - 2pm - 5pm

Counselling Session Times - St John's Centre
At our Centre in Isleworth we offer a wide range of session times to suit your needs on week days - both during the day, after school and in the evening.

Counselling sessions are by appointment only and at your intro' session you can let us know what times are best for you so that we can allocate a regular slot at a time that is convenient.  

Monday - 3pm - 9pm
Tuesday - 11am  - 9pm
Wednesday - 11am  - 9pm
Thursday - 11am  - 9pm
Friday  - 2pm - 5pm

We also offer counselling support in many local secondary schools, youth offending services and leaving care services - times will vary there depending on setting, please contact us to find out more.

No matter what the problem, however big or small, we are there to listen.  If it's something that is causing you distress you may find that talking to us can really help! And it doesn’t have to be a problem you talk about – everyday stuff and successes are good to talk about as well.

You are not alone - it is not unusual to find the early counselling sessions difficult or uncomfortable. Sometimes people don't know what to say or worry they will be under pressure to say something before they are ready. 

It may be that it you may need to talk about something that is painful to recall or seems embarassing. 

Counsellors are trained to work with these difficult moments and any silences can be a normal part of sessions.  Most importantly you can go at your own pace and decide what you feel comfortable in sharing. 

As you become more used to having a chance to talk about yourself and as you realise you have a non-judgmental counsellor to listen, you will almost certainly find it easier to talk and will begin to appreciate the benefits of being able to do this.

It can be helpful also talk through these types of concerns about the sessions with the counsellor.

When you first contact us, we will invite you in for an introductory session - usually within a couple of weeks.  At that session you can decide if you want to go on our waiting list for ongoing, regular counselling.

We have a waiting list because we often have more people wanting to talk with us than we have available counsellors and so there can be a bit of wait depending on demand for our services.  Please ask the office when registering your interest about current waiting times.   We try to see everybody as soon as we can and book people in by date order based on their availability.    While you are waiting for a regular slot, don't forget to use the many resources in our self help hub for support!

If you want to find out where you are on the waiting list just give us a ring, text or email and we will let you know. 

Your counsellor will:
• treat you with integrity
• be non-judgemental
• respect your opinions and beliefs even if they differ from their own
• be honest and forthright with you
• act ethically and morally
• make you aware of your rights and responsibilities at the beginning of counselling

We don’t tell you what is best for you or how to organise your life but aim to help you to explore issues and find the solutions that are right for you and to build your own resources.

The counsellor or HYCS may give you support information to help you to make your own decisions.

Sometimes in counselling sessions, ideas and options will emerge and the counsellor will help you to explore what appears best for you at that time.

Counselling is provided by our professional volunteers and paid staff who are all carefully selected and trained in providing counselling support to young people. They are all supported by the HYCS team of supervisors and managers and receive on going training.

Lift access is available at our centre at Isleworth, please just let us know that you need this and we can give you the access details.

If you have a disability requiring support, please let us know what your needs are when you book or at your Intro' appointment. 

Counselling sessions, including intro' sessions, normally last 50 minutes. For young people who are 11 years old, we offer a shorter session of just 30 minutes.

The intro' session is a one off appointment and after that if, you want to continue, ongoing counselling is offered on a weekly basis. 

This will very much depend on you - you and your counsellor can work out together how long you think counselling is helpful for you.

Your counsellor will initially offer you 6 sessions - you may find that you don't need all of these or you may want to extend. Either way you can talk this over with your counsellor.

Everyone is different and we don’t tell you how many sessions you should have but we do listen to you if you say you want to continue or end the counselling. When you feel you are ready to end the sessions then you can talk this over with your counsellor.

It's best if you are able to come on a  weekly basis as you will get more out of the sessions but sometimes it may not be possible for you to come. 

So if you need to cancel a session please contact us to let us know in advance either by giving us a call, text or email.  

First Session: If it is your first session and you do not attend and you have not contacted us we will assume you no longer want counselling.  Your slot will be released and will need to contact us to reregister.

Ongoing Clients: If you are having ongoing counselling and you miss 2 sessions without letting us know or contacting us we will not book you in for a 3rd session.  We will contact you to let you know. The counsellor will then need to book another person in to that time slot.  You would need to contact us to reregister your interest for a session.

You can contact us in the future to return to the wait list for counselling when you are ready or able to resume.

If you are going on holiday, please let your counsellor know in advance and discuss it with them. 

Please note, we are not able to offer client sessions by phone or online as an alternative to face to face while they are in their holiday destinations. 

If you are running late, try to let us know if you can by phone, text or email.  You can still come to your session but the session time will still end at the normal time.   

We realise that you may have other things on your mind and may forget to come along or get confused about the timing. Sometimes you maybe won’t feel up to it. You will not be in trouble for not attending. All we ask is that you give us a ring, text or email to say whether you want to keep coming and then come along for the next session.

If you miss 2 sessions without letting us know we will not book you in for a 3rd session. We will contact you to let you know that. The counsellor will then need to book another person in to that time slot.

You can contact us in the future to return to the wait list for counselling whenever you are ready to resume.

Sometimes this happens and you may feel that you want to talk to someone. You can always ring us and if a counsellor is available you will be able to speak over the phone. Please also look at the many resources on this website in the Self Help Hub. Our Emotional Crisis leaflet gives details of many supporting organisations some of which are available 24/7.

The counsellor does not speak with carers or parents.

Parents/Carers can speak with the HYCS Service managers if they need to who will explain how we work. It is important that this service is for you.

We don’t offer counselling which involves family members and we don’t pass on information about you to your family or friends. We would encourage you to speak about your issues to important people in your life when you are ready.

The counsellor will not usually speak with anyone outside the service as it is important that this service is for you.

The counselling managers will talk to other professionals about how the service works or if other professionals are working with you then, if necessary and with your permission, managers might check we are all working in your best interests. Again we would support you in speaking about important issues to other key workers.

Yes - HYCS is free of charge for all young people aged 11-25 who live work or study in the London Borough of Hounslow who are accessing the service at our centre.  

Our outreach counsellors work in many local secondary schools in Hounslow Borough:

Bolder Academy
Chiswick Community School
Gunnersbury Catholic School
Logic Studio School
Rivers Academy
Springwest Academy
St Marks Catholic School
So if your school has a HYCS counsellor then you can see the counsellor there. It is your choice – in school or at 78 St John’s Road simply ask at your school for more details to arrange to make contact with us there.

Successful counselling means different things to different people.

Some clients say “it feels like something has changed - something is different”. You may feel more hope and self-confidence. Some clients say “it helped me to get through the difficult times – they were still difficult but I came out the other end”. Some clients say “I tried out being different and people noticed. It felt good to be out of the bad patterns”. 

In the end, you are the one who makes the decision about whether counselling has been successful.

All these professionals work with young people and children. They all have different jobs but they are all there to help and the welfare of their clients is top of the list. Sometimes what each person does seems similar and they will all talk to you. But they have different roles and it is important to know how each person can help you.

Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors that receive additional training in the field of psychiatry. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication if they feel it is called for. They tend to be called upon to treat the more serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and manic depression.

They typically carry out much of the research in the field of psychology. Unlike psychiatry, psychology is a non-medical discipline that has been firstly concerned with the normal functioning of the mind and has explored areas such as learning, remembering and the normal psychological development of children. Psychologists are not able to prescribe medication and so concentrate exclusively on psychological or 'talking treatments'. They treat a wide range of conditions, including phobias, depression, other individual emotional problems and family problems. Psychologists might be involved in assessment of psychological or physical problems.

Social Workers
Social workers usually help children and families who are having difficulties coping with the everyday routines. This may be as a result of physical or mental illness or other extreme events. They will know about services in the area and support people towards a more fulfilling life. They have statutory powers which means they can get the courts to insist that, for example, children are properly cared for.

Learning Mentor
This job covers a variety of areas from careers guidance to working with students in classrooms. A Learning Mentor will help you with your education in practical ways.

Youth Worker
Youth workers work in different places: youth centres; on the streets; in the outdoors as well as in schools. The youth worker will help you develop as a person by introducing you to activities that are challenging and educational. For example, youth workers may set up arts projects in a centre or teach you about the outdoors through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

The role of Counsellor has many similarities to the other professionals. The counsellor will listen to you and help you to develop. Counselling at HYCS will be much less directive and the counsellor will only work in the room with you. The counsellor has no legal powers to make you do anything and the work will be about what you feel and think about your situation.

It is important to feel as comfortable about your counsellor as possible. You should be satisfied that your counsellor is able to be there for you and listen.

HYCS has carefully selected all of the counsellors who work for us. All have had professional counselling training and follow our HYCS policies and procedures that are designed to give you a good service. All counsellors receive clinical supervision and on-going training.

Our service is accredited by British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and all counsellors with HYCS follow the BACP ethical framework. 

As a consumer of counselling services at HYCS, you have the right to:
• be treated with respect at all times
• ask questions about anything that occurs during counselling
• choose not to participate in any counselling technique suggested by your counsellor
• end counselling at any time without any obligations
• confidentiality - within the limitations mentioned above
• the highest quality of professional care and competence

We know that it is important to feel comfortable with your counsellor - we hope that you feel that you could initially talk to your counsellor about it, sometimes it is beneficial to work through difficulties. However if necessary they may be able to arrange a different counsellor or alternatively please just contact our office team to express your concerns. 

Yes – we invite all clients to give us (anonymous) feedback which helps us to improve the service we offer whether it be compliments, concerns or complaints. There is an evaluation form that you can fill in and send back to us at any time if you want to. 

- online form (digital completion)

- download copy here

We are always keen to hear your views which help us to improve the service we provide.  Do let us know if you have been unhappy with any aspect of the service and we will work to resolve any issues.

If you have any feedback whether it be compliments, concerns or suggestions to improve our service or feel that your needs are not being met, either fill in our Client Evaluation Form (download) or please contact Patricia David, HYCS' Service Manager at ask@hycscounselling.co.uk 

We have a complaints procedure at HYCS and you can make a complaint about the service you have received if you feel unhappy. Click here for a copy of our complaints procedure. 

We would ask you initially to speak with your counsellor but, if that is not possible, then there are other people within the organisation that will listen to you.   

If we fail to resolve the problem you can always go to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

We will take your complaint seriously.