You can talk to us

Everyone feels down sometimes, but talking can really help. If you are aged 12-25, live in Birmingham and registered with a Birmingham GP, then Open Door can offer you a free counselling service. To access this service you need to see your GP for a referral or contact Forward Thinking Birmingham

What is counselling?

Counselling is a type of talking therapy which aims to help you understand your thoughts and feelings. You will see the same counsellor each week for a regular 50 minute session session in a private, confidential setting. This will be an opportunity to talk about anything that’s troubling you and explore your thoughts and feelings.

At Open Door we use the person centred model of counselling. This approach means we don’t judge you or ever tell you what to do. Instead we listen and try and see things from your point of view, while providing support to help you find your own answers.

What sorts of things could I talk about?

  • Feeling sad, unhappy or lonely
  • Feeling like you’ve lost your sense of purpose or direction
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Stress about school, exams or work
  • Bullying or abuse
  • Grief and bereavement
  • Family or relationship issues
  • Sexuality or gender
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts or feelings

Whatever’s troubling you, counselling can help you understand yourself and enable you to develop effective coping strategies.

Will everything I say be confidential?

Everything you say will be treated confidentially. We will only ever share what you say with another person if we are worried that you and/or another young person may be at risk. Your counsellor will explain our confidentiality policy to you at your first session. 

How much does it cost?

Open Door is funded by local health services in Birmingham to provide up to six sessions of counselling for young people aged 12-25. The counselling sessions won’t cost you anything. 

When and where will the counselling take place?

Counselling takes place at Open Door in one of our welcoming counselling rooms. We also offer some sessions in surgeries across the city, you will be allocated a location depending upon your home address. We offer counselling sessions in the morning, afternoon or evening to give flexibility.

Who will I speak to?

You will be allocated one of our trained counsellors and see the same person each week. Our counsellors are all recruited, selected and trained by Open Door. They undertake monthly clinical supervision, and are managed by our chief executive, who is a Senior BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) counsellor and a qualified counselling supervisor. 

Our counselling services are accredited by BACP. We work within the BACP's Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions and follow its complaints procedure. Please ask your counsellor for more information about this. 

How do I make an appointment?

If you are aged 12-25, live in Birmingham, and are registered with a Birmingham GP you can seek a referral to Open Door by:

a. Contacting Forward Thinking Birmingham either by phone (0300 300 0099) or via their website. 

b. Visiting your GP and asking them to make a referral on your behalf.

Once we have received your referral we will place your name on our waiting list. You may want to call us and check we have received your referral and find out how long you will have to wait before we are able to offer you an appointment.

What if I can’t make the appointment you offer?

If the date or time we offer you isn’t suitable just let us know and we can change your appointment. It’s important that you tell us as if we don’t hear from you and you do not attend the appointment, we’ll assume you no longer want counselling and your name would be taken off our waiting list. Once we are able to offer you an appointment you will be informed of our full cancellation/dna policy.

How many sessions will I have?

We will offer you six sessions of counselling. It’s better if you attend all six sessions, so that you can gain maximum benefit from the counselling. However, if you feel fewer sessions will be enough then you can discuss this with your counsellor. 

— Carl Rogers