'Lifecentre is a lifeline for me
Emailing was part of that
To move on is my aim
It may be hard, but it will be my gain.'
Email counselling at Lifecentre follows the same basic principles as face-to-face counselling but uses a different medium and is available throughout and beyond the UK. This gives it some additional benefits but it is important to be aware that it does limit some helpful aspects of counselling too.
Read our FAQs to find out more:
Benefits of email counselling may include being able to access a specialist service which is dedicated to supporting sexual abuse survivors, with extensive experience, without the need to travel. It gives you a choice of when to write and may feel like a safe place to begin to share the impact of sexual abuse on your life. The limitations of the email service may include misinterpretation of the written word, not having the visual and auditory clues that enhance our feeling of being heard and understood. You may also find that being alone as you share difficult memories leaves you feeling less comforted and not so supported as you might with someone in the room with you. You may find it frustrating to wait for a reply as we write at different times. We encourage you to be aware that communication may be interrupted if the technology lets us down, though we will do our utmost to keep consistent in our support. Please be very aware of the limitations of privacy and confidentiality through this medium. We recommend that you read our suggestions for Online Safety.
Our email service is free to use but we would ask you to consider making a voluntary donation towards the costs of your counselling if you are able to. It costs Lifecentre £40 to provide one counselling email per week for a month.
You can email us once a week using no more than 500 words and we will reply once a week at an agreed time. We ask you to commit to sending us your email 48 hours before our scheduled reply time.
Occasionally technology can let us down, and it may be that we haven’t received your email. If you haven’t heard back from us as expected, please email us to let us know. You can also also contact our office should you wish.
Email counselling is only available to people aged 18 and over. Under 18s can use our telephone or text helplines and come for face-to-face counselling. Before counselling begins we ask you to fill in an online form to tell us a bit about you and what you hope to gain from counselling which will help us to advise you whether you may benefit from email counselling. If there is any likelihood of a court case for the abuse you have suffered, we will take particular care in considering your wish to have counselling, so as not to jeopardize the trial. It may be advisable in these circumstances to have face-to-face counselling rather than email counselling, but we can discuss that with you. (For information on this please see our pre-trial therapy policy).
If you just want a factual question answered or some information about our service or other services, then please contact the Lifecentre office.
When you fill out the Request for Email Counselling form, we will ask you for a password. This is because we will send our replies to you as a password protected Word document. This means that no-one will be able to read our reply to you unless they have your password.
At our end, all computers used by our team are password protected. In addition, your replies to us can be password protected in the same way. We will send you a comprehensive guide to password protecting if you choose to use email counselling.
Your personal details will be stored separately from your email correspondence to further maintain your privacy. We work within a strict Confidentiality Policy.
Fill in and submit the Request for Email Counselling form on our website. You will be asked for some information about yourself and why you would like email counselling.
We ask you to read through our email counselling contract and to sign and return it to us in the post. The contract provides us with a framework within which to work together. We will notify you of the regular time that you will receive your email reply from us, along with some tips on looking after yourself when having email counselling. Then all you need to do is send us your email 48 hours before that time.
We ask you first of all to seek to clarify anything that may have upset or offended you or given you cause for concern with your email counsellor. If you are still unhappy with their response then you can phone the Lifecentre office or put your complaint in writing. This will then go through our complaints procedure.
Email counselling is offered in a block of 9-weekly sessions. A review will take place towards the end of the 9-week block. This will allow time for you and your counsellor to assess whether the counselling has reached a desired end point, or if a further block of 9 sessions would be helpful to continue progress.
“I love your site, it brings a sense of hope that anything can be overcome if you try.”
If you would like to request email counselling, there is an online form that we ask you to complete. This will help us to offer you support which is tailor-made to your personal needs.
If after you have submitted our Request for Email Counselling form we both agree to go ahead with counselling for you, we will create a contract with you to send you one or two emails a week at an agreed time in response to your email.Download our Email Counselling Contract
Our email service is free to use but we would ask you to consider making a voluntary donation towards the costs of your counselling if you are able to.
It costs Lifecentre £40 to provide one counselling email per week for a month.