We are currently unable to offer in-house counselling as we don’t’ have a counsellor who is willing to provide a service at a rate we are able to subsidise. We are hoping to find someone soon who can provide counselling for us, but it won’t be a free service, the rates will have to be agreed and the Service User will have to pay. We are still able to provide one to one support as usual, and one of our support workers can provide life coaching and listening skills as part of the service we provide.

Below is a description of what counselling has to offer and how it can help you.

Counsellors provide you with time and space to discuss, without judgment or criticism, what is troubling you. It can prove invaluable to speak with someone you don’t know, someone neutral who is not personally involved in your life and its current difficulties. Counsellors can help you explore and clarify issues related to HIV, your life generally, your relationships and your future.

A counsellor will not provide you with answers or advice but rather assist you to find these for yourself. Counselling is about supporting you as you endeavour to increase awareness, become more assertive, more capable, increase self belief and improve your own abilities to find a way forward. It is not always possible to completely solve a problem, but a situation can often be significently improved with counselling. A counsellor will support you as you discover what can be changed for the better and how that might happen. Counselling can also help you to reach a point of acceptance regarding things that will not change, and how you can deal with these elements of your life more effectively.

Choosing to go to counselling can be empowering in itself. It is rarely a decision that is taken lightly. It is however, a decision that can serve to remind you that you can take control of your life, when some aspects may seem confusing, chaotic or even unbearable.

Case Study

B started counselling in his desire to finally address eleven years of avoidance; eleven years of proving to the world that HIV had not affected his life. Five years previously, B had met his current partner and had grown increasingly fearful that he could infect the person he loved most. This affected B’s abilty to express himself sexually, intimately, and then the fear was that he could lose the love and the stable relationship he had always longed for. He turned to Body Positive Dorset for support through the counselling service.

Counselling was a long, challenging process that helped B gradually to deal with issues buried in his mind for years. It helped him confront difficult, painful facts and feelings, and to put his past into perspective. Dealing with his past helped B to understand it, accept it and to stop blaming himself unneccesarily for things that had occurred. It gave him, he says, the confidence and the life skills not only to deal with problems better in the future, but to live life to the full and enjoy every second of it.

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