What to expect from counselling at The Mix

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What’s it like having counselling at The Mix?

How do I sign up for counselling at The Mix?

The Mix offers up to eight sessions of free, over-the-phone or online counselling to any young person living in the UK who is aged 25 and under. The sign-up process is quick and simple. All you need to do is fill in a form telling us a bit about yourself and what kind of support you need. Once you’ve filled it out, you’ll get an email confirming your booking.

A few days before your session, your counsellor will get in touch to send you over the counselling contract and a small bio about themselves. If you don’t get an email within the hour of booking, you can email [email protected], just in case there was an error and we need to rebook.

You can sign up for free counselling with The Mix here.

It’s normal to feel nervous

If you’re thinking about signing up for counselling, it’s really normal to feel a bit anxious about it. After all, opening up is a big step and if you’ve never spoken to a counsellor before, the idea might seem weird and uncomfortable.

Of course, counselling can be challenging, but once you’ve got used to it, it won’t seem so scary. Speaking to a counsellor can help you to work out lots of issues and give you the tools to understand yourself better.

How does counselling work?

Counselling is designed to help you speak about your thoughts and feelings and give you a safe space to work through any problems that you might be facing in your life.

Some counselling is face-to-face, but here at The Mix we offer counselling sessions over the phone or over web chat. You can choose whichever set up you feel most comfortable with. If you decide that you’d prefer to change from telephone to web chat or vice versa, this can be done. All our counsellors are trained to facilitate both types of counselling.

How long will counselling last?

Most counselling sessions take place once per week and last for 50 minutes. At The Mix, you can have up to eight sessions with your counsellor.

What will my first session be like?

Most counsellors will begin by introducing themselves, establishing some boundaries for the sessions and telling you a little bit about the way that they work. Then, they may ask you to talk about why you’re there and what you’d like to work on with them.

At The Mix, we have something called CORE 10, which we use in the first session to measure how a young person has been feeling over the last week. It’s 10 questions which will ask how you’re feeling or managing, for example, “have you had difficulty sleeping over the last week?”

You don’t have to know the answers straight away and it’s ok if you’re not sure yet – your counsellor will help you work that out.

You should feel free to ask your counsellor anything you want to know about how things will work in each session and what is expected of you.

What will I talk about with my counsellor?

Your counsellor isn’t there to tell you what to talk about, but they will help you to work out what it is that you’d like to focus on. It doesn’t matter if it takes a while to get there.

You might find that things about your childhood come up in conversation, or your relationships with friends and family. You might discuss your thoughts and emotions, your behaviour and things that you find difficult.

If you have a specific issue you want to talk about, like anxiety, bereavement or addiction; your counsellor can help you to deal with this.

Silence is ok too

Sometimes you won’t be able to think of anything to say – that’s ok and there’s no need to feel awkward. Take your time and eventually the conversation will flow naturally again.

How should I make the most out of my sessions?

Counselling can be hard sometimes, because you’re talking through issues you find difficult and this can bring up lots of emotions. Remember to be kind to yourself and know that it’s ok if you struggle – the process takes time and it’s normal to find it challenging.

Try writing down the things that come up during each section. It will help you to remember what you have learned and reflect on issues that have been brought up.

It’s important to remember that not every session will feel as helpful as others, but that’s ok. Your counsellor is trained to help you reach the goals that you set together and will guide you in the right direction.

Will anyone else know what we talk about?

Everything you say to your counsellor will be completely confidential, unless they are concerned for your life or the life of someone you know.

If your counsellor did ever need to speak to someone else, they would let you know. This is in accordance with our confidentiality policy at The Mix, and we only do this if we believe that you or someone else is at risk.

What if I don’t like my counsellor?

Sometimes your counsellor might not feel like the best fit for you, or you may not feel comfortable talking to them for whatever reason. If this is the case, it’s fine to request a different counsellor.

What do other young people think about counselling at The Mix?

We asked some young people who used our counselling service what they thought of their experience. You can find out more by watching these videos:

Interview one; interview two; interview three; interview four; interview five 

You can also read quotes from young people below:

How did you feel before signing up for counselling?

“Scared and worried.”

“My biggest fear is of confidentiality needing to be broken because of how bad my problem is and then not knowing what happens next.”

“Desperate for help, nowhere else to try.”

What was your experience of counselling with The Mix?

“Signing up was super simple because the instructions were clear and the questions they ask in the referral weren’t overwhelming.”

“I would encourage someone to sign up to counselling because it helps you understand yourself  more, challenges you to work on yourself and it’s good to talk to someone whenever you feel down.”

“[counselling] was very engaging and friendly.”

“Even if there were no slots available, you would get a notification to tell you that, so you didn’t have to waste time completing a referral. I emailed the team when I had an issue completing it and they were really friendly and supportive and told me where I could go until a slot became available.”

“I would encourage counselling because it helps a person feel less alone in their problems, it helps people to see that they are normal and that struggling in life isn’t something to be afraid or ashamed of.”

“I didn’t have to wait too long to see a counsellor at the Mix, compared to other places I tried before.”

“It’s helpful to share the weight of your problems with someone who has a difference perspective on things to help you identify ways of coping.”

How did The Mix counselling help you?

“I think it really helped with my anxiety, I was able to find good coping strategies and feel like I could help others too.”

“It definitely made me feel like I wasn’t alone.”

“I would say it helps with self-growth.”

“Definitely, I don’t think I would be the same person if I didn’t (have counselling).”

“Yes definitely – I think it helped me really come to terms with myself.”

“You learn so much about yourself.”

”Showing me that there are people out there that care, I just need to find them.”

“Someone to listen, and knowing I have that person at that time just to listen to me”

Thinking of signing up? You can get free counselling with The Mix here.

Next Steps

  • If you're under 25 and would like free confidential telephone counselling from The Mix to help you figure things out complete this form and we'll call you to arrange your first session.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.

By Holly Turner

Updated on 27-Aug-2020