The Dorchester Trust is a local charity which aims to provide longer term counselling or psychotherapy, of up to 2 years, to people living within travelling distance of Dorchester, who have usually had short term counselling already and who cannot afford a full private fee. It is not a ‘crisis service’.
We ask clients to make a donation for each session and we normally ask for an initial contribution of £25 for the first meeting, and then a minimum contribution of £15 per session where possible.
Further information on contributions
If, for example, your essential outgoings / debts are already high; or if the weekly transport is costly, we would take these things into account. Some people give more, which is an invaluable way of helping the Trust help others. We try not to exclude anyone who can genuinely only afford a small amount.
How do I make an appointment?
To request an appointment, please ring 01305 259212. At that stage we will try to answer any questions you may have and will need to ask you a few questions too - for example, about your capacity to pay and your availability. Then if appropriate, we will arrange an exploratory assessment with a Senior Therapist. We ask for a contribution of £25 towards this meeting where possible. If long term counselling or therapy is considered to be appropriate you will be allocated a practitioner whom you will see on a weekly basis. If not, the assessor may be able to suggest some other forms of help.
What is counselling and psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy and Counselling provide the opportunity to explore issues that are concerning you, or causing you distress, that may be related to circumstances in your present life, or may have their source in the past. Sometimes current difficulties are linked to past experiences in ways that are difficult to recognise, and therapy can help identify resulting patterns of being and behaving. Psychotherapy and counselling are not about giving advice, but they can help you consider and explore your concerns, and enable you to consider both what has caused them and how you might be able to bring about change.
Who are the counsellors and therapists?
The counsellors and therapists are all volunteers, working within professional codes of ethics. A proportion of the counsellors and therapists who work for the Trust are trainees and so we may not be able to help if your difficulties are of a severe and enduring nature and/ or if you have previously received help and treatment from the Community Mental Health Service. They offer a variety of therapeutic approaches including psychoanalytic, integrative and person centred approaches.
Is it confidential?
The service is confidential within the bounds of UK Law. If you have any concerns about this, please ask your practitioner. If you are in regular contact with your GP or other health or social care professional it can be helpful if they know you are receiving our help. If that is the case, the decision to contact another professional would only be made with your permission.
How long will I come for?
Once you have been assigned a practitioner, the Trust can offer regular help for up to two years, although not everyone comes for this long. Sessions are usually for 50 minutes at the same time each week.
What sort of difficulties do people come with?
People come with an enormous range of difficulties. Some people might be experiencing a temporary yet upsetting time and want to explore this and gain perspective on it with someone other than family or friends. Others have had losses or bereavements. Some come because they recognise a repeating pattern in their lives eg relationships that do not work and want to understand this. Others may bring very distressing experiences from the past that are interfering with their lives, or have suffered a trauma.
How do I know if it will help?
No one can of course guarantee this. However if at your initial session you feel hopeful that it might, perhaps the best way of finding out is to give it a try. Doubts and concerns can be explored with your practitioner. Counselling and therapy are very much a partnership of two people and for both practitioner and client it can be thoughtful and hard work, although often very productive and growth inducing.