Being a carer often means you might not be able to take time for yourself, or put a lot of your own needs aside for the person you care for.

Understandably, this might result in you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, low or anxious. You might even feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to about the things on your mind, which can make matters worse. Counselling is a great chance to release some of the thoughts and feelings you have on your mind, and figure out some ways to cope.

What is Counselling?

Counselling is someone who is qualified to listen to your thoughts and feelings and help you find ways to cope. When you talk to a councillor they will keep all your thoughts and feelings confidential (unless they feel yourself or someone else is at significant risk) and can help you make decisions about your life.

Usually counselling will take place outside of your house, somewhere you can feel free to speak your mind and be free from distractions. However, there is also an option to speak to someone online if you find it hard to get out or leave who you look after alone. The Counselling Directory website has some information on online counselling –

Can I Get Counselling Through my GP?

It is really important to talk to your GP about the thoughts and feelings you may be having. If you are feeling stressed, depressed or anxious they can discuss those feelings with you and help you find the support that is right for you.

Your GP can tell you about services local to you. You can also complete a self-referral to local service Steps2wellbeing for support –

The Leonardo Trust offers a free counselling service

The Leonardo Trust offers a free counselling service for carers in Dorset –

To be eligible for this service, the carer needs to be a recognised unpaid carer and live in Dorset.

Applications must be made via a GP or other Health/Social Care or Voluntary Agency professional such as Carer Support Dorset.

Can I Pay for Private Counselling?

Finding a private counsellor may be a better option for you if you would like to speak to someone quicker and are willing to pay for these services. Your GP may be able to recommend someone to you. You can also search for local private counsellors on the Counselling Directory –

Their website is a confidential service that encourages those in need to seek help and to connect individuals with qualified counsellors in the UK. The site contains information on the common reasons people turn to counselling, as well as articles, news, and events.