Understand how we work
Click on a title below to open up more information about the process.
Our relationship will be with you, not your parents, School or Doctor. If you want, we can involve your parents or anyone else with booking appointments, otherwise what you tell us is kept confidential within Signpost. Sometimes, however, people tell us about something which puts themselves or someone else at risk. We may have to share this outside Signpost, but we would not do this without you knowing and, hopefully, agreeing.
Your information will be held on a computer database which has been registered with the Data Protection Registrar. We make every effort to keep this private. You may request to see your personal information at any time.
Call us on 01923 239495.
This telephone is usually staffed 12-7pm Monday-Thursday. The rest of the time we will pick up messages when we can.
Complete our on-line assessment request form providing all your details at any time. We will get back to you within 2 days.
We will confirm your personal details, explain how we work, tell you about our waiting times and book an assessment. To book an assessment we need to talk to you rather than your parent. If you are very young (13 and under) or particularly nervous, we can take most of the information from a parent, but we will need to talk you too.
To get our support, everyone must come to an assessment. It is our chance to see if we can offer what you need and your chance to check we are the right place for you. We see most people for an assessment within four weeks of first contact.
We will text you a reminder about your assessment. If you cannot make it you must tell us, so we can offer the appointment to someone else.
Assessments last for about 45 minutes. Most assessments are held at Watford Advice Centre or The Gables in Hemel Hempstead. Click here for directions. If you are nervous, your parent can accompany you for some of the assessment.
Whilst many people are seen quite quickly, you may have to wait for two months or more after your assessment before we can see you because of high demand. Fortunately, we are able to offer support while you are on the waiting list:
- Social Group – If you are isolated, anxious or lacking in confidence, you can come to meet other young people who are going through similar problems. Feeling connected to others and taking part in group activities can really help while waiting for counselling. Find out more here.
- Drop In – If you are having a bad week or something has cropped up, then you can have a one-off session to help you keep on top of things. This can be booked at short notice (at least 24 hours). If you have more than one drop-in appointment, you may not see the same counsellor.
- Coaching -While you wait for the opportunity to deal with the deeper issues in counselling, you can make some progress on immediate issues with a coach. They can help with problems at school or work, building stronger relationships and developing your confidence.
- When we have a session free with a counsellor that is suitable for you and at a time when you are available, we will offer you a regular appointment. It is important you get back to us within 24 hours or we will offer the appointment to someone else. It is a good idea to programme our number (01923 239495) into your mobile, so you know when we are trying to contact you.
- In the first session you will be informed about our expectations and what you can expect from us, including how you can let us know if you are not happy about anything.
- It’s important that you connect with your counsellor. If you feel you are not connecting then we can arrange for you to see a different counsellor (though there may be a delay before another counsellor is available). All the counsellors understand this and no offence will be taken if you wish to change.
- The waiting time before you are seen by a counsellor depends on your availability and how much demand we are under. We usually advise people to expect to wait 2-3 months, but often we see people more quickly than that.
- If you are happy with your counsellor, then your appointment will be at the same time every week.
- Each session lasts about 50 minutes.
- We offer up to 16 sessions with a progress review after 12 sessions. If you need fewer sessions, that’s fine. If you and your counsellor think you need more, then the Counsellor can request an extension.
- Currently our counselling is available in Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Borehamwood, Rickmansworth, South Oxhey, Berkhamsted & Tring
- The Social group, Drop-in and Coaching are all available after counselling to support you with moving forward with your life or dealing with a set back.