Poole Community Counselling CIC

Not for Profit Community Interest Company
Providing Low Cost Counselling to the Poole and Wider Area

01202 022 100 Email Us

We aim to deliver transformational counselling and mental health support that is accessible and affordable.

We endeavour to remove as many barriers as possible to accessing high-quality counselling and mental health support for people within the Poole and wider Dorset community. Our services are open to all, regardless of income, in a way that is responsive to individual differences such as culture, race, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability.

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About Counselling

What Is Counselling?

Counselling offers the space and confidentiality for you to talk about your issues or struggles with a trained professional. Through this process, and with the support of the counsellor, you can explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to gain a better understanding of yourself.

Your counsellor will not give advice or try to fix your problems, rather they will support you in finding your own solutions. This may mean making changes in your life or finding ways of coping with problems.

There are different types of counselling but here at Poole Community Counselling we work primarily in a person-centred way. This means that we put you at the centre of what we do; your best interests come first. We believe that you have the means within you to fulfil your potential, and that in the right environment you will do just that – our role is to provide that environment.

What does a counselling session look like?

Initial session…

Your initial session with us will be an assessment. This is a 50-minute session with one of our lead counsellors. It is completely normal for you to feel anxious or overwhelmed coming into this session. The counsellors will understand and will offer a warm and welcoming space, free from any judgement. They will get to know a little about you and what has brought you to counselling at this time. They might ask about current troubles, your history, family history, relevant diagnoses etc. This session can feel like a lot, especially if it your first time in a counselling environment. It gets easier.

Counselling begins…

After your assessment you will be matched with a counsellor who the lead psychotherapist feels will be a good fit for you. Your first session with them will be an opportunity to get to know each other. Your counsellor will talk you through a contract – explaining the process and various bits of administrative information – and may ask you to complete a questionnaire about your current moods and frame of mind. They may refer to things that were mentioned in your assessment, or they may simply allow you the space to talk about what has brought you here and what you are hoping to gain from the process.

Regular sessions…

Your sessions may be weekly or fortnightly, usually on the same day at the same time. During your session your counsellor might talk you through something specific, e.g. a tool to help with anxiety or the way our brains process emotions, or it might be a more generalised discussion around e.g. your relationships, life events, your childhood, things you are struggling with and so on. Your counsellor will listen without any judgement.

How do I get the most out of the experience?

Counselling works best if you are as open and honest with your counsellor as you can be, with a willingness to explore difficult issues. We appreciate that this is not easy.

The relationship with your counsellor is probably the most important part of the process, you should feel safe and able to talk about sensitive topics with them without fear of being judged. This includes being honest with them about their approach and the direction your therapy is going, and if needs be asking to make changes.

If you feel, after a few sessions, that your counsellor is not the right fit for you, you are encouraged to let us know and we can explore other options.

Low Cost Counselling Service

What is the LCCS?

Our Low Cost Counselling Service is at the heart of what we do. We see the need for high quality counselling services within the community and we know that paying £50+ per session for a great number of people is simply impossible – however valuable the service may be.

We offer an alternative: counselling that is charged on a sliding scale according to your income, with most of our clients paying between £5 and £25 per 50 minute session.

How does it work?

Your initial session will be an assessment with one of our lead psychotherapists. They will get to know a little about you and what has brought you to counselling, as well as discussing how much you can genuinely afford to pay. They might ask about any previous counselling experiences or about your family history. They will completely understand that this can be quite a daunting experience; they will be warm and welcoming and gently guide you through the process, as well as answering any questions you may have. After the assessment they will assign you a counsellor who they feel will be a good fit for you. Sometimes there may be a short waiting period according to yours and the counsellor’s availability, but we will communicate with you and keep you updated on how long that is likely to be.

How do I make an appointment?

You can contact our team via email, telephone or through our Facebook page and we will make arrangements for an assessment appointment. We have various appointment times and days, to suit your availability.


As a community interest company, we offer our services on a sliding scale.

If you are on benefits or income up to £10,000 pa
£15 per session

If your income is between £10,001 – £20,000 pa
£20 per session

If your income is between £20,001 - £30,000 pa
£25 per session

If your income is above £30 001 pa
£30 per session

*We also take into consideration personal circumstances if necessary.

Will Does Funding

£5 per session
Applicants must be between the ages of 18-25 and from a low-income household.
We have limited spaces available and can only offer 12 sessions.
After the initial 12 sessions, if you decide to stay on you will move to £15 per session.

Our Counsellors
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Lilly Bridges
Clinical Lead

Lilly is a qualified and compassionate therapeutic counsellor specialising in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Lilly’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a level 4 Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling. She is a member of the BACP and currently studying at level 5 in CBT, she is dedicated to enhancing her knowledge and skills to provide the best possible support for her clients.

As our Clinical Lead, Lilly works closely with the managing director and Placement counsellor coordinator. With a deep understanding of the importance of mental well-being,

Lilly strives to create a safe, judgement free space for clients during assessment, which can sometimes feel daunting. Lilly has a handful of clients, offering a limited number of spaces for low-cost CBT, but mainly does assessments for Poole Community Counselling.

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Kate Ashton
Placement Counsellor Co-ordinator

Kate is currently doing her Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic counselling at Bournemouth and Poole College and is a member of the BACP.

As our Placement Counsellor Coordinator Kate is committed to supporting our placement counsellors in their journey towards gaining practical experience and launching their careers.

One of Kate’s main roles is to assess the skills, interests and career goals of our placement counsellors so they can be paired with appropriate clients, ensuring the best possible service is given to all.

She works closely with the placement counsellors, educational settings, and our clinical lead and managing director.

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Grace Rawson

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Poole Community Counselling CIC
Top Floor, 40-42 High Street, Old Town, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1BT
01202 022 100 Email Us
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