Who is eligible for therapy?

Any child or young person ages 10-24 years who has been through, or is currently at risk of self harm, suicide ideation, sexual exploitation, domestic or sexual abuse, neglect.

During Lockdown we have opened up our offer to all young people aged 12-25 struggling with Mental Health, Bereavement, Low Mood.

Is the therapist Qualified?

A. Yes, all of the therapists at the wïsh centre are fully qualified and accredited and abide by the BACP code of ethics, with weekly external clinical and safeguarding supervision.

How much does it cost?

A. The service provided by the wïsh centre is free of charge to anyone wanting to access its service.

Who can refer a young person for therapy?

A. We accept referrals from teachers, medical professionals, social workers and parents. If you are a  young person aged 14 years or over you can also self-refer.

How long/frequent are therapy sessions?

A. Therapy Sessions last 50 minutes and are once weekly. Ideally the young person is seen at the same time and in the same space each week. This helps to promote continuity and reliability. The sessions are not limited to a specific number of weeks and the young person can be seen at school or at our Centre.

What format do the sessions take?

A. The therapist is non-directive and works in a person centred way. Sessions evolve depending on what the young person brings to the session. Occasionally the young person might want to use creative materials during a session and these are provided by the therapist.

Can I sit with a young person in a therapy session?

A. As therapy sessions are 1:1 between the therapist and the young person, staff or parents/carer’s do not attend with the young person.

Can I find out what was discussed during therapy if I am worried about a young person?

A. It is understandable that you may feel anxious about the well-being of the young person attending therapy. The young person can choose if they wish to tell you what they thought about during the session but the therapist will keep the content of the sessions confidential.

Will the referrer be informed if a safe-guarding concern arises during the session?

A. If the therapist needs to break the confidentiality of a session to ensure the safety of the young person then the referrer, social worker, school  or designated safe-guarding lead will be informed. Wherever possible the young person is told that confidentiality needs to be broken and is encouraged to accompany the therapist to the correct member of staff. The wïsh centre will also follow its own procedures, separately from the school.

What happens at the end of therapy?

Referrers will receive an End of Therapy Form showing the number of sessions attended and the young person’s outcome based improvement journey, with ongoing support plan where needed.

Self Harm Peer Support Groups

What is the group and when is it?

This is a peer support group for young people who self-harm. The aim is to support you with the reasons why you self harm and your need to do it and help you get to a place where you want to stop and are able to. Members of the group also help each other confidentially with anything they feel like discussing during sessions with a member of staff nearby. There will be a range of activities and you should leave each week feeling better than when you came!

Here is a basic layout of how the sessions run:

  • Group facilitators open the session with a check in where everyone says one good thing and one bad thing from their week, if they are comfortable to do so. They will talk through the rules of the group and explain what will happen in the session
  • The peer support session is a chance to have conversations in pairs or smaller groups
  • After a break, there will be a group session on a range of topics which include understanding how self harm works individually and how to gain mastery of it; managing relationships around self harm and tackling the reasons why its happening; improving self care and self esteem; ways to replace self harm; staying safe and avoiding risky behaviour including digitally; developing communication skills and personal empowerment
  • The sessions will be a mix of talking and doing and sometimes there will be creative activities and projects such as film making, spoken word, self defence, yoga etc
  • The group ends with a short relaxation exercise and setting goals and support for the week

In between group sessions there is a closed digital group to keep in touch during the week so you have support when you need it most.

Is it confidential?

Yes, the group is confidential. The only time confidentiality will be broken is if there is a serious concern for a member’s safety. We will explain this to you fully when you start. It is also a rule of group that members do not share information outside of group sessions.

How do I join the group?

You can self-refer on our website here.

You can also be referred by a number of different organisations, such as school, a counsellor or social worker, your doctor or family member or carer.

Who else will be there?

Group is attended by a variety of young people aged 13-17 from a range of different backgrounds, ethnic groups and gender expressions. Everyone in the group was assigned “female” at birth but those who identify as trans guys, non-binary or genderqueer etc are welcome. Everyone in group either self harms or is in recovery from self harm. We try arrange it so that we never to have two people from the same year group at the same school in group at the same time for safety and confidentiality.

How long do I have to attend group for?

There is no set time that anyone has to attend group for. You can come for as long or little as you feel you need to. We do request regular attendance to keep your place in the group and to maintain the peer relationships you make.

What happens after I leave the group?

During your time in the group we will be working with you to map out any improvements in how you are feeling or behaving, and will always share this with you so you can see what further support you may need. With your permission we will share these outcomes when you leave with the person who referred you, or anyone else you may want us to such as a family member, school, GP etc.

You will also be invited to be part of a group of ex members who meet less frequently but stay in touch online for ongoing support.

Positive Changes Youth Group

Who is the group for?

Positive Changes is a new peer led group for young people aged 15-19 with lived personal experience of mental health issues, sexual exploitation or abuse, or who have other vulnerabilities such as a result of experiences of domestic or child sexual abuse.

What does the group do?

The group meets up weekly to take part in creative activities, volunteering and peer support. Each young person involved in Positive Changes will receive ongoing training opportunities and support from the wïsh centre and other practitioners to build their resilience, confidence and develop new skills, including campaigning about issues they feel passionate about that effect young people.

What are the outcomes for young people?

Through Positive Changes, young people can find new friendships, a positive peer support network to combat isolation, reduce health inequalities and develop empowerment. They will have better mental health and achievement based skills and activities to help them to remain in or enter higher education or employment. They will be kept safe from harm from themselves and others, and develop emotional resilience and coping skills, together with access to targeted interventions when needed.

How do they join?

You can refer a young person to the group after discussing it with them here or they can self refer. We may ask you to accompany the young person to the wïsh centre on their first visit if they have complex needs or multiple vulnerabilities.

How long can they stay in the group?

The young person may stay in the group for as long as needed, generally up to two years at which point they may be trained as peer mentors for new group members if appropriate.

Please note that the group is not a substitution for targeted individual support that may be required. If a young person is interested in general volunteering or DOE/work experience please click here.