Diocese of Newcastle

Counselling and Wellbeing

When can counselling help?

It may be that life events have created stress, anxiety, depression or grief, and this prevents your usual capacity for resilience being effective for a time. 

It may be that you have longer term mental ill health and access to some talking therapy could help you cope. 

It may be that there are spiritual concerns and events relating to being clergy, which need to be explored. It is not a sign of failure or weakness, whether personal or spiritual, and you will not be judged by the counsellor you see for having the courage to acknowledge the challenges you are facing.

What can I contact you about? 

Anything that affects you and your sense of wellbeing, for life and ministry.

How does it work?

Personal counselling is on offer to clergy and office holders across the Diocese, including Readers and the partners of all those holding office. This is both confidential and private, and no-one will know your identity without your explicit permission having been given. The Revd Rachel Hudson, Bishop's Advisor for Counselling and Wellbeing, will usually provide an initial assessment of your need in a single session and then determine, in agreement with you, who is the most appropriate person to offer counselling or therapy. Regular weekly sessions will be offered as appropriate, and the length of time will be determined according to your needs. No content will be recorded on official files of the Diocese.

Who will I see? 

All the counsellors used by the service are fully trained and externally accredited by one of the major UK counselling bodies. This means you can have confidence in the quality of their training and considerable experience. However, we know that really good outcomes depend on the quality of relationship formed between counsellor and client so we invite you to meet with and experience the counsellor for yourself before making a decision.

How often will we meet? 

Effective counselling usually involves a commitment of both time and work to ensure the best outcomes. Normally the commitment will be to a weekly session, at a time to suit both you and the counsellor. It does need to become a high priority for you and should not come second to most tasks of ministry. You will agree together the contract, and you will be expected to keep appointment times in all but the most emergency situations. The contract will be reviewed regularly and adapted as necessary.

How quickly can I get help? 

You should receive an initial appointment within five days for assessment, with the hope that ongoing sessions could start within a week. Most problems build up over time, and the knowledge that you can gain help soon is usually enough to help contain concern. In a real emergency you are encouraged to contact either your GP or the Samaritans for immediate support. Phone 116 123 or email jo@smaritans.org

How do I get help?

Please email Rachel Hudson counsellingandwellbeing@newcastle.anglican.org or phone or text her on 07974 410409.