Section A: Ministry

A.15 Diocesan Counselling Service

"Below you will find details of the Diocesan Counselling Service available to clergy and licensed layworkers in the Diocese, as well as to their spouses and dependent children, a service which I am able to subsidise from my discretionary fund.

Counselling can bring great benefit when we feel hard pressed by personal or ministerial circumstances. If you feel it might be of help to you should be in touch, in the first instance, with the Bishop's Adviser in Pastoral Care and Counselling, Ms Sarah Cooke. I want to stress that the identity of those using the service is confidential to her, the counsellor concerned and the people themselves.

You will see on the Clergy care and well-being webpage that the Counselling service also offers consultation supervision and reflective practice groups. I commend all these to you as a resource for our development and growth as people and ministers."

Bishop John October 2011

The Bishop of Worcester appoints and finances the work of an Adviser in Pastoral Care and Counselling whose primary role is to co-ordinate the Diocesan Counselling Service. The Adviser also holds a wider brief for the well-being of clergy and is involved in other initiatives which aim to support clergy in their personal and ministerial development.

The Diocesan Counselling Service is available to all clergy and licensed lay-workers in the diocese, as well as their spouses/partners, dependent children, recognised Ordinands and Diocesan Board of Finance employees.

Those seeking counselling should, in the first instance, contact the Adviser who will offer an exploratory consultation to determine whether counselling is appropriate or if some other form of help would be more suitable. Where counselling is offered, the Adviser will usually refer the client to one of a team of counsellors located in different geographical areas of the diocese. Counsellors can work with both individuals and couples. Normally a maximum of 12 sessions are offered. The first 6 sessions are funded by the Counselling Service and the client is asked to contribute according to their means to the remaining sessions.

All counsellors are qualified, experienced and subscribe to the code of Ethics of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. The Adviser and counsellors work on a self-employed basis, are supervised in their work and hold their own professional indemnity insurance. They all have an awareness and understanding of the Christian faith and the context in which clergy are working. Confidentiality is crucial to the whole process and although the Adviser is appointed by the Bishop, only the Adviser and the counsellor involved are aware of the identity of anyone approaching and using the service.

October 2011