listening to support
children, young people
& those around them
Call: 0118 901 5668
Frequently Asked Questions
Reading, RG1 7UD
Counselling Phone: 0118 901 5668
What will happen when I arrive?
Everyone at No5 is friendly and welcoming. Once you arrive, if the door is closed, please ring the bottom doorbell and someone will come to let you in. We will ask you your name and show you into our waiting room*. Your counsellor will then come to collect you and take you to the counselling room. Once you have both sat down they will explain how counselling works and about confidentiality and ask you to fill in a short questionnaire.
Our Counselling sessions are now available via Zoom as well as face to face. You are asked for your preference when making a self-referral for counselling.
*We are following COVID-19 government guidelines so the above will be slightly different as we manage the flow of people to retain social distancing.
What will my Counsellor do?
Your counsellor will take the time to get to know you and give you a chance to ask questions about how we work and the services we can offer. If you decide to come regularly, you will see the same counsellor at the same time every week for up to 50 minutes. Sessions are tailored for you and you may find you only need a few sessions or over several months. Your counsellor will listen carefully to you and encourage you to speak freely and openly about what’s troubling you. They will help deal with your concerns and support you in a non-judgemental way to make your own decisions.
What will my counsellor expect of me?
Your counsellor will expect you to arrive on time and let us know in advance if you are unable to attend.
Will Counselling help me?
Counselling is for anyone who feels they need to talk to someone who does not know them or anyone else they know. It is a place where you can explore your feelings, thoughts and behaviour.
What types of people come to No5?
All sorts of people!
Can I bring a friend with me?
Yes, you can bring a friend, or anybody you would like to come with you. They are welcome to wait in the waiting room. If you really want them to see your counsellor with you they can stay for a few minutes. We encourage you to see your counsellor on your own, as this way you get a chance to speak for yourself.
Are your services private and confidential? Will you tell anybody I’m having counselling? Will my parents find out?
No one outside of No5 is given information without discussing it with you first and receiving your written permission. We do take some basic information from you and ask you to fill in a weekly questionnaire so that you, and we, can see what changes are happening for you. This information is collected anonymously (and you cannot be identified from it) so we can provide overall information about the number of people we see and the changes they have made. We will not tell your parents you are attending counselling.
The only time we would talk to anyone else about you and what you tell us is if: you tell your counsellor something that leads them to believe that you are at serious risk of harming yourself or others; you tell your counsellor something that leads them to believe that a young person under 18 is at risk of serious harm; you are unable to make a rational decision, due to a recognised health problem; you share information with your counsellor that comes under the Prevention of Terrorism or Proceeds of Crime Act; we are ordered to by a court of law. And if we do need to talk to someone outside the agency, we will talk to you about it first and seek your written permission.
What if I have been sent to No5 but I don’t want counselling?
No one will make you do anything against your wishes. You will be able to tell your counsellor if you are not happy about being at No5, and he or she will understand and not attempt to make you stay.
What if it’s not me but someone else who needs help?
We can help you to look at how another person’s actions and behaviour leaves you feeling. We can also help you decide how to manage things and what you might need to tell the other person. We cannot make someone come for help.
How can I contact you for an appointment?
Could I see a Counsellor somewhere else and not at the agency?
Yes, we do have counsellors in various secondary schools in Reading. If you contact us we can give you the name of the person at the school that would be able to make an appointment for you.
Will I be forced to answer a question?
The counsellor will ask you questions to support you in understanding your current difficulties. If you find any question too tough, or don’t fully understand what the counsellor is asking you, just let the counsellor know and they will try to find another way of explaining. Your counselling time is for you and about you.
Will my counselling finish when I want it to?
In the first session, you and your counsellor will discuss how long sessions will last – usually 50 minutes. If at any time you are having difficulties and want to end early tell your counsellor and they will support you in whatever you want to do. We don’t want to keep you in a counselling session when you do not want to be there, but sometimes it is a good idea to try to finish a session to understand what your difficulty is.
Will I be judged?
Your counsellor will not judge you, they are simply there to listen to you and support you to find solutions to your problems. No matter how difficult you are finding your situation the counsellor will not pass judgement or tell you what to do.
Will I feel under pressure to tell someone else?
No. You do not have to tell anyone else you’ve been to No5 or about what you’ve talked about. However, it can be helpful to have someone knowing what you are going through so they can support you too.
Are all of No5’s services free?
Yes, if you are aged between 11 and 25 our services are free and available as long as you live, work or study in the Greater Reading area. If you are over 25 please see our over 25’s counselling page.
Is it normal to feel nervous about coming to see you?
At some times in our lives we can all feel the need for support or someone to talk to. However, sometimes asking for help can be hard and you might be feeling nervous, embarrassed or unsure about coming to see us. We understand that getting the help you need can be difficult and we will try to make the experience as easy and supportive as possible.
If I come to No5, do I have mental health problems?
No. Many, many people experience problems during the course of their lives. It is particularly common during a time of change for people to question and find it difficult to understand their feelings, thoughts and behaviours. This process is completely NORMAL. People react differently to times of change; in fact 1 in 4 people in the population experience what might be called a mental health issue of some kind at some point in their life. Contacting us is a first step in supporting yourself and making sure that you don’t experience mental health problems later on in your life.
I need help now, can you help me?
You might be looking at this site and be feeling desperate for help. Even if it is in the middle of the night you might feel you need help right now. No5 isn’t a crisis service. If you are in crisis, feeling suicidal or having thoughts of self-harm, you can call the Samaritans on: 116 123 or email them via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also look at our useful links and resources section for advice on what to do next. You can talk to one of our trained counsellors by arranging a 30 min call through our Young People’s Mental Health Helpline. Text TALK followed by your first name and postcode to 07786 202430. This service is open Mon-Fri. Again it’s not a crisis line but our counsellors can provide support.
If you’re not sure, you can contact us and we will be able to point you in the direction of help.