Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it really confidential?

    All our counsellors/support workers work to a strict code of ethics, which binds them to hold everything you say in confidence, unless they feel there is a risk to your life or the lives of others. You should know that our counsellors are all supervised and they may talk to their supervisor about your experience, but they will never share information which may identify you.

  • How long does counselling last?

    A counselling session normally lasts around 50 minutes. The number of counselling sessions for which a client and counsellor meet will be agreed between them, usually at their first meeting, once the client has had a chance to tell his or her story. The number of sessions can always be reviewed, depending on how the client feels about their progress.

  • Where does counselling take place?

    Shetland Bereavement Support Service is based at Market House, Lerwick where suitable rooms are available. Most clients feel that meeting outside the home gives counselling a better atmosphere.

  • How much does it cost?

    Shetland Bereavement Suport Service is a charity and makes no charge for its counselling service. However, like any charity, we are dependent upon donations. If you find your counselling helpful and wish to make a donation to the work of the organisation once your counselling is finished, we would be very grateful. Donations can be made quickly and securely via our Justgiving Page, or using the donate button on our Facebook page.

  • How does counselling work?

    Counselling is a one-to-one relationship, where the client and the counsellor meet to talk in confidence. Shetland Bereavement Support Service believes it is important to offer a safe environment, and a confidential and helpful partnership, in which the client can explore his or her feelings about what has happened.

    "..being able to actually tell someone how you were actually feeling was a huge thing for me.."

    We believe the client is the “expert” on his or her own life, and that, by using the counselling relationship to explore how he or she feels following the death, the client can move forward. That is not about forgetting the person who has died, but about finding a new way of living with the memories. Each person is different, and so will react in a different way to the death which has brought them to counselling. Some people simply find that the chance to talk to someone “outside” the family and to have time for themselves in which to concentrate on their own feelings of grief is sufficient. For others, there may be feelings of anger or guilt, or some ambivalence in the relationship. Or there may be confusion as to why a death has occurred, or some difficulty in “making sense” of the death. These feelings may take longer to explore. Sometimes people find that in facing one death, they are reminded of previous losses, and they may wish to talk about these also.

  • What should I expect from my counsellor?

    Your counsellor will respect your confidentiality. They will keep appointments and will see you regularly.

    They cannot take the pain of bereavement away, but will support you while you work through it. You can expect your counsellor to have a friendly manner and to respect you as an individual for whom counselling is a temporary, though valuable, step in coming to terms with your loss.

  • What commitment does Shetland Bereavement Support Service expect from me?

    At your first session, your counsellor will discuss with you the commitments on both sides which will form the basis of the counselling relationship. These will include such things as confidentiality and time keeping. Because we work to a tight budget, and because all our counsellors are volunteers, we would ask that you let the office know if you are unable to keep your appointment as far in advance as possible.

    The only other commitment is that you should make as much of your counselling as you can. Counselling is not just a chat – it means facing the pains of grief and working at understanding your feelings.