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Release counselling

At YMCA Surbiton we offer professional and affordable counselling for individuals, couples and families in Surbiton and the surrounding area. The service is based in comfortable rooms at our YMCA Surbiton centre.

What is counselling?

Counselling is known as a talking therapy. This means that you have a regular time, day and space to talk about things that may be impacting on your day to day life with a trained professional. These might be recent issues or events, or from longer ago, including from childhood.

Why counselling?

Counselling is helpful as it gives you an opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings in a confidential and supportive environment.
The reasons that people seek counselling will vary on an individual basis. Some of the reasons may include:

Anxiety describes feelings of worry, fear and unease. The intensity of these feelings will differ from person to person, but will often be experienced physically as well as emotionally.

Physically you may notice:

rapid and/or irregular heartbeat, faster breathing, sweating, nausea, dizziness, trouble sleeping, feeling irritable, lack of concentration or experiencing panic attacks

Emotionally, you might find that you are thinking about thinks more, ruminating, unable to go about your day-to-day life in the way that you would like to.

Depression is different from feeling sad. Sadness can normally be linked to a specific event or events that are happening in your life.

Depression can be described when you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Sometimes there is a trigger for depression. Life-changing events, such as bereavement, losing your job or even having a baby, can bring it on.

People with a family history of depression are more likely to experience it themselves. You can also become depressed for no obvious reason.

Counselling can support you to understand how depression is effecting you and ways to support you on a day-to-day basis as well as in the future.

You may feel:

  • worthless
  • constantly anxious, tearful and worried
  • like you can’t concentrate
  • irritable and intolerant of others
  • you are not getting enough enjoyment out of life
  • you have a lack of self-esteem
  • you have no motivation or interest in things you used to enjoy

You may experience:

  • changes in sleeping patterns – broken nights or oversleeping
  • changes in eating patterns – loss of appetite or overeating
  • tiredness and a loss of energy
  • persistent headaches and/or stomach upsets

 You may also:

  • isolate yourself from friends and family
  • take part in fewer social activities
  • notice your productivity falling at work

Grief is a natural reaction when someone has passed away. For most of us, grief will be the most distressing experience we will ever face. We are often ill-prepared for how it will impact us in the days, months and years ahead.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Grief can impact in all aspects of our lives, and can leave us feeling unable to cope day to day, with the future feeling overwhelming.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There are a range of emotions that will vary in intensity for person to person.

These may include:

  • Shock
  • Numbness
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Relief
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Often grief is a time of reflection with significant change and adjustment.

You may notice some or all of the following are affected:

  • Sleep is affected, both getting to sleep and/or staying asleep
  • You may experience nightmares or dreaming about the person who has died.
  • You may find it harder to socialise and be in larger groups. You may notice you find it harder to leave your home.
  • You may feel more anxious and/or panicky
  • It may be harder to concentrate
  • Feel like you are in a bubble

 Physical feelings
As well as the range of emotions experienced when you are grieving, it is not uncommon to notice physical reactions. Again, there is no right or wrong way nor set amount of time this will last, but you may notice:

  • More aches and pains in your body and lack of energy.
  • You may feel more anxious or panicky.

Relationships, whether with family, friends or professionals are central to our lives. However, for a variety for reasons, including conflict, communication and health needs, they can often be complex, challenging and difficult and this can have a significant impact on our day to day lives.

Loss covers many events that happen throughout our lives. These may include:

  • separation or divorce
  • being made redundant
  • living away from family or friends
  • illness/loss of health
  • child(ren) leaving home

Stress comes from a build up of pressure, either from ourselves or from others.  Almost everyone experiences stress from time to time, and while a small amount of stress can motivate us, too much or prolonged stress can be damaging to both our physical and mental health.

There are many things in life that can cause stress, including work, relationships, family issues and financial problems.

There are many different types of abuse. While the more commonly known forms include domestic abuse and violence, emotional, physical and sexual  abuse, any behaviour towards someone that causes deliberate harm or upset can be considered abuse.

Abusive behaviour can have a significant impact on our mental health and well-being, not only at the time of the abuse, but there can be lasting effects throughout a person’s life.

These are some of the reasons you may be interested in counselling, but the list is not exhaustive. If you are interested in counselling for a different reason do contact us.

We offer the following:

We offer weekly sessions of 50 minutes. The number of sessions you access will be reviewed and agreed between you and your counsellor. Normally we would offer between 6 and 24 sessions.

For couples who wish to discuss and explore their relationship. This may because you are experiencing a difficult time in your relationship, or because you would like some time to talk situations through before they develop into something bigger. This may be a new relationship or a long term relationship.

Family Therapy works to improve problematic relationships within families. It helps family members, couples and individuals to express and explore behavioural and emotional concerns. Family Therapy enables change in relationships by increasing understanding and appreciation of difference as well as recognising shared values and beliefs.

Sessions are usually 1.5 hours every 2-3 weeks

Our counselling services are open to all regardless of age, gender, faith, physical ability or sexual orientation.

As a charity, we aim to keep our fees as low as possible. This will be discussed and agreed prior to your assessment.

We have a range of sessions available; morning, afternoon and evenings Monday to Friday.

Release counselling is part of the YMCA St Paul’s Group.

All our Volunteer Counsellors are either fully qualified or in the final stages of their training. All Volunteer Counsellors have undertaken a rigorous interview and induction process. We offer a fully professional service and are members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Release Counselling abides by The BACP Ethical Framework for Counselling and Psychotherapy

All personal information shared during counselling is confidential to the service. No information will be disclosed to any other person without prior consent, unless in exceptional circumstances, e.g. legal requirement or harm to self and others.

We are not a crisis service. If you are in need of immediate support please contact:


Please contact your GP

Call NHS 111

Visit the A & E department of your local hospital.

Call Samaritans 116 123 or email

For men only –  CALM (campaign against living miserably) 0800 58 58 58

For children and young people

Childline – 0800 11 11

Papyrus – Hopeline UK call 0800 068 4141 – Text 0778 620 9697 – Email:

Next step

If you would like further information or to book an assessment please call during our office opening times.

Release Office Opening Times:
Monday 10am – 5pm
Tuesday 10am – 5pm
Wednesday 10am – 1pm
Thursday 10am – 2.30pm
Friday 10am – 2.30pm

Telephone: 0208 339 7310

or alternatively Email:

How to find us

Our counselling rooms are at:

YMCA Surbiton, 49 Victoria Road, KT6 4NG

By car: Park in Sainsbury’s car park in Victoria Road
By bus: Buses stop outside Sainsbury’s on Victoria Road
By train: Surbiton train station is a short walk away