community fundraising 016 scaled 720x450 - Release Counselling

Release counselling

At YMCA St Paul’s Group (YMCA SPG) we offer 1:1 professional and affordable counselling online. Counselling sessions usually take place in comfortable rooms across our YMCA SPG locations, although currently we offer sessions remotely via telephone and zoom.

We are delighted to let you know that we will begin offering face to face counselling sessions during September.

Click here to enquire about low-cost counselling in Surbiton, South Ealing, Walthamstow and Wimbledon.

We aim for you to be seen within the first two weeks of you contacting us. We are continuing to take referrals during these times, and we are able to offer face to face or telephone or video counselling sessions.

Get in touch

Please do get in touch for a friendly chat, either by filling out our online form, or by phone or email.

Become a volunteer counsellor

We offer opportunities to student members of BACP and on a training recognised by the BACP to become volunteer counsellors, whilst on placement. Please download the following documents for more information about the purpose of this role, or to submit an application form. Counsellors provide online sessions, or face-to-face counselling according to the COVID-19 roadmap and risk assessments. Become a volunteer counsellor in Surbiton, Wimbledon, South Ealing or Walthamstow.

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 affordable counselling for a different reason, do contact us.

We offer the following:

1:1 Sessions, to individuals over the age of 18.
We offer weekly sessions of 50 minutes. We normally offer between 6 weeks and up to a year, this is reviewed regularly and discussed between you and your counsellor.

Our counselling services are open to all regardless of age, gender, faith, physical ability or sexual orientation. We cover a large area, offering counselling at our YMCA rooms in Surbiton, South Ealing, Walthamstow and Wimbledon. Online counselling is also available.

As a charity, we aim to keep our fees as low as possible, to be accessible and affordable to all. We offer a sliding scale starting at £25.00 per session up to £55.00. Fees are based on income and discussed with you prior to attending your assessment.

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

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:
9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Telephone: 0208 339 7310   Email:

or alternatively fill out this form below and we will contact you.

How to find us

Our counselling rooms are at:

►YMCA Walthamstow
642 Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 3EF
► YMCA Wimbledon
200 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1RY
► YMCA South Ealing
25 St Mary’s Road, Ealing, W5 5RE
► YMCA Surbiton
49 Victoria Road, Surbiton, KT6 4NG