Live: Q&A with Breakfree Counselling Service

By Tracy Woodhouse, director of Breakfree Counselling Service

Tell us a little about your business?

We are a Counselling Psychotherapy service and we are accredited members of the National Counselling Society. We provide professional therapies to help support individuals, schools and businesses through any difficulties they are facing. It is our aim to provide prompt and reliable support whenever we are needed. We are an available, affordable and dedicated team, committed to providing a meeting within one week of contacting us. Breakfree Counselling Service was created by friends who met while studying Counselling at Sunderland University. As a direct result of this all of our Counselling Psychotherapists have been trained at Sunderland University. 

What is the most rewarding aspect of running an independent business in the region?

Many people in the north east go through difficulties in life, often with no one to turn to for support, and local, brilliant services are running to capacity with long waiting lists, so we are driven to provide a prompt and affordable service to help everyone in times of emotional need. Knowing we are here and making even the smallest of differences to our region, brings us priceless intrinsic rewards.

What are the challenges?

The key challenges we find is the stigma mental health support still commands. For us, making enough money to sustain the business is an everyday challenge. Time to grow the business, time for CPD and general business management are also daily challenges for us.

In a post-COVID world, how have you adapted your working practices?

We have adapted our working practices to provide online and telephone therapy only. Pre Covid, we only offered face to face appointments. Offering online has made us more accessible and guarantees we are Covid secure. We have discovered there are far less barriers to counselling online compared to the Covid world face to face counselling.

What are your short and long-term objectives?

Short term objectives are to survive Covid, personally and business wise. To offer our service into more of our local schools to help support our children through this pandemic. Long term, we would like to be a nationally recognised mental health service, continuing to provide support to individuals, schools and business, and be working with the emergency services providing mental health support where needed.

How does the North East BIC support your business plans?

By continuing to be an available source of information with any queries or issues we come up against. We’re dedicated to keeping our clients confidentially safe, which is helped by operating 24/7 from our office at the BIC. The BIC has helped us with press releases, encourages and supports us with industry awards. All of this helps us to get our message out and to encourage people to speak as freely about mental health as we do about physical health.

www.breakfreecounselling.co.uk

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