Off The Record Counselling Service Willow Lane House 9, Willow Lane Norwich NR2 1EU
Off The RecordCounselling ServiceWillow Lane House9, Willow LaneNorwich NR2 1EU

How Counselling Works

About Counselling

Counselling is based upon a special kind of relationship between the client and a trained counsellor, and is quite unique in that it aims to empower the client. We use the word client rather than patient as this implies that you are told what to do to make you feel better and that any failure is a failure on your part. 


The counselling relationship allows you to explore your beliefs and your values at your pace. It does not impose any sets of values on you or judge the way you choose to live your life. 


While a diagnosis will help you feel that your illness is being acknowledged or validated it can have the unintended consequence of limiting how your experience is viewed by a wellbeing practitioner. In counselling and counselling psychotherapy, by contrast, rather than working with a label, we will use a diagnosis to inform how we work with you as a unique individual with unique experiences.

Counselling skills and theory

It is important to distinguish between skills and theory in the context of counselling. The word skills describe a set of interpersonal tools that the counsellor has at his or her disposal which might include:

  • Listening attentively
  • Paraphrasing, to show and clarify understanding
  • Asking questions
  • Encouraging the client to be specific
  • Accurately reflecting feelings
  • Helping to clarify thoughts
  • Focusing on key issues
  • Offering challenges when needed

Counselling theory, on the other hand, informs the use of these and other skills by drawing on bodies of knowledge about human development and the causes of distress. Our counsellors will have undergone extensive training, typically at degree level, in order to become qualified counsellors or psychotherapists.


Our Counselling Approaches page provides more information about the various theoretical models our counsellors are trained in. 

Counselling Ethics

Off The Record is an organisational member of BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and our individual counsellors are members of BACP and/or UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) as well. These memberships ensure that your counsellor works ethically and with strict boundaries.


If problems do arise, we have strict complaint procedures both as an organisation and as individual counsellors.


As Accredited members of BACP and UKCP members, some of our counsellors are now listed on Professional Standards Authority approved registers held by these bodies.  Please feel free to discuss this with your counsellor.


At the heart of the counselling relationship is absolute confidentiality. Counsellors are bound by ethical considerations to seek regular guidance from more highly trained supervisors to ensure they always work ethically and competently.


As a client of Off The Record any information you provide will be kept confidential and not revealed to any third parties without your permission. However, there are some rare and special circumstances detailed below:

  • Where there is good reason to believe that you or someone else may be at risk of serious harm, information may be revealed to third parties outside of the service. However, unless the situation is an emergency, we would endeavour to discuss the proposed disclosure with you in advance and try to obtain your consent.
  • A Counsellor can be required by a court of law to provide information about a client, although this situation is very rare.
  • All counsellors working at Off the Record receive regular clinical supervision, an ethical requirement of BACP and UKCP. Any information disclosed to the supervisor is bound by the same rules of confidentiality.

~ Waiting List ~


Unfortunately, all our spaces are now full so we have had to close our waiting list.


Please check this page regularly to see when it is open again.


Do not fill out the online application form when the list is closed as it will not be put on to our system.


Other low cost counselling providers you may like to try

Or The Counselling Directory website where you will find all other low cost & private counselling providers . 

Our Recent Donors:

Off The Record appreciate the support they have had over the last year from individual fundraising efforts as well as charitable grants through National Lottery Community Fund, Norfolk Community Foundation and the Geoffrey Watling Charity, which have helped the organisation continue its valuable work and ensure that counselling remains accessible to all.


Lucy Ashby

Paul Burnett

Molly Heron

Head of Service

India Kirby 

Head of Administration 

Lisa Burnett

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Counsellors & Office Staff

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The Counselling Directory  is a nationwide database of qualified counsellors and therapists which offers an advanced search tool that allows you to filter your search according to your needs and location. Or, if you’d rather receive support remotely, you can find a therapist offering online or telephone services.

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© 2017, Off The Record Counselling Service (Norfolk) Ltd
Off the Record Counselling Service Ltd is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.
Registered Charity No. 1088504
Incorporated under the Companies Act 1985, No. 3974890