Welcome to Carolyn's Counselling Practice.

Counselling Services in Oakham, Rutland

A qualified counsellor providing support in Oakham, Rutland & beyond, offering both face-to-face and secure online sessions.

A confidential space to explore the thoughts, feelings and challenges in your life.

Reaching out to a supportive professional can be the first and most significant step. Sometime life can get too much for us, we may struggle with our thoughts and emotions, or perhaps just struggle to cope with everyday life. We all experience times of difficulty in our lives; when events or relationships feel difficult and overwhelming, or we can feel a loss of direction or purpose.

Talking to a trained professional can help us make sense of those difficult times and offers a way through them, moving towards a better understanding of ourselves and our feelings. I work with people from all walks of life and backgrounds, with a diverse range of problems. As a fully-qualified counsellor I am a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and abide by their code of ethics.

When we are troubled, we often don't know what type of help we need, we just know we need help. I will work with you to work through what is currently a problem for you, and we will work at your pace. There is never a rush, or pressure to tell me things your just not ready to share.

I provide;

  • A counselling and supervision service
  • Purpose-built room from my home in Oakham, Rutland
  • Close to Melton Mowbray, Stamford, Leicester, Grantham.
  • Face-to-face counselling, or online via Zoom
  • Short-term structured counselling, or long-term psychotherapy
  • Weekly, or fortnightly sessions
  • Daytime & evening appointments
  • Monday-Thursday
  • Toilet facilities

My Approach to Counselling / Psychotherapy

Our own thoughts/feelings are unique to us - this inner world can sometimes be destructive; with negative thoughts or self-doubt. A rollercoaster of confusing and conflicting emotions. This may lead to many forms of anxiety (and /or) depressive symptoms.

Anxiety/Stress can reduce our ability to cope with the pressures of life. Trauma, bereavement, relationships, or family issues are all experiences that can be very difficult and painful to deal with - we can be left feeling sad, alone and isolated. We can all experience problems in our lives at some point, whether it is a period of crisis, or perhaps we need to change some self-defeating patterns of thinking and behaviour.

Telling someone you know (family or friends) may be difficult because it is personal and private, and they may offer their own opinion and advice, which may not be what you are wanting to hear, you may just want to offload.

People come to me for help a wide range of issues. Here are a few of the more common difficulties that can be supported through counselling:

Feelings & symptoms of stress or anxiety

Relationship problems

Grief, loss or bereavement

Trauma and post-traumatic stress



Problems with confidence or self-esteem

Anger management

Issues relating to sexuality

Difficulties at work, or in retirement

Problems with family, or school life

Family issues

Making the decision to see a counsellor is a big step to take – but it can be a positive one. Please read on to find out more about how I could help you.


Firstly, I will offer you an initial assessment appointment, which can take up to 45 minutes. Our first session gives us a chance to explore if counselling is right for you. We will discuss your needs for therapy, your expectations, and any goals you may wish to achieve from counselling – this session will ascertain whether I am suitable & competent to work with you, and you can then decide if what I can offer meets your need.


I will ask questions around your reasons for coming to counselling, along with questions about your history, family & personal relationships in your life. We can also look at your expectations in terms of short-term time limited work or long-term therapy, and what may be achievable for you.


It is important for you to find a counsellor you feel comfortable to work with. There is no obligation to come to any further sessions. The choice is ultimately yours.

We may decide to review our work together after a few sessions – to evaluate the process and if changes are occurring, and whether further sessions are needed, or to work towards an appropriate ending.


How can counselling help?

Life brings many challenges, and it is understandable that at times we might look for support in facing them. As a counsellor my role is to provide space and guidance to help you on your journey of self-discovery; to enable you to examine your life and make new, meaningful choices within it.

I offer a chance to reflect on the difficulties or problems you are experiencing in a safe and confidential environment, with someone from outside your day-to-day life. Together we can explore your situation in a way that leads to fresh perspectives – and perhaps a new understanding of yourself. Counselling isn’t about giving you solutions or advice, but empowering you to make your own changes.

My approach to therapy is person-centred. This is a non-judgmental way of working, where the counsellor creates the right conditions to help someone increase their self-awareness; to move towards – and reach – their fullest potential.

What's the difference between counselling and therapy?

Counselling is usually a good way to help with a current problem; something that can be discussed and – hopefully – resolved within a limited number of sessions. Over a certain number of weeks the understanding of the problem improves and a way forward becomes clear.

Therapy (psychotherapy) often describes work that goes deeper, towards more substantial life issues and problems having a deeper effect on the client’s life. This therapy often requires a long-term approach, so the number of sessions can be open-ended.

Which option is most suitable depends on the client and the difficulties they are facing. In some cases counselling works well as an ongoing, longer-term option – or some manage to resolve an issue in just a few sessions.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

My aim is to offer a first appointment – known as an initial assessment – within 1 week. From here, if we are both happy to continue, we would arrange a some counselling sessions to take place at a time that is convenient for you and where I have availability. How quickly these sessions begin will depend on mutual availability.

How long will I need to have counselling?

How long a period of counselling lasts will vary from person to person and depend on the depth of the issues they are facing. For some people a few sessions helps to bring their problems into focus, and they feel ready to move forward; for others, problems may require more of an open-ended approach.

Before we begin any work we will try to agree on the number of sessions we’ll undertake, and at the end of that number review our progress. As long as we both agree further therapy will be of benefit to you, sessions can continue.

Will everything I say be kept confidential?

There are some situations where you may be a risk to yourself or others, and the law requires that I notify an authority; in cases like this, I only share information on a need-to-know basis. Breaking confidentiality is very rare, and usually happens after the person concerned has been informed.

Otherwise, everything that is said within the counselling room is private and confidential – this is one of the main ways counselling and therapy differ from talking to a friend or relative. I offer a safe space for you to find the freedom to speak in confidence.

Can I bring a friend or relative with me?

People can feel nervous about coming to see a therapist. This anxiety is understandable, but a key aspect of therapy is that you should feel free to talk about any issues you feel are important to you.

Having someone else with you who can be connected those issues makes this opening-up more difficult, so for this reason I do not usually see clients accompanied by friends or family. If this is something you would like to discuss, perhaps we could agree that during the initial assessment that you can bring a companion


In the therapy space thoughts and feelings can be expressed freely and in confidence. Counselling takes place in a safe space, where you can meet with someone who will listen with sensitivity and empathy – and without judgement.


Trouble with a relationship; anxiety; mood swings or depression – many people face difficulties in their everyday lives that can be hard to get on top of. Counselling gives us a set of tools we can use to help gain a better understanding of what’s causing these problems – and how you can move towards managing or resolving them.


Working together I can help you gain greater insight into the difficulties you are facing, help you understand the why, then possibly changing the way you react or respond, and see how you can start to make better, heathier choices moving forward.

You have already taken the first step

It can be scary and confusing making the decision to contact a counsellor or therapist, but people can and do struggle with a personal crisis or problems with a relationship for much longer than is healthy. Sometimes a friend has proved a source of comfort, but this help can only go so far. Realising that resolving a problem requires something more means you have already taken the first step towards improving your life.


I work from private offices located at: 18 Chater Road, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6RY.

Serving face-to-face clients from surrounding counties (Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire) & online clients throughout the UK.


Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how counselling may be helpful, or to arrange an initial assessment appointment. This enables us to discuss the reasons you are thinking of coming to counselling, whether it could be helpful for you and whether I am the right therapist to help.

You can also call me on 07756 879 734 if you would prefer to leave a message. I am happy to discuss any queries or questions you may have prior to arranging an initial appointment.

All enquires are usually answered within 24 hours (Mon- Fri), and all contact is strictly confidential and uses secure phone and email services. Please note: as a private practioner and for professional selfcare, my work phone and email contact during the weekend will be answered and actioned on a Monday morning

© Carolyn Stafford Bell Counselling

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