At Stars, we offer a different kind of counselling from a “sit and chat” approach. Our counsellors use creative materials to help you express how you are feeling and also to make keepsakes. These keepsakes can help with worries and anxieties or be used as a remembrance for memories of the person who has died, Or we are happy to sit and chat too!
We work with you to think of strategies that will help you in difficult situations, like when you feel really angry or anxious. Or on difficult days like birthdays or anniversaries of the loved one who has died.
How do we get started?
Getting a referral to Stars
Firstly Stars needs a referral form about you, (click here for the form) at least six months after a death has happened, or when you know someone is very ill and close to dying. The form can be filled out by a school teacher, a GP, a Macmillan nurse, a parent or carer. If you are over 16 you can fill out the form yourself. Once we receive your form a counsellor will call the adult who made the referral and talks through the details of your situation.
Being assessed by a counsellor
An assessment will be booked in, where one of our counsellors will meet you and your parent or carer and any other family members who want to be involved. This normally takes place in our Den at our offices in Trumpington. Our counsellor will talk to your family and assess what needs to happen next. If our counsellor decides that counselling would help they will give you a dedicated counsellor – someone like Anne-Marie or Paula or Michelle.
We Begin Counselling
There is always a bit of a wait until one of our counsellors is free to see you; this normally takes about 12 weeks, Once you get started you will meet your counsellor, by yourself, once a week. You normally meet them in a room at school during the day, but it can be at the doctor’s surgery or in the Den again. These sessions are completely private between you and the counsellor. You don’t have to tell anyone what happens in them. The counsellor will only to speak to your parent or carer if you think there are things that it would be helpful for them to know – like using strategies to help life get easier for you at school or at home.
Treasuring Good Memories
You will normally have six sessions with your counsellor, but sometimes it can be for longer. Our counsellors say that usually once young people have had six sessions they can start to face their future again – that doesn’t mean forgetting about the person who has died, instead treasuring the good memories you have had with them.