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Roshni offers bi-lingual and culturally appropriate counselling to women from South Asian backgrounds, who might otherwise be unable to benefit from counselling

Counselling at Roshni

Counselling is one of our unique services at Roshni, which we have built up in response to lack of counselling in the city to meet the needs of the women we serve. For a number of years, our staff struggled to sign post women for counselling. We found that we were regularly meeting women who had suffered trauma, often over several years.  However, many of the women could not speak good enough English to benefit from mainstream counselling services. Or they could speak English but the issues they struggled with were so enmeshed in the Asian culture, that they needed the counsellor to have knowledge of their culture.

We have been offering counselling sessions at Roshni since October 2016, when we began with just one bi-lingual counsellor. However, the service has grown and our current counselling team consists of a counselling coordinator, 3 paid counsellors and two student volunteer counsellors.  The sessions have been very successful. We have been able to offer counselling to our clients in Urdu, Punjabi and Bengali. This has filled a much needed gap in services. We accept self-referrals as well as referrals from other professionals.

Counselling at Roshni is offered to clients in blocks of six sessions, starting with an assessment session which is done by our counselling coordinator and, where needed the client is offered a second block of six sessions after the first block is completed. 

After working with clients who have experienced domestic abuse/violence (DA) and discussing the issue with other partner organisations offering counselling to DA survivors, we have come to the conclusion that DA clients need a minimum of ten sessions to empower them to move forward and to sustain that movement. Therefore we have increased the number of sessions offered to clients who are survivors of DA.

The feedback we have received from clients whose counselling has ended is very positive. Clients report that they are able to think clearly, feel more confident, feel empowered, feel supported and generally feel better able to cope with challenges in their lives. Clients report that counselling has also helped them reacquaint themselves with their own inner strengths and resources. Clients have fed back to us how working with a counsellor who has an insight into their culture has been particularly helpful; they reported that they felt understood and found it easier to engage in sessions.

Our counselling coordinator has a Diploma in Counselling Supervision and she is able to provide in-house supervision to our team of counsellors. Provision of supervision makes it an attractive counselling placement opportunity for counsellors in training, who need client counselling hours to qualify.

Enquire about Empowerment Services
(Please note that Roshni is a culture and language specific service for South Asian women from Pakistani, Indian or Bangladeshi backgrounds only.)

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Case Studies

"My counsellor has helped me come so far... I was feeling debilitated both physically and mentally to the point I was struggling to get out of bed. The warmth and kindness that radiates from her made me attend every session. She provided a calm environment for me and always listened to me attentively. Each time I would feel a little better; my thoughts and feelings felt collected, my mind was clearer, and I became self-aware. I don’t feel like I would get the same support or understanding anywhere else. I wouldn’t be where I am, and I wouldn’t be able to achieve any future goals without this service."

"I came to Roshni after the breakdown of my marriage; it had been 32 years and after dealing with abuse on all levels, my husband decided that I was something to be thrown away. My son and I had no money, no family and no home. What counselling gave to me was the ability to build my life back piece by piece, it gave me the ability to think straight, it was my safety net on those days when I didn't want to carry on; it pulled me through my darkest days, weeks and months. What is scary now, looking back, is the thought of what would have become of me and my son if Roshni had not been there. There must be hundreds of women in a position similar to mine that have not had access to Roshni because of whatever reason, and that is sad and worrying. I hope that all women and children and families can have access to the unwavering, non-judgmental practical and emotional support that I have been lucky enough to have!"