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Hope Counselling Service

What is Counselling?

Counselling is a relationship where the counsellor helps the counsellee to look at current problems in their lives that don’t seem to be changing. The counsellor is there to help the counsellee to bring about any development and growth they may wish.

For meaningful change to take place it is necessary to look at the roots of problems, rather than focus solely on the symptoms. We believe that our present circumstances are affected by our past story, and that as we tell that story we can find new ways of living, free from our past influences.

We have a holistic view of human beings, recognising that our thinking, feeling and choices affect our behaviour and relationships with other people. We also believe that there is a spiritual part to human beings – as we connect with something beyond us and “other” than us, we can find our dignity and beauty restored. For us this “other” is found in the person of Jesus, but we respect and will work with people of any faith, or none. We also respect the choice not to explore this spiritual area of humanity should that be the counsellee’s preference.

Would I benefit from Counselling?

Counselling can help with a wide variety of problems and it is our conviction that anyone can benefit from counselling.

People can come with relatively minor problems that are affecting them now, or with long standing more complex problems. For example:

• anxiety
• depression
• low confidence or self esteem
• grief
• loneliness
• relational difficulties
• past hurts that effect your life now
• loss of motivation
• heavy drinking or drug taking
• sexuality or gender issues
• eating disorders
• stress
• personal development
• communication

This list is not comprehensive, and your reason for coming to counselling may not be listed above. If you are not sure whether you would benefit from counselling we would be happy to discuss this with you at an initial meeting.

What to Expect?

After contacting the service, an initial meeting will be arranged where you will have an opportunity to say what has brought you to counselling, and a counsellor will explain how the counselling will work. You are under no obligation to continue with counselling following this initial meeting.

Counselling sessions are weekly and last for one hour. They are held at CCE King’s Hall, South Clerk Street, Edinburgh. The counselling takes place in a quiet and discreet room.

The length of the counselling process varies from person to person depending on your situation. We offer both longer term and short term (8-12 sessions) counselling, depending on what you are looking for. Our preferred way of working is longer term, which promotes deeper personal growth. We would, however, offer short term counselling which can help manage a current problem on a day to day basis and is still beneficial.


Our counselling is confidential, both the meeting and the content of the meeting.  In practice this means that the names of those in counselling are not released to anyone outside the service, nor do we confirm to third parties if people are coming for counselling.  The content of the sessions will not be discussed with anyone else, other than in the counsellor’s supervision, which is anonymous (supervision is “best practice” for all counsellors, for the benefit of the client and ensuring ethical work).

There are a very few exceptions where confidentiality will be broken, for example where there is a possibility of the client causing significant harm themselves or others.  These will all be explained in the first session.


The cost per session is £30. Each session is one hour, and is usually arranged for the same time each week. Sessions cancelled
with less than 24 hours notice will incur the full charge.

There are a few places available at a reduced rate . This rate is discretionary and dependant on circumstances. Generally there is a
longer waiting list for these reduced rate places.


Ann Symes is the Hope Counselling Service Practice Manager.  Ann completed her counselling training with CCTS in 2007 and along with Rupert Ward set up Hope Counselling Service the same year.   She has subsequently completed her training as a couple counsellor and now works with couples as well as with individuals within the service.  She is employed by CCE part time, and most of that time is taken in seeing clients in Hope, training on the counselling training courses and serving as the practice manager.  She is married to Colin and they have 3 grown up children.

Also on the counselling team: Fiona Hutchinson, Sarah Worth, John Muirhead, Kirsty Hook, Kath Muirhead & Malcolm Calvert.

Contact Us

If you are interested in arranging an initial meeting, please phone: 0131 466 8662

(please leave a message on our answerphone).

Someone will get back to you as soon as possible (within a few days, unless over a holiday period like Christmas) to arrange a meeting.