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Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues.

You'll be encouraged to talk confidentially about your feelings and emotions with a trained therapist, who'll listen and support you without judging or criticising.

Make a referral for help now

What can counselling help with?

Police Care UK's counselling service aims to support serving and veteran members of our police forces and their immediate family members over the age of 16 when their mental health is impacted by the unique challenges of policing. Typically this would be linked to:

  • Processing and coping with a traumatic event or events whilst working in your policing role
  • Processing the impact of being injured on duty
  • Coming to terms with physical changes following being injured on duty
  • Police work-related stress
  • Other issues caused through the unique work and experiences in policing
  • Supporting you through the ill health retirement and/or injury on duty award processes
  • Supporting your partner and / or adult children to understand your condition (psychological or physical changes caused through your policing role) and help them to support you, including vicarious trauma linked to something you have experienced in your policing role

Our service is intended to complement NHS services and those provided by police forces via Occupational Health and their Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). You will be asked if you have you approached the NHS, your Occupational Health Services team or EAP service. If you are still serving in a police force, you may be redirected back to your force provision in the first instance.

What if I need counselling and it is not related to my policing role?

Our services are designed around supporting those who have been harmed through their policing role. Therefore our psychological services are currently unable to help with:

  • Infertility issues
  • A family bereavement (unless this causing you to re-experience police work related trauma)
  • Anxiety and depression which is not directly caused through your policing role
  • Understanding and coping with recent medical diagnosis not related to the policing role
  • Long term or open ended counselling provision
  • Sexual identity
  • Diagnosis of a mental health condition
  • Providing specific individual counselling reports
  • Psychiatric treatment
  • Residential psychological, addiction or private treatment

Need more information?

If you are in any doubt about what help might be available to you, or would like to talk through your circumstances with a welfare advisor, please either use our online referral form below or call us on 0300 012 0030 and ask to speak with someone in the welfare team.

Make a referral

You can self-refer, or refer someone else for counselling from Police Care UK. Just fill out this form and we'll get in touch. Alternatively, you can call us on 0300 012 0030 (lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Different types of counselling available

Police Care UK has a range of options available, depending on clinical need, which can be discussed with us in confidence.

Guided self-help

Guided self-help is recommended as a treatment for depression, anxiety and panic disorder. The therapist works with you to understand your problems and make positive changes in your life. It aims to give you helpful tools and techniques that you can carry on using after the course has finished.


Counselling is a talking therapy where you talk in confidence to a counsellor. You will be encouraged to talk about your feelings and emotions with a trained therapist, who'll listen and support you without judging or criticising, and help you find your own solutions to problems.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

The aim of CBT is to help you explore and change how you think about your life, and free yourself from unhelpful patterns of behaviour. You set goals with your therapist and may carry out tasks between sessions.

CBT has been shown to work for a variety of mental health problems, including depression, anxeity, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is another talking therapy that's been developed to help people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People who have PTSD may experience intrusive thoughts, memories, nightmares or flashbacks of traumatic events in their past. EMDR helps the brain reprocess memories of the traumatic event so you can let go of them. EMDR can be a distressing process, so it's important to have a good support network of family and friends around you if you plan to try it.

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