Counselling for carers

VOCAL’s COSCA recognised counselling service is open to unpaid carers who require emotional support.

What is Counselling?


Counselling aims to support someone in expressing their thoughts and feelings about what is happening in their life. By exploring all these things counselling can help you to understand more about how you deal with your thoughts and feelings and the situations you find yourself in. Counselling is not about telling you what you should be doing. It is an opportunity for you to talk about and reflect on what is happening in your life as a carer.

Why is counselling needed?

Often carers find themselves in situations where their wishes and needs take second place to the person they care for. They can find caring both rewarding and frustrating. Carers sometimes feel they cannot talk to their family and friends about how they feel about their caring situation. Talking to someone outside of the situation can be extremely helpful.

How could it help me?

The first thing a counsellor will do is listen to you and what you have to say about your situation. They will try to understand your situation from your point of view. The counsellor can then:

  • help you to explore your feelings and thoughts about your situation
  • they can help you to look at how to deal with your feelings
  • they can help you to explore your feelings about your relationship with the person you care for and others
  • they can help you to explore how you might deal with things differently in the future

Counselling isn’t a magic solution – but it can help you to understand what is happening to you and explore different ways of dealing with things in the future.

Who are the counsellors?

The counsellors are all qualified or in the final year of their training. They have all been selected by the project because they have a particular understanding of carers needs and the difficulties they can experience. They all receive regular supervision.

How can I get a counsellor?

The first step is to contact VOCAL’s Counselling service manager (email¬† or call 0131 466 8082) to arrange an intake session.

Will it cost me anything?

For carers living in Edinburgh or Midlothian, financial contributions are agreed at a level to suit your individual circumstances. Carers who live in any other local authority area will be able to access counselling at a cost of £20 per session.

If you feel that speaking to a counsellor may help, or you would like more information, then please contact VOCAL’s Counselling Service manager – call 0131 466 8082 or email