Counselling is NOT passive but ACTIVE. It is not merely a matter of listening to someone talk nor simply enabling them to talk. It MAY be a help for someone to pour out their troubles with no interruption from the counsellor to get it off their chest, but that is NOT counselling and little or no counselling gets done that way. Counselling tools need to be applied.

Counselling is the use of certain skills and techniques for helping people who are confused, unsure or worried. By their use it is intended to gain a clear insight into what is troubling the person, and to help draw on the person’s own resources to find a solution.


  • Prescriptive – “Go and tell your mother what really happened.”
  • Sympathising – “Yes, it’s hard. I had that experience. I know exactly what you are feeling. I feel sorry for you.”
  • Practical help – “You go to bed and I’ll look after him for you.”
  • Teaching – “Life is like this….”
  • Preaching – “You should not have done that.”
  • Advice giving – “If I was you I would ….”

From time to time any of the above may be required in a given situation, especially if the context is not a formal counselling session, but in that instance it is NOT counselling.


  • A relationship between the counsellor and client that is SAFE, confidential, trusting, empathic, honest, genuine, accepting, etc.
  • Where the client usually explores the situation for him or herself, understands the situation for him or herself, decides for him or herself, and acts for him or herself.
  • It is a process and not an academic indulgence.

“Technique is what we use until the real Counsellor arrives” –  Ted Bowman

Many people find their problems quite overwhelming and too painful to handle. Relationship difficulties, physical or mental abuse, money problems and depression are all serious difficulties which, combined with the added stress of modern day life, can make a situation intolerable. Without appropriate help, problems often seem to worsen and deteriorate, leaving a person feeling confused, desperate and unable to cope. If left, a crisis usually develops, which can lead to all manner of consequences. These could well be illness, deeper depression, suicide attempts or simply running away and refusing to acknowledge the problem. That is no solution.

At the Mill we believe in treating each person as an individual, with individual needs. As an independent counselling agency, registered as a charity in 1983, we work in a unique setting and offer fully qualified professional counselling together with some complementary therapies.

Our counselling services are provided free and we do not enforce a prescribed course of treatment nor number of sessions. We are committed to providing counselling that is determined by the needs of the client. Clients attend regularly for treatment until they feel able to cope on their own again, sometimes taking a year (or longer) to achieve this, but most finish their course of sessions within 3 months. Longer-term counselling allows the person to move at a pace that is comfortable to them, and issues can be explored in greater depth and detail. The contract defines the sessions, not the number or finance limitations. Most clients cannot afford the level of finance needed for the longer-term counselling that is necessary for deeper healing and growth.

We enable people to work through their problems and empower them to make decisions to rebuild their lives. We believe that with help, present and often difficult circumstances can change and that an individual need not go through life seriously debilitated by their experiences. As prospective clients approach us for help, this means there is real commitment on their part to continue therapy to improve their life situation.

Quotes and letters of thanks from past clients prove the value of our work and when therapy finishes many people remain involved or in touch. Some even covenant to enable others to benefit from the charity.

Quote from a past client: “The Haye Mill Charity is and was my saviour….If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be writing this today”.

We have 6 Practitioners who offer a variety of services seeing collectively on average about 10 people a week. Most clients receive help on a weekly or fortnightly basis. We have never advertised our services as we know that if we did demand would increase rapidly. Even so the number of people requiring help is increasing and we need to develop our services.

We help people from an area that covers East Cornwall and West Devon (occasionally people attend from further a field) and receive referrals from General Practitioners, Citizen Advice Bureaux, other professional caring agencies and by personal recommendation. All our services are offered regardless of the person’s political, social or religious beliefs.


Here are some PowerPoint Presentations that might help you understand more of the counselling process.

Expectations and Process – especially Counselling Couples
Article on Relationships
Models of Counselling in general use today –  Models of Counselling
Tools & Conditions necessary for good counselling – Tools & Conditions of Counselling