What is WCC?
Waterloo Community Counselling (WCC) is a counselling and psychotherapy service based in Waterloo, providing talking therapy to the local community as well as to people London-wide.
WCC was born in 1980s as part of a local health project. At that time there were more and more Londoners who couldn’t find the help they needed to cope with emotional and mental health problems. The NHS wasn’t enough.
Since then access to counselling services on the NHS has improved a great deal, but there are still long waiting lists and the NHS can usually offer only a few sessions with a therapist. At WCC we believe that many people need longer-term therapy. We tailor our services to the individual needs of each client, with some needing only a few weeks while others may need to see a therapist for several months or longer.
Many people in London also find it difficult to access NHS services because they do not speak English very well. In 2004 we began to reach out to these communities, and we now have a dedicated team of counsellors working in over 20 languages who provide services to people from a wide range of different cultures and parts of the world. We also have a dedicated service that works with people who are seeking asylum or who have refugee status.
We are one of only a handful of London-wide talking therapy services to offer longterm therapy at reduced fees. We have a dedicated team of therapists who are passionate about providing an accessible, responsive service that is available to everyone. We look forward to welcoming you.
“My therapist guided me through a very difficult time and has given me the tools to challenge my negative thoughts”
“My counsellor was able to understand all my concerns and always gave me positive advice and support”
We aim to improve the psychological well being of our service users,, focusing on the most disadvantaged
We aim to create a greater understanding of mental health and talking therapies locally and help to reduce the stigma of mental illness
We try to make services as accessible as possible to all those who need them regardless of their income
We try to tailor our services to individuals, taking into account differences in languages, culture, age and gender
We do our best to consult users and relevant communities as we continue to improve and develop our services
We aim to encourage self-determination, peer-support and self empowerment
We aim to ensure our services meet the highest professional standards by employing only qualified counsellors with accredited training and adhering to the BACP Code of Ethics. We also recruit trainee volunteer counsellors to complete their clinical placements.
Chris Robinson MA, MBACP (Senior Accredited)
Director of Waterloo Community Counselling
Chris is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with over 25 years experience in the voluntary sector, NHS and private practice as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor.
Tel: 020 7202 9427
Project Manager, Multi-Ethnic Counselling Service
Priya is a psychodynamic psychotherapist (FPC & UKCP) and a psychodynamic psychoanalytic supervisor at the British Association for Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Supervision (BAPPS)
Tel: 020 7202 9422
Centre Manager and Coordinator for the Portuguese Counselling Service
Tel: 020 7202 9423
Tel: 020 7202 9425
Tel: 020 7928 3462
We provide one-to-one counselling and psychotherapy to people throughout London.
Click here or call the office on 0207 928 3462 to make an appointment.
Initially we invite you to attend an assessment meeting which will give you an opportunity to discuss your current difficulties and also assess whether we are the right service for you. Following the assessment, you will be put on our waiting list to start counselling (average waiting time is between 4-8 weeks depending on availability). Once you start your sessions, they will take place at the same time, on the same day and with the same counsellor each week.
The way we charge for sessions is based on the person’s income and the fee is agreed with you at the assessment meeting. There is a one-off fee for the assessment which would be slightly higher than what you would pay for your sessions. The fee for the assessment starts at £30 and the fee for the counselling sessions starts at £20. When we book the assessment, we take a non-refundable £10 deposit which then goes towards the final fee of your assessment.
If you are in receipt of benefits, you may qualify for the concessionary rate however, you will need to bring proof of this to your first appointment.
Multi-Ethnic Counselling Service
The Multi-Ethnic Counselling Service (MECS) was set up in 2004 to provide mother-tongue counselling to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers at no cost to clients. Many of our referrals have complex psychological and emotional problems arising from traumatic experiences in their countries of origin such as torture and persecution as a consequence of civil warfare and conflict. From our centre located in Waterloo we provide service users with individual, mother tongue counselling and group support as well as signposting to other organisations to address pragmatic and practical difficulties.
MECS Aims and Objectives
- To support psychological health and wellbeing for people in need. The MECS objectives are to provide a free, time-limited, mother-tongue counselling service. We work with BAME and migrant referrals, and people who may not be entitled to access statutory services beyond primary care.
- To create a greater understanding of mental health and talking therapies locally and to help reduce the stigma associated with mental health difficulties.
- Consulting users and relevant communities on the delivery and development of services.
- Ensuring our services encourage self-determination, peer-support and empowerment.
- Our aim and practice is to have an employee workforce which is truly representative of all sections of society and to ensure that each employee and volunteer feels respected and able to do their best.
- Ensuring organisational safeguarding protocols are in place to support and protect referrals, their families and clinicians.
At MECS, counselling is offered in the client’s language of choice. In our experience counselling, which is reliant on good communication, is most effective if it is provided in the language with which the client feels most comfortable. So far we have been able to provide counselling in almost all languages requested.
We have the capacity to work in 26 different languages. MECS has developed an expertise in language and culturally sensitive therapy. We have specifically recruited language counsellors and group facilitators to work in our team many of whom were once migrants and refugees themselves.
Mother-tongue counselling is provided in the following languages: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Farsi, Farsi (Dari), French, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Kurdish, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Tigrinya, Turkish, Twi and Urdu.
Counselling at MECS
We offer an initial assessment appointment to all our refugee and asylum seeking referrals. The purpose of the assessment is for us and you to explore thoughts and feelings which have led you to us, and to also consider your individual situation to see whether counselling would be useful to you at this time.
If you do come to MECS for time-limited counselling the sessions will be for 50 minutes, once a week.
Lambeth & Southwark IAPT
If you are a resident and / or registered with a GP in Lambeth or Southwark you will need to contact IAPT to be referred to MECS.
Lambeth IAPT: 020 3228 6747 / https://gateway.mayden.co.uk/referral-v2/a98fce9c-9ec0-4e3e-b5d4-e390ffa04b17
Southwark IAPT: 020 3228 2194 / slm-tr.SPTS@nhs.net
We continually look for ways to develop links and partnerships with other services in order to support our clients. To address these needs we decided to supplement one-to-one counselling with group work and also develop partnerships with other service providers.
To register, please click here or phone 0207 928 3462