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Keep It Festive

The holiday season is filled with mixed emotions. For some it's a time for celebration, but for others it can be tough.

Whether you are married, living together, in a same-sex relationship, separated, divorced or single, we offer a range of services that can help you get through the holidays.

Upcoming dinners and parties at work, family or friends' gatherings may cause a great deal of stress. Maybe the family dynamics and tension over finances are adding extra pressure to your relationship. Whatever you're going through, we might be able to help.

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HOW DOES IT WORK?

We work with Relate, Anxiety UK and Wellbeing Solutions Management to help veterans, the serving RAF community and wider RAF Family members who are experiencing depression, anxiety or difficulties in their relationships. If you've lost a loved one, we can also provide the support that is needed during this difficult time.

EMOTIONAL WELLBEING

We provide confidential emotional support to those in the RAF Family. If you are currently serving in the RAF, we also offer a free Headspace membership.

For more information, please read our FAQs below or visit our emotional wellbeing support page.

Emotional Wellbeing FAQs

What therapy type should I get?

When you have been referred to Anxiety UK or Wellbeing Solutions Management you will have an initial assessment. This assessment will form the basis of the recommendations of what type of support you could receive.

What should I expect from therapy?

Counselling is a therapeutic process where a counsellor will see you in a private and safe setting to explore a difficult you are having, the distress you may be experiencing or general low mood and dissatisfaction. By listening attentively and patiently the counsellor can begin to understand the difficulties you are facing. They can help you to see things more clearly or possibly from a different angle. Counselling is a way of enabling change in your life. It does not involve giving advice or directing you to a particular course of action but can help you to develop a better understanding of yourself and how you're feeling and allow you to learn coping strategies and techniques.

How many sessions will I need?

This will form part of the recommendations from your initial assessment. Each counselling session will last around 50 minutes

What do we talk about during our counselling sessions?

The service we provide with Anxiety UK and Wellbeing Solutions Management offer different types of therapy, which includes counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as well as acupuncture and clinical hypnotherapy. Different types of therapies will have a different focus. However, for the most part, the counsellor is there to help you find your own solutions and answers to whatever is troubling you. The therapist will help you explore what is causing your distress and will be guided by what you want to get out of your time together. This may mean talking about your work and family life, as well as your feelings and thoughts.

Are the counselling or therapy sessions confidential?

Yes. Confidentiality is one of the core principles of good therapy and what you chose to talk about in your therapy sessions will stay between you and your counsellor. The content of your sessions would not be shared with the RAF Benevolent Fund. There are certain situations when confidentiality may be broken, such as if someone is a risk to themselves or others, however, these will be outlined clearly at the start of the therapy and your counsellor would always try and discuss this with you beforehand.

What if I have PTSD?

You may need specialist support that Anxiety UK or Wellbeing Solutions Management don't currently offer. However, if you give the Listening and Counselling team a call on 0207 307 3361 they will be happy to talk through what is available.

RELATIONSHIP SUPPORT

We pay for up to six counselling sessions, or more if the issue is of a psychosexual nature. We also offer subsidised mediation and family counselling.

For more information, please read our FAQs below or visit our relationship support page.

 

Relationship Counselling FAQs

What should I expect from counselling?

Counselling provides a caring, supportive and non-judgemental environment to help you find a way through any difficulties you may be facing in your relationship. Together we will first help you to identify the issues or problems you are facing in your relationship.

How many sessions will my partner and I need?

If you decide couple counselling is the way forward for both of you, you will embark on a series of short-term counselling sessions - anything between six and twelve sessions is normal, but it will depend on the issues you are experiencing. For some couples, counselling is the start of a longer process of discovery while for others, a few sessions of counselling may be all they need to move through a rough patch. You will be able to discuss your expectations with your counsellor.

Will all my problems be sorted by the end of it?

Counselling isn't necessarily about reaching a full resolution. For some clients it's the start of a process and exactly that is important: the start of a process. Unfortunately, many couples come to counselling when a lot of damage has already been done to their relationship and their couple connection has been really weakened. Counselling can be more about discovering a way back to each other, to try and resolve underlying conflict and rebuild that emotional connection.

What do we talk about during relationship counselling sessions?

What you talk about will vary each week. As a talking therapy, counselling is designed to help you communicate better, to help you open up about the issues in your relationship that you are experiencing. Sometimes you might be exploring your family history and dynamics, your experiences as a child and not just the main issue you're presenting with. Counselling will help you look at how you're dealing with these issues, how you've dealt with stuff in the past and trying to gain insight into what you've learned along the way. Fundamentally, it's about understanding what you want to change and exploring how you might bring about that change.

Will Relate's counsellors give me advice?

Counsellors will not give you advice. Their role is to help you work through your issues, by helping you to think and reflect, by challenging you. You are the expert on yourself and your relationship - the counsellor is there to support you into a deeper understanding of yourself and to build on your emotional expression both individually and as a couple.

The RAF Benevolent Fund offers a range of services to former and current members of the RAF, their partners and dependent children (under 18).

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