Counselling Services for Children, Young People and Families

The vision of the Family Counselling Trust (FCT) is to offer appropriate psychological support at an early stage to every family with a child or adolescent who is experiencing challenging mental health issues

Our services cover Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire

We are open to referrals mostly for remote working

In some circumstances it may be possible to have face to face sessions provided everyone follows the latest government guidance and social distancing is observed. However, we are open mainly to referrals that are suitable for remote working either by telephone, digital or online video platforms. We have advised practitioners as to training and safeguarding precautions for remote working which will only be available for certain children and families following an assessment and at the discretion of our therapists.

Please apply in the usual way using our online referral forms – on web page ‘How to make a referral’

Therapy sessions will not be recorded by the FCT –  in return it is expected that families will behave with corresponding respect and likewise not record them.


Family Counselling Trust (FCT) is a registered mental health charity providing key early intervention counselling support to children, young people (up to age 18) and their families.

It was founded in Dorset in 2005 to respond to the growing challenges facing families and young people – emotional, behavioural or other mental health problems – where they were unable to access timely and adequate support.  FCT raises funds to enable parents on stretched incomes to access help for their children, with the charity subsidising the cost of the therapy.

FCT offers children and young people an early opportunity to be supported by a qualified psychological therapist, in what is an holistic service involving the families.

A choice of potential counsellors as locally as possible is offered to the families, each counsellor providing a professional profile of how they work to inform parents. All counsellors who see children referred to FCT are carefully vetted and have prior experience of working with children. They are all trained and registered with a professional body, insured, hold clear enhanced DBS certificates and work in accordance with local safeguarding procedures. To date we have helped to transform the lives of thousands of children and their families.

However, the need for this type of support remains high so FCT continues to work with all stakeholders to ensure timely counselling is available to those most in need.

Our News



Update from Family Counselling Trust – Hampshire

Update from Family Counselling Trust – Hampshire

A very warm welcome to Hampshire’s share of the work of the Family Counselling Trust. As the rest of our website describes, we provide qualified and experienced early support to children, young people (up to 18) and their families across Hampshire. If you think you...

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From our families, clients and practitioners

“Excellent – we have a happier family home with less worry about our sons feeling low – [The counsellor] made us both feel comfortable and at ease. He made an unfamiliar situation feel like it was all ok. A very kind and lovely man!”

Parent, November 2019

“Pupils at St Joseph’s have benefitted greatly from our association with the Family Counselling Trust. The FCT provides an invaluable service which ensures that young people and their families gain access to the mental health support that is needed to help teenagers develop into positive and confident members of society. Currently, there is a great need for mental health services and although as schools we provide support, we cannot replace professionals who can work through issues 1-1 with young people.

Pupils that we have referred to the Family Counselling Trust have benefitted from the charity’s liaison with the family to find exactly the right professional to work with that young person, and we have seen the benefits to the individual in our school. Pupils that we refer, for a number of different issues, quickly improve their attendance and engagement in lessons. We have seen pupils that suffer from anxiety become more willing to contribute to class, and start building positive relationships with their peers. The Family Counselling Trust has offered a lifeline to a number of parents/carers who might feel unequipped to manage their child’s mental health issue, and the work that their professionals do helps to repair and maintain family relationships.

We feel very fortunate that we are able to refer members of our community to the Family Counselling Trust when we need to, as they can help a young person overcome bumps in the road on their journey to adulthood.”

Saint Joseph’s Secondary School, June 2019

“J reported that his anxiety was hugely reduced and that he felt his counselling had helped him re-build his self-confidence. His mum said she had noticed a marked difference in J and that the counselling had ‘really improved his quality of life’.”

FCT Practitioner, April 2019

Created by a child grateful for their counselling – January 2020


‘It’s important to know you can say what you thinkM (FCT practitioner) gave me my voice.’

8 year old beneficiary of FCT – February 2020


‘In the course of our work, M reported a 90% improvement in her fear of being left home alone and also an 80% improvement in her communication with mum’.

FCT Practitioner, April 2019

“The Family Counselling Trust is invaluable as it provides a service where there is a gap in NHS provision. For children and families that need counselling, there is very limited provision on the NHS. It is fantastic to be able to offer them help from the FCT. The fact that low income families are subsidised is essential, as many cannot afford private counselling.”

GP Referrer, Dorset, March 2019

“In amongst a very dysfunctional and chaotic family, including parental substance abuse and neglect, everything seemed stacked against this young man. But six sessions helped him achieve lift-off and use his resilience to get a university place on a course he will love.  A life changed.”

FCT Practitioner, March 2019

“We have been fortunate enough to help a number of families access the Family Counselling Trust over the last couple of years.  It is one of the few services available which can help the whole family at home and provide a high level of expertise.  It has been an invaluable resource.

As a Senco I have also found that the Trust responds very quickly to queries and is always willing to give advice.  Parents have all reported positive results and one has continued with the support on a private basis.

As a school we have been very grateful for the support the Family Counselling Trust has been able to offer at a time when other services are becoming more difficult to access.

Senco – Sarum St Paul’s Primary School, June 2019

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Reg. Charity No: 1112739 Reg. Company No: 5496551 Registered Address: 16 Wadebridge Sq, Poundbury, Dorchester DT1 3AX

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