Counselling Service

We are a specialized Mental Health service offering a bilingual and culturally sensitive counselling to the Kurdish, Turkish, Turkish Cypriot and Eastern European Turkish immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees, mainly, in Hackney-London whose understanding and expression of emotional distress is addressed within the context of their own cultural background.

DERMAN Counselling Service has been successfully achieved BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) accreditation status.
 Derman has become one of the first Turkish/Kurdish charity organisations in the UK to have a BACP accredited counselling service. Our Bilingual Counselling Service works to the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.

It is our experience that all immigrants are coping with the difficulties of leaving behind a familiar culture and environment and trying to settle into an unfamiliar country. Fleeing from traumatic experiences, such as imprisonment, torture or leaving one’s country for economic reasons, carries other traumatic experiences along with it, in the form of loss of close relatives, cultural attachment, hardships during flight, long lasting periods of asylum with existential uncertainty, possible changes in the family structure and in the family’s internal division of roles, and more.

The problems are of social, physical and psychological nature. The presentation of the symptoms may include memory and concentration problems, depression, guilt, anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, anger, difficulty in maintaining relationships and physical pain. Our counsellors are attuned to the effects of immigration and exile on an individual. We recognize the difficulties of cultural isolation, confusion and its impact on the presentation of illness.

What we offer?

Our counselors offer individual short-term (6 to 12 sessions) and culturally sensitive counseling in Turkish. Currently, there are two on-going therapeutic groups. Due to high demand, clients can be referred to these groups by our Mental Health Team only.

Some examples of the referral types we take on are:

  • Problems related to being a refugee or asylum seeker
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Bereavement
  • Psychosomatic illness
  • Relationship problems
  • Psychosexual problems
  • Gambling (since April 2010 we provide individual confidential face to face Counseling on Problem Gambling for gamblers and their families among Kurdish, Turkish and Cypriot Turkish Communities in London). Please click the link Counselling on Problem Gambling here to get more information.

Who can use our Counselling Service?

This is an adult (16 onwards) counseling service for Turkish speaking clients or clients of Turkish, Kurdish and Cypriot origin. We mainly provide the service for members of communities above, who reside and/or are registered with a GP in Hackney. However with the City Bridge Trust funding we are now able to offer the service to Londoners (members of communities above only) who are residing out of Hackney as well.

How to refer to us?

We accept referrals in writing from GPs, other Primary Health Care professionals, Locality Mental Health Teams and voluntary sector for adult counselling.

You can download our Counselling Service Referral Form here.

Limitations to referrals…. Unfortunately we are not able to accept clients:

  • who cannot travel to surgery/health centre
  • who are actively psychotic
  • with learning difficulties
  • whose primary problem is drug and alcohol misuse
  • who display violent behaviour
  • who need long term intervention or psychiatric treatment

Derman’s strategy for addressing accessibility limitations:

  1. If the client is under 16 years old, we will refer them to most appropriate children and young people’s
    services with the collaboration of other professionals in the area.
  2. If the client cannot travel to the GP surgeries, we will refer them to suitable home based psychological intervention service.
  3. If the client is actively psychotic or needs long psychiatric treatment, we will refer them to the psychiatrist from Mental Health Trust with the liaison with his/her GP.
  4. The client with learning difficulties might need more specialised services. We will, therefore, refer them to most appropriate learning difficulties services.
  5. If the substance misuse is a primary problem for the client, we will refer them to drug specialist mental health services.
  6. We do not accept violent/abusive behaviour towards Derman staff. We try to reduce the
    risk of violence by providing suitable training and information to staff and by giving all
    staff with personal alarm. Clients with violent behaviour would be warned and not to be seen while abusive.  

We provide counselling service from different GP surgeries in Hackney and Derman office. Some of the premises do not have wheelchair access; however, Derman will ensure that to find an accessible and appropriate venue for persons with disabilities.

What happens after a client has been referred to us?

Unless it is an emergency each client is sent an opt-in letter. Only clients who respond to opt-in letter are sent an assessment appointment. Following the assessment sessions the client is offered 6 or 12 sessions of individual counseling depending on her/his needs, each session lasting 50 minutes.

If the client does not attend 2 consecutive appointments without informing us, she/he will be taken off the counseling list and the GP will be informed. Both after assessment and at the completion of counseling, following agreement with the client, the counsellor will provide a brief feedback to the GP. Emergency cases are always given priority and aimed to be seen within 2 weeks.

Where we provide counselling sessions?

We provide counselling in various GP surgeries in North London areas as well as at Derman.

Our counsellors

Derman counselling team consists of experienced counsellors who have been trained in integrative and person centred approaches. Our counselors work within the parameters set by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and its Ethical Framework and receive regular professional supervision.

If you would like to have further information about our counselling service,
please  contact us.

Confidentiality and Data Protection

All those employed at Derman perform their duties within a framework of confidentiality. Personal information given to GPs, other professionals and staff by users will not be passed on to anyone outside of the service except where there is a legal requirement to do so i.e. where there are child protection issues or where there is threat of self-harm or harm to another individual.

Take a look at our “Your Personal Information and How It is Used” leaflet for more information on Confidentiality and Data Protection.

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