Please note: We apologise as we are not able to take referrals for our counselling waiting lists until further notice. This does not apply to clients who have visited the Elms over the past 12 months. We will update this section of the website as well as our Facebook page as soon as we are open for new referrals again.
If you have visited the Elms over the past 12 months, click on the button below to download our self-referral form.
We offer free face-to-face counselling for women and teenage girls who have experienced rape, child sexual abuse or any other form of sexual abuse or violence and who live in Cambridgeshire. Our counselling is available in Cambridge and Ely. Women can self-refer to our counselling service or we can accept referrals from other organisations and agencies. We can see women for up to 20 sessions.
It takes a lot of courage to come for counselling and it is not always easy to talk about your thoughts and feelings. You don’t have to talk about anything that you are not ready to talk about. Your counsellor will not judge you or tell you what to do. She will help you to try to make sense of what has happened to you and explore the ways in which you may feel differently about yourself and your relationships. She will be alongside you on this part of your journey as you work out how to fit together all the pieces of your life.
Taking care of yourself
Counselling is not a magic wand and cannot make all the pain disappear. Sometimes you may feel good and positive and at other times you may feel upset and angry. It is important to take care of yourself, especially just before and after your appointments as you will probably be thinking about and speaking about some difficult memories and experiences.
Counselling can give you some time, space and peace where you can think, reflect and talk things through. Our hope is that this will help you on your way to regain a sense of control over your own life.
You can download and fill in the self-referral form and send it back to us. If you prefer to speak to our Counselling Co-ordinator before referring yourself, you can email us on email@example.com or call our office on 01223 313551. You can also contact us to ask us to email or post the self-referral form and a return envelope to you.
Our waiting lists can vary by location and it changes throughout the year. Generally the waiting time is around four months, but it can be a little bit more or less than that. We make sure to tell you the current waiting time when you are referred and will be in touch when you are getting close to the top of the waiting list.
First of all we will arrange for you to meet with your counsellor to talk about what you want from the service and what we can offer you. We will try our best to be flexible and to arrange your appointments for times that suit you. You can see your counsellor every week usually at the same time on the same day. Your counselling appointments will last for 50 minutes each time.
If you are struggling financially, we are able to make a reasonable contribution towards the costs of travel.
We try to be flexible when arranging your appointments, so if your child is at school we will ensure that your appointment has finished by the time the school day is over. If you need to use childcare to be able to attend appointments and you are struggling financially, we are able to make a reasonable contribution towards the costs of someone looking after your child.
In line with Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre’s current policy on maintaining a women-only space, we support people who self-define as a women within our face-to-face counselling service, and would seek to signpost trans men and non-binary trans people to a more appropriate service.
Due to demands on the counselling service, we are not able accept repeat referrals or returners unless there is a compelling reason, such as revictimisation or the client not receiving the full 20 sessions at first referral. If you would like to discuss this with our Counselling Co-ordinator, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We regret that our funding only allows us to provide the service for women and girls who live in Cambridgeshire. If you live in another county, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis Centre to find out more about their counselling service, or you can get in touch with us at email@example.com to find out more.
We only have limited availability for evening appointments, so the waiting list for these can be up to a year. We do not have any appointments available at the weekend.
You are legally entitled to take time out from work to attend counselling appointments and we are happy to write a letter of support for your employer if you feel this would be helpful. We understand that some women are not comfortable with speaking to their managers about what has happened to them.
Yes, Peterborough Rape Crisis offers counselling in Peterborough and Wisbech. You can make referrals into the service through the Cambridge & Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership website: click here for professional referrals or here for self-referrals. If you have any questions about the service, you can contact Peterborough Rape Crisis directly on 01733 225937.
All staff and volunteers at Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre are DBS checked and have signed a confidentiality agreement. Our records are stored in locked cabinets with restricted access. If the police request a copy of our counselling records, we would ask for your permission before releasing them.