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Counselling Service

As an RCN member you can get free, confidential support and assistance to help you deal with challenging, emotional issues you may face, whether work related or personal.

Why access RCN counselling? 

You may be facing personal problems such as stress, trauma, depression, anxiety, bereavement, relationship breakdown, domestic violence, or low self-esteem. Work-related difficulties could include issues such as bullying and harassment, managing your workload, dealing with work errors, manager/supervisor relationships and adjusting to new responsibilities.

What to expect

RCN counselling provides Brief Therapy over the phone with experienced, highly qualified and accredited counsellors from diverse backgrounds. Our counsellors are sensitive to the therapeutic needs of cultural minority groups.  

The service will match you up with one of our counsellors, who after the assessment will book all subsequent appointments directly with you.  If the service does not meet your needs, then let us know so that we can rectify any issues you might experience with your referral.

As part of your counselling with the RCN we will invite you to complete a brief, confidential questionnaire. The information you provide will give focus to your sessions, help your counsellor understand how you are at the moment, and help us evaluate and improve our service.

Is RCN counselling right for you?

RCN counselling is suitable for members who want short term, brief therapy on a wide range of issues that may affect them within their personal lives, their professional lives, or both.

When RCN counselling may not be suitable

RCN counselling will not be suitable for those who are already engaging with a counsellor, psychologist or therapist elsewhere. This is because counselling codes of ethics and practice deem that having two therapists at the same time may actually be confusing or even harmful, since different therapists may use conflicting styles, models or approaches.

RCN counselling may not be suitable for those who, following an assessment, are deemed to need longer term counselling or specialist psychological support.

Our Counselling Contract

If you want to read more about the terms, circumstances and conditions in which we offer counselling, a copy of our Counselling contract can be found here.

Work related advice

If you need advice on a work related issue, want to know more about your employment rights, or need to be put in contact with your RCN rep.


COVID-19 and your mental health

Advice and resources on how to look after your mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, with tips for self care.

How to make an appointment

To make an appointment, call RCN Direct on 0345 772 6100, or see our page on how to contact the advice team.

The counselling service operates over the telephone so you can access counselling at a time that suits you. One of our counsellors will phone you at an agreed time.

The next available appointment is in 7 - 10 weeks.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Online advice and guidance on depression, domestic abuse, grief and loss, relationships, trauma, and stress and anxiety.
Logo image for mental health section

Further information

The RCN's guide Stress and You advises how you can reduce stress and manage your responses more effectively, as well as what support to expect from your employer. 

See the NHS Mood Zone for practical information, interactive tools and videos from the NHS, to help you look after your mental health.

The NHS Mood self-assessment quiz is based on tests commonly used by GPs to assess whether someone is stressed, anxious or depressed.

The Listening Service - Nurse Lifeline offers a national, free and confidential peer to peer listening service, by nurses and midwives, for nurses and midwives.

You can also get help and advice on a range of workplace issues.

Five ways to combat compassion fatigue

Emotional resilience coach and former frontline nurse Jayne gives her top tips on understanding and overcoming empathy-sapping exhaustion
A tired nurse


Whatever you're going through, The Samaritans can offer emotional support over the phone, any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.



The mental health charity, Mind,  is there to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone. Find out more by visiting their website.

mental health


The Acas framework for positive mental health at work shows the role of employers, managers and individuals in promoting mental health at work.

Are you a counsellor?

If you are interested in working with us as a Counsellor to provide session work.

Find out about joining our network of practitioners to provide telephone counselling to RCN members.