A message from Executive Director

Tanya Orr

23 March 2020

Update from Willows - 30th April 2020

Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8 v12

Light is to darkness what love is to fear; in the presence of one the other disappears. Marianne Williamson


Greetings from Willows

How are you? I trust and pray that you and your loved ones are safe and well.


The above words of Jesus and the beautiful quote have been helpful in reminders that even though the way forward seems dim or even dark at times the reality is that light always triumphs darkness.


Willows, like many charities, are having to adapt and be creative. We have made a number of changes including

  • Staff working remotely at home with weekly Virtual Staff Meetings

  • Furloughing our Receptionists, Admin and Counselling Coordinator under the government Job Retention Scheme

  • Moving counselling from Face to Face sessions in Willows to online or telephone for those counsellors and clients who feel able to do this

  • Moving all our training courses (levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and the Bridging Course ) online with the full support of our awarding bodies

  • Providing a supportive Facebook presence in the wider community with lots of resources, videos, education and inspiration

  • Finding new ways to manage our new counselling referrals.


We are using this unexpected opportunity to also catch up with things that seem to always be at the bottom of the To Do List such as updating our database and finding ways for all our different systems and procedures to link together more usefully. We will be sending out correspondence in the next few weeks asking if you still want to hear form us as we review and update our GDPR policy as required. Please do take the time to read the information and confirm if you wish to be included in our updates or not. If we don’t hear back form you we are legally not allowed to keep your information and we won’t be able to keep in touch.


Willows has also had to rigorously review our finances and after much thought and prayer we are setting up an Appeal to Keep Willows Going. You will be receiving a letter soon explaining where we stand financially, the options we have and asking for your help. We also ask that you consider if you might be able to forward this letter to other people and organisations you know to help us meet our financial need.

I cannot really find the words to show how much I appreciate everyone involved with Willows for their willingness to adapt and be flexible, their commitment and love. I really miss seeing everyone in and out of Willows over the week and very much appreciate the calls and emails from people straying connected. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.


Tanya on behalf of the Willows Team

Train with Willows

Amazing value, professional, up-to-date

Train to become a counsellor, increase your expertise and top-up your CPD

Get To Know Us

Willows was established in 1989 to train counsellors and in 1995 we became a counselling and training service. In 2016 we began conducting research to support and enrich our counselling and training.

We are committed to providing professional and effective counselling and seek to reach those in greatest need. Our aim is to offer you a warm and caring service where you can build a trusting therapeutic relationship so that you can explore the difficulties you are experiencing and help you lead a more fulfilled life.

Our Training courses are nationally recognised and are designed to take students through to becoming a qualified counsellor who is equipped to provide ethical and professional counselling.

The research we undertake enables us to keep refining our counselling and training and has been fundamental in developing new ways of working.


Willows Philosophy

Willows integrative approach in counselling training can best be described as being based upon person centred principals and drawing upon psychodynamic insights, using both cognitive behavioural and creative methods within a transpersonal world view that is Christian in values.


Our approach recognises attachment theory as the bases of understanding human development and seeks to incorporate the latest understanding on the role of the brain, body and nervous system in recovery. Willows model of counselling seeks to take a holistic view of human functioning.

These insights and approaches are incorporated into Willows training. At each level of training the place of faith, belief and spirituality is also considered. Whist these are recognised as resources that can make a significant difference in recovery, training also focuses on integrating, faith and spirituality “with integrity” in the task of counselling, and where it is appropriate and required by clients.

Willows Counselling Service is an organisational member of both the Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) and the National Counselling Society (NCP), and works to both frameworks of ethics and practice.


Faith basis of Willows

Our Christian ethos is very important to Willows. This means that we believe everyone is created equal, is unique and will be treated with grace, not judgement.

We aim to act with truth and integrity. In essence we endeavour to show love.

We do not provide healing ministry or prayer, nor do we train in Biblical counselling. However all our training and counselling is underpinned by a Christian worldview and the importance of spirituality as a potential resource.


Supported by

Willows Counselling Service,  The Willows Centre, 11 Prospect Place, Swindon, SN1 3LQ  :  01793 426650 : ©2019 : UK Charity No. 1185304