Counselling Service

Friendly service offering safe, professional and affordable counselling in Poole and Exeter.

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We are here to listen!

Whether you need just a few sessions to deal with an immediate problem or would like to work long-term on a deeper issue, we can help. 

Call 01392 499388

or email

09:30 - 17:00 hrs  Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays  
09:30 - 20:00 hrs  Tuesdays and Thursdays

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IMCS is a friendly service offering safe, professional, and affordable counselling in Poole, Dorset and Exeter, Devon. 

Counselling offers a quiet and calm space in which to explore any difficulties you are experiencing in your life with a therapist who will guide you in a caring and non-judgemental way.

  • Individual counselling for adults
  • Open to the public - referral letters are not necessary
  • Daytime and evening appointments
  • Free of charge initial phone call and/or initial assessment
  • Low counselling fees

The majority of IMCS counsellors are mature students progressing through their professional training in counselling or psychotherapy at Iron Mill College, and who work for the service on a voluntary basis. All counsellors are supported by experienced supervisors and are student members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) 

IMCS is a popular service and operates a holding (‘waiting’) list. The downloadable documents to the left of this page provide further details about our initial consultations, holding lists and provision of counselling, which may be helpful for you to read prior to contacting the service.

You are welcome to get in touch and we’ll arrange a free-of-charge initial phone call and / or initial consultation session to discuss your needs and whether we can be of assistance.

Iron Mill Counselling Service is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all.  

What is counselling?

Counselling is a process of creating a confidential space where people can begin to heal with the help of their counsellor

Counselling is concerned with the whole person and gives you time to talk about feelings thoughts and concerns. The counsellor provides a safe, confidential service which is non-judgmental.

Our counsellors can help support you with a variety of issues, including:

  • Self-esteem issues.
  • Relationship difficulties.
  • Loss, bereavement, and separation issues.
  • Depression.
  • Issues regarding family life.
  • Workplace or educational difficulties.
  • Emotional problems related to physical health issues.
  • Life stage issues and transitions such as becoming a parent.
  • Anxiety and stress.
  • Understanding ways of coping with reference to past experiences.

However, if you can't find the answer you're looking for, or need further help or information, do not hesitate to contact us at 01392 499388 or email

What can I expect?

You can expect to be provided with a non-judgmental approach by a respectful, open, and genuine person.

Your counsellor will not give advice, direction, or solutions to problems or issues, but they will help you gain insight and new perspectives. Each session lasts 50 minutes and you will meet with your counsellor on a weekly basis. You may terminate therapy at any time. We have male and female counsellors and a choice of weekday and evening appointments.

Sessions with your counsellor are confidential. However, counsellors are obligated to break confidentiality if you disclose that you intend to harm yourself or another person or if you reveal current abuse of a minor.

Opening hours & location

Iron Mill Counselling Service is based in 'The Quadrangle' at Iron Mill College in Exeter, 7 Barnfield Crescent, Southernhay East, EX1 1QT (just to the rear of 'Morwenstow') and at Acorn Business Park, Unit C, Lower Ground Floor, Ling Road, Poole, BH12 4NZ. 

For full details of our location, public transport, and parking, click here

The service currently operates from 9.30am until 5.00pm on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays and from 9.30am until 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Poole dates and times are to be confirmed, to regsiter your interest, please email 

Please note that we are closed during bank holidays and for a period over Christmas – please see notifications on the home page during this time for details of the college closure period.

How much will it cost?

When you first get in touch, we’ll arrange a free 45-minute initial assessment session. You will then be matched to a suitable counsellor for subsequent sessions, which last 50 minutes and costs £20. 

Our counselling service is a not-for-profit initiative of Iron Mill College and aims to make counselling more accessible - offering a safe, professional yet affordable service.

How do I book?

To book an initial assessment or ask for more information, please call 01392 499388 or email

We’ll arrange a free 45-minute initial assessment session, and you will then be matched to a suitable counsellor for subsequent sessions, which last 50 minutes.


What can IMCS help with?
People come to counselling for all sorts of reasons. This list gives some common reasons, but your reason might be different, and that is ok too. 

  • Anxiety and/or panic
  • Depression or low mood
  • Support at a difficult time
  • Bereavement
  • Coping with major changes
  • Relationship issues
  • Trauma
  • Work issues or redundancy
  • Stress
  • Support as a carer
  • Starting to have suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harm

What can IMCS not help with?
IMCS is very careful to ensure we offer a safe service, which means we will only offer a counselling place to you if we believe we have counsellors on the team who can help you and who have an appropriate level of skill and experience. We cannot offer counselling support to people who

  • are in acute mental health crisis
  • are not registered with a GP locally
  • have current serious untreated addiction issues
  • are under 18 years of age
  • do not have the capacity to give informed consent for counselling
  • have requirements that sit outside the expertise or capacity of the service

If we cannot help, we will explain why, and where possible will signpost you to suitable sources of support.

What is an initial phone call/ initial appointment?
Most people will be offered an initial phone call, but during or after the phone call we may decide to offer a further initial 1:1 consultation meeting held at the service. The initial phone call and/or consultation meeting are not a counselling session. Their purpose is to give you the chance to speak with a senior member of the team, who will

  • listen to your outline of the reasons you would like counselling, and help assess whether this is the right service for you at this time
  • explain a little about the service, and give you the chance to ask questions so you can make an informed choice
  • establish your availability and any other preferences
  • talk about the process and what to expect talk about practicalities such as cost/ payment and take some initial information

Please read the downloadable document entitled “About the IMCS”, available in the 'Downloads' tab. 

How long are the holding (‘waiting’) lists?
The service cannot give a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question, as every arrangement is unique. Factors depend upon how many people are waiting for counselling, what your availability is, what you might need, and when a suitably experienced counsellor becomes available. The wait is often several months but can be longer or shorter. Sometimes if we have been trying for 3 - 4 months and are still unable to secure a suitable arrangement, despite our best efforts, we will contact you to reassess the situation. The service does not routinely contact people on the waiting lists until an arrangement has been made, but you may phone to check on progress at any time while on our holding list.

I need help urgently – can someone see me?
We have prepared a downloadable document, entitled “Emergency Services and Support”, which can be found in the 'Downloads' tab. This document contains useful contacts you can get in touch with if you have a crisis, an emergency or increasing support needs while waiting for counselling. Unfortunately, IMCS are not able to provide crisis support, or offer emotional/ therapeutic support to people on our holding lists. This is because you will not become a client of the service until we are able to make a suitable counselling arrangement for you. If your situation has significantly changed since your initial consultation, however, please let us know.

Can I have flexible appointments?
We are a small service and therefore do not have the capacity to manage flexible appointments at this time. We offer appointments once per week at the same time.

Course Venues:   Exeter   |   Poole   

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