Providing support and promoting respect for everyone with a visible difference

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Counselling support

Find out about our confidential, one-to-one social, emotional and psychological support sessions for people living with a visible difference.

At Changing Faces, we offer confidential, one-to-one social, emotional and psychological counselling and support sessions to people of all ages in the UK with a condition, mark or scar that affects their appearance (a visible difference).

We know that having a visible difference can have an impact on your mental health and wellbeing. We have trained wellbeing practitioners who can provide guidance and support, over a series of sessions, to help you cope with your appearance-related worries and concerns.

Appointments are carried out over the phone or via video call, which means anyone from across the UK can access the service.

Read on for more information about the service. If you’re ready to submit an enquiry about accessing sessions, please click the button below to scroll down to our registration form:


Social and emotional support for children and young people

Amazing service, honestly do not know how we would have got through the tough times without their help and support.

Parent of a 10-year-old boy with eczema

Your practitioner will aim to build a trusting and compassionate relationship with you as a young person or with a child and your family, in a safe, confidential space. We offer up to 12 sessions. We also support parents to cope themselves and to provide help to their child.

This gives the opportunity to:

Counselling and support for young people and adults

My counsellor listened to me with empathy and understanding. I felt able to talk about anything with her. I now feel so much more confident and stronger. This has been a life-changing experience and I feel so grateful to have received your support. Thank you.

Adult client with an eye condition

Counselling and support sessions are for people living with a visible difference, focusing on mild to moderate mental health difficulties. We offer time-limited support with a focus on “here and now”.

We offer up to 12 sessions to give you an in-depth chance to reflect on the emotions, difficulties and challenges you might have around your visible difference.

To get the most from counselling and support at Changing Faces, your main issues need to focus primarily on the emotional and social effects of your visible difference on your life. Be prepared to talk about how your visible difference affects your mental health, wellbeing, social and public life.

You need to feel ready to fully engage in the sessions and able to commit to attending a regular appointment (weekly or every two weeks) between 9am and 5.30pm on a weekday.

Working with a practitioner enables you to:

  • Gain a different perspective and gain greater insight into your situation.
  • Explore your life challenges in relation to the impact of your visible difference and generate your own meanings and understandings of it.
  • Consider ways you can engage with life more fully, with greater ease and with less struggle, and meet your goals and aims to live the life you want.

Whilst counselling and support can be extremely rewarding, it is not for everybody. It requires motivation and a willingness to examine yourself and change – the process is not always straightforward.

However, if you’re at the point where you’re willing to explore your life as honestly and openly as possible, then it is likely counselling and support might be for you.

How does it work?

Throughout sessions we have built such rapport with Julie, she shows such efficiency and empathy not just to [our child], but to my family too and we talk about everything as we feel so comfortable and with Julie’s previous profession as a nurse, we feel she has a lot of knowledge and understanding of [our child] and my family.

Parent of an 8-year-old girl with scarring

There are three steps to beginning counselling and support:

  1. You’ll start by having a call with our Support and Information Line to explore the best options of support for you at this time.
  2. If counselling and support sessions feel like the right option, we will arrange an assessment to explore your needs with a practitioner. We will ask about your visible difference and the impact of this on your mental health and wellbeing, as well as explore any other issues you may have. The wait for an assessment is typically between one to three months.
  3. Once agreed, your sessions will take place at the same time each week (or fortnightly). You might have up to 12 sessions depending on what it right for you – this will be agreed between you and your counsellor before you start.

All sessions are confidential.

I was able to talk openly about what happened and how my appearance makes me feel, which I hadn’t been able to do before.

Adult client, describing their one-to-one sessions
Two people in a counselling and wellbeing support session, the client looking away from the camera

Wendy gives an insight into our counselling support service

In this blog, Wendy explains her role as a Wellbeing Practitioner and talks about how she supports clients to find their voice in our counselling and support sessions.

Read more

Is there anyone we would not be able to offer counselling and support to?

Changing Faces is not a mental health or a crisis service – if you are concerned about your general mental health or feel you are at risk, please speak to your GP to get the appropriate mental health support.

We are not able to work with people who are currently experiencing:

  • Complex mental health issues, such as psychosis, delusions, body dysmorphic disorder or personality disorder.
  • An active or recent risk of significant self-harm or suicide.
  • Major trauma symptoms.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Addiction problems.
  • Psycho-sexual issues.

In the above instances we would recommend a discussion with your GP who will be able to advise you about the most appropriate service for you and make a referral. Please visit our urgent support page for details of the organisations to contact if you need help now.

Request one-to-one sessions

Please fill in the form below or call us on 0300 012 0275. If you are under 16, we will need to speak to a parent or guardian first – please ask them to call us or complete the form below for you.

If you are a health or social care professional interested in referring a patient, please use our dedicated patient referral form.

Please enter as DD/MM/YYYY

If you are a professional referring a patient or client, please complete this form instead:

Our services are not available outside of the UK.

Calls from Changing Faces may be from a withheld number.

We take the protection of your personal data very seriously. We will treat your personal data confidentially and in accordance with the statutory data protection regulations. By providing us with your data, you give us permission to record your details on our secure database. We will use your details to correspond with you and to enable us to provide you with our service. After your treatment is complete, your data will be used anonymously for statistical purposes only. We will never use your data for any other purpose or share your data without your permission.

Please ensure you've read our full privacy policy

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Frequently asked questions

Some of the most common questions asked about our services – take a look before getting in touch to see if your query is already answered.

Support & Information Line

To arrange an assessment session, contact our support and information line by calling our friendly team or filling out an online form.