I first contacted HSTAR Scotland on October 12th, 2021. I was very
quickly assigned a counsellor – my first session was the 9th of November
2021. All interactions with HSTAR were via calls and my sessions with my
counsellor were done through Zoom meetings.
I have experienced a lot of sexual traumas, and had had a recent
triggering experience. I needed free counselling.
I was very nervous before the first session, as I have had lots of
experiences with counsellors who haven’t worked out for me. I felt a
little bit better during the session, though still hesitant. After the
meeting I felt positive about the potential for the counselling
relationship, but it wasn’t until after the 2nd or 3rd session that I
really felt sure that it was a great counselling relationship.
After the 1st session, I was looking forward to the 2nd one but it was
because I wanted to rush healing/know whether the relationship would
work out. My expectations were not met – they were exceeded! The
counsellor seemed to know exactly the right questions to ask and exactly
which parts had significance. She definitely understood my healing needs
and I felt looked after for sure.
I always felt safe with this counsellor. I didn’t always feel
comfortable but that’s not because of anything the counsellor did wrong
– either I felt uncomfortable with the topic being discussed as it is
sexual trauma, after all. I felt uncomfortable during the first session
because I was telling her about my nervousness that she might not be a
good fit for me. I have a hard time telling people anything that could
potentially be taken as an insult or slight on them. Overall, however,
my counsellor made it easy for me to open up about what are usually
awkward topics to open up about because they are very private.
I definitely benefitted from this. It was one of the best counselling
relationships I’ve ever had. I feel much better and stronger, and can
see potential paths to healing more in future. What has changed is that
I now have hope. Before, I would write off sexual encounters but now I
see them as a possibility – though still more difficult than they would
be without any trauma.
The number of sessions worked for us, though with me and counselling
there is usually more to go into if given free sessions for it. I would
definitely consider continuing these services, and will probably reapply
I have and will continue to recommend HSTAR to others who have suffered
trauma and abuse. It has helped me immensely and I’d love to spread the
word about this wonderful service.
I thank you for running a fantastic service. I had barely any waiting
time, got a fantastic therapist who I worked really well with and made
All of the things I mentioned above are rare and so valuable. Thank you.