Family members and friends, including children, may also be finding things difficult. Our team of experienced counsellors and therapists can help you and your family talk about your situation in a safe and sensitive way.  

The service is available to all patients under the care of the hospice and their relatives / carers, including children. 

Ongoing support for patients  

We offer a range of counselling / therapy services. 

  • Individual Counselling 
  • Individual Art Therapy 
  • Art Therapy Group 
  • Family Counselling 
  • Couple Counselling 

We offer sessions in sets of six which can be spaced at intervals to match your needs. After the first five we will review with you how things are going and if needed, offer further counselling sessions.  

Most of our counselling takes place at the hospice in one of our counselling rooms but we can also see you on the ward or in exceptional circumstances, at home.  

Ongoing support for Family and Carers (Including Children)  

As with patients, we can see you on your own or with other family members.  

As our resources are limited, we generally offer up to six counselling sessions. We will then review how things are going with you and in some circumstances we may be able to extend this.   

Individual counselling and art therapy usually take place on a weekly basis in one of the hospice counselling rooms. If your responsibilities as a carer make it difficult for you to come to the hospice we can provide telephone counselling.  

Family and couple counselling sessions are generally fortnightly. 


When your referral is received by the counselling team we will contact you within a few working days to arrange an initial meeting (assessment). 

At the assessment meeting, we will ask you to give us a full picture of your situation including what support or services you are already receiving. We will talk about what we can offer you and think together about what may be a helpful way forward. 

Sometimes this meeting is all that is needed but we may offer ongoing counselling with our team or referral to another service, or a combination of both. 

Making a Referral

You can be referred by a member of hospice staff who is already supporting you or our family member. 

You can also refer yourself by calling the hospice First Contact Team on 0300 303 0400.  

At this stage you will be asked for brief details of why you would like to be referred and factual information such as your name, contact details and date of birth.  

Services are free of charge and we welcome people of all faiths and none, irrespective of age, gender and sexual orientation. 

The Elephant Kit

Snorky Box HorizontalsmWhat is the Elephant Kit?

The Elephant Kit is a therapeutic toolkit provided free of charge to families with children, related to anyone who is being cared for by St Joseph’s Hospice.

When can it be helpful?

Coming to terms with life limiting illness can be difficult for everyone. It can be especially hard for children to make sense of and talk about what is happening. The Elephant Kit contains creative tools, toys and games, carefully designed to welcome children to the hospice environment, support their emotional health and help families communicate during this difficult time. This could be at any stage of the illness or after the loss of a loved one.