FAQs for Clients

If you’ve never been to a counsellor before, it’s natural to feel a bit hesitant. Clients frequently tell us that Open Doors is a very homey place, not at all clinical, and with an atmosphere of peace and calm they find helpful.

Whether you receive your counselling face to face at our Ringwood centre, via phone or via online video conferencing, our counsellors are dedicated to your wellbeing, self-awareness and self-determination. We will support you to make your own well-informed decisions and are here for you as long as needed.

Here are some FAQs that may be useful as you consider counselling at Open Doors. Some relate specifically to our pregnancy counselling services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Decision making pregnancy counselling from Open Doors is:

  1. independent of political activity associated with abortion (so you are not part of someone else's 'campaign', either for or against)
  2. independent of abortion provision (so your decision is not linked to someone else's financial gain)
  3. independent of abortion referral (so after counselling you are still thinking things through for yourself)
  4. provides information about all aspects of each of the options available to you: continuing the pregnancy, abortion, adoption/fostering (so you are better able to understand the nature of each option)
  5. there just for you (so you can determine what you feel, what you believe and what you want and always feel able to return, no matter what you decide).

A session lasts for 50 minutes and is held in a private face-to-face setting. The first session is usually spent talking about why you have come for counselling, what's been happening in your life, your present situation and what you would like to achieve through the counselling. A counsellor will not give specific advice but is there to listen, give support and help you explore your options.

If the reason for your contact is about a pregnancy decision, your counsellor will help you to explore your pregnancy related problems and the options of a) continuing the pregnancy b) adoption and c) abortion.

We do not judge or push any particular viewpoint. We will support you in whatever you decide.

For Couples counselling, your counsellor may schedule some individual sessions as well as your sessions together.

Counselling at Open Doors is confidential. The counsellor will write notes after each session to assure a thorough understanding and comprehension of the issues. All client notes are kept secured.

Counsellors are bound to ethical principles that mean only breaking confidentiality if there is evidence that clients may harm themselves or other people. This would be done with the client's knowledge and consent if possible.

Sessions are usually once a week for a period of time that is suited to your needs. Usually more than one session is needed as it takes a bit of time and discussion to explore feelings and thoughts around problems in order to make an informed decision. Your counsellor will continue to support you with ongoing counselling for as long as you like no matter what your decision.

Our Ringwood centre is open Mon 9.30 – 8pm and Tues/Wed/Thurs 9.30 – 3pm. Please ring or email for an appointment.

Wed 3 – 8pm by special arrangement.

Open Doors is a not-for-profit organisation. We charge a very low fee for our services and encourage you to discuss any concerns with your counsellor/therapist if you are experiencing financial hardship.

  • Pregnancy related counselling – $30.
  • Other counselling issues, individual - $60
  • Psychotherapy, individual - $60
  • Couples counselling - $80
  • Open Doors does not have access to the mental health rebate scheme, however psychologist's fees for similar services can range from $120 – $220 per session, with a limit of 10 sessions in a 12-month period. At Open Doors you can access a low-cost service for as many sessions as you wish.

Yes. You are encouraged to bring your partner, friend and/or parents if that is what you would like. This could be very helpful and beneficial to your counselling. It is also important that your counsellor spends time just with you, and your counsellor will encourage this.

No. We have no connection with any other organisation, no links to abortion providers, and no connection to any political activity about abortion. Our counselling is non-directive. Our focus is you and your needs. We aim to empower you to make the decision that's right for you. We also want you to feel completely free to return to us at any time. Some people do have problems after abortion and will not go back to a service that is at all connected with the abortion. For these reasons abortion referral is not part of our counselling process.

Our professional staff members have qualifications in psychotherapy and clinical counselling, undertake regular supervision and professional development and are members of their respective professional organisations.

Our volunteer counsellors have undertaken extensive training in non-directive counselling and are provided with ongoing training and professional supervision. Some members of our volunteer team are qualified midwives, counsellors and couples specialists – they donate their time and skills to Open Doors and are an invaluable part of the overall team.

All Open Doors counsellors are committed to meeting the ethical and service delivery standards of the organisation.