To meet a growing demand for counselling services in Edinburgh, The Spark is set to open a new location in the city this month. Complementing their 13 locations across Scotland, the country’s leading counselling provider will open The Spark Counselling Edinburgh this January 2019.

Partnering with the Eric Liddell Centre, The Spark Counselling Edinburgh will provide individual, couple, marriage and family counselling services and support.

The perfect location for The Spark Counselling Edinburgh

“The Eric Liddell Centre is the perfect location for The Spark offering clients a safe, peaceful setting in Edinburgh for counselling and support”, says CEO Stella Gibson. “This expansion reflects increased demand across the board for Edinburgh counselling services and particularly in the west and south-west of the city.”

Explaining the decision to open the new location, Gibson said: “Our ethos is to provide access to counselling for all, irrespective of circumstances or means. This new counselling location offers individuals, couples and families across Edinburgh access to affordable therapy and support services.”

The Spark partners with the Eric Liddell Centre

Established in 1965, The Spark provides counselling services for couples, individuals and families across Scotland. Providing counselling and support interactions for thousands of people each year, The Spark is one of the largest providers of therapeutic services in the country.

The Eric Liddell Centre – named after the Scottish Olympic champion and missionary depicted in the film ‘Chariots of Fire’ – provides specialist caring services. It was founded in 1980 by four local Edinburgh churches including the Morningside Congregational Church where Liddell was a member and taught Bible class.

counselling Edinburgh - exterior image of the Eric Liddell Centre in Morningside, Edinburgh
The Eric Liddell Centre in Morningside, Edinburgh.

The care charity’s mission is to be at the heart of the local community – enhancing health & wellbeing and improving people’s lives and continues to do so nearly four decades after its launch.

The CEO of the Eric Liddell Centre care charity and community hub, John MacMillan, said: “We are thrilled to welcome The Spark to the Eric Liddell Centre and I am delighted that they will base their team in our community hub.”

“I’m sure they will be a great asset to local communities and their presence will enhance the range of excellent services that are based here.”

Additional counsellors for The Spark Counselling Edinburgh

As part of the expansion, The Spark will be continuing to increase its roster of professional counsellors working with existing staff working in the Eric Liddell Centre.

For more information about The Spark Counselling Edinburgh or counselling services provided by The Spark, freephone 0808 802 0050 during opening times. Alternatively, visit the dedicated Edinburgh counselling page or complete an online enquiry.

The Spark is also the largest provider of school-based counselling and therapy services in Scotland, supporting 4,000 children and young people each academic year. Find out more about our counselling services for children and young people.

Chances are that when we meet someone new one of the first questions we are asked is: ‘what do you do for a living?’  It breaks the ice, is a good starter for further conversation and helps build rapport.

Here at The Spark a more important question is: ‘why do we do what we do?’  This is far from superficial and goes to the very heart of why we work here.

why do we do what we do at the sparkWhy do we do what we do?

We are passionate about relationships. Every member of The Spark’s team believes relationships are the cornerstone of society and therefore the health of those relationships is vital.

When we take time to think about it, every aspect of our lives is influenced by relationships. Take your home life for example. The relationships you have with your partner, kids, neighbours, family and friends all impact on how good (or otherwise) you consider your home life to be.

Each one directly impacts upon your mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing. Both positively and negatively as recent research by the London School of Economics has proven. At The Spark we aim to support individuals, couples and families deal with relationship problems through our counselling services. This will help them towards enhanced mental and emotional wellbeing.

tackling violence the sparkChildren and young people

We do a lot of work with children and young people.  That’s not just because, to use a cliché, ‘children are our future…’  Unfortunately in too many areas of Scotland there are young people who have little experience of the value of good relationships in creating a happy, healthy and successful life.

Through youth counselling and school education programmes we help children to move away from potentially damaging situations and to develop greater resilience in relationships with friends, peers, family and community.


The Spark – customer focused

At The Spark we base all our services on a thorough understanding of the needs of our clients.  An interesting recent example involved training volunteers aged 17-18 to help us run a consultation in the east of Glasgow with younger children on how relationships affected their lives.

This created a realistic picture of teenagers’ well-being in one of the most disadvantaged areas of the country.  By training volunteers we also built the capacity in the local community to promote the value of positive relationships.

Lifelong learning with The Spark

All of us have opportunities to learn and at The Spark we create an environment where individuals and groups can acquire new skills.  We run short courses for professionals Mental Health First Aid and Relationship First Aid for example – so they can help their service users create better relationships.  At the other end of the scale we also run a Masters course for those wishing to pursue their practice in relationship counselling.

family-the-sparkCounselling and support for all

Of utmost importance to us is that we provide the same high quality service regardless of your age, gender, race, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, relationship status, disability or income.  Whoever you are you are always guaranteed help and support at The Spark.

This commitment to our values is what often characterises workers in what is called the ‘third sector’ – for example charities and voluntary organisations. That is not to say that if you work at a major supermarket or private company you do not have a commitment to your customers.

Instead what binds The Spark together and drives us forward is that we work to develop positive relationships in the belief that we are improving the emotional health and wellbeing of children, young people, couples, parents and families.

So the next time you meet someone new and are tempted to ask: ‘what do you do for a living?’ why not ask ‘why do you do what you do?’

Counselling services

Find out more about on counselling, couples counselling and marriage counselling services from The Spark. We offer in-person, online and telephone counselling and have 17 regional counselling locations across Scotland.

To make an enquiry freephone 0808 802 0050 or complete an enquiry form.

Parents and Families

Find out more about counselling and support services for Parents and Families.

Training opportunities

Visit the Professionals section for more information on short courses, training and advanced training offered by The Spark.

Talking as the first step to overcoming depression

The Spark works extensively with professionals employed in customer facing roles within social care, education, housing, HR, employability and social work. In this blog we take a look at the key role supervision plays in helping both customer facing staff and the customers they serve.

What is supervision?

At first the prospect of ‘supervision’ sounds like something unpleasant. The term is often used with deliberately negative connotations: a badly-behaved child needs constant supervision for example. In the context of individuals working with members of the public or counsellors themselves, supervision is however a very positive and beneficial process.

In its simplest form supervision is where an individual or counsellor uses the services of another expert in their field to review their work with clients, their professional development and often their personal development. Ultimately the objective of supervision here is to enhance existing skills, build new skills and abilities and improve the outcomes for the individual and their customers.

Supervision in action

The following is from a case-study of supervision work undertaken at The Spark. Names and details have been changed to maintain confidentiality:

I was referred to supervision at The Spark by my manager. As an Employability Adviser I work with a diverse group of vulnerable clients. My clients face significant challenges personally and professionally in seeking and retaining employment. Over a very short period of time my workload increased significantly – spread across 5 different locations – and several of my clients confided some very personal and troubling issues to me. At that point I didn’t know what to do with what I had been told by my clients and I didn’t feel like there was anyone I could speak to about it. The pressure of the job was starting to affect me: I was feeling stressed and frustrated at work and felt I was not in the best place or had enough time to provide the best service to my clients.

supervision to help with troubling client issues and discloures

After discussing my concerns with my manager one of the suggestions she made was attending supervision at The Spark. I knew nothing about supervision that created a bit of apprehension over what to expect and what would be expected of me. I felt very nervous and quite vulnerable about discussing my issues and feelings with someone else. A complete stranger no less. But equally I knew I was in a situation at work that I did not know how to move forward from and was willing to give it a try. 

I met with Nicola who began the session by explaining the process of supervision, the reason why people attended and what was involved. Very quickly Nicola put me at ease and I felt more comfortable than I had expected.

During the session we discussed some of the issues shared by clients, how I reacted to these and looked at techniques of dealing with similar issues in the future.   As the sessions progressed we discussed a wide variety of things including the way in which I worked with clients, communication within the workplace, how to work differently to change results, building relationships and earning the right to challenge whilst ensuring clients retained ownership of their issues or barriers. Nicola was very good at explaining the theory behind the way I worked and why this was effective in the workplace. I took a lot of what I did for granted and she explained that not everyone works in the same way I do and that I have a natural way of working with people that encourages them to share their experiences.

The benefits of supervision

I have benefited greatly as a result of attending Supervision and working with Nicola. It has made me aware of my abilities as an adviser and built my confidence in terms of listening to and trusting my instincts. Importantly it gave me a place where I could talk confidentially about the often difficult and troubling issues my clients would tell me. As a result of this I believe my clients also have more confidence in me. At first I would be nervous before attending the supervision session itself but as time progressed I found I enjoyed the process of preparing, going over the work I had been doing and sharing my successes with Nicola.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the learning and development gained through supervision, learning skills and techniques that I can use not only at work but also in my personal life. I am much more relaxed and things have progressed positively at work. My manager also commented on the difference in my work performance compared to last year at my performance review.

As someone who is a very private person I did not think I would enjoy supervision but I truly have and I believe this is down to Nicola. She is very skilled and knowledgeable; she made me feel relaxed and comfortable. I really appreciate all the support I received and the team at The Spark are very friendly and approachable and always provided a welcoming environment.

Find out more about supervision

Find out more about professional training and support with The Spark by emailing our Workforce Development Team.

To enquire about supervision services with The Spark please complete our enquiry form.