Moving to a new country is always daunting, and when migration is forced upon you adjusting to another culture can be overwhelming. For some a little human warmth and a chat can hit the spot; others may wish to talk more deeply about what is troubling them.

Laughing ladiesSkills & Training Network (STN) offers a specialist support service providing confidential and non-judgemental counselling to immigrant (mainly) women who have experienced trauma in their country of origin or are having problems settling in the UK.

STN understands the complex needs of displaced women from Middle Eastern and North African communities, removed to London, and having to deal with trauma caused by civil war, regional conflict or tribal violence. Speaking openly about such issues as domestic violence, sexual orientation and personal abuse is seldom accepted within the target communities and one of our primary aims is to encourage abused women to seek assistance, not suffer in silence.

In order to achieve these aims STN provides both individual and group counselling in several languages – we currently cater to Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi and Dari Afghani. Our counselling service can be accessed by any woman submitting a referral form filled by herself, her GP or a support advisor.

We provide interpreter services, emotional support, advocacy and referrals, public education and individual and group counselling in the areas of domestic violence, parenting, health, law, immigration, housing and education.

We can help smooth the process of cultural adaptation; providing information on your rights in the UK while helping you develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle; understanding the repercussions of abuse, whether physical or psychological, personal or social.

Who is the service for?

Anyone who is finding life truly difficult and is looking for help to understand why will benefit from our counselling service. However strong we think we are there will be times when it is hard to cope with the pressures brought by an unfamiliar and often unwelcoming environment.

These may include problems with:

  • Loss and bereavementBlonde lady
  • Physical and emotional abuse
  • Isolation
  • Financial worries

And result in:

  • Anxiety, confusion, stress, anger
  • Depression
  • Low confidence/self-esteem
  • Phobias
  • Physical health problems

Types of counselling

Many Middle Eastern women move to the UK as a result of war or social upheaval, others to escape racial or religious persecution. They face a multitude of problems, including: cultural suppression, discrimination, domestic violence, forced marriage, honour related assault and female genital mutilation. We believe counselling is one way to help sufferers overcome such setbacks and move forward with their lives.

STN offers one-to-one and group counselling. We accept referrals from GP’s, social services, Police, community groups, individuals and self-referral. Clients are assigned a counselling program following an initial assessment by a trained adviser. All STN counsellors are qualified members of the counselling governing body, BACP, and are fully insured.

STN also run a drop-in program which offers a core counselling service providing ad hoc sessions for caring, listening and private discussion.

We are a small organisation which works closely with the local community. We are based in Edmonton but our counselling team accept clients from all parts of North East London. If you would like to make a donation, please go to our contacts page for the relevant information.