The Rainbow Project provides the only LGB&/T specific counselling service in Northern Ireland.

Counselling offers an opportunity to talk in confidence about challenges, losses, problems or issues that concern you.

Our counselling services include:

  • One-to-one counselling: for lesbian, gay, bisexual &/ transgender people about their sexual orientation.
  • Counselling for young LGB&/T people: we have a Young Person’s Counsellor who works with those aged 14 years and over.
  • Couple Counselling: for lesbian, gay, bisexual &/ transgender couples wanting to explore relationship issues and problems.
  • Short-term family support and/or mediation: support for the parents/carers of a lesbian, gay, bisexual &/ transgender child, or the spouse of a lesbian, gay, bisexual &/ transgender person.
  • Group-work & workshops: we facilitate a number of personal development courses, groups and workshops.

Who are the counsellors?

Our counsellors identify as LGB&/T and hold professional qualifications in counselling/psychotherapy, have significant experience and specific training in working with LGB&/T people.

Counselling services at The Rainbow Project are not delivered by student or trainee counsellors. Moreover, we do not believe that being gay/bisexual in itself qualifies a counsellor to provide counselling. For that reason, we require our counsellors to have specific training and experience of working with sexual minority clients (i.e. lesbian, gay and bisexual &/ transgender people).

All of our counsellors are accredited, or working towards accreditation, by the British/Irish  Associations for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP/IACP).

Finally, our counsellors are fully insured to practice and receive on-going training and external, independent supervision.

How much does counselling cost?

Counselling provided by The Rainbow Project is funded by the Public Health Agency and is free to clients. 

What if The Rainbow Project is not for me?

Deciding to see a counsellor is a big step. Finding the right counsellor for you is extremely important. We invite you to make an initial appointment with one of our counsellors  to find out more about our service and whether it is suited to your needs. If you or your counsellor decide that our service  is not for you, we will help you to access other counselling/support services that may be more appropriate to your needs.

Finding a counsellor who will be sexuality-affirmative can be made easier by checking out PinkTherapy who have a directory of affirmative therapists.

You may find it helpful asking some of the questions listed here of your prospective therapist. The therapist may not always answer the question, but you will get a sense of how they respond to you, even if you don’t get a direct answer.

How to make an appointment for counselling

You can make an appointment by calling our Belfast Office (02890319030) and asking to speak to one of the counsellors. Simple as that. Alternatively Click here to contact us by e mail.

We actively encourage appropriate third parties (e.g. parents/carers, teachers, social workers, GPs, youth workers, etc) to facilitate referrals for young people under the age of 18 years.

To download a copy of our counselling information leaflet click here