Your Recovery Journey

The Client Journey at Nexus

Client Journey at Nexus

Your Recovery Journey

The Client Journey at Nexus

Client Journey at Nexus


The Client Journey at Nexus

We offer a range of therapeutic interventions across Northern Ireland to meet needs of individuals who have been impacted by sexual abuse and abusive relationships on a person-centred basis.

We can offer counselling and group support to anyone impacted by sexual abuse. Our counselling currently is offered to people from age 8 and up. Anyone else impacted by abusive relationships/domestic abuse can access support via the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline on 0808 802 1414 or via

Outlined below are the stages you might go through on your recovery journey with Nexus and definitions of some of the words and phrases you might hear us use regularly. You can also take a look at and download this Client Journey guide via the button below.



A referral is the first step in your journey with Nexus. We encourage all clients to complete our secure online referral form – this can be done by the individual themselves, a trusted friend or family member, or a professional such as a GP.

Our Referral Agents review all referrals and are there to support via phone if help is needed to complete the online referral form. We require this referral form to be completed so we can be sure you are ready to process your trauma through specialised counselling. We can then take you through our processes and assign or signpost you to the most appropriate support.

The needs of our clients are always at the heart of what we do, and we need this information to find the best support for you, either with Nexus or another provider.


Triage is a tool we use when we are processing your referral to gain further insight into your needs and to determine the most appropriate response and support for you based on your current circumstances.

At Nexus, the triage process involves you either completing a triage form which is sent to you by our team, or completing a telephone triage appointment with us. The reason we use triage as a tool is to provide you with the most appropriate support. As with completing our referral form, our team can support you to complete your triage form if you require assistance.

Initial Assessment

Your Initial Assessment is the final step is supporting Nexus to determine the suitability of our services for you at this time. This is conducted by a trained counsellor to explore your circumstances in more detail based on the information you have given us so far. The assessment is held either virtually or in- person; you will be asked what your preference is and we will aim to meet your needs as best we can.

The Initial Assessment will last up to an hour. It is at this stage where it will be decided if Nexus is the right service for you at this time. If we feel you would be better supported by another provider based on your circumstances, we will refer you to them at this point. If our service is right for you, you will be informed at this stage.


A session can refer to an individual counselling session, where you will meet with your assigned counsellor at the same time each week for a set amount of weeks (currently 12 for adults and 18 for children). You will agree to meet either virtually online, via phone, or in-person at one of our regional hubs across Northern Ireland.

It is important that you do your best to attend all sessions where possible, and if you can’t attend that you give us at least 24 hours notice so we can reassign your appointment slot to someone else.


‘DNA’ means ‘Did Not Attend’, and refers to a client who did not attend a scheduled appointment – including the Initial Assessment – without informing us. We understand there may be many reasons for not being able to attend/having to cancel counselling sessions, however, it is important that at least 24 hours’ notice is given to enable us to repurpose the session to limit delays for other clients.

Please familiarise yourself with our DNA and cancellation policy here as not attending or cancelling late may have an impact on our service to you.


Aftercare refers to the support available to you as a Nexus client after you have completed your counselling journey. Our aftercare programme is called RESET. You can read more about these services here and you can speak to your counsellor about joining if you are interested.

Your Journey with Nexus

Step 1: Complete an Online Referral Form

Your referral is processed by our Admin Team and you will be emailed instructions on the next stage of the process. If you are unable to complete online form for any reason, the Admin Team will support you to complete this form. Note: If you call our Admin Team, you will be directed to complete the online referral form (if you can). If you are in need of immediate support you will be directed to call the Domestic & Sexual Abuse Helpline or, if you are in crisis, Lifeline.

Step 2: Complete your Triage Form

Our triage form is emailed to you to complete and return to Nexus within 7 days. If you do not return the form in 7 days, we will have to assume you no longer wish to engage with us and close your file. This means you will have to re-refer yourself if you wish to engage again. Instructions on how to complete the triage form are provided; if you need support completing this form you can call us on 028 9032 6803.

We also offer telephone triage appointments to anyone who may be finding it difficult to complete the form alone, which last up to 30 minutes; again though if you don’t engage with this call by answering, unfortunately we will have to close your file. You will be informed via email if you will be moving to the next stage of process. If you are not moving to the next stage, a phone call will be made by one of our Referral Agents to advise you about more appropriate supports for your needs at this time.

Step 3: Complete your Initial Assessment

An Initial Assessment will be completed with you either virtually or in person with a counsellor. This is the final step to help us determine if Nexus services are right for you at this time. This will take around an hour.

If you miss this appointment, it will be classed as a ‘DNA’ and unfortunately we will have to close your file. After this appointment, the counsellor completing the assessment will inform you whether individual counselling is most appropriate for you at this time. Our services are sometimes not appropriate for a small minority of people, if this is the case a member of our team will call you and provide you with details of more appropriate support.

Step 4: Attend your first Counselling Session

If you’re recommended for counselling, our Admin Team will contact you to organise your first appointment based on your preferences regarding area, time and format (in person or online) on your referral form.

Step 5: Attend Ongoing Counselling Sessions

Individual Counselling sessions will last 50 minutes and will take place at the same time every week for up to 12 weeks. If you cannot make an appointment we ask that you give 24 hours notice. If you miss an appointment without giving notice (referred to as a ‘Did Not Attend’ or ‘DNA’), you will unfortunately lose this appointment.

We regret that the service may be withdrawn from you if you continue to not give us 24 hours notice or do not turn up to your appointments. Our policy on DNAs and cancellations is available on our website here, please familiarise yourself with this.

Step 6: Explore your Aftercare options at Nexus

Once you complete your counselling you may be eligible to take part in our aftercare service, ‘RESET’. Find out more about RESET here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I need to complete a referral form?

A: We ask all potential clients to complete an initial self-referral form. The form gives us the information we need so we can take you through our processes and assign or signpost you to the support that’s best for you at this stage in your journey. We understand that some people may find it challenging or daunting to complete the form, which is why our Admin Team are there to support you if you need it – simply call us on 028 9032 6803. Please note our Admin Team are not trained counsellors and are there to help you make a referral and assist with appointments.


Q: Why do I need to complete a triage form? 

A: By completing a triage form, you help us to decide quickly whether we are the right service for you, before engaging in a more robust assessment. The triage process will give us more insight into your circumstances and needs and help us assess if Nexus services are right for you at this time or to signpost you to other suitable support.


Q: Why do I have to have an assessment?

A: Assessment plays an integral part throughout your counselling journey, and this process starts with the Initial Assessment. This is the final step in our process to determine if Nexus services are right for you at this time. The more information we have about you and your circumstances, the better we are able to help you.

If counselling at Nexus is the best service for you at this time and you start your journey with us, ongoing assessments help us make sure that our services are having a positive impact on your life and allow us to adjust the support if not.


We understand that being impacted by sexual abuse and abusive relationships and dealing with the aftermath can be incredibly challenging, even if you are receiving ongoing support such as counselling. We want you to know that you are not alone, there are various support services that can help you. The organisations and services below are free (calls from all landlines and mobiles on all major networks should be free) confidential, and available to you at any point in your journey.


  • The Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline (24/7) 0808 802 1414 | |
  • Lifeline (24/7) 0808 808 8000 | Textphone: 18001 0808 808 8000
  • Rape Crisis Information & Support Line (Mon-Thu 6-8pm) 0800 0246 991 |
  • LGBTQIA+ Switchboard NI 0808 8000 390
  • Revenge Porn Helpline (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm excluding Bank Holidays) 0345 6000 459
  • Respect – Men’s Advice Line (Mon-Fri 10am-5pm) 0808 8010 327 |
  • National Stalking Helpline (Mon & Wed 9.30am-8pm and Tues, Thu & Fri 9.30am4pm) 0808 802 0300
  • Childline (24/7) 0800 1111 | Chat & Email available at
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