Butterflies is now accepting referrals for adults.

Butterflies offers group counselling for people affected by bereavement or other forms of loss (such as divorce and family separation).

Due to social distancing requirements, our counselling is now being offered via video link.


We offer support to children, adults or families (supporting recovery of children, parent and carers together). The majority of our appointments are only available to Knowsley residents, people registered with a Knowsley GP or for children attending a Knowsley school. We do have some limited provision for children/ families living in St Helens, Halton, and Wirral who are able to attend sessions in Whiston or Birkenhead after school. These appointments are currently funded by Children in Need.

We also offer counselling for children and young people affected by bereavement in St Helens.

When we accept a referral, you will be offered a telephone assessment initially. This assessment is used to understand your / your child’s issues in more depth and clinically, we assess whether the person/ people referred are suitable for group support. This decision is made by a clinical expert and cannot be requested at referral or assessment.

Listening Ear has some limited capacity for one-to-one appointments each week. Examples of when we might offer one-to-one rather than group support following assessment is, if a child has an ASC diagnosis or if an adult presents with multiple, complex issues. Most people however are offered group counselling, attending with people who have similar experiences of bereavement and loss to their own.

Listening Ear runs the following bereavement and loss groups:

  • Loss and separation group counselling (primary school aged children)
  • Loss and separation group counselling (secondary school aged children)
  • Bereavement group counselling (primary school aged children)
  • Bereavement group counselling (secondary school aged children)
  • Bereavement group counselling for families (adults and children)
  • Bereavement group counselling (adults)
  • Women survivors of domestic abuse support group
  • Coping with depression psycho-educational group
  • Coping with anxiety educational group

If you have a question about Butterflies which has not been answered above, please read our Frequently Asked Questions section.

The idea of group therapy might seem daunting to adults and children. Worrying about talking or getting upset in front of people, or, general anxiety about being part of a group, can feel off putting. However, a small, well-facilitated group can be really powerful in helping with recovery.

Listening Ear provides a supportive environment with others who are experiencing similar issues to your own. We are very experienced at supporting people with anxiety and ensuring people feel at ease. Often, firm friendships emerge from groups. The majority of people report that, whilst they were apprehensive about attending the group, the support they received from other members was as important as from the counsellor/ group facilitator.

Don’t worry though. If you try a group and both you and the facilitator feel that it isn’t working for you, they will discuss alternative solutions.

  • "Helped me in every way"
  • "I feel much better having talked things out & better able to manage feelings that have been causing me distress"
  • "I have wanted to come here, and I have looked forward to coming every week"
  • "Has helped me to speak more about my emotions"
  • "When I'm down and I think about the things she said can help me and it works"
  • "I have been able to control anger more"
  • "I get better scores in my maths"
  • "My son has thoroughly enjoyed this experience, It is the one extra-curricular activity that he is genuinely excited about"
  • "The teacher has spoken to me (Mum) about my child being more confident in class and also more polite in putting his hand up and caring with other children"
  • "I feel I now have the tools to be able to help my Son understand his bereavement and also any other issues he may be having"

Key information 2018/19:

  • 87% of those completing therapy evidenced improved mental health and wellbeing outcomes scores
  • 100% (responding to end of service evaluations) reported that the service had helped them
  • 76% of parents and carers completing end of service satisfaction reports stated that their child’s health and wellbeing had improved at home and school
  • 90% of CYP reported that they were more able to concentrate in school following therapy
  • 6% of adult respondents rated their wellbeing level 5 (very good) or level 4 prior to counselling. Following counselling this rose to 69%.