FAQs

Have any questions?

We understand that there may well be a host of questions you may have regarding beginning some counselling or psychological therapy. We encourage you to take as much time as necessary in making an informed decision regarding your options. You may also benefit from a free 15-minute screening call which we provide to all potential new patients. This will give you the opportunity to talk to a therapist over the phone and for them to answer any of your questions or concerns directly.

We have put together some frequently asked questions and answers which you may find useful in supporting your decision making

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How quickly can I be seen?

We aim to respond to all queries within 24 hours. Feel free to use the booking system directly to check availability and book an initial screening slot. A reminder of the booking process can be found here

What is a telephone screening call?

This is an opportunity for us to discuss what has been distressing you in more detail, including hearing a little bit more about why you are considering beginning some therapy at this time.

What psychological therapies do you offer and what are the differences?

We offer a combination of humanistic, cognitive-behavioural therapies (CBT), informed by psychodynamic principles. CBT therapy focuses on exploring what is happening in the here and now of your distress in order to support change with practical tools to help you manage your distress, whereas, psychodynamic therapy is more concerned with making sense of past experiences, in order to understand the present.

The particular modality is normally agreed following initial assessment and can be adjusted as new material arises in our sessions, or if you feel you might prefer another approach.

What can I expect in our sessions?

We aim to provide a warm and friendly psychological therapy service. During your first session, you may perhaps feel anxious or unsure – please understand that this is entirely normal. Our first session will be a chance to meet, either in person, or online. We aim to make this a relaxed, safe and welcoming space where you can talk about your difficulties in confidence.

This will typically involve hearing a little bit from you about the reasons for wanting to begin therapy now, including some details regarding your history and current difficulties. From this, together, we will make an initial plan of how to go forward with our sessions, including supporting you to identify a number of goals for our sessions.

There will be opportunity to ask questions regarding the therapeutic approach and to agree a therapeutic contract. This initial session will last up to 1 hour. Following this, sessions will be guided by your therapeutic goals. Each therapy session lasts 50 minutes, also known as, the therapeutic hour.

How frequent are sessions?

Sessions are generally held weekly, at the same day and time, and this affords a degree of continuity, as well as space between sessions to process material covered. Occasionally, it may be possible to hold sessions on a more intensive basis.

How many sessions will I need?

This depends on many variables, including your presenting difficulty and your goals for therapy. Normally, the minimum number of sessions recommended is between 6-8. We will review your therapeutic goals regularly, to make sure you feel you are benefiting from your sessions

Are our sessions confidential?

All sessions are confidential. This means we will not disclose any details about you or your sessions to anyone else, except for the purposes of professional supervision (standard professional process of discussing cases with a more senior therapist for advice and guidance), or where we feel you are at risk of hurting yourself or someone else. In these instances, we will discuss this with you first.

Can I withdraw from our sessions?

Yes, you are welcome to withdraw from your sessions anytime by notifying us. Our cancellation policy still applies, however, if you have a booking due within 72 hours. We encourage you to talk with your therapist if you feel unhappy with your sessions. Sometimes due to the emotional content of sessions, it can be quite common for clients to carry strong feelings towards their therapy or their therapist. We encourage you to discuss this openly, if you can. Likewise, some notice before endings is preferable in order to provide a therapeutic ending, which is not abrupt and supports your onward progression.

How can psychological therapy or counselling help me?

Everyone can go through periods where things seem insurmountable, where we may struggle to cope with situations or events and to manage strong emotions, such as anxiety, anger, depression and worry. It may be that life has become difficult only very recently or that you’ve realised you have been struggling to cope over the longer term. Nevertheless, it is often the very meanings we give to these situations that has caused us problems or feelings of distress. We may have learnt unhelpful ways of coping with distressing feelings, which in the longer term seem to maintain our levels of distress.

There is now a significant body of empirical evidence that attests to the benefits of talking therapy/counselling/psychological therapy to enable individuals to change their unhelpful ways of thinking, behaving and therefore feel more able to cope with things in life. This in turn will make it more likely that a person also cares for themselves better – not just mentally but also physically.

By engaging in a course of psychological therapy you allow yourself time to pause, to reflect on your difficulties and to gain new perspective for your future.

What if I need drugs to help me?

It is common to take medication for feelings of anxiety or depression and we encourage you to speak with your GP or medical doctor concerning this. Psychological therapy is often recommended as an adjunct to medication, as it works on a different level by allowing you to revisit the experiences and events themselves, which have led (and are leading to) the difficulties you are currently experiencing. In essence, therapy is more about working through and making sense of the root cause and maintenance processes.

Can I see you in an emergency?

We do not offer a crisis service. If you are in acute distress, we advise you to contact your GP, or call, 999 for emergency support.

What are the fees?

Initial assessments and ongoing therapy appointments are £60 for online appointments. All appointment are offered via Skype video or telephone. We are not currently offering face-face appointments

How can I pay?

Payment is required 24 hours in advance of each session via card payment. Payment can be made following online booking.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you need to change an appointment please give us as much notice as possible but at least 72 hours before your booked session. Although we recognise that incidents can arise which prevent your attendance, if you fail to attend, cancel or change an appointment at short notice (less than 72 hours’ notice), you agree to pay the usual consultation fee – irrespective of reason e.g. illness, travel delay etc.

Who are you accredited with/what is your training?

We are registered with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) and abide by their ethical codes of professional conduct and practice.

What is the difference between online versus face-face sessions?

The content and frame of face-face sessions is identical to online sessions. Fortunately, with modern technology, online sessions offer a good choice for those unable to attend face-face sessions or who might prefer online contact for ease. Some people may prefer online sessions, whereas others prefer face-face.

Can I self-refer or do I need a healthcare professional to do this for me?

You can self-refer via this website, or ask a healthcare professional, or your employer to do so for you.

What psychological problems or difficulties can you support me with?

We offer both short and long-term psychological assessment and therapy for a range of mild to more complex and enduring mental health issues, including: addictions, obsessions, OCD, phobias, abuse, anxiety, bereavement, depression, loss, AIDs/HIV, health-related issues, identity issues, men’s issues, self-esteem, sexual identity, sexuality, spirituality, adoption issues, relationships, sex-related issues, stress and personal development.

We provide a safe and affirming space where you can make sense of your difficulties, so as to help you get unstuck and importantly, to move forward towards positive change. Our work together is, therefore, orientated to generating greater understanding of your difficulties and hence to increase compassion for yourself.