Frequently asked questions
Who is psychotherapy for?
Most people seek psychotherapy in times of crisis, such as mental health problems or illness, relationship problems or the break-up of a relationship, acute depression, anxiety, work stress, bereavement, etc.
Some however also seek psychotherapy for non-crisis issues such as insomnia, procrastination, interpersonal problems.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy can deal with both crisis and non-crisis issues and usually is longer term. Counselling is more short-term for symptom relief or a change of a specific behaviour. The major differences however are in the quality and intensity of training of the practitioner. Psychotherapists train mainly at post-graduate level and if they work under UKCP guidelines they will have undergone several years of personal therapy. More information on that can be found on our "Counselling or Psychotherapy?" page.
How do I know if a particular psychotherapist is right for me?
In your first session, but also in all subsequent sessions you can ask your therapist any questions related to how they work and their training, their professional memberships as well as their experience.
Most importantly however is how you feel in the session itself. Do you feel comfortable, understood and safe? If not, it might be important to raise your concerns. A good psychotherapist will acknowledge your concerns and work on resolving them. It is very important that your needs and wants, as well as your space and safety are respected.
How many sessions of psychotherapy or counselling will I need?
Counselling is usually short-term and can last anything between 6-8 sessions. For crisis situations or personal psychotherapy it is not possible to estimate how many sessions you will need as every individual has their own individual needs and circumstances. Although some psychotherapists make an estimate, we believe that this is not ethical and undermines your individuality and strength. Ideally you will find the right moment to end psychotherapy together with your therapists to ensure that you are leaving with a positive experience of autonomy and independence. Most therapists offer regular reviews every 5-6 sessions to check how you are doing. It is not in the interest of you or the psychotherapist to encourage therapy longer than necessary.
Psychotherapy can be very challenging and hard work. Your psychotherapist will be supporting you in your journey.
How much does psychotherapy cost?
Charges vary depending on psychotherapist but are generally between £40 and £60. Clinical and counselling Psychology is charged differently, usually £100 upwards per session. Please contact each psychologist to enquire about their fees.
How regular are psychotherapy sessions?
Psychotherapy sessions are usually weekly, in some cases bi-weekly. We do not recommend less frequent then that as it would not allow for continuity and lead to "playing catch-up", which makes therapy less effective, however, this is entirely up to you and your therapist to agree on. It is important to attend sessions regularly. If you need to cancel it is important to do this at least 24 - 48 hours in advance otherwise you will have to pay for the missed session.
Who do I contact if I want to book a session?
You can contact us via our contact form or by phone. Our contact details are on Our Contacts Page, if you would like to contact a specific therapist directly you can find their details on our Therapists page here.
If contacting us by phone it is very likely that you will get through to voicemail. Please leave your name and number and also indicate what times it is ok for us to contact you. This is especially important if you are leaving a landline number that you share with others as we want to protect your privacy. We will be touch within 24 hours and you can discuss your needs and availability. If you do not hear back from us, please try again. Most likely it might have been a glitch in the email system or the voice mail was not clear enough. All your details will be held in absolute confidentiality.
Are there reasons someone might not get an appointment?
If we can't offer you an appointment it is usually because we might be fully booked and don't offer appointments months in advance.
If you have enquired on several occasions and each time not been available for our call back or disappeared or are just emailing back and forth, which sadly happens, we will decide not to offer you any sessions. This is important as we put clients who are committed to therapy first and just like for the NHS, "no shows" cost our service time and resources.
Other reasons we might decline an appointment might be outstanding fees, frequent missed appointments without a stated reason and unreasonable behaviour. We have this policy to make the environment as positive and supportive for our clients who come to the centre and maintain our high standard of care.
Wyhat happens once I arrange an appointment?
Once you have arranged an appointment we suggest that you reflect on what you would like to find out about therapy and what you would like the therapist to know about you that is most important for you. That way you can both dertermine if you are a good match.
It is important that you give the therapist at least 24 hours notice in case you need to cancel your appointment. Don't just not turn up. No-shows are a loss of a session for someone else who might need it, very frustrating and a waste of time and money for the therapist and you might not be able to get another appointment again. We try to accommodate you and in return rely on the courtesy of a cancellation in case you have changed your mind or would like to rearrange.
I want couple counselling but my partner does not
The thought of couple counselling can feel intimidating for some. Discussing your relationship with a stranger and /or speaking up can feel like rocking the boat. If your partner does not want to come, it is important that you reassure them but also accept their decision.
If you want to gain some clarity on your relationship, this can also happen in individual therapy. Sometimes not overtly making a choice is also making a choice. You can read more about couple counselling here.
Coaching or Counselling or Therapy?
Coaching is different from counselling and therapy in that it does not deal with any mental health problems. For example: You might have anxiety speaking up in a meeting or public speaking but it does not stop you from doing it. Rather, you would like to feel more confident and get your message across more effectively. This is something coaching can tackle. Another example would be not being sure what next step to take in your career or improving your lifestyle, etc.
Generally, coaching is about improving effectiveness and performance. Improvement of your emotional well-being is a side-effect of coaching.
How much does coaching cost?
There are different packages in coaching that you can chose. This depends on the frequency and intensity of contact you have with your coach and whether you have sessions at the coach's office, your location or somewhere else and if travel is requirement. If travel is required, those expenses need to be covered.
It is best to discuss your individual needs and wants with the coach and find out what would work best for you.
What do I do if I think that I have the wrong therapist?
If you think that the therapist is not the right match, raise this with him or her. If you don't feel you can or don't want to, please make sure that you give them enough notice when cancelling your next session. We always recommend giving feedback to your therapist about how you are feeling in therapy as this gives your therapist a better insight what works and what doesn't and he/she can tailor their approach to your individual needs better. If you want to see a different therapist at the centre, please send an email to us asking to see someone else. Your enquiry will be dealt with in confidence by Martha who is the centre's director.
How do I know that I don't need therapy anymore?
Check in with your therapist regularly about your progress. Sometimes taking the last few steps on your journey on your own can be more empowering whilst staying in therapy for too long can become frustrating and you might become resentful of it. Your therapist's goal is always to help you not need therapy, hence, if you reflect on your journey and where you are at will help you find the right time for yourself.
Some clients also like to keep a diary of their therapy process which can be very helpful.