Q: What can I talk about?
A: You can talk about anything that is on your mind – counselling is a safe space for you to bring anything you feel you need to discuss or to help you process any difficulties you may be facing.
Q: Is this a confidential service?
A: Yes, what you say to your counsellor is confidential and all of our staff adhere to a code of conduct and policies regarding confidentiality. Information you provide with use will not be shared with a third party other than in exceptional circumstances such as safeguarding issues or if required by law.
Q How long will it take to be seen? Is there a waiting list?
A: We aim to offer weekly counselling sessions within 2-4 weeks following your initial assessment session. The wait for subsidised counselling may be longer.
Q: Can I attend counselling fortnightly or whenever I need it?
A: We are only able to offer counselling on a weekly basis. We have found that counselling is most beneficial when accessed weekly. Regular sessions allow trust, openness and connection to develop which are fundamental ingredients to making counselling work.
Q: What if I work shifts?
A: If you are a shift worker, we will try our best to accommodate your working patterns with a counsellor who can offer flexibility.
Q: Can I contact my counsellor between sessions?
A: As we are not an emergency or crisis service, your counsellor will not be available to you between sessions. If you are experiencing a crisis, contact NHS 111 (option 2) or the Samaritans on 116 123.
Q: My counsellor isn’t a good fit with me – can I change counsellors?
A: Although we try our best to match you with a counsellor who we feel will suit your needs, on occasion your allocated counsellor will not be a good fit. Please do feel able to contact the Centre Clinical Manager who will discuss your concerns with you and if possible, re-allocate you to another counsellor.
Q: How long will my counselling last?
A: You can choose to continue in counselling for up to 2 years. If you wish to have more sessions, please speak to your counsellor and an extension may be granted if it is clinically appropriate.
If your counselling sessions are being subsidised, we offer a fixed number of sessions from 12 -30 sessions depending on the availability and amount of funding needed.
You can discuss how long you wish to engage with counselling during your assessment appointment and as you work with your on-going counsellor.
Q: What happens if I want to end my sessions?
A: Regardless of how long you have been attending counselling, it is helpful to let your counsellor know that you are thinking of bringing your sessions to an end. Your counsellor will explore this with you and make arrangements to work towards a planned ending together.
Q: What if I have a preference for a male or female counsellor?
A: We will try our best to accommodate this preference, please let us know when you attend your assessment appointment.
Q: How do I know I will receive a professional service?
A:We have provided counselling for over 40 years and continue to strive to offer a safe and quality service. Our counsellors are fully qualified or are completing their 5-year training under close supervision. Our training and our counselling services are BACP (The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) accredited and all of our counsellors follow the BACP ethical framework and undergo regular supervision. Please click here for more information from the BACP.
Q: What if I am no longer able to afford my sessions?
A: In the first instance, it is best to discuss changes to your financial circumstances with your counsellor. We will always try to find a way to assist by subsidising your sessions with grants or donations where possible.
Q: I have a holiday booked; will I be charged for my session? Why do I have to pay for missed sessions?
A: As outlined in the Framework for Counselling, even if you give notice, you will be expected to pay your session fee for any sessions not attended. As your counselling sessions are a weekly ongoing commitment, this space is reserved and held for you even if you do not attend. However, under exceptional circumstances, we may be able to waive a missed session fee. If your counsellor is unavailable, you will not be charged.
Q: What do I do if I have a complaint about the service or the counsellor?
A: We always welcome comments about the service we offer. If you do have a complaint you would like to discuss, please tell your counsellor to see if they are able to resolve any issues in the first instance. If the complaint is about your counsellor, please ask to speak to, or write to the Clinical Manager at your centre. They will discuss your complaint with you and with your counsellor (either separately or together, depending on the nature of the complaint).
If this discussion does not resolve the issue, it will be escalated to the Clinical Director who can be contacted by telephoning 01727 868585 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: What should I do if I know someone who works for the Foundation or a family member is currently being seen?
A: It is important to let us know on your registration form if you have a close personal relationship or connection to a member of staff or a counsellor at the Foundation. We may not be able to see you if we believe there would be a potential risk to maintaining the boundaries around confidentiality. We will try to signpost you to another service.