When you first contact us, we will book you in for a first assessment, which will last for approximately 1½ hours. This meeting allows us to find out about you and why you would like to come for counselling. Together we can assess whether this type of counselling will help you. If the service is appropriate for you, we will put you on our waiting list.
We aim to see people as soon as possible. The average waiting time for the first session of regular counselling is 4-5 weeks from the date of the assessment. If you and the counsellor agree that we are unable to help with the issues that have been discussed at the first session, we will try to find other more suitable services for you.
When a suitable counsellor is available, you will be seen by them for 18 sessions at the same time each week. This will not change, unless in exceptional circumstances. Each appointment will last for 50 minutes.
Our charges are calculated on a sliding scale according to your income. The table below provides a guide to be discussed at your initial assessment meeting; our aim is to agree an affordable weekly fee for you at the same time as asking you to contribute as far as possible to the cost of providing our service. As public funding for services such as ours has reduced in recent years, income from the people who use our service is increasingly vital to maintaining our work.
A one-off fee is charged for assessments, and all clients are required to pay a £10 deposit when booking their assessment. This deposit is non-refundable and will count towards your assessment fee. If you do not attend your assessment appointment, you will forfeit your deposit.
Please click HERE for a breakdown of our current fees.
Annual Income £k
Weekly Counselling Fee
One-off Assessment Fee
Up to 10k
When discussing your fee, we take into account such factors as:
- annual salary/income from other sources such as benefits, grants etc.
- whether you have any dependants for whom you have additional financial responsibilities
- whether you have other income within your household which may be able to contribute to your weekly fee
Please do not leave your children unattended in the waiting room. Ensure that you have arranged childcare before attending appointments.
What is CBT and how does it work?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) constitutes an essential approach to the treatment of depression and anxiety but also for many other mental health issues such as low self esteem. CBT is based on the perspective that human experience is viewed as a product of four interacting elements - physiology, cognition, behaviour and emotion. The traditional emphasis in CBT is on relieving emotional disturbance by healing people to change maladaptive cognitive behaviours. It's argued that emotional problems are maintained by distortions in thinking, which have two levels that interact reciprocally. They are manifested at a surface level as negative automatic thoughts and reflect on underlying level of beliefs and assumptions (schemas). With many mental health problems, the surface level of automatic thoughts tends to be the target in treatment.
The primary vulnerability factor that predisposes a person to ex depression (or anxiety) is the negative self-schema; an organised association of negative beliefs about the self that represents memories of past experiences and influences information processing. The latent depressive (or anxious) self-schema is activated by negative life events, leading to automatic thoughts in the form of distortions and biases that exacerbate negative beliefs about the self. The CBT therapist illustrated to the client how cognitions influence feelings and behaviour (by identifying negative automatic thoughts and evaluating how they contribute to mood and behaviour), helps the client detect and examine the reasonableness of automatic thoughts and re-attribute responsibility where appropriate, and assist the client in generating new interpretations and solutions.
CBT has the following important features. Firstly, it begins with a well planned rationale, giving the client an explanation of the cognitive and behavioural aspects of the problem and the treatment. secondly, using "homework" or "self help activities" assignments, to identify and challenge triggering events and emotional responses provides cognitive-behavioural skills training. Thirdly, the independent use of those skills outside the therapy context is emphasised. And finally, the client is encouraged to attribute improvement in mood to the use of those skills.
How to arrange an appointment
If you would like to book an initial assessment appointment, please call the office on 0207 928 3462. Please note that a non-refundable £10 deposit will need to be taken by card over the phone. The office is open Monday-Friday between 9.30am-5.30pm. The waiting time is between 6-8 weeks for regular counselling sessions.