Getting started

Firstly, if you have any questions, you can email me, or let me know if you want a chat.

One-to-one therapy

If you decide you'd like to come and see me, either for a single introductory session or for regular sessions, then we'll agree a day and a time. It's worth checking out my availability so that you can grab it before anyone else does. If no suitable time is available, then waiting times are usually fairly short, so worth asking. Sessions are 50 minutes each and while it is usual to meet at the same day and time each week this isn't always possible, for example, if you work rolling shifts or you travel for your job, in which case we'll have to work out whether we can adapt; I can be quite flexible with evening sessions and very flexible for daytime sessions.

Once we've agreed on a time, then I'll email some questions which tell me who you are and what you think the problem is (if you know) and what you're expecting from counselling, which you can answer and return by email.

Fees: I charge £60 for a one-to-one session in the daytime or £70 for sessions that start before 09.15 or after 17.15 or are at weekends. You can pay for each session by cash or by direct bank transfer; if by cash or cheque then at the beginning or end of the session, whichever you prefer, and if by direct bank transfer in advance. My bank details will be in the confirmation mail sent just before you start.

Number of sessions. It's impossible to say how many sessions are required as there are so many factors, but it might be as few as three and for most conditions, fewer than twelve. CBT is purposeful and brief, with the intention of getting you better as quickly as possible, though some people choose to come for longer term counselling. We can spin the last few sessions out, arrange for you to come back after a while for a final session, or to go away knowing that you can come back should you need to

Missed sessions. All therapy works best if it is regular and you come every week. I changed my policy in 2013 and have maintained this since; I used to require the fairly conventional 24 hours notice to be able to cancel and not be charged but I've come to the conclusion that the shorter the notice you're able to give then the greater the emergency, so I have been experimenting with asking for just 15 minutes notice, which is the amount of time before you arrive when I start thinking about you and the session, what happened last time and what we might be doing today. (And if you text from the ambulance, I might let you get away with less!). Let's see how it goes, you wouldn't take advantage of your therapist's trust, would you? So far, this seems to be working. I can be fairly flexible at short notice if other events come up and clash. Remember that your therapy is for you, that you're making an investment of time, money and emotion, and that it should be fairly high on your list of priorities.

Groups

If you decide to come on one of the groups, then I'd like to see you for an assessment before the group starts to check that I can offer you the service you need, and to find out a bit more about you (this applies to the anger, depression and anxiety groups, but not the assertiveness training). Before you come, I'll email you the same questions as for one-to-one counselling.

Each session of a group costs £25, as does the assessment (unless I think that a group would be unsuitable, in which case you don't get charged). You can pay by cash, cheque or by direct bank transfer; if by cash or cheque then at the end of the session and if by direct bank transfer then either for the whole course, or each month, in advance.

For groups, you are expected to come to every session, and missed sessions will be charged for.