FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Every new client attends an initial consultation to clarify his/her concerns and determine whether they might benefit from counselling or psychotherapy. In this session, clients are encouraged to explain as fully as possible why they are seeking help, give some personal history and ask any questions about the process.

How long are sessions?
Apart from the initial consultation lasting up to 90 minutes, individual and couples therapy sessions usually last 50 minutes.

How much does it cost?
Please see our section on fees.

How often do I need to attend?
This depends on the type of issue you are addressing in therapy. One session per week is usually the minimum, but some practitioners will recommend up to three sessions per week.

How do I know my therapist is fully qualified?
Qualifications can be requested at any time or you can search the professional registers for your therapist's details online.

Do I need to arrange an appointment before coming?
Yes. Subject to availability, we will do our best arrange an introductory session with one of our practitioners within one week of contacting us. Please use the contact us form or call 07961 795330.

Why is a regular commitment necessary?
Occasionally, one or two sessions will immediately address the presenting problem by providing a new perspective or insight on a particular internal conflict or question.
Typically, however, people come to therapy because they would like to address deep seated emotional-relating patterns or mental attitudes causing them problems on multiple levels (i.e. social, behavioural, sexual, professional). This type of concern tends to require an ongoing commitment to psychotherapy or counselling.

What about cancellations and missed appointments?
Your therapist is paid both for his/her time and expertise. Once a commitment to the process of psychotherapy has been agreed, it applies to both the therapist and client, making the allocated time unavailable to anyone else going forward.
As a result, cancelled or missed appointments are usually charged in full.
Each therapist will have his/her own cancellation policy around missing or occasionally rescheduling appointments, but as a rule, sessions take place at the same time every week and your therapist will give you notice of any upcoming holidays well in advance.

What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
Counselling is usually a short to medium term process to help resolve specific problems. It may involve giving guidance or information, or the working through of immediate conflicts, but essentially it provides therapeutic support through times of stress and disruption.
Psychotherapy uses the therapeutic relationship to go deeper into the background of the client/patient, exploring the emotional-mental patterns underlying present concerns or troubles. Psychotherapists often work with clients for longer periods of time on deep psychological problems with the aim of fundamental change and insight.

What about confidentiality?
It is essential practice for psychotherapists and counsellors to provide confidential treatment. There are, however, some important limits to confidentiality.
Professional therapists are obliged by their codes of practice to discuss their client work with a qualified supervisor in order to ensure that the therapy continues to be of a high standard. Only the work is discussed however, personal details are kept confidential.

Psychotherapists are legally obligated to report the following:

  • Current abuse of children including paedophilia

  • Threats of deliberate harm to life

  • Threats to commit terrorist acts 

What about fair treatment and non-discrimination?
City Psychotherapy Service operates a non-discrimination policy. We do not discriminate against people on the basis of their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, spiritual beliefs and practices or political views.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.