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How do I access the Service?

You can contact Waterside Counselling by phoning us directly or e-mailing us if that is more convenient, there is no need to be referred to us through a GP or other support agency.  We understand just how difficult it can be to make that initial contact, so be assured that our staff are skilled in making the process as painless as possible for you to attend counselling.


What happens then?

We would hope to see you for an initial appointment within a week or so of your first contacting us. This initial appointment (which last for some 30 minutes or so) allows the Counselling Practice Manager (a senior counselling practitioner) to meet with you and get some background to your problems and to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the counselling process.  

This information then allows the practice manager to match you to a counsellor at a mutually suitable date and time.  

There may be a bit of a wait before you see your counsellor, depending very much on a counsellor's and your availability. But in extreme circumstances we would hope to see you as soon as possible.


How much of a commitment will I need to make?

We offer both short-term and open-ended counselling. We will initially arrange 12 weekly sessions for you, but this is kept under review and can be extended (or reduced) if you feel it is necessary or helpful.

Sessions are held weekly, at the same time and place and last 50 minutes each.


Will I be able to afford it?

The question of payment will also be raised in this initial meeting and we ask that you make the suggested contribution of £20 per session if you can afford it.  If this proves genuinely too much for your finances, a lower payment can be agreed with you and in some circumstance, the payment waived.  Ability to pay should not be seen as a barrier to accessing our service.  We are committed to ensuring that therapy is accessible irrespective of income and to those on a low income.

Payments can be made in advance, but clients usually find it most convienient to pay at the beginning of each session.

Donations above the £15 are also welcome, and all monies raised go towards the running costs and upkeep of the practice and allow us to continue to offer the free element of our service.


How long might I have to wait to see a counsellor?

Demand for counselling is always very high, and there is a practical limit to how many clients can be seen by our counsellors in any one week.  Unfortunately, this means that we have a waiting list, with everyone having to wait a bit before they can start counselling.

At the moment there is wait of around two weeks between your initial meeting and your first counselling session.


Do you do relationship, couples and children's counselling?

We have a limited capacity to work with couples and children. This type of counselling requires specialist training, which only some of our counsellors have.  We are looking to expand our capacity to do this over the coming months.


Can I be seen quicker?

We can also arrange a 'Fast Track' service with a qualified and experienced counsellor for those clients who are looking for appointments immediately and are not as restricted financially, or are funded through their employer. This service is charged at £35 per session, which is still less than the average local rate for private counselling.  This service is separate from and does not impact on those on our regular waiting list.


What if I miss an appointment?

It is important that you let us know if you are going to miss or have to cancel an appointment. Please be aware that you will be charged for any missed appointments or those cancelled with less that 24 hours notice.  If you miss more than two appointments in a row, without letting us know, then we will assume that you no longer wish to continue with counselling and will give your space to a new client.  So it is important that you keep us informed if you are struggling to make appointments.


Do you have facilities for those with disabilities?

The practice does not have facilities designed specifically for those with disabilities (e.g. improved wheelchair access or toilets). It is however situated on the ground floor, there are no steps and wheelchairs can access the building, albeit with some careful navigation.  Call us ahead of your visit and we can discuss your needs to see how these might be best met.


What happens if I am not happy with the service provided?

If you are unhappy with any part of our service, or have a complaint to make, we would like to know about it as soon as possible in order to resolve the situation quickly.  

All complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. Complaints will be investigated in a fair manner and be resolved promptly. We would hope to ensure that mistakes are put right without unnecessary upset and we will take on board any lessons learnt to improve the quality of our service for the future.

Compaints should be directed to the Counselling Manager in the first instance.