May 16th 2020 – Current Availability
My full statement is below but the short version is I am currently still currently unable to work in my office due to honouring the lockdown restrictions many of us are dealing with. I am however offering alternatives such as telephone and email counselling (email counselling in particular can have it plenty of benefits over traditional “talking therapies”.
I am also offering “walk and talk” therapy sessions. As the government restrictions have now relaxed to allow us to spend more times in parks etc, I am taking advantage of this to offer clients the chance to meet face to face while still maintaining social distancing and minimising risk of any virus transmission. Walk and talk therapy offers a chance to connect with nature while we talk and the “walk” park doesn’t have to be too exerting, we can always find a suitable park bench!
Due to normally relying on public transport I am currently unable to venture too far from my my local habitat, but Debdale Park in Gorton, or Reddish Vale Park, along with parts of the Tameside trail in Denton, could be idea places for those who can travel to such locations in a car. If you are interested please let me know and we can look at getting something set up!
I am aware that many people will be on reduced incomes and have many financial worries at this time. As I should be able to benefit from the government’s Self Employed Income support scheme, my own worries have been eased a little (although the amount I will get won’t come near to covering all of my personal and business outgoings!) and I am therefore willing to pass some of this on by offering a sliding scale of fees.
In practice this means that if you can only pay a small amount, then we can discuss this, although I do have to set an absolute minimum of £25 (£35 for walk and talk) per session as I simply do not have the resources to work for less than this. If you can pay my usual full fee or more, and are happy to do so, this will help me to help those who are on lower incomes as well as helping me keep my counselling service ticking over to support people through a time which is challenging for all of us on so many levels.
It is worth noting that my high street office is still incurring the maximum rent during the lockdown and all the usual expenses such as hosting, insurance, memberships, etc are still going out of my bank as well as all my personal outgoings, and this is why I need to continue to charge some kind of fee during this time – I would prefer to do it for free but this just wouldn’t be sustainable! I appreciate your understanding in this
I realise there are a lot of worries, but as a mental health professional I would and will advise at this point, that your mental health is as important as your physical health – healthy mind, healthy body! Staying calm and looking after yourself is going to be very helpful – panicking and doing all the wrong things, is not!
If you need help, reach out as best you can!
I am aware that we are living in an unprecedented situation and a lot is being asked of people who may already be struggling with all kinds of existing mental health problems and difficulties – but also new concerns and anxieties due to Covid-19 and its consequences.
Please rest assured that I am currently well and working hard to support as many people as I can through difficult and challenging times.
My own view is that while the situation is serious, and we need to exercise what they call “an abundance of caution”, there are many overreactions to this kind of crisis and the mental health impact of such a situation is not being fully addressed. Personally, I am keeping calm, have full faith in my immune system, and believe we will stay strong and overcome this situation like we have many others in the course of our very precarious human history. I am full of hope and optimism that even in the darkest times, light will emerge and I have no doubt that we will come out of this with confidence, hope and vitality.
In terms of availability, I am aware that the restrictions that are being suggested by the government place huge strain on our ability to go about our business, pursue our hobbies and interests, friendships and relationships, as well as our mental health journeys. Research also suggests that our mental health is inextricably linked to our physical and immune system health so it is vital we pay attention to our emotional well being at times like this.
I am also able to look at Telephone, Video, Email and WhatsApp messaging sessions (for my online counselling info please see my Online Counselling page).
Please as usual email or whatsapp to arrange any potential phone or email assessments and discuss the fees etc and I will endeavour to help, though of course if demand is high I may yet have to refer you on to a colleague as I do also need to consider my own health and energy at a time like this. Also alternative forms of counselling may not be appropriate for some severe mental health conditions and it’s important to note that I do not have the capacity to act as a crisis or emergency service.
All these arrangements may change as soon as things get back to normal and hopefully that will be soon.
I wish you peace, wellness and happiness as we move forward through the challenges ahead and also extend my empathy and compassion for all those affected both locally and worldwide.
With sincerest love and concern for your well being,
My usual working days in Manchester are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at Piccadilly House, and Thursdays at 64 Bridge Street. I mainly work afternoons and evenings with first appointments around 1.30pm and last appointments up to 7.30/8pm. I usually check my emails twice a day on working days, before and after clients and will usually reply the same day, though please allow 48 hours especially around weekends.
Initial individual sessions are 1.5 hours and cost £60. I may be able to negotiate lower fees for those on lower incomes, please ask about this when you enquire. For more information see my fees page.
Please note that payment is required at the time of booking to confirm appointments. This will be refunded/carried over if cancellation or rescheduling is requested with sufficient notice (24 hours or more).
I am a full time professional therapist with a wealth of experience, and have a reputation and track record of helping people through a wide range of problems and concerns. The downside of this is that at times my service is very heavily oversubscribed, and there are only so many clients I can see before the quality of my service starts to suffer, as this can be very demanding work and I would rather give the best possible service than see as many clients as possible as this would be no good either for myself or my clients. Unfortunately this means I usually cannot see people at short notice and sometimes do have a wait time for new client appointments.
I try to keep my availability updated here. I do get cancellations and clients ending, and sometimes availability does arise at shorter notice. If you are particularly interested in seeing me, I can book appointments well in advance, or can add you to my standby waiting list and contact you should availability come up.
I appreciate that many people wish to see a therapist at short notice, and I apologise in advance if I will be unable to fit you in and wish you the very best in finding the right help for you.
“Assessments” (or initial sessions) are simply a chance for us to have a chat about what’s bothering you, look at how I can help, and discuss practical steps such as frequency and timing of any future appointments, as well as doing any required paperwork if you decide to proceed. To ensure we have adequate time these sessions usually last 1.5 hours.
Please note that I request advance payment to secure assessment appointments. I do this because this is my full time business and any sessions that are booked and then not attended usually mean I have turned other people away and end up with lost time that I could have have used 3x over – in the past this has threatened my ability to keep doing this important work as a counsellor, thank you for your understanding!
I may have other availability for new client assessments but my diary can be quite fluid depending on cancellations etc, please enquire for details as occasionally I have slots at short notice. It’s helpful if you can state when you can attend so I can see if it would fit my schedule. Thank you.
PHONING IS NOT THE BEST WAY TO CONTACT ME – The best way to contact me is by email , firstname.lastname@example.org, WhatsApp (07904 549 493) or by using my contact form below. You can also send enquiries via text to my mobile 07904 549 493 although I have found that texts aren’t always reliable!). I aim to respond to enquiries within 48 hours at most but usually within a few hours depending on time of day/week. It has come to my attention that from time to time texts and emails fail to arrive, which is beyond my control – if you contact me and don’t hear back from a text or email after 24 hours, it will be because I have not got your message for some reason – in such cases please telephone and leave a voicemail with your details! Though please note I sometimes get voicemails from withheld numbers where the number given in the voicemail is unintelligible as the signal breaks up while the voicemail is being left so again, if you don’t hear back please try again.
Due to my working patterns, phoning can be the slowest way of contacting me – I spend a lot of time in sessions with clients, or in a public place, so I am often unable to answer the phone and will wait until I can speak privately before I call back in order to maintain confidentiality. I will not return unknown missed calls so please do leave a message and I will call you back as soon as possible or text to let you know when I can call. It’s for this reason that I suggest using either WhatsApp or my email contact form/email as I can usually get back to you much more quickly!
You do not have to give me lots of information, although may add a little background info if you wish. It can be very helpful if you mention what sorts of times you are looking for as this helps me to respond with appropriate availability.
Please be assured that I treat all emails and other enquiries as confidential information.