Fees

My usual fees for counselling (approx one hour session unless otherwise stated) are as follows:

Initial Session £70 (1 hour plus online admin/assessment)
Counselling (Manchester City Centre) £70 per hour
Couples/Relationship Counselling £90 per hour
Email Counselling £50 per email exchange
Telephone/Video Counselling £70 per hour
Supervision (1.5 hours) £50-£90

Block booking arrangements may be agreed. Block booking payments are non-refundable but of course not obligatory!

(Revised September 2021)

I appreciate counselling fees can look very expensive, but as detailed further down this page, there are limited billable hours within therapy and many costs and deductions to consider, and that’s before the tax people take about a 1/3 of what I’m left with.  It’s really not a get quick rich (or ever!) kind of profession.  If you feel you would struggle to pay the standard fees then please ask about my sliding scale as I can sometimes negotiate reduced fees, but I have to be realistic about the amount I can work for in order to meet both my business costs and my personal financial needs. There are also limits on the amount of work I can do to ensure my own mental and emotional health isn’t compromised (I love my work, but it can take its toll without appropriate self care strategies and over-working can very easily lead to burnout!)

My colleagues who work from the same offices may be able to offer lower rates as their business model may be different/not their sole source of income/they may have only recently set up, or other reasons – please see details at https://centralmanchestercounselling.co.uk/

When asked why fees for counselling are high, my answer is that my fees reflect not only the costs of the location in which I work (an expensive city centre location) but also take into account a demonstrable track record based on working with hundreds of clients over many years. I am qualified to Masters level, have 10 years post qualification experience, and have worked successfully as a therapist of last resort with many clients.  Of course this is no guarantee that my work with you will be successful but I do have many credentials in terms of qualifications and experience and my fees also reflect that I would rather work in terms of quality rather than quantity (I have strict limits as to how many clients I will see per week).  There is further info below on why counselling fees generally seem very high, but when you break this down into a maximum possible billable hours per week, and the costs being self-employed (no sick or holiday or employer pension either!) the income derived from this is certainly not as high as people imagine!!

My preferred payment method is via direct transfer to my business account in advance of appointments. This can be done simply by using internet or telephone banking and entering my sort code and account number which I will provide. Payments can also be made by credit or debit card (at my payment page through PayPal, you do not need a PayPal account) or via PayM mobile payments (you just need the app from your bank!). I will discuss this with you when you contact me. Cash payments are also accepted, but I currently insist on advance payments for initial sessions, as non attendance of these sessions has a direct impact on me in terms of wasted time and administrative costs.

If you have any questions about my counselling fees that are not answered here, or would like to book an initial assessment to find out how counselling can help you, feel free to contact me.

Why does counselling cost so much?

This is a question a lot of people ask, so in the interest of being open (something I always intend to be as a counsellor) I will attempt to answer it on this page!

In an ideal world, mental health support would be fully and adequately funded by the government and I would be able to to offer counselling free of charge to all clients without compromising my own ability to survive within a capitalist economic system. However, as a private counsellor, I do not have the luxury of independent funding and therefore need to charge fees or I wouldn’t be able to survive, never mind be able to support other people’s emotional and mental health! As with any other service. I need to factor in the costs of my training, CPD (continuing professional development), supervision, professional insurance and professional memberships, as well as other overheads such as office premises, phone, stationery, travel, heating and electricity! And of course I have to pay tax and national insurance too. All of this comes out of the fee before it goes into my pocket, so to speak! Then there is the private pension pay and emergency sick and holiday pay and all manner of insurance and accounting fees. And then I have to feed and clothe myself as well!

On the face of it “£70 an hour” may seem to be a great wage, and it would be if I saw as many clients as there are hours in an average working week! If this were the case I’d work a few 80 hour weeks and take the rest of the year off! In fact, I see an average of around 15 clients a week (sometimes less, sometimes more  depending on demand), because for every hour spent face to face, there will be another 2 hours of associated admin, note writing, travel, reflection and research, accounting and other tasks, which makes my working week full. I will not see more clients than this because I wish to give all my clients my fullest attention rather than cramming as many in and ending up too tired to be fully present as a counsellor! I do not see clients on a “conveyor belt” all day so am not making £1000s a week as people might perceive from my fees! Don’t forget out of those 15 or so hours I may have students or people on low incomes who are not paying the full fees.  There are also the hundreds of emails, phone calls and messages I deal with each month from people who never actually turn into a paying client.  All this unbillable time adds up (I once worked out that dealing with emails and enquiries that lead to never seeing client takes up on average 214 hours a year – that’s over one entire week (24/7) of unpaid time just on that!)

I also believe there is a huge value in the service I offer, you are entrusting a skilled and experienced therapist to work with your emotions and private thoughts and feelings, which is a big responsibility for a counsellor/psychotherapist and counselling can be a life-changing experience. I feel privileged to be able to do this work, but need to be able to afford to live as well and so my fees reflect what I can reasonably afford to work for. Free counselling is available through various services, unfortunately this often comes with strict time limits or a long waiting list which is why many people choose private counselling or psychotherapy.

Although I am willing to work long term with clients when appropriate, my chief aim is to help people move forward as quickly as possible, and I discourage dependent relationships, or therapy that goes on past a certain point if it is no longer effective. It’s for this reason I always suggest working for 6 sessions in the first instance, and I have a reputation as a “fast” therapist, often making significant progress within the 6 sessions and in any case most clients are ready to end successfully after 6-10 sessions. This is an important consideration when factoring in the cost of therapy, though of course there are no guarantees and sometimes therapy is of necessity a longer term journey, sometimes taking years!

I regularly review and discuss progress with clients to ensure I am providing appropriate value for the fees I am paid, and use a variety of tools to monitor the effectiveness and quality of my work.

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