Fees

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

Intitial Session (1.5 hours including assessment) (Manchester City Centre) £60
Counselling (Manchester City Centre) £60 per hour
Counselling Llandudno £50 per hour
Couples/Relationship Counselling currently unavailable
Email Counselling currently unavailable
Supervision (1.5 hours) £50-£75 (discounts for students)

(Revised May 2017)

It’s worth saying, while my fees may seem very high and counselling fees in general suggest we therapists are on a very high hourly rate – do bear in mind that my current maximum client load is 15 sessions per week. Also that for tax purposes, there is an allowance of up to 6 hours for every face to face contact hour in terms of preparation, notes, debriefing, supervision and admin – and the one hour session fee has to cover all of that as well, not to mention rooms costs, business rates, phone costs, professional insurance, transport costs, in fact everything down to stationery and postage expenses.

Also add all the time spent travelling to and from sessions, dealing with numerous enquiries each day (that may or may not lead to any paid work but can consume hours answering questions), invoicing organisations, accounting, professional development time (which I have to pay for and am not paid for), dealing with accountants and HMRC… the list goes on, and the hourly fee has to cover all that as well.

It also has to cover my holiday pay, sick pay, national insurance, pension contributions, and tax! If I could draw pie charts, my slice of the pie looks very thin at this point!

If I was in this for the money, I think I’d have chosen a different occupation a very long time ago 🙂 I don’t do this work to earn megabucks or to look good because I earn a huge hourly fee, I do it because I genuinely want to help people but I have the same financial commitments that everyone else has which I think is often overlooked.

There are times when late or non payment of fees have severely hindered my ability to continue providing this service, and this is why I have systems in place such as advance payment and payment for unattended sessions where insufficient notice is given. I do not earn a salary, and if all my clients cancel one week, I still have to somehow pay my mortgage, bills and eat, and these systems ensure I can continue to offer my counselling services.

Thanks in advance for understanding!

It is also currently for these reasons that I cannot offer any discounted rates for counselling or supervision until further notice.

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 in Manchester city centre, 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, counselling would be fully funded by the government and I would be able to to offer counselling free of charge to clients. 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 do the work, 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 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! And then I have to feed and clothe myself, etc!

Also, £60 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! In fact, I see a maximum of 15 clients a week (and often less than this 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!

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 signifcant 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.

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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