Fees

Please note the fees listed below are my regular counselling fees. I appreciate that recent circumstances have had an impact on people’s jobs and incomes, and for this reason I am currently offering a sliding scale of fees – in other words, within certain limits, pay what you can afford/think appropriate for you.  Due to my own personal and business financial needs, I have to set a minimum of £40 per face to face session, up to a suggested higher rate of £100 (if you are on a high income which has been unaffected by the lockdown, and can afford to pay more, higher fees will help me in the recovery of my practice and also help me support those who are on lower incomes. I am hoping to lower the suggested minimum fee if enough people pay higher fees to make it work!).  This will be a new way of working for me and I may review it depending on how it works out. I will not be asking for any proof of income or justification for the fee you decide to pay (though if you pay the minimum then tell me you’re buying a new Ferrari or yacht every week, I might raise an eyebrow!)

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

Initial Session £70 (1.5 hours)
Counselling (Manchester City Centre) £70 per hour
Couples/Relationship Counselling not applicable at present
Email Counselling £50 per email exchange
Telephone Counselling £70 per call
Supervision (1.5 hours) £50-£80 (£45 for students)

For counselling in Manchester I offer a block booking arrangement of 6 sessions for £360 (£60 per session instead of the £70 pay as you go rate) or £195 for 3 sessions (£65 per session).  Block booking payments are non-refundable and of course not obligatory!

(Revised April 2021)

I am always willing to discuss fee reductions for those on lower incomes and/or benefits.

For trainee therapists I offer a discount of £40 per one hour session, or £175 (£35 per session) if booked in blocks of 5 or more. For more details on my work with trainee therapists please visit my counselling for psychotherapy students page.

Regrettably I have recently had to increase my standard fee due to increased business and personal costs of living and the average cost of therapy having risen around me over the last 3 years. 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 9 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 do work like this, 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! Then there is the private pension pay and emergency sick and holiday pay. And then I have to feed and clothe myself, etc!

Also, £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! 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 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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