FAQs


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General

Accurately predicting the number of counselling sessions you're likely to need is an impossible task, especially before we've had a chance to assess your need. If you're looking for simple advice, it could be that a single session or email exchange will suffice, but after that, anything is possible.

As a general rule, a large proportion of people, especially those using online or telephone methods will have gone a fair way to completing the work within 6-12 sessions. If you have a more complex or long-standing problem, you are likely to need more time. Our practitioners will regularly review your progress with you to ensure that we are working towards an appropriate and progressive ending.

It depends what your presenting problems are. If you have a discrete problem you wish to work on, it may be that we can offer you occasional sessions. However, it should be remembered that there are well qualified practitioners available to work on all manner of issues in all but the remotest of geographical sites.

If  you are wanting to find a practitioner who works in a particular way, or on a particular kind of therapeutic issue, we will do our best to point you in the direction of someone suitable who is based closer to you (United Kingdom only).

We offer both online and offline supervision, including supervision for practitioners of online counselling and psychotherapy. Please contact us here for more details.

It is generally not advisable to see  more than one psychotherapist or counsellor at the same time, as to do so is generally regarded as being counter-productive. Your orginal therapist will have developed a specific program of therapy for you, and even if both therapists are of the same theoretical orientation, they will necessarily be at a different stage of understanding and relationship with you, which will make for a dis-jointed experience your end.

Given this fact, it is unlikely that we will agree to work with you if you are already seeing someone else on a regular basis. However, if you have only consultative appointments with a mental health professional - for example, periodic appointments with psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse to check your mental health or to monitor medication, we can work with you, subject to clear information about your mental health status, medication and clinical input being provided.

Having had counselling or psychotherapy at any time in the past will provide no bar to our working with you.

The beauty of technology in the 21st century is that geographical distance is now irrelevant for the purposes of communication.

You can work with a The Therapy Hour counsellor, therapist or coach wherever you are in the world using online video, audio or text chat facilities. You can also email or telephone. All these communication options are either free or can be obtained for the cost of a telephone call in addition to our fee.

In terms of license to practice, our therapists are indemnified to practice online anywhere in the world.

The law in England and Wales normally allows health professionals to work with and advise young people under the age of 18 without the permission of a parent or guardian, so long as that young person is "Gillick competent". In practice, this means that the young person must be at least 14 years of age and able to reason. However, in order to work with a client, we require him or her to agree to our Terms and Conditions, which in effect, means signing a contract. Unfortunately, English law does not permit a minor to sign a contract.   If you are under 18 years, you will need to get your parents' written permission in order for us to work together.

You really don't need to be a computer wiz to start live video, audio or text chat sessions with us. So long as you have speakers, a microphone (and optionally, a webcam if you want to use video), we've an option for pretty much everyone, regardless of your computing skills!

If you really feel you can't handle the challenge of working online, there's always email or the telephone, plus if you live reasonably locally, we can also work face-to-face with you.

All counsellors and psychotherapists at The Therapy Hour are fully trained in at least one theoretical orientation. This takes 3-5 years of post-graduate work.

In addition, they have all undertaken post-qualifying work and internships to be eligible to apply for accreditation with one of three major accrediting bodies within  the UK. Full membership  of one these bodies qualifies a practitioner to apply for positions within the National Health Service and other major health organisations, as well as to register for Healthcare Provider status with medical insurers.

You can verify the declared status of our practitioners first by reviewing their profile here, then visiting the website of their accrediting body as listed, where you can do a database search to find each practitioner.

 

Money

Rates vary according to the type and length of counselling session. A 20 minute video, audio or text chat and a 20 minute telephone call all cost from £17.10. Find a complete list of fees here.

You may pay for online, email and telephone counselling via credit/debit card (Stripe), Direct Debit (GoCardless)or bandk transfer (BACS). All such sessions must be paid for in advance.

If you are seeing us for face-to-face counselling or psychotherapy, you may pay in cash or BACS. You may also pay for face-to-face sessions online in advance if you prefer.

We are Recognised or Approved providers of medical treatment for a number of healthcare programs.  The following insurers will fund your work with us:

- PruHealth (formerly Standard Life Healthcare)

- Aviva (formerly Norwich Union)

- Allianz Worldwide Care

- Simplyhealth

- WPA

If you have a policy with any of these insurers, you should contact them in the first instance to check that you are covered for counselling or psychotherapy and to verify their process for obtaining treatment. Some require that a psychiatrist make an inital referral to us for counselling or psychotherapy.

 

Data

Under normal circumstances, both the Data Protection Act, 1998 and your therapist's professional Code of Ethics prevent him or her from sharing the content of your sessions with anyone else without your written permission. Your therapist is required to have clinical supervision, but your identity will remain anonymous during his or her sessions. All information retained about you is in coded form.

Three exceptions exist to the rule about confidentiality. These are:

  1. Where your therapist is required in law as a result of a court order to give evidence or release records.
  2. Where there is a reasonable suspicion of child, dependent or elder abuse or neglect.
  3. When a client presents a danger to self, to others, or to property.

For more information, see our  Working Agreement .

All information we gather and retain about you is done so within the provisions of the Data Protection Act, 1998. This means that is securely held on password protected, encrypted servers and computer disk drives.

We thought long and hard about how much information we needed to collect at assessment  and stage, and decided that it is best to ask sooner rather than later. We are particularly concerned to find out as much as possible about our potential online clients as early as possible  so that we able to tell you whether or not we are likely to be able to help - it's not so easy when you're also having to negotiate technology.

If you have problems completing the form for any reason, please contact us - it may be possible to complete the form via a telephone call or an online session.

In order to book sessions online, you'll also need to complete our registration process. This requires confirmation of your email address and manual approval of your registration. Once again, although it appears a little long-winded, we feel it's best that we get everything right early on in our relationship, so that we don't have to sort out mistakes or oversights later on. Once these initial procedures are completed, things get a lot simpler and streamlined.

We thank you for your patience in completing these procedures and trust that you'll have a professional, useful and pleasant experience of our services!

 

Getting Set

We'll use any you're comfortable  with; Skype, Oovoo, GoToMeeting, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, etc.

 

Your first step will be to complete our Assessment form. It may seem a bit long-winded, but doing so, will mean that we won't have to ask you a string of questions during our first meeting.

Once we have your completed form, we'll contact you to arrange an initial appointment. You don't pay for this session - it's a meeting to establish whether or not we think we're able to help you. It's also important that you have an opportunity to work out whether you like/have confidence in us!

For more information about first steps in counselling/psychotherapy, please visit What Happens In A Therapy Session.

The assessment form  for counselling and psychotherapy is here.

Our Counselling Agreement is here. There's a short overview, which outlines the main points, and the full document.