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Low Cost Counselling

Carers Hub Low Cost Counselling service Edit this page

LOW – COST COUNSELLING SERVICE

Introduction

Lambeth Carers Hub have been facilitating access to low-cost counselling since December 2013.  This information sheet has been produced jointly by a qualified Counselling Practitioner and Carers Hub Lambeth to:

1.            Introduce counselling, the kind of problems that it can help with and describe how it works

2.            Describes how to access the Carers Hub low-cost counselling service, the assessment process and key aspects of the service including the cost.

1.           What is counselling?

Counselling is the term given to a range of talking therapies.  These therapies are delivered by trained practitioners, working with people to help them bring about effective change in their lives or enhance their wellbeing.

What problems can counselling help with?

·         Depression

·         Family and relationship problems

·         Anxiety

·         Bereavement and loss

·         Stress

·         Anger

·         Loneliness and isolation

·         Frustration

·         Unexpected life changes

·         Lack of self worth

·         Confidence and assertion

·         Self Identity

·         Feelings of emptiness, lacking purpose

·         Obsessional behaviour

How do I know if counselling could help me?

·         Do you find it difficult talking to friends and family about your problems?

·         Do you feel misunderstood by those closest to you?

·         Do you often feel tearful and sad?

·         Do certain people or situations provoke unwanted thoughts and feelings?

These are just some of the experiences presented in counselling.  If you have any concerns about pursuing therapeutic counselling consult your G.P.

How does counselling work?

The primary role of a counsellor is to listen and support clients whilst they explore their problems. Counsellors work in the best interest of their clients by taking a non-judgemental and neutral stance, and by adhering to a strict code of ethics.

Clients can express to the counsellor their problems; counsellors listen and help clients to view their difficulties from a different perspective in the hope that clients may perceive their situations differently.

 

2.           What happens after I make an enquiry about receiving counselling through Carers Hub Lambeth

You will be invited to attend an assessment interview. This allows the Counsellor to find out more about why you are seeking counselling. It is important for prospective service users to know that being invited for an assessment is not a guarantee that counselling sessions will commence.  In the event that counselling cannot be offered, the practitioner will do their upmost to refer you to a more appropriate or alternative counselling service.

There will be a fee for the assessment interview, at the same rate of your counselling sessions. 

If the assessment process is successful, clients, depending on their availability will be offered a start date and session times will be agreed.  Or you will go on a waiting list until an available slot arises.

If, at the assessment interview, it becomes clear that the counsellor is not able to offer you the right kind of counselling service to respond to your circumstances, there will be no charge for the assessment interview.

Fees

This is a low cost counselling service; the minimum fee would be £7.50 per session for those in receipt of Income Support or Pension Credit. Other fees will be on a sliding scale from £7.50 to £35 per session depending on your employment status, your income level and your savings.  This will be an agreement between yourself and your counsellor.  Fees need to be paid on the day, or in advance.  Receipts can be given if required. 

The commitment of counselling

Sessions begin with a counselling agreement; this will outline how you and your counsellor will work together including information such as:

·         What you can expect from your counsellor

·         What your counsellor expects from you

·         Confidentiality policy

·         Cancellations and missed sessions

·         Fees and payments, etc.  

You will be given a copy of the counselling agreement at the time of the assessment so you can read it through before your sessions begins.  If you have any concerns you can discuss this with your counsellor.
The length of each counselling session and the number of sessions

Each therapeutic session lasts for 50 minutes.  It is important to arrive on time for counselling sessions. Sessions begin on the hour and finish 50 minutes later so taking a noon appointment as an example: it you arrive15 minutes late, the session will finish at 12.50pm.  Likewise, if you arrive early at 11.40am, your appointment will not commence before you allocated session time of noon.

The number of sessions will be assessed on an individual basis: initially, a contract of 4 weeks will be offered, after which there will be regular reviews.

Confidentiality

All counselling is held in strictest confidence; however, there are some rare instances where confidentiality may be compromised. This will be outlined in your counselling agreement.

After beginning counselling, can I change my mind?

Clients may experience an abundance of feelings once their counselling sessions are underway.  This is normal however; sometimes this can be too overwhelming for clients to manage.  Or circumstances may change within your life meaning you are no longer able to commit to the sessions.   It is important to know that counselling is a voluntary endeavour, and it may be that the timing is just not right for you to explore your problems.   Once your sessions have begun and you find yourself in this situation, speak openly to your counsellor, they will not be offended if you decide not to continue with your sessions. Together you may be able to explore a suitable alternative, or work towards a managed therapeutic ending.

Evaluation and Monitoring

The agreement you enter will be between yourself and the counsellor.  However, Carers Hub would like to monitor the service and will ask you to complete a series of evaluation forms and outcome measures.  All of this data will be kept anonymous and confidential and the information gathered will help to support future counselling projects.

Aggressive or Violent Behaviour

Counsellors are trained professionals, who are working to support you. If at any time clients behaviour becomes persecutory, aggressive, or threatening towards their counsellor this will be deemed as unacceptable behaviour which will not be tolerated.

Please contact the Carers Hub Lambeth Enquiry Line on 020 7642 0038 if you want to be referred to the Low-Cost Counselling Service.

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