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Important and frequently asked questions

What can I do in a crisis?

Counselling is not an emergency service. If you find yourself or your child in a crisis involving self-harm or suicide, seek immediate professional help. Contact your GP, NHS 24 (111) or the Samaritans (116 123), or visit A&E. Befrienders Worldwide is another source of support.

How do I arrange sessions with you?

If you have any queries, please phone or text me on 07887525158. If I am not available then please leave me a message. Alternatively, email me at sarah@valleytherapy.co or use the confidential form on my contact page. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible to arrange a free 15-20 minute initial consultation by phone or video chat.

Are you the right therapist for me?

During our initial contact, we will explore whether I can support you with your difficulties. If I feel I am not the best fit for you, I will recommend other therapists or organisations that will be more appropriate.

How many sessions will I need?

We will usually agree this in our first session according to your specific therapeutic needs. Sometimes clients prefer short term arrangements of 10 sessions whereas others opt for an ongoing arrangement. Sessions are 50 minutes long, on a weekly basis (unless otherwise agreed), and generally take place during the same weekly time slot. I have a waiting list option if my practice is full which I attend to and update constantly. If I can, I will also offer holding sessions until we can meet on a regular weekly basis. Whatever we agree can be reviewed and amended at any time according to your therapeutic requirements.

How much are your fees and how do I pay?

Self-funded session fees are £75 in Tunbridge Wells and for web-based sessions, and £85 in Brighton. Payment is due on the day of the session. Fees can be paid by bank transfer, cheque or cash, and receipts issued on request. Clients will receive an invoice reminder by email before their session. If your sessions will be covered by your health insurance, I will invoice them directly according to the arrangement that you have with your provider. You will be liable for any excess.

Will my health insurance pay for my sessions?

In the first instance, talk to your provider about this. I am affiliated with most major health insurance organisations including AXA, CBT Clinics and Vitality. Fees vary according to your health provider. Please discuss this with me in your initial consultation.

What happens if I cannot attend a session?

I require 24 hours’ notice if you wish to cancel a session, otherwise you will be charged in full. If you cannot make it to your session, I am able to offer you a web-based alternative. If you wish to end your counselling sessions altogether, you may do so at any time. I would still require 24 hours’ notice. I do ask that you consider attending at least one final session after you have made this decision to ensure a supportive therapeutic ending. I would appreciate 14 days’ notice in writing of any planned holidays. I will give you adequate notice of my holidays.

What do I need to know about session etiquette?

Please do not attend sessions if you are under the influence of any intoxicating substances. Likewise, please do not drink alcohol or smoke during sessions. Set your phone to silent unless you need to keep it on for an emergency situation.

Will you write reports or letters if requested?

Brief letters to confirm your attendance are free. If you require a report or an extensive letter this will be charged at £75 an hour. I reserve the right to decline this request if I believe it not to be in your best interest.

How do I make contact out of session?

If you need to make contact regarding practical matters, I can be contacted by email, text or telephone and endeavour to respond to you within 48 hours and during my normal office hours of Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 6 pm, as time permits. You will benefit most if you ask therapy questions in your sessions. If parents have questions, they will usually be invited into the beginning of session if it is appropriate.

What are your professional associations?

I am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and a UKRC Registered Independent Practitioner. I am an accredited UK and Ireland EMDR practitioner. My counselling work is clinically supervised to the required standards and I hold public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

BACP accredited

BACP accredited