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20th October 2017 
FAQ #01

Your questions answered



How many sessions do I need? There’s no prescribed length of sessions, some people come for 10 others for 20, some for a couple of years or more. If people decide to work with me I usually suggest a minimum of 6 sessions to give enough time for some kind of process to happen.

How much do sessions cost? I charge 40.00 a session payable at the end of each session. I do have a few low cost places which are agreed by negotiation.

How do you set your fees? I have had to pay for my training and other professional costs such as supervision and CPD, the rate reflects these costs and is the market rate for the service I offer.

What if I want to stop therapy? That’s up to you. I’ll always encourage you to have a least one extra session to review our work together and make an ending as well as exploring the reasons for stopping, but I won’t seek to prolong therapy if you wish to end.

What if you aren’t experienced in my problems? In my experience a lot of the issues people struggle with in life are, in essence about their relationships with other people, which is why I place an emphasis on a relational approach to counselling. However if I think I don’t have the right skills to offer you the support you need I will recommend you to another colleague or organisation that are better able to support you.

What if I need to miss a session? I know that life can get in the way of the best laid plans and I try to be as flexible as I can. In order to avoid a charge for a missed session please give me 24 hours notice that you can’t make the session. With less than 24 hours notice I may need to charge you half the fee unless I can offer the time to someone else.

How do I know you are competent? I have undertaken basic and advanced training in counselling and have supervision to monitor my work. I belong to a professional organisation (BACP) that sets standards for the industry and to whom I am accountable. I also follow their code of ethics. I undertake Continuing Professional Development and undertake my own therapy. I endeavour to keep a good work /life balance. All of these things I believe enable me to work competently and with integrity.

What if I am in crisis? I will do my best to contact you as soon as possible, however if you need urgent support please consider the following:
Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 24 hrs a day
Women's Aid Freephone 24 hr National domestic violence helpline PHONE: 0808 2000 247 Email: helpline@womensaid.org.uk
NSPCC if you are worried about the welfare of child call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 If you are a child or young person ring Childline on 0800 1111
For emergency mental health, child care and welfare crisis out of hours in Devon contact 0845 6000388, in Dorset 01202 657279 and in Somerset 01458 253241.
If you, or someone else is in immediate danger dial 999.

Are you a counsellor or a psychotherapist? What's the difference?
This subject is debated a lot within the industry. Currently there is considered to be no difference between the two titles. In practice psychotherapy is usually more long term work and counselling is more short term. For more information see the BACP website

Why Otter Counselling? I have chosen the name because I live by the river Otter in East Devon and also because the Otter symbolises playful and feminine qualities -which are aspects that we all - men and women, young and not so young - can lose sight of as we go about our busy lives studying, working, building homes, careers and families. I like to keep the Otter and her playfulness and care for her young ones in mind as I go about my work.