Coronavirus – latest update 12 June 2021

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, all assessments and counselling sessions are remote (Skype, Zoom or telephone) until further notice. Please contact us by email

We will do our best to reply to your request within 2 weeks – please be aware that due to the high number of enquiries, we are now booking assessments from 1st September onwards.

If you feel that you need to speak with someone urgently, please contact your GP or you may prefer to contact The Samaritans:

Thank you – the CPPD Counselling Team.

Counselling Service at CPPD
This service is fantastic for people who need counselling but cannot afford private counselling or have to wait months…. I am so happy with the service I have received.

At CPPD we offer a low-cost counselling service for people with low or no incomes. This service is provided by advanced trainee counsellors, who are BACP members, under the close supervision of qualified and experienced practitioners.

"Without this therapy I would’ve continued to suffer in silence"

Aim of Counselling

Counselling aims to give you, the client, an opportunity to explore personal issues in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental setting. This might include talking about life events, feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and behaviour patterns, but there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ topic to bring to counselling. You may be struggling with current difficulties or unresolved issues from the past. You may have fears for your future – or not even know why you have sought support at this time.

"This counselling has honestly changed my life – it’s given me a toolkit to filter and process my emotions"

During counselling, you will have the chance to talk with a trained professional who will help you to find ways of coping, and together you will work towards agreed goals.

"I couldn’t have accessed full-cost therapy so I’m very grateful"

What’s the first step?
Your first appointment is an assessment session which will last for 50 minutes. This is an opportunity to identify what your concerns are, whether or not counselling could help you work through your difficulties or whether another service might be more suitable. During your assessment, you may also ask any questions you have about counselling.

If after your initial appointment you decide that you would like to begin a course of counselling, you will be allocated to a counsellor and offered weekly sessions for a period of up to 6 months. As we are very busy at certain times of the year, there may be a waiting period of some weeks between your assessment and the commencement of your regular weekly sessions. We will aim to keep you updated of the waiting times during this period.

If you would like to arrange an assessment, please call Ruth White on 020 8341 4843 or email

How do the sessions work?
CPPD low-cost counselling service offers clients one assessment session plus up to 6 months of weekly counselling. At regular intervals, your counsellor will invite you to think about whether you are getting what you want from the counselling and how best to use the remaining sessions.

If at the end of counselling, you and your counsellor feel you would benefit from longer-term therapy, we will support you in finding external services that can offer this. Sessions last 50 minutes, and will usually take place at the same time and day once a week. If you arrive late for a session, you will be able to meet with your counsellor for the remainder of your allotted time, but the session cannot be extended beyond this. As there is only a very small waiting area, we would ask that you come to your session on time, rather than early.

Counselling is not a compulsory activity, and you are free to end your sessions at any time, but we would encourage you to discuss this with your counsellor first rather than just stopping attending. This gives you an opportunity to reflect on any progress made and to talk with your counsellor about other forms of support that might be available.

Will my sessions be kept confidential?
This is a very important aspect of the counselling relationship. Everything that you discuss with your counsellor during counselling sessions will be treated as strictly confidential. We would never routinely disclose any information about your counselling to other professionals.

The only exception to this is when we are legally compelled to disclose information or when your counsellor has strong reason to believe that you, or a third party, may be at risk of harm. In such cases it may be necessary to inform others, such as a GP, of the situation, and wherever possible you would be consulted before any information is shared.

Will there be any recorded details about me?
Counsellors are required to keep brief notes about your counselling sessions. These notes will not contain your name, and are kept securely at CPPD. At the completion of counselling your notes will be kept in safe storage for a six year period after which they will be destroyed.
How much will the assessment and subsequent sessions cost?
There is a fixed cost of £20 for your initial assessment session. Subsequent sessions are charged on a sliding scale of £10 to £25 according to your ability to pay. This is done on a trust basis – we will not ask you to provide details of your income – and the amount you pay can go up or down if your circumstances change, subject to the minimum fee of £10 per session. Payment is made to your counsellor in cash on the day of the session.

Please be aware that you will be charged your normal fee if you do not attend your session with less than 24 hours’ notice.

What happens if I need to cancel a session and how do I contact my counsellor?
Counselling has been shown to be more effective if you attend all your sessions, but we understand that you may sometimes need to cancel appointments. We ask that you inform us as soon as possible if you cannot come (with at least 24 hours’ notice).

If for any reason your counsellor needs to cancel a session, we will give you as much notice as possible, and where possible offer you an alternative time.

During your first weekly session, your counsellor will discuss with you how to stay in contact should you need to communicate with them between sessions. Please note that the counselling service is not an emergency service. If you are concerned about your physical or psychological welfare, and feel that you need to speak to someone immediately, you must make an urgent appointment with your GP or attend a hospital A&E department. Your counsellor will also be able to provide you with details of other services which provide support at times of crisis.

How do I know I’m in safe hands?
The counsellors at CPPD are trainee counsellors enrolled in the final stages of a three year professional counselling training. They are regularly supervised by more experienced practitioners who have assessed their readiness to see clients in the low cost service.

All our counsellors are fully insured, and are members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). As such, they adhere to, and practise in accordance with, the BACP Code of Ethics.

What if I’m not happy with the service?
If you wish to make a complaint about the service we have provided, please contact Clare Sole, Counselling Service Manager, in order to attempt to resolve your complaint informally. Clare can be contacted by email. If you subsequently wish to make a formal complaint, you may do so by contacting the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy who will be able to advise you further. The BACP is the body responsible for the professional conduct of counsellors in the UK.

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