Frequently Asked Questions

What is counselling?

Counselling lets people talk about their problems or difficult feelings to a professional person outside of their situation in a safe, confidential environment. Typically people seek counselling when there is something they want to change in their life. It can help people to make choices, to reach decisions about how to handle problems, to learn coping strategies, and to empower them to make the changes they want.

What issues can you help me with?

Counselling can help with a wide range of issues, and I have experience with anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, phobias, depression, low self-esteem, relationship issues, adjusting to life changes, sleep issues, stress, loss and bereavement, as well as other issues.

What is a session like?

I provide a safe, confidential space for our sessions and will encourage you to talk about what is troubling you. At our first session, I will ask you some questions to help me understand how I can help you to find a way forward with your problems. During sessions, I will listen to you with the aim of helping you feel clearer about the extent and effect of your problems, and to help you recognise possible solutions. Part of the work may involve considering what you are thinking, feeling and doing (or not doing), and how our thoughts, emotions and behaviours interact together. I may offer ideas to work on outside of the sessions, such as keeping a journal or carrying out exercises. Part of the work might involve you finding internal resources for changes in thinking and acting, and in making the changes you have decided on.

Are my sessions confidential?

Yes, they are. I abide by the BACP Ethical Framework. Part of this requires me to have regular on-going supervision to make sure I provide you with the best service. In supervision I may discuss our work together, but would not use any identifying details. For this purpose, I take brief notes after sessions, which are kept securely in accordance with data protection legislation.

There are 4 circumstances where confidentiality can be broken:

  • Where you give consent for the confidence to be broken 

  • Where I am compelled by a court of law 

  • Where I believe that you are about to seriously harm yourself or others 

  • Acts of terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, vulnerable adult or child protection issues, disclosure that you have committed a serious crime or show intent to commit a crime.

I would always attempt to speak to you first before breaking confidentiality. However, for the fourth point, confidentiality will be breached and disclosures will be passed onto the relevant authority. 

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions needed can vary, as people have different needs and issues they bring. When we begin therapy, I will usually offer you an initial 6 sessions. We can see how that goes and decide whether to go on further or end there.

How long is a session?

Sessions are 50 minutes each, normally scheduled at the same time and day each week, although flexibility can be discussed.

How do I pay?

The fee per session is £45, which you can pay either at the session in cash or by card if we are meeting in person, or in advance by BACS transfer 24 hours before the booked session. For online sessions the payment needs to be paid by Bank Transfer.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

I reserve the right to charge in full for missed appointments or those cancelled with less than 48 hours notice, unless we can find another time that week where the session can be rescheduled which works for both of us. However, if you have any planned absences please let me know in advance and these won't be charged for. I will also let you know in advance of any weeks where I am away.

How does online counselling work?

I work online using a webcam and an application called zoom, which allows us to talk and see each other in real time. Online counselling means you don't need to travel to me, saving you time and transport costs, and we can also keep sessions going if you tend to work away on location regularly. You can have counselling in the comfort of your home, meaning it can be accessible to many people, as long as you have a webcam either in your phone or through a laptop or computer.

How is online different to face-to-face counselling?

The main difference is that online counselling is done via webcam where we are in different locations, whereas face-to-face occurs in the therapy office and we are both sat together in person. With online counselling, misunderstandings may happen due to a reduced ability to gauge facial expressions or full body language etc. It is important that both of us feel comfortable asking for clarification if we are unsure of something which is said that may lead to a misunderstanding.

Can I friend you on facebook?

I feel that adding clients as friends/contacts may compromise confidentiality, privacy and it may blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship.  For this reason, I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).

I do keep a Facebook Page for my professional practice, to allow people to share my practice updates and any relevant articles with other Facebook users. You are welcome to view my Facebook Page and read or share articles posted there.  

If you are in a crisis situation you may want to contact someone for urgent support, such as the Samaritans:

by email:

by phone: 116 123

or your GP, or your local A&E department. 


©2020 by Hayley Snelling Counsellor.

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