From what age do you see people?

This is dependent on the area your GP is based.  Currently for Swale (Sittingbourne and Sheppey areas) it is 18+, but for Canterbury & Coastal it is 17+.  If you are unsure, please feel free to contact our office.

What type of counselling/intervention is available?

Your options will be discussed within your initial meeting with your counsellor, however our counsellors are trained with varied backgrounds and theoretical models.  You can see the variety of training our counsellors possess on our "About" page.

How many sessions may someone expect to receive?

Under our NHS IAPT service this is dependent on the level of treatment required.  

For private sessions, this is entirely up to you.

Would you accept referrals from another service, or does it always come directly from GP or patient?

We accept referrals from all services.  We also accept self referrals from patients directly.  Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to accept referrals from family members on your behalf.  

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept referrals for you if you are registered with Secondary Care (i.e. CMHT).

I am registered with Secondary Care.  How do I access counselling?

If you are registered with Secondary Care, you may have a support worker who can help you find a more suitable service for counselling.  Please contact your care provider for further information.

Are you short term?

We are short term through our NHS IAPT therapy.  

For private therapy there is no limit to the amount of sessions.

Do I need to attend?  What is your cancellation policy?

Your commitment to attending each session agreed with your counsellor is essential, as a short term counselling service your commitment to attend will ensure that therapy is successful for you.  

Appointments are to be treated in the same way as any NHS medical appointment; therefore if you miss an appointment without notifying us or having made a prior agreement with your therapist, your ongoing treatment may be affected.

Two missed appointments without notification will result in your treatment being ended and you will be discharged from the service if we receive no contact from you. Two cancelled appointments or two appointments cancelled at last minute (i.e. less than 48 hours notice) during your treatment could effect the treatment you receive.

I missed 2 sessions and I've been discharged.  I still need help.  What do I do?

You may be able to self refer back to our service immediately.  Please speak to our administration staff for further details on 01795 591 019 or email

I don't want face-to-face therapy - how do I sign up for online therapy?

Please speak to our administration staff for further details on 01795 591 019 or email

I have been sent some information via post for my assessment - how important is it that I have this to hand? 

It is extremely important to have these documents to hand during your telephone or face-to-face assessment. 

It is unsafe for me to answer my phone at home or receive letters - is there something I can do? 

When registering with our service please speak about this to the administrator who will be able to advise the best option for you, this may include completing your assessment with us on a face-to-face basis rather than on the telephone.

I am not sure if I want to attend counselling, but a member of my family has told me to attend - what should I do? 

We would recommend that your time in therapy is your own choice as therapy can be a very challenging and personal experience. If you have any doubts regarding your expectations or suitability these can be explored within your assessment, you are also welcome to discharge yourself from our service at any time.

I cannot get through on the telephone, what should I do?

We apologise sincerely for this.  Our lines can be very busy at times.  Please leave your name and the best contact number for us to contact you on and we will endeavour to return your call within 24 hours Monday to Friday.  Unfortunately, no answer phone messages are picked up at the weekend.

I am unable to be flexible with appointments right now can I still access the service? 

This very much depends on the amount of flexibility you do have, for example if you are limited to only evenings or weekends you can still access our service. The NHS service we provide should be treated as all other NHS service appointments therefore flexibility and commitment are required by all of our patients accessing the service.  If in doubt please speak to our administrator before registering for service or discuss this within your assessment. 

What do I do if I feel I am in crisis in-between seeing my counsellor? 

If you feel that you are in crisis or are concerned that you are having thoughts of self harm or suicide we recommend speaking urgently to your GP or local walk in health centre.  You can also speak to the Samaritans on 116123 or by visiting the website at -  In serious emergencies please call 999 or 111 and seek emergency assistance.