Low Cost Service

Covid-19 Update, July 2020

Following government policy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic Waterloo Community Counselling is temporarily suspending face-to-face counselling as of the 18th of March.  Since then we have been working tirelessly to adapt our service and remain as open as possible during this difficult period.

We are now providing our service remotely via telephone or video conferencing technology.

We recognise this is a very difficult time for everyone, and isolation will have an emotional as well as financial impact on many Londoners. We are happy to say that our Low Cost is open and available to people across all London boroughs. If you wish to make an appointment to see a counsellor at Waterloo Community Counselling please visit the Contact Us page for more information. 

How to Arrange an Appointment

To be eligible for our service you should be registered with a GP in London and be 18 years or older. To book an initial assessment, we will need your name, date of birth, contact details, and name of the GP surgery you are registered with.

If you would like to book an initial assessment appointment, please visit the Contact Us page and fill in the form. 

The admin team will then contact you to arrange a consultation with one of our therapists. The first consultation takes place with a qualified therapist or counsellor and lasts between 1 hour – 1 hour 30 mins. 

We will ask for your consent for us to inform your GP about your referral and collect demographic information such as your ethnic group and sexual orientation, this is so we can make sure we are reaching all sections of the London community. You don’t have to answer these questions if you don’t want to.

We also need to check we are the right service for you. To do this we need to know: your scores on the depression and anxiety symptom questionnaires and the problems you want help with.

What happens next?

Following your initial assessment the waiting time to start regular counselling sessions is between 8-12 weeks. When a suitable counsellor is available, you will be seen by them for 18 sessions at the same time each week. This will not change, unless in exceptional circumstances. Each appointment will last for 50 minutes.

The sessions are an opportunity for you to talk about yourself and, in particular, about difficult feelings and experiences in your life. The counsellor is there to listen and to help you express your feelings and understand them.

As you approach the end of your 18 sessions you and your counsellor will discuss your progress and together you decide whether you would like to extend your counselling further. We can offer extended counselling for up to 2 years. 

Our charges are calculated on a sliding scale according to your income and financial situation. You will discuss this at your initial assessment meeting; our aim is to agree an affordable weekly fee for you at the same time as asking you to contribute as far as possible to the cost of providing our service. As public funding for services such as ours has reduced in recent years, income from the people who use our service is increasingly vital to maintaining our work.

A one-off fee is charged for assessments, and all clients are required to pay a £10 deposit when booking their assessment. This deposit is non-refundable and will count towards your assessment fee. If you do not attend your assessment appointment, you will forfeit your deposit.

When discussing your fee, we take into account such factors as:

Annual salary/income from other sources such as benefits, grants etc.

Whether you have any dependants for whom you have additional financial responsibilities

Whether you have other income within your household which may be able to contribute to your weekly fee

Out of Hours Counselling
Some people who want to come to counselling or psychotherapy find it difficult to take regular time off from work to attend sessions.

Out of Hours counselling is a more flexible service for people in full-time work, with experienced counsellors offering sessions in the evenings, mornings and on Saturdays.

The fee for out of hours counselling will start from £40.

Are we the right service for you?

Generally we do not see people whose needs will be better met elsewhere by a specialist service and/or their other difficulties would be an obstacle to effective treatment in our service e.g:
• People with a level of risk that is not manageable within this service,
• People with addiction problems that would be an obstacle to effective treatment in our service,
• People with current symptoms of psychosis or significant vulnerability to relapse due to history of psychosis (unless diagnosis doubtful or a long time ago with considerable period of stability since),
• People with bipolar affective disorder / borderline or antisocial personality disorder.
• People who are receiving psychological therapy from another service or therapist at the same time as being seen in our service

Please do not leave your children unattended in the waiting room. Ensure that you have arranged childcare before attending appointments.