Need more info? Click on the questions below for answers to our Frequently Asked Questions.
1. About Psychotherapy / Counselling
Generalised anxiety, social anxiety, relationship issues, depression, family issues, panic attacks, feeling sad, affairs and betrayals, separation and divorce, phobias, bipolar, bullying, postnatal depression, addiction (alcohol, food, drugs etc.), abuse (sexual, emotional, physical) personality disorders, bereavement, low self-esteem/ low confidence, child-related issues, anger management, stress, work-stress and other issues.
Often counselling is the most effective when the client is able to risk being honest about how they are feeling, and to do this, the client needs to be working with a therapist in which they can connect with and can trust. If the client has anxiety about what the therapist may think or is afraid of the therapist, then the work won’t be very effective. Also, sometimes it’s not the right time for the client to open up about themselves because there is a lot going on in their lives which they are trying to cope with. That’s understandable, and I am always happy to wait until the client feels ready.
There is a lot of debate about this very question. Some people think that there is no difference between the two and that psychotherapy is just an old fashioned term. Others (including myself) believe that counselling is often more short-term work focusing on issues caused by unexpected external events in which clients need a safe space to process what has happened. Psychotherapy is often much longer-term (12 months ) work on more deep-seated ways of being which have been and continue to be causing the client distress.
The most important part of any therapy is the relationship between the client and the psychotherapist or counsellor. Therefore you need to feel like you can connect with, and be able to build a trusting relationship with your psychotherapist. If you can; talk to potential psychotherapists/counsellors on the phone, or meet them for an informal assessment to help you make your decision. Trust your instinct as every person is very different and not all therapists suit all clients. In addition to this, it’s important that you work with a psychotherapist/counsellor who is sufficiently qualified, has rounded experience and has done in-depth personal development on themselves. I personally wouldn’t work with a psychotherapist who hasn’t been a client themselves – so please do ask them.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is typically offered by GPs on the NHS because it can be a cost-effective treatment that can be delivered in a short time frame. CBT works well for some people, and not for others, so do speak to a number of practitioners to check what treatment type would work well for you. Whilst I do cover cognitive, affective and behavioural aspects within my work, I do not offer structured CBT protocols or treatment plans. If you are looking specifically for CBT I would recommend you choose someone from the BABCP Register.
Usually, in the first session, there is an opportunity for you to ask me questions about how I work, and I will also ask questions to find out about you and the support you would need from me. I encourage clients to only share what they feel comfortable sharing in this first session; there is no pressure to share anything that you’re not ready to say. We may also go through the counselling contract in this session which gives you clear information about what counselling involves so that you can make informed consent. Details include an overview of what information I can keep confidential, details of when we will meet, the cost, my cancellation policy and my professional membership details.
No, I work with individual adults aged 18+ only.
You can click on the following links to find details of my membership to the following professional organisations:
UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
– Accredited Register for Psychotherapists
In addition, you can find me listed on the following counselling directories which also require proof of qualification/registration before the listing is permitted.
– Counselling Directory
– BUPA Member Finder
– Find a Therapy Directory
– The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN)
– National Autistic Society
– Psychology Today
2. Payment / Admin
Our fees are £55 for a 50 minute therapy session for self-funded referrals payable by debit/credit card in person or via an online invoice from our payment provider. If you are referred via an Insurance Company, an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or through your workplace my fees are £60 per session due to their referral fees, extra reporting requirements and/or extremely long payment terms (e.g. 90 days for some insurers!). If you pay me directly and then claim from an insurer, I would class that as a self-funded referral. Fees for supervision are £55 for a 1 hour session, or £75 for a 1.5 hour session.
Online sessions: Payment must be made before the session. You will be emailed a payment link to pay online 24 hours before the session. You can pay by debit or credit card. In-person sessions: I accept payment by debit/credit card only in sessions. You can pay contactless (through phone or watch) if you use Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung pay as they have a limit higher than £45. I’m afraid that I don’t accept bank transfers as they are too time-consuming to administrate.
Clients must give me 48 hours notice before cancelling no matter the reason or emergency. This gives me both a chance to get to a computer to cancel room bookings should I be in client sessions, and also gives me the option of offering up space to other clients.
3. Referrals from Insurers / EAPs
I’m recognised with Bupa, Allianz, Aviva Health, AXA PPP Healthcare, Cigna, Healix Health Services, Standard Life, Vitality Health (including PruHealth). Please contact them first to clarify your entitlement, any excess that you have to pay, and the process for authorising me to work with you. Even though I am recognised with these organisations, I often need to quote an authorisation code which proves that they have agreed to fund your sessions.
4. Clinical Supervision
Yes I do, if the trainee’s core model is person-centred / humanistic. It’s more potent and less confusing integrating theory with practice if supervision uses the same theory as academic work.
For clinical supervision, I work in a person-centred relational/developmental way using Hawkin & Shohet’s Seven-Eyed Model of Supervision as a framework.
I won’t offer face to face / in-person sessions should there be a requirement to wear a facemask. I work from a counselling room where we are able to socially distance, and I can open a window for ventilation. A face mask creates a barrier to communication, and I feel it would be more effective for us to have an online session instead if it isn’t safe to meet face to face.
Hand sanitiser is available for use before, during and after sessions. Chairs are disinfected between clients, and the room is ventilated. Our chairs are placed 2 metres apart, and a window will be kept open. I have been double-vaccinated and take regular lateral flow tests. I don’t offer drinks, so please bring a soft/hot drink with you if required.
Neil Maxwell Psychotherapist / Counsellor: Counselling in Stamford / Peterborough www.neilmaxwell.co.uk