What is counselling?

Counselling provides an opportunity to discuss the things that may be troubling you or causing you problems. Your counsellor will not offer advice, but will provide a safe space where you are able to reflect and explore the issues and difficulties that you are facing.

If you think you would like counselling, you will be offered an initial consultation before you start. This will provide you with the opportunity to ask further questions and decide whether or not counselling and our service feels right for you.

How often does counselling take place?

You will see the same counsellor, weekly, at the same time and place. Each session will last 50 minutes. Your counsellor is not usually the one you met with for your initial consultation. Your counselling session is held for you each week, therefore if you are unable to attend you will be expected to pay for the missed sessions.

Will my counsellor be qualified and experienced?

All of our counsellors are managed and supervised by Riverside Counselling Service and abide by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Ethical Framework. Many of our counsellors are qualified, while others may be completing their training at an accredited place of study.  Everyone works to the same high standards.

How long will my counselling take?

It is hard to answer this question as everyone is treated as an individual and it will depend upon you.  We offer short focussed or longer term options.

Where will my counselling take place?
How long will I have to wait for a counselling appointment?

Counselling at Riverside is in high demand and there may be a short wait before you are offered an initial consultation.  Once you have had your initial consultation we would hope to be able to offer you on-going counselling within a few weeks.  However, this would depend upon your availability and current service demand.  Evening appointments are available, but these are in high demand and counselling is not available at weekends.


Riverside Counselling Service is a registered charity (No. 1018853) and its main aim is to make quality, affordable counselling available to the local community. We receive no NHS funding and sessions are subsidised through grants from charitable trusts, donations and fundraising.  We also rely heavily on the fees we charge people using the service.  For this reason the fees for counselling are calculated according to household income bands.

Initial Registration and Consultation Fee

The initial registration and consultation fee is £55

Fees are reviewed annually and reduced fees are possible but subject to agreement and the availability of bursary funding.  Please note that you will be expected to pay for missed or cancelled sessions, except for sessions cancelled by your counsellor.

How do I pay for my initial consultation?

Payment can be made for your initial consultations by a BACS transfer to the following account:

Bank:  Lloyds

Account Name: Riverside Counselling Service

Sort Code: 30-80-54

Account Number: 19891468    

Please use reference YOUR SURNAME / IC

Please note that the agreed registration fee must be paid in full within 3 days of the offer of an initial consultation date.

For payment of on-going counselling sessions, this can be discussed in session with your counsellor.

What is your initial consultation cancellation policy?


Cancellations must be made with a minimum of 48 hours’ notice before the initial consultation appointment. Please note that we do not re-imburse the cost of the initial consultation for cancellations of less than 48 hours. This is because short notice cancellations often mean that the appointment is lost. All cancellations must be made either in writing to or telephone 01491 876670

For client cancellations in excess of 48 hours, you will either be given a refund or offered an alternative date. We will allow up to two cancelled appointments.

If appointments are cancelled or changed by Riverside an alternative date or refund will be offered. Riverside reserves the right to change the initial consultation appointment, timing, venue or counsellor.

Once counselling has commenced your counsellor will expect to see you every week at the agreed time and it is important for your progress that you attend regularly. As this time is kept just for you, you will be charged for any missed sessions.


What if I am unhappy with my counselling?

If you are unhappy with your counselling, in the first instance this should be discussed with your counsellor, as it may be related to the issues you have brought to counselling. If you do not feel comfortable doing that it would be possible to contact Riverside’s Clinical Lead at to explain your concerns. If you are still unhappy Riverside has a formal complaints procedure.