Frequently asked questions...

What is the current availability of sessions?

February 2024

Heart of Harrogate Counselling has some limited capacity to take on new clients who are looking for counselling and psychotherapy. Please contact us for availability.


What do sessions cost and how do I pay?

Individual sessions are £45 or £50 depending on who the sessions are for. For your first session, it is asked that you to pay at the point of booking your appointment. Thereafter, fees are paid at the end of each session by cash or bank transfer. You may be looking to use a health insurance provider to fund your sessions. If so, get in touch so we can let you know if we are registered providers with your insurance company.  


What does in mean to be BACP registered?

The BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) is a professional membership body, which works to the highest standards of proficiency and ethical practice. All BACP members must work in accordance with the Ethical Framework. Please find details of BACP memberships by clicking here.


What should I expect when making first contact?

Please don't hesitate in getting in touch by sending an e-mail to, or siobhan@heartofharrogatecounselling or by texting or calling 07960 081 168.  It is likely that we will be in sessions so won't always be able to reply straight away but will get back in touch with you, in the same way that you have made contact, to arrange a suitable time for to talk. 

You will be offered a free telephone consultation (lasting 10-15 minutes) so we can discuss what has made you decide to seek counselling and how counselling can help. A few basic details will be taken and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have or provide evidence of qualifications and professional registrations.

If you decide at this point that you would like to make a first appointment, then we will agree a time and date or you may prefer to think about it and speak to other counsellors. 


What happens at the first session?

For many clients, attending the first session can be worrying, especially when they don’t know what to expect or are nervous about talking about their problems and concerns with a ‘stranger’. We are very much aware of this and will try our best to help put you at ease during our first appointment.

The first session is an opportunity for you to discuss your concerns, expectations and goals for counselling and to begin to think about how best to achieve them. We will discuss the practical side of our work together e.g. payment of fees, cancellation policy, holidays, record-keeping and our commitment to each other. We will ask you to sign a contract to confirm acceptance of these conditions and give you a copy to take with you.


What is the frequency and length of appointments?

Typically, appointments are scheduled on a weekly basis and may be extended to fortnightly, or even longer, towards the end of counselling. Some clients prefer, at the start of the counselling, to make an arrangement to meet less frequently. Counselling will be at your pace, considering any time or financial limitations you may have and reviewing our work together regularly. Follow ups can also be arranged after counselling has formally ended to ensure the gains made in counselling are maintained or if a ‘top-up’ session is needed. 

Each appointment lasts 50 minutes.


How many sessions will I need?

It is difficult to predict the number of counselling sessions that may be required until meeting with you. Everyone is unique and this means that people choose to attend counselling for a single session, a few weeks, months or a year or longer. 

Our sessions together are a commitment on both of our parts to ongoing counselling until we feel that the work is complete. Sessions can be time limited or open ended and will be regularly reviewed to ensure that the counselling is going in the direction you want it to and, when the time is right, to prepare for an ending. 


What happens if I'm late, miss or need to cancel an appointment?

Missed sessions will be charged without 48 hours prior notice. 

There will be plenty of notice given for any holiday or other absence booked by us. In the event of not being able to give you your session due to illness,  we will give you as much notice as possible.

Being on time for sessions is important but sometimes we cannot help being late. Please try and ring or text if you know you will be late but do not worry if this is not possible. We won't be able to extend the time of your session, due to other clients, but will be happy to receive you whatever time you arrive during your session. Your session fee will remain the same if you are late.


Is it confidential?

What you decide to bring to counselling and discuss within our sessions is of your own free will and is kept private. 

It is important that you feel safe and secure as you talk openly about whatever is troubling you. One of the most important features of counselling is the quality of the relationship between client and counsellor, which is built on trust. Please be assured that what you share in counselling is respected, that you won’t be judged for it and that what you share is confidential.

However, there are some rare circumstances where confidentiality may need to be broken:

  • If you disclose the risk of possible abuse or neglect of a child.
  • If you disclose that serious harm being caused to you or you are a serious risk to others.
  • If you disclose that you are involved in, or know of, any terrorist, trafficking or money laundering activities.

If you share thoughts of suicide, we will work collaboratively to explore these thoughts and feelings and will discuss further support options.


What if the counselling is with a child or young person?

Heart of Harrogate Counselling works with children and young people over 10 years old.  Younger children may be considered after an initial consultation. The process is generally the same, however the initial session may wholly, or in part, take place with a parent/carer present. It is important that your child/young person knows that coming to counselling is their decision and they will need to feel comfortable attending their sessions without a parent or carer. As their parent, you will  be expected to allow your child/young person to decide how much they wish to share with you about their counselling sessions. We can discuss all of these details at our first meeting and plan a way forward that takes your child’s needs into account.  

For younger children, sessions are likely to be play orientated. Older children and teens will also have access all of the same creative and play resources, with additional games and activities suited to their age. They may prefer to talk through particular issues on their mind or have a combination of talking and creative/play therapy.


Can I have online/remote counselling sessions?

Both online and face to face sessions are offered. If you need the flexibility of online sessions, you're not local to Harrogate or you would prefer to have sessions in this way due to Covid-19 then we're happy to offer counselling in this format. We can discuss this more when you get in touch.


Where does face to face counselling take place?

Heart of Harrogate Counselling sessions take place in a purpose built, air-conditioned/heated, garden office. 

This calming space ensures that your counselling sessions are quiet, comfortable and private. 

Please note that the puppy won't be involved in the counselling process. Perhaps one day...

Heart of Harrogate's private garden office

Contact me for a free initial consultation

07960 081 168

Ashgarth Court, Harrogate, HG2 9LE.

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