Counselling Frequently Asked Questions

Counselling Frequently Asked Questions – Whilst you are deciding about counselling or therapy there may be questions you need to ask. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about counselling and therapy. If you have a question that does not appear here please use our “Ask Ancora” form at the bottom of this page.

We recommend that you read this section before requesting a call back from Ancora Counselling.



How much will it cost?

For private individuals Ancora charges £55 per hour for counselling, therapy, and personal development sessions.

How do I pay for a Therapy Session?

Sessions can be paid by cash, cheque or BACS. You can be invoiced on a monthly basis or pay weekly.

Can I use my health insurance to pay for my therapy sessions?

Sam Lawson is registered with several insurance companies including BUPA, AXA and Norwich Union. Please check your individual policy for term and conditions.

Do you offer Concessions, Discounts and Low Cost Sessions?

There are a limited number of low cost slots available. We offer concessions to trainee counsellors both in terms of personal therapy and supervision. Please call to discuss further.

General Questions

What is the BACP?

What is the BACP? €“ The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) is a membership organisation and a registered charity that sets standards for therapeutic practice and provides information for therapists, clients of therapy, and the general public.

As the largest professional body representing counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, BACP aim to increase public understanding of the benefits of counselling and psychotherapy, raise awareness of what can be expected from therapy and promote education and training for counsellors and psychotherapists.

Is Counselling Right for Me?

Is counselling right for me? Well this is a difficult question to answer. Until we meet and discuss your history and what you want to gain from the process we wont really be in a position to advise you. You will know during that first assessment session whether or not you feel able to work with me. Therapy is not for everyone and rest assured if I do not feel able to help you or think that you would benefit from Ancora Services I will advise you from the outset. I will then signpost you to other services that may be better placed to help.

What is BACP Accreditation?

I have noticed that your site states you are BACP accredited – what is BACP accreditation?

Accreditation is part of the Professional Standards Department at BACP. The BACP set the professional standards that they expect their members to abide by and review the work of individuals and organisations to ensure that they reach a level of competency and professionalism expected of them. Once accreditation has been achieved, members of the BACP are entitled to display the accreditation logo that you will see at the bottom of this page.

Can I refer other people to Ancora?

If you feel Ancora may be able to help someone you know or who are close to you then please ask them to look at the website and encourage them to call. Research has proven that those who make their own appointments will benefit most.

I have seen Supervision mentioned what is it?

Supervision is a requirement of all BACP Accredited counsellors and therapists. It is a process whereby each month your case load is discussed with an experienced supervisor. This results in work being monitored to ensure that the therapist is working in an ethical way. It also helps the counsellor or therapist view things from a different perspective. To find out more please see BACP website

What can you help me with?

Sam Lawson has over 15 years experience of supporting people through trauma and emotional problems. Ancora can help with a variety of issues from specifics issues listed here.

What is your Cancellation Policy?

There is a 48hr cancellation policy. I will require 48hrs notice if you are unable to make an appointment and are unable to reschedule with the same week.

Therapy Sessions

How many counselling sessions will I need to complete my therapy?

In order for this to be assessed we need to meet you in person, find out as much as we can about you and your problem and assess what kind of therapy would be of most benefit.

The number of sessions you require depends on several factors such as:

The length of time of your problem has existed.

What goals you wish to achieve from counselling?

We will be able to advise you in the first session. Some clients feel comfortable with an idea of how many sessions they will require while others prefer to come along for an unspecified amount of time. The choice is really yours and then agreed between us.

How are Therapy Sessions Organised?

Therapy sessions occur weekly. In general sessions take place on the same day at the same time weekly as this has proven effective. Its an important part of the process and will help you feel secure. I will explain at the assessment the importance of committing to the counselling process. Part of you coming each week is that for a while you prioritise yourself in a new way. Taking the regular time out of your week, embarking on the therapeutic process and committing to it are some of the ingredients that will ensure the success of the outcome you want. That said we pride ourselves on understanding the demands of modern and family life and will endeavour to be as flexible as possible when necessary.

Double Therapy Sessions

Sometimes clients book a double session as a great deal of work can be covered in this time. This can become the foundation to your counselling and provide a kick start to your journey. I also arrange sessions of 1.5hrs duration. Again this is aimed at offering you continuity as well as flexibility. Some clients find a fifty-minute session too short to begin with. It may be that you have limited availability some weeks and want to double up on others.

Twice Weekly Therapy Sessions

For particularly traumatic life events or for problems that are deeply ingrained twice weekly sessions can provide you with the extra support you require.

At Ancora we offer flexibility and take into account busy lives.

If you have to travel away or cannot make your session why not book a Skype session that week.
 It can be difficult to fit sessions in every week at Ancora you can book either a 1.5 hr session or a double session.

Counselling Confidentiality – Will my sessions be confidential?

Ensuring and maintaining confidentiality is central to what we offer. Confidentiality is one of the foundations to a good working relationship. I do not discuss you with anyone outside of the sessions.

Using a private counselling and therapy service means that the fact that you are receiving help does not appear anywhere on your doctors notes.

To work within the guidelines set down by the BACP there are exceptional circumstances where the need to maintain confidentiality would be overridden. Namely if it was believed that you were to seriously hurt yourself or someone else, or that a child was at risk. At this point it would be my duty to seek aid from an outside agency. Please be aware this only happens in very exceptional circumstances.

As a requirement of good and ethical practice and a commitment to continuing comprehensive service I discuss on a monthly basis the clinical work I do with a supervisor. A supervisor would have no access to your personal details and is bound by the same guidelines on confidentiality.

Supervision is a process that all Accredited Members engage in. It forms part of good practice and it is an opportunity to have my clinical work assessed. In an environment that is supportive and educational my supervisor and I are identify issues I may have missed or point out other areas of exploration.

Clients are often worried about notes being kept on file. During your assessment session I will explain Ancora policy on note keeping and client confidentiality.

There are times when as a client you may require a report to be written. I am always happy to do this and will ensure that all clients see reports before they are sent.

I am happy to liaise with any organisations or health care professionals on your behalf but I will ask for you to sign a “Permission to Disclose Form”.

How often are the appointments?

Appointments are weekly. As therapy progresses this can be assessed and looked at and adapted to your therapeutic and practical needs. You can find out more about how therapy sessions are organised here.

Ask Ancora!

Do you have a question about our counselling therapy that doesn't appear in our "Counselling Frequently Asked Questions" section? Don't worry you can use this form to ask and we will give you a personal response within 48hrs. Ancora Counselling will not share your personal details with anyone else.
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