About Us: The story of HQ Therapy Rooms

Therapists and their clients remain at the core of our business, but having developed proprietary software in conjunction with therapists, we have been able to create efficiencies throughout the entire journey for everyone seeking and using mental health support.

Founded by psychotherapist Melanie Cox, this personal and friendly practice offers a uniquely varied programme of counselling and psychotherapy services under one roof.

  • Experienced therapists practising a wide range of therapeutic specialities
  • Safe and supportive boutique spaces where you can explore issues you are dealing with.
  • Satisfied clients and an unparalleled experience

We hand-pick our therapy practitioners, so we can support you to find a therapist that is right for you; which we recognise is often the biggest hurdle.

HQ Therapy Rooms operates as a private therapy and counselling practice spread over two locations in Hackney. We opened the first practice in Dalston in 2016, realising that there was a lack of therapy provision in the area, and within 6 months we were full.

The amount of need exceeded our expectations; the rooms and the therapists both reached full capacity within months of opening. The only solution, as we saw it, was more therapists! So we opened a second therapy practice just down the road in Haggerston. Now we have a community of over 140 therapists offering Main, Reduced-Rate, Low-Cost and Well-Being Therapy working out of our bespoke therapy rooms, with additional coworking spaces to collaborate, relax and socialise.

With this in mind, we aim to remain contemporary. The legacy of the Covid 19 pandemic taught us to be adaptable and we continue to embrace that. We are currently offering CPD opportunities, events, lectures and networking opportunities by affiliating with other forward-thinking organisations like The Weekend University.

By building relationships with organisations such as this, we not only help to keep our therapists and trainees informed of the latest developments in the field and with the most innovative thinkers, but we also connect them with contemporary, innovative businesses like this that they can continue to benefit from long after their placement hours are completed!

This is our business but we’re in it because we want to help people from all walks of life.  It’s not about competition between practices; if we can’t help, we’ll refer you to someone that can. That said, we want to be able to offer even more ourselves.

We will continue to welcome new trainees, more practitioners to use the rooms and more collaborative projects that can make use of HQ’s facilities and add to the richness of our community.

Therapy should be a holistic, community-centred endeavour, and accessible to everyone.

So if you’re looking for a new room to practice from, a new challenge, wider contacts within our industry, potential collaborators for your own projects, or to get involved with one of ours, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at [email protected], call us on 0203 997 9229, or use the form at the bottom of this page.

Low-Cost Therapy: How it all began

It was the support of this community of our therapists that led us to set up our low-cost therapy service. All of us spend a lot of time at the practices; seeing clients and keeping in touch with our psychotherapists.  It was a concern of Mel and her colleagues that therapeutic services like ours struggled to support clients on low incomes and who have financial difficulties. We were acutely aware that therapy has a reputation as a middle-class pursuit.

For us, this was an ethical dilemma and one we were keen to solve. Therapists have always offered low-cost spaces as part of their private practices, but we wanted to do more and there was no way we could meet the demand within our private practices alone. Together we started thinking about how we could offer a low-cost service. We realised that by coming together, we could offer many more people access to therapy using the facilities we already had available to us.

Of course, in early 2020, the pandemic changed everything.

While we couldn’t work in person, many therapists chose to work from home, setting up Zoom or phone therapy sessions. Meanwhile, the emotional fallout of the pandemic led to an explosion in demand for therapy. Local GPs and mental health services, already heaving under the strain, were now overwhelmed by the needs of people who didn’t have access to private therapy options.

Mutual Aid groups were set up all over the country, and thousands of people put their hands up to volunteer. We wanted to contribute too and to find a purpose amid the uncertainty of the pandemic. This was our opportunity to set up the low-cost therapy service and, in lockdown, we found we finally had the time.

Sixteen months on, we provide placements for over 60 trainees, and therapy for 100’s of clients who couldn’t otherwise afford it and are affiliated with some of the most prestigious psychotherapy training organisations in the country.

All of us at HQ Therapy are incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.

Our aim has been to address the financial disparity and provide excellent therapy. After all, affordable therapy is one thing and quality is another. It is important that our low-cost clients have access to a high standard of counselling services. For us, this meant working with the best training organisations.

We have worked hard to establish relationships and become a placement provider for organisations well known for their specific training in psychotherapy. We currently work with Metanoia, The Institute for Art in Therapy and Education (IATE), Roehampton, The Minster Centre and East London (UEL), to name a few.

We interview and assess all HQ trainees. We ensure our students come from a wide range of backgrounds. Psychotherapy training tends to attract mature students who bring extensive life experience and provide a rich career history to the profession.

We are also very interested in their personalities, their professional backgrounds, the communities they are part of and the life experience they’ve had. Hackney is an enormously diverse borough and it’s crucial that our therapists are as diverse as the community we serve.

All of our training organisations are registered with accrediting bodies like UKCP or BACP and all our trainees are independently registered. We require trainees to be insured, in supervision, and, importantly, in their own personal therapy.

Our HQ trainee therapists and counsellors each have three to five clients – sometimes more, depending on their level of experience and it’s still not enough. We get an ever-increasing number of enquiries each month and, as with many low-cost services, we have a long waiting list. We will continue to do what we can to meet demand.

Regulatory bodies are changing their training requirements to include online therapy as standard so we can accommodate a greater number of trainees and reach out to a greater number of people. That said, many clients don’t want their first contact with a therapist to be online.

We are all really delighted to be able to offer our rooms for our clients and trainees to use and we are committed to developing more ways of offering therapeutic support affordably.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Seek Therapy & Counselling?

Many people, new to this type of help, believe that they need to be suffering from “mental illness” or serious “psychological problems”, or be in crisis in order for therapy and counselling to be appropriate for them. This is a common misconception; anyone can benefit from therapy when it comes to helping you deal with your personal feelings and problems, make positive changes in your life, and understand yourself better.

So what is therapy and counselling? If you’re new to this world then the first steps can sometimes be the most difficult. Therapy can be a very effective treatment for a whole range of personal problems covering areas from physical and emotional problems, different types of behavioural disorders, through to human sexuality issues and a host of wellbeing and complementary therapy techniques.

Any problem you have that is causing you concern, anxiety or distress is a valid and appropriate reason to reach out and find a therapist and talk to them about it. Far from something to be ashamed of, acknowledging your vulnerability and asking for help is a sign of maturity and strength.

If you feel that you have a desire and are committed to making changes in your life in order to overcome your current problems and achieve more long-term satisfaction, psychological wellbeing and personal fulfilment, then you are ready to seek therapy. We are here to help you work through a wide range of therapy issues that might be troubling you.

Will Information About Me Be Safe & Secure?

It is quite normal to be hesitant when it comes to sharing private and intimate information about yourself with a stranger. You may fear that you will receive judgment from your therapist, or that your therapist will share your details with others.

HQ Therapy Rooms takes your privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Our therapists are required to keep everything said in therapy sessions between you, just like your doctor is required to keep your records private.

For therapy to be effective, there must be unconditional trust built between you and your therapist, and this relies on a shared understanding of confidentiality. It applies to the outside world as well: it is standard practice for therapists not to acknowledge their clients if they run into them outside of the therapy rooms in order to help protect their client’s confidentiality. Read our full privacy policy for more information.

Can I Contact You For Advice About Getting Therapy?

Talking about your thoughts and feelings with a supportive therapist can often make you feel better and help you face your problems. It feels good to be listened to and to know that someone cares about you and wants to help. It is important that you find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and can build a trusting relationship to help you make positive changes in your life.

But how do you know what type of therapy is right for you? Taking the first steps in finding the right therapist can be the biggest hurdle for newcomers, so we have made it easy. Simply fill out the form below in confidence, and one of our fully qualified referral therapists can work with you to make sure you connect with the right practitioner and receive the correct therapy and counselling services you require.

Our practitioners deal with a wide range of therapy issues using different types of therapy modalities tailored for the types of clients we work with. We also cater for people who are beset with financial difficulties, offering them services ranging from low-cost therapy and reduced rate therapy, to working with seasoned, qualified and accredited talking therapists.