Lucy Howchen Low Cost Counselling Service CoordinatorLow-Cost Therapy Assessment Process:

Lucy Howchen (MBACP) – Head of the Low-Cost Service

Hello, my name is Lucy Howchen and I am a fully qualified (MBACP registered) Play Therapist, Young Person’s Practitioner and the therapy assessment process coordinator for HQ Therapy’s Low-Cost Therapy and Counselling service, which is specifically designed to help those who are on a low income and struggling financially to get the help they need.

I am here to help guide you through the assessment process, which is the first step required, from an initial online meeting with an assessment counsellor, in order to learn more about why you are seeking therapy, to placing you with an appropriate low-cost therapist for your ongoing therapy sessions.

If you are unsure about booking an assessment at this stage get in touch with us here for help and advice.

So let’s get started. I’m sure at this stage you are wondering how to get help and what the process of talking to a therapist involves. Please be reassured that you have already taken the first step to finding the right therapist so we have endeavoured to make it as easy as possible and streamlined the whole process, with the aim to get you into therapy as quickly as possible, so you can start your therapeutic journey straight away.

What happens now?: To get you started on your journey to getting the therapy you require we need you to click the ‘Select’ button above and choose an available time when you are free to have a consultation with the assessment counsellor and make a £17.50 payment for your initial low-cost therapy assessment process.

Once that is done you will receive an email confirming your booking and guiding you through the process:

  • There will be a client invitation link leading you to a form that will be used to gather some details about you. Don’t panic, the process is very simple and all you need to do is put your answers into the form.
  • There will be an invitation link to join the assessment video call on the day and time you have chosen (a reminder email will be sent near the assessment date to alert you).
  • If you wish to cancel the appointment for any reason there will be information offering this service.

Now you are all set up for your initial assessment and on the road to finding the right therapist for your issues.

What is a client therapy assessment, how much does it cost and how do I book one?: A client therapy assessment provides you with a safe and confidential space to discuss the issues that have brought you to therapy and help you to decide whether counselling is right for you.

Counselling assessments are up to 30 minutes long and cost £17.50. All assessments take place over zoom for your convenience at the time you have chosen. We ask that you are in a private space when taking the assessment call.

One of our trained assessment counsellors will give you the space to explore the reasons you’re seeking therapy. They will also ascertain your preferences for therapy, be it online or face-to-face or whether you have a gender preference for the therapist you work alongside. They will ask you questions about your current difficulties, the impact they are having on your life, and aspects of your personal history. You will also have the opportunity to identify your goals of therapy, essentially what you would like to achieve from counselling.

A therapy assessment is a collaborative process and by developing an understanding of your difficulties, the counsellor is able to assess your needs and determine whether our low-cost service is able to provide the psychological support you need. If the assessment counsellor thinks a referral to another service is more appropriate, they will discuss this with you.

Although our therapists endeavour to be flexible around your schedule, due to the nature and the high demand of the low-cost service, session times are limited and we ask that you are flexible with your availability. Please be aware that the only session times we can guarantee are on weekends between 7 am-10 pm and assessment appointments are non-refundable.

***Please note: Our low-cost service trainees cannot currently offer therapy sessions with clients who are residing abroad.***

When will my therapy sessions start and what will the rates be? Once the therapy assessment process has been completed we can begin to arrange your sessions with a therapist. The prices range from £17-£30 per session, depending on a sliding scale of your annual income. If you are earning above 25k per annum, you can still opt to use the low-cost service, however, the session rate will be £40 per session.

***Please note: Due to the high demand, the current wait time (after an assessment) is approximately 1-2 weeks before therapy sessions start, we are working hard to reduce this time frame. Also, flexibility for therapy session timings will ensure that we can match you with a therapist (Face-to-face sessions are currently limited to weekends only).***

We ask that clients book their sessions in blocks of 4 (***Please note, sessions are weekly***), which can be extended as many times as you wish. This means the therapy can be as short-term or as long-term as you would like it to be.

Please note: Our low-cost service is a training program for therapists that includes conducting client sessions, and assessments, therefore assessments take place via Zoom with myself and a trainee therapist. Also, the process of assessment to the allocation of a therapist can take up to a few weeks if we are very busy.

***Please note: If there are no assessment dates available on the booking calendar below please email us HERE and you will be added to the waiting list and contacted as soon as more dates become available.***