Counselling sessions can help you to gain clarity on an issue, change old
patterns, untangle complex personal issues, or embark on a journey of self-
development. You may seek counselling as a result of a crisis, or you may
be encouraged to seek counselling by family members, friends or
There is no typical counselling session. Your counsellor will be highly
trained in listening and reflecting, and provides a safe environment in which to explore your issues. With most types of therapy you are free to discuss what you wish, from everyday events, dilemmas, feelings, and thoughts, to regrets, aspirations, memories and dreams.
Other, shorter-term forms of therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy
(CBT) can be more structured and provide practical exercises to help you
understand your thoughts and actions.
Clients come to us with wide-ranging problems, including:
anxiety (generalised anxiety problems, panic attacks, agoraphobia, social
workplace issues (stress, work-life imbalances)
relationship issues (breakups, divorce, affairs, choosing inappropriate
partners, loneliness, life adjustments, marital problems, arguments,
jealousy, wedding and premarital issues)
depression (including suicidal thoughts, low mood, social withdrawal)
low self-esteem and lack of confidence
sexual problems (impotence, internet/pornography/sex addiction, loss of
trauma (including post-traumatic stress disorder from accidents, rape and
eating problems (including bulimia, binge eating, negative body image)
phobias and fears
addiction and substance misuse
abuse (including physical, verbal, and sexual abuse)
There is no barrier to whom counselling can assist. We welcome you, regardless of your culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or employment group. Counselling is also not just for adult individuals, but is beneficial for couples, families, teenagers and children.
To book a general consultation you can use our online form and calendar to schedule a 30 min free consultation. Then you can decide when you would like to start your journey and we can set up our first face to face or online session.
There are many kinds of established therapeutic approaches nowadays, including humanistic counselling (also called ‘person-centred’), psychodynamic psychotherapy, existential therapy, cognitive analytic therapy (CAT), and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)..
Don’t worry if you are simply not sure what particular approach would be suited to you. Your first appointment will be an assessment where you can discuss your issues and the different types of therapy that might help. Lucy (and other psychotherapists that work for HALG) are trained to use an ‘integrative’ approach, meaning they can combine several types of therapy which they will then blend to best match your issues.
For your therapy to be effective, it’s important you work with a counsellor or psychotherapist you feel you can eventually trust. At your first meeting both you and the therapist will have an opportunity to honestly decide if you will benefit from working together. And if after several sessions you simply don’t feel the therapist is a good match, we can also offer you a free consultation with another therapist of your choice.
Many therapists nowadays are what is known as ‘integrative’, meaning they are trained in and combine a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches to best help their clients. If however you are interested in a specific modality please contact us and we can advise you further.
The length of your treatment will very much depend on your unique circumstances and needs, with six sessions often recommended and a review after that.
It also depends on the type of therapy you choose to try. Cognitive behavioural therapy is designed to be short-term and lasts six to 20 sessions. Psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, and existential therapies tend to be longer term, and many last for many months or even years.
Keep in mind that once you start sessions, new issues and angles can arise you were not aware existed that you then want to explore. It is of course possible to also see improvement faster than you expected.
Yes, counselling sessions are confidential. The exception would be if you were to pose a danger to yourself or others, in which case the relevant parties would be notified. A confidentiality agreement will be discussed and signed with your therapist at your first session so that any exceptions are clearly highlighted.
Yes Lucy is a qualified psychotherapist at master’s degree level with her specialized field being addictive behaviors. Any other therapists working in the practice at Happy As Larry Group have at minimum a postgraduate diploma and all have graduated from educational institutions that are accredited by the professional governing bodies of the psychotherapy industry here in the UK.
The therapists are also all registered and accredited (or eligible for accreditation) with at least one of the following:
BACP – British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
FDAP (SMMGP) – The Federation For Drugs and Alcohol Practitioners
If you do not feel the therapist is a good match, we offer you a free consultation with another therapist of your choice or can help you with other reputable sources.
Generally your first session will be used as an assessment and consultation, rather than for treatment. This allows you to identify your issues as you see them, and for your therapist to start to gain an idea of what your needs are. So unfortunately, having just one session is unlikely to have any lasting benefit for you.
The standard format of weekly sessions helps you make gradual and steady progress that means you see real results. In some cases, a therapist will agree to two or more sessions per week, if you both deem it beneficial and they have the availability.
Yes. If you require more than one session a week, therapists may be able to accommodate this, with a review as things start to improve for you.
Sometimes, however, the therapist you are working with will not have any other availability, so will not be able to offer multiple weekly sessions.
Lucy is in sessions with clients during the day and simply can’t make time to talk to every potential client. Your consultation appointment is the time to ask any questions you might have, find out about how Lucy will work with you, and discover if you feel a connection.
Remember that while the majority of consultations proceed to a full course of treatment, you are under no obligation to continue.
No. You are free to refer yourself to working with Lucy (or any other therapist at HALG). The only exception is if your insurers require you to have a GP referral in order to use your policy for treatment.
Lucy is not eligible to prescribe medication. It is a the role of a psychiatrist to prescribe medication and we would recommend discussing this with your GP.
Your counsellor will be available to you at your scheduled appointment time only. In the case of an emergency you will need to seek other resources. Contact your GP, the Samaritans (call 116 123, www.samaritans.org), or, if necessary, emergency services.
This depends on the nature of your policy. Check with your provider to see if counselling sessions are covered, how many sessions can be included if so, and if there are any other restrictions. Once you have confirmation we would need some necessary details from you to set up your private insurance profile and this will be discussed with you during your consultation. You will be responsible for any charges otherwise, so do follow these steps carefully.
If you are familiar with the terms of your policy and are aware that therapy is covered, you are welcome to make an appointment with a Lucy. You can then speak to your insurers to obtain an authorisation code before your session.
If you are uncertain of the terms of your policy, your excess, etc., it is advisable to speak to your insurers before booking to ensure you are not personally invoiced for any charges.
Currently Lucy works at the private practice Mondays – Thursdays and you will need to agree on a time that is convenient for you both.
Demand is high for sessions outside of normal working hours. If these are the times that suit you best but there is no slot available, it’s advised you take another slot for the short-term. Lucy may then be able to move you into a more convenient time when something becomes available.
Ideally you will attend all sessions together as a couple. In instances where one of you is unable to attend, most therapists will see the person who can attend. The issues that arise in this individual session will then be shared at the next session when both partners are present.
Lucy also works via video conference using Zoom, FaceTime or WhatsApp, and can see you both via one of these platforms if required.
Once you have agreed to a mutually convenient slot within the first one or two sessions with Lucy, you will be allocated to the same day and time on an ongoing basis. In the case of an occasional emergency where you need another slot, it is in some instances possible to change if Lucy has a session become available, but it is not a guarantee.
In order to reserve a certain time slot just for you each week there will be a cancellation policy that applies. Lucy will share this cancellation policy with you prior to your first appointment. If a cancellation is made past 24 hours of the appointment time the session charge will still be made.
Payment is required at least 24 hours in advance of your session. You will be provided with the bank details to make a bank transfer. On some occasions cash can be accepted however no cash is held on premises at the practice so please bring the correct money.
Lucy (and any other therapist you might work with at HALG) will set their own fees to reflect their years of experience, knowledge, and skill. Prices also encompass the cost of desireable locations for you to meet your therapist in.
Our therapists can unfortunately not offer you concessionary rates, free initial consultations, or discounts for block bookings.
Lucy is committed to your privacy, so sharing your personal information is a rare occurrence.
There are two exceptions. The first is if Lucy were to become aware that you are an imminent danger to yourself or others, or that someone else is a danger to you. You would first be encouraged to seek necessary support, and if you were unable or unwilling to do so Lucy has a duty of care to seek this support on your behalf.
The second exception is if Lucy were to become aware that you intended to commit a major crime of any sort. In such a case she has a legal obligation to disclose such information to the relevant authorities.
*Note that for the purposes of therapy, personal drug use or addictions are not considered to be criminal activities (unless they involve anyone underage). They are seen only as areas to be addressed in therapy.
You may be very concerned about someone’s wellbeing and would like to see them have counselling. But it really is best if the person in question can reach out for support themselves. We are able to take enquiries from you on behalf of someone else, but you should have their full consent.
If you really feel you must suggest counselling to someone, do it in as calm and private a moment as possible. It’s important you express your concerns in a judgement-free manner, and backed up by facts over hearsay. Make it clear you support him or her and merely want to see them be helped in feeling better. Then leave them to make the decision for themselves.
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