Frequently asked questions

Is there a difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

Counselling and psychotherapy are both what’s sometimes referred to as ‘talking therapies’ and the titles counsellor and psychotherapist are often used interchangeably.
Whilst the two areas overlap, psychotherapists may work more in depth and over a longer period of time and the training of psychotherapists reflects this.
Counselling is often thought of as a way of dealing with particular life events over a shorter period.

How many sessions will I need?

The duration of counselling or psychotherapy is tailored to your individual needs, and so it is not possible to know how many sessions will be needed.
An important aim of the counselling and psychotherapy process is that you work towards an understanding of your issues and concerns and make the changes you want.

Do I need to know what I want when I come for the first session?

No, in the first session, the therapist will be interested in what issues you bring and together you will discuss and agree a way forward that is right for you.
Knowing that counselling and psychotherapy requires commitment and motivation, you and the therapist may agree, initially to a limited number of sessions and then review how you might continue.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

EICP doesn’t operate a waiting list and clients will normally be offered an appointment within 7 days. Occasionally, during holiday periods this may be slightly longer.
Subject to availability we offer day, evening and Saturday appointments.

What if I want to end the therapy?

Usually, the ending of therapy is something that is planned. However, sometimes clients can feel anxious or unsure about continuing. Rather than not keeping your appointment or cancelling, please come to your session, so you can discuss it and, together you can decide on the best way forward.

Is Therapy Confidential?

The contact details you’ve been asked to provide (yours, an emergency contact and your GP) and bring to your first is held securely and is confidential.

Whilst, your work with us is confidential, this confidentiality has certain limits. Your therapist may have to act, if he or she considers there is a substantial risk of you harming yourself, harming others or engaging in criminal activity. Your therapist would endeavour to discuss this with you to obtain your consent, however, if this is not possible, he or she may contact your GP, your emergency contact or where necessary, an appropriate authority.

Your therapist is required to be in regular supervision. This is a confidential process where therapists examine their work and their own process. It plays an important role in offering increased protection and effectiveness for clients and your therapist may take work with you, in a way in which you cannot be identified, to his/her supervision. Please talk to your therapist if you want more information on this or if you have any questions.

What personal information is held and what happens to it?

Your therapist will use your contact details, mobile and/or landline numbers, email address, postal address to contact you about appointments only.

Your therapist will keep basic records (contact details, GP and Emergency Contact details) for 3 years and any brief therapy notes for 3 months after the end of therapy, or when you last make contact. They will then be securely disposed of.

You have the right to ask to see the information that is held about you. Please ask your therapist and you can view it in a session. You can ask your therapist to change any information that is incorrect.

You have the right to ask for any information held about you to be deleted. Your therapist will do that except for information which he or she has a legal obligation to keep, for example, for tax purposes.

If you wish to complain about how your therapist has handled your data, in the first instance please contact your therapist, as he or she is the Data Controller for your information.

If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction you can contact the Information Commissioners Office or 0303 123 1113

What if I have a Complaint?

If you have a complaint please discuss this with your therapist directly.
If you are still not satisfied, you should contact the therapist’s professional body.