Frequently Asked Questions

What is counselling?

Counselling and Psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing (source:

Counselling takes place when a counsellor sees a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having, distress they may be experiencing or perhaps their dissatisfaction with life, or loss of a sense of direction and purpose. It is always at the request of the client as no one can properly be ‘sent’ for counselling.

By listening attentively and patiently the counsellor can begin to perceive the difficulties from the client’s point of view and can help them to see things more clearly, possibly from a different perspective. Counselling is a way of enabling choice or change or of reducing confusion.  It does not involve giving advice or directing a client to take a particular course of action. Counsellors do not judge or exploit their clients in any way.

In the counselling sessions the client can explore various aspects of their life and feelings, talking about them freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment can become very intense and counselling offers an opportunity to explore them, with the possibility of making them easier to understand. The counsellor will encourage the expression of feelings and as a result of their training will be able to accept and reflect the client’s problems without becoming burdened by them.

Acceptance and respect for the client are essentials for a counsellor and, as the relationship develops, so too does trust between the counsellor and client, enabling the client to look at many aspects of their life, their relationships and themselves which they may not have considered or been able to face before. The counsellor may help the client to examine in detail the behaviour or situations which are proving troublesome and to find an area where it would be possible to initiate some change as a start. The counsellor may help the client to look at the options open to them and help them to decide the best for them.

How can counselling help?

It provides an opportunity to explore problems with someone trained to listen in a non-directive way and to facilitate the person’s own resources for change and resolution of difficulties. It aims to assist individuals to understand how past experience and current behaviour may be linked and leads to a more creative self understanding. It allows space to explore in an individual or group setting, thoughts and feelings about oneself and relationships with others. Counsellors are there to listen and support you, not to give advice or tell you how you should feel and what you should do.

How are your counsellors selected?

All our counsellors undergo a rigorous selection process, and receive supervision and support to ensure high professional standards and effectiveness is achieved. Some are BACP accredited and/or are registered members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP); others are in further or advanced training. All are professionally supervised by fully-trained clinical supervisors, and work within the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Is Nottingham Counselling Service a professional and effective service?

The Nottingham Counselling Service is an Accredited Service of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP); this means that as well as following the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice, we have been identified as providing ‘a high standard of counselling/psychotherapy’.  Nottingham Counselling Service is regularly appraised to ensure a highly professional standard of practice.

All our counsellors work to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy regarding the confidential nature of the counselling process and other matters of ethics and practice. Copies of the Ethical Framework are available on request.

At the Nottingham Counselling Service we measure our effectiveness through client feedback and satisfaction levels.  We monitor clinical improvement/recovery through CORE (a Department of Health-validated measurement tool), which uses questionnaires to allow both you and your counsellor to assess the impact that counselling has had on key areas of your life.


We adhere to a strict privacy and confidentiality policy.  Please see the Privacy and Confidentiality page of this website for more information.

What sort of people use Nottingham Counselling’s services?

Our clients are of all ages over 18, from diverse ethnic backgrounds, with a wide variety of problems or issues. We see nearly as many men as women. Most clients refer themselves to our service; many come to us because a friend or family member has benefited from our service. Others clients are sign-posted to Nottingham Counselling Service by GPs, Social Services, other counsellors, other agencies, psychiatrists, and Community Mental Health Teams.

People come to us with a very wide range of difficulties, for example as a result of depression, anxiety, loneliness or the challenge of life’s circumstances. For some, memories about the past, painful events in the present, or worries about the future may mean they cannot enjoy life or achieve their aims.

Is Nottingham Counselling Service connected to the NHS?

Nottingham Counselling Service is an independent charity which provides inclusive and accessible services which promote emotional well-being. We currently work in partnership with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to deliver Talking Therapies services in Nottingham also deal with referral from many GPs, mental health workers, and NHS therapists recommend Nottingham Counselling Service to provide counselling to their patients, but we are independent of the NHS.

We rely on generating funding from our services and from grant-giving bodies. We also deliver services specifically commissioned by the Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire NHS Primary Care Trusts, such as the Sexual Abuse Project.

How much does counselling cost?

The aim of our service is to provide accessible and inclusive counselling. 

However, as a self-funding charitable organisation we need to ask our clients to pay something towards their counselling in order to keep our service viable.  The range of contribution is designed to take account of household income and personal circumstances. 

For our main service, the fee you will pay for your initial assessment and ongoing counselling will be decided with you at the consultation appointment.  For an initial assessment, the highest charge is £50 and the lowest charge is £15. For counselling the highest charge is £50 and the lowest charge is £15. You will be asked for payment within these ranges.

How do I make an appointment?

We operate an appointments only system.  Appointments are made following the return of a completed application form. 
Our team of trained administrators will answer calls between 9am to 8pm Monday to Thursday and until 4pm on Fridays.  At other times messages can be left on an answerphone and will be dealt with as soon as possible.

Opening times?

The centre is open 9am – 8pm (Monday to Thursday), 9am to 5pm (Fridays). We are closed on Bank Holidays, and usually between Christmas and New Year.

Initial Consultation and Assessment?

The initial consultation/appointment is a very important meeting as it provides the opportunity for the client to talk about what has brought them to counselling. When attending an assessment appointment you will need to allow for one hour and a half. A non-refundable fee is required to be paid at the time of the consultation meeting. The amount you pay will be decided between you the senior counsellor at the time of the meeting (subject to our fee structure). 

If we are able to offer counselling, you will be placed on a waiting list and will then be contacted as soon as a suitably qualified counsellor is available.

Counselling Appointments?

Regular weekly counselling sessions are usually arranged and can last for any period you mutual agree with your counsellor. This may be for only a few weeks or may extend over a much longer period depending on circumstances and needs. You appointment will always be at the same time each week with the same counsellor, unless you both decide to terminate the sessions or you ask for a transfer to another counsellor. 

Waiting List?

Our services are always in demand and owing to pressure on resources there may be a waiting list for both the initial consultation/assessment meetings and subsequent counselling sessions.

Waiting Times?

Waiting times vary and every attempt is made to accommodate those who seek help as quickly as possible.  We endeavour to offer assessment appointments within 20 days of receiving your completed application form. There is, however, a heavier demand for afternoon and evening appointments. Thus, if you have limited availability it may take longer before you are seen.

Contact Us
Tel: 0115 950 1743
Fax: 0115 988 1611
E-mail Us

“I found it very helpful to be able to talk and not be judged, or worried what their reaction would be with what I said and not having to hold back.”

Membership and Accreditation

East Midlands Chamber BACP