Click on a question to find out more about our most common queries.
How do I make an appointment?
We understand that it can be difficult to make the decision to contact someone for support. The team at Avenue Therapies will do all they can to support you in this decision. All contacts are handled with respect, sensitivity and in the strictest confidence.
The first thing to do is to call us on 020 7112 8834 or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will take it from there!
A member of the team will endeavour to respond to your query that same day. We will take some brief information about the reasons for seeking therapy, your location and availability for appointments so that we can ensure the right therapist is allocated to you.
What happens in the first appointment?
The first appointment is your opportunity to meet with your psychologist or therapist for an initial assessment. This can last between an hour and an hour and a half. During this time, we will find out more about what it is that is causing you difficulty, ask for some background history and identify some goals for therapy. It is also a time for you to ask us any questions you have about the therapy, our practice or the problems you are experiencing. We understand that the first appointment can be daunting, so we will work at your pace.
This initial appointment enables us to identify the most effective type of therapy for you and outline what you can expect from us and the therapy. We can also give you an idea of the duration and cost of therapy. If you know what you would like help with and wish to get an idea of the number of sessions considered appropriate in addition to discussing this with your psychologist you can visit the NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) website at www.nice.org.uk.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
We will attempt to offer you an appointment within a week.
How do you work?
We believe that everyone has the psychological strength and resilience to overcome their difficulties, whatever those might be. However, we also know that at times, you might not believe that this is possible. Therefore, we aim to help you begin to see that the life you want is possible by firstly understanding your difficulties and what they mean for you and your life. From there, we can then find ways forward to address the difficulties. How we do this will depend on the problem, what you want to achieve and what therapeutic approach fits you as an individual.
We are all trained in multiple approaches. For example, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). We can either work with a ‘pure’ therapy or integrate relevant parts of different therapies and adapt things depending on what will be the most appropriate for you.
How are you governed?
Clinical and Counselling Psychologists are Registered Practitioner Psychologists with the HCPC. The HCPC acts as the governing body for all Practitioner Psychologists, including Clinical Psychologists. The HCPC sets standards for training, qualifications and post-qualification development that must be adhered to in order to be registered. You can check the register here.
Will what I say be kept confidential?
Yes. We recognise the importance for individuals to feel safe and therefore offer a confidential service. The only person who would receive information routinely would be a referring Consultant or Doctor. As part of best practice, we do inform your GP that we are working with you, however, this does not need to detail what therapy or the reasons why. We will discuss this with you first. If we think it would be helpful for others to know some information, for example family or school, we would discuss this fully with yourself and obtain permission to share the information. We do not divulge any information to anyone, including referrers, employers, partners or family members without prior permission. As with all professionals, the only exception is in the rare circumstance that you or someone else is a risk to themselves or others. Should this happen, we would inform that person that we would need to share the information and explain our reasons why.
For full details on confidentiality, please see our confidentiality page.
What’s the difference between a Clinical or Counselling Psychologist, a Health Psychologist, a Psychiatrist and a counsellor?
People often want to know what the difference is between psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors and why counsellors or psychotherapists tend to charge less for their services. Clinical and Counselling Psychologists’ training is broad-based and lasts a minimum of six years, leading to a doctoral level qualification. They are trained in a variety of different models and therefore can draw on a wide range of knowledge and skills to adapt therapy to suit the needs of the individual. These are protected titles, governed by the HCPC (Health Care Professions Council) and as such someone can only call themselves a Clinical or Counselling Psychologist if they have met certain standards and qualifications. A Health Psychologist has the same level of training and is also a protected title. They work with similar therapies but focus on helping people to cope with long term conditions which may sometimes be medically explained (e.g. type 2 diabetes) or sometimes not (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome) using therapeutic models combined with health psychology theory, research and practice. This may be in contrast to clinical and counselling psychologists who may have more of an overt focus on mental health.
Other practitioners for example, counsellors and psychotherapists often do not have doctoral qualifications and their training may not include multiple models. They tend to have a more exploratory approach and let you guide the topic of discussion. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialised in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. They are able to prescribe medication and will be able to advise on which combination of therapy and/or medication is most appropriate. They may also have trained in a particular talking therapy.
What is the difference between a Clinical or Counselling Psychologist and a CBT therapist?
Good question and not an easy answer! CBT Therapists have completed an accredited training programme and must be registered with the BABCP (British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies). Training focuses around Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is one specific model of treatment – that has a good evidence base and is the one most frequently noted in national guidance. Clinical and Counselling Psychologists are both trained to doctoral level (min 6 years University). This involves comprehensive training in CBT as well as at least one other evidence -based model. Typically they are trained in many models and to work with people across the lifespan. The training involves making sense of complex or highly distressed presentations / people from multiple models and to integrate or bring in different ideas into the work (not just CBT). They are also trained to do a variety of other things like research, leadership, supervision, training etc.
Now then, here’s the tricky bit, all of our CBT therapists have also been trained in a number of other models (eg Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Dialect Behavioural therapy (DBT), mindfulness.. etc) so they are more skilled that your average CBT Therapist.
We appreciate that it is difficult to know the difference, so please do call us or email us and we can help.
What are your fees?
We provide a bespoke service that is designed to meet the needs of you, the individual, our charges vary depending on the nature of the assessment and any subsequent treatment. For an hour therapy appointment our fees are £100 with a psychological therapist (CBT, or CAT therapist) and £130 with a Clinical/Counselling Psychologist. Some of our therapist do offer concessions. We are always happy to discuss costs with you and are committed to try to make psychological therapy as accessible as possible. Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more.
How can I make payment?
Most of our therapist and clients prefer to pay by BACS (electronic transfer). We also accept payments in cash or by cheque. We regret that we can not accept payments by debit or credit card. Invoices are available if requested.
Are you registered with Health Providers?
Yes, we are registered providers with many of the major Health Insurance Providers. You can see the providers on our Home page. If your Provider is not listed, please get in touch with us. Please note that Health Insurers often require their members to obtain authorisation from them prior to commencing any assessments or treatment, and excess charges may be incurred depending upon your policy. Please check with your Health Insurance Provider for more details.
How do you handle personal data? (How we conform to Data Protection/GDPR regulations)
We take protection of your personal information seriously.
We will only ever use your details to contact you to arrange appointments or to communicate with you. We will never contact you for any other purpose. We will never pass your information on to another party without your permission – and these parties would only ever be those involved in your care or the care of your child if under the age of 16 (e.g. Health Insurance Providers; your Consultant Psychiatrist; other agencies). Information about you and anything you say during sessions will be kept securely in both electronic and paper formats. The Data Protection Act requires us to tell you that your details will be stored on a database. Whilst this is cloud-based, it is encrypted and only accessible by our administrators and the Avenue Therapies Ltd team.
We keep notes of our sessions a file, which is locked in a filing cabinet. If you would like to see your file at any time, please do ask about this. You can request that we erase your physical or electronic data from our records at any time, although we may have to keep some information about the service we have provided to you on record for a certain amount of time due to our professional guidelines. Please ask us if you want to know more about this policy, or it can be found here.
Email: Clients often request that we communicate via email. Emails are non-secure way of transferring information, although they are rapidly becoming the first choice of communicating. We will discuss ways of communicating with you during your first appointment. If you do not wish to be contacted by email, please let us know and we will find an alternate form of communication.
Please ask us if you want to know more about any of our data protection policies.