How do we operate?

Our social mission is to offer an affordable community based counselling service to adults, children and young people in Horsham, Crawley and the surrounding areas. We’re a Community Interest Company (CIC).


When you contact us we will first invite you to an assessment session that lasts fifty minutes with one of our assessment counsellors. We aim to do this within two weeks of hearing from you.  You will be asked to pay for this session based on your income.

How Much Will It Cost?


You will be asked to make payment for the assessment before it takes place, you can pay by BACS or by cheque. This is because our assessor will have allocated an appointment to you that cannot easily be offered to someone else.  If you need to cancel due to extenuating circumstances we will offer you another appointment, but if you choose not to attend or cancel without rebooking regretfully, we cannot offer you a refund.

What happens at the assessment?

We will want to hear about what’s troubling you, explore how counselling might help and make sure we are the right service to support you. We will discuss your availability and establish how much you will pay for any further counselling. This also helps us allocate you a counsellor from within our team with the right experience.  We ask that our clients are either registered or in the process of registering, with a GP practice in Horsham, Crawley or the surrounding areas

When you have your assessment (and also when your counselling finishes) we will ask you to complete a CORE form (Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluations). This helps give the assessor a picture of how you have been feeling in the last week.  It is widely used in counselling and psychotherapy to assess clinical outcomes.  You can read more about CORE here. In addition we will also ask you to complete an Informed Consent form which permits us to contact other health professionals involved in your care if we need to establish if counselling is appropriate for you.

What happens after the assessment?

If you choose to continue, we will allocate you a counsellor and you will meet weekly with them for 50 minutes at an agreed time after that.

We offer you an allocated counsellor as soon as we can but as we work at our clients’ pace this means we do have a wait list.  How quickly you will be seen is assessed on what your need for counselling is and your availability.

How long will I have to wait to begin counselling?

We cannot give precise waiting times, however, the shortest time you are likely to wait is 12 weeks but this is dependent on your availability and what you need to talk with us about.  We recognise waiting is difficult and we are doing what we can to improve our wait times.

If you feel you may be able to afford private counselling you may find these links helpful to find a counsellor: https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists

We will stay in contact with you throughout the time you are on the wait list or we will offer you alternative avenues of support if you want to be seen urgently.

We welcome shift workers but please be aware we have a limited number of counsellors within our team who are able to work flexibly around your shift patterns, so this may mean you experience a longer wait to be allocated to someone.

How is my confidentiality protected?

All our counsellors are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and what we discuss with you remains confidential unless we feel there are circumstances in which we might need to contact other professionals.  This would be if we felt you might harm yourself or others, and particularly when the protection of children, young people and adults at risk is a concern.

We would always seek to discuss this with you first but if there was an imminent threat of harm we may have to break confidentiality without your consent.  If you have any questions about this – please ask your assessor or counsellor.

Our counsellors receive supervision of their work in accordance with the Framework. This means our counsellors will discuss their work with an experienced clinical supervisor employed by us but protect your identity. This relationship is bound by the same rules of confidentiality as your counselling.

Any records we hold about you are in accordance with the guidance of our Ethical Framework, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You have the right to access the information we hold about you.

HCCG also has its’ own confidentiality policy and operates policies relating to safeguarding and protection of children and adults deemed at risk

What do you expect from me?

We will offer you trust, confidentiality and the autonomy to make your own decisions and the understanding that it takes courage to come for counselling and ask for help.

In return we ask you to recognise that counselling is a commitment you need to make and to attend regularly.

How long will counselling last?

We believe it is important to work at your pace – each session lasts 50 minutes once a week and will continue for as long as you are finding them beneficial.

What happens if I want to end counselling?

We would explore why you feel you want to end and plan how and when this might happen together.  You may choose to do this at any point.

Read more about what therapy is from the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

Can I come if I live outside Horsham or Crawley?

Our social mission as a Community Interest Company means we prioritise clients from Horsham, Crawley and the immediate surrounding area. Due to current pressures on our service and as we currently have a long wait list we will not routinely offer appointments to clients who are outside the county of West Sussex or more than 25 miles (single journey) from Horsham.

We can signpost you to other services closer to you on request.

Do you have wheelchair access?

We are currently unable to counsel clients who are in wheelchairs in Alphacom House, however we can make arrangements for you to be seen by us elsewhere in Horsham.

What if I am struggling to meet my counselling costs?

HCCG is committed to helping our clients remain in therapy for as long as they choose…this has, of course, been challenged by the current cost of living crisis which means understandably, many clients have felt they cannot continue to spend money supporting their own or their family’s mental health and wellbeing.

Our recent #stopthedrop campaign set out with the aim to extend the reach of our the hardship funds we already had to allow more clients who were receiving support from us to stay with their therapists.  We also feel it is vitally important in such difficult times.

We successfully raised funds to help support clients who are struggling to stay with us.

Any client who reports financial hardship to their counsellor will be considered for support from these funds.  We aim with these funds to maintain their longevity and to try and reach as many beneficiaries as possible.   With this in mind we offer six sessions supported from hardship funds initially with a review with a possible extension to a maximum of 12 if appropriate.  This funding is available to both adult and children and young people who are currently in therapy with us.  If you need help please approach your counsellor.

What is a Community Interest Company?

We’re a Community Interest Company (CIC).

Horsham & Crawley Counselling Group operates as a Community Interest Company, this means we are a not-for-profit social enterprise.  In effect we are a limited company where society profits from our work.  This means that we have created a business model to help plan our future because we believe this is the most sustainable way for the Group to work.

All the income we receive from your fees is directed back into the Group to run the service and further our work and we are required to report annually to the Community Interest Company Regulator about how we carried out the work and used your fees.  We are unusual in being a counselling service that has become self-sustaining and successful in this way.

Our team of 24 counsellors become subscriber members of our Community Interest Company which is run by a Board of Directors in consultation with them.  The majority of our counselling is delivered on a voluntary basis by our team.

HCCG receives no external financial support from funding or grants and is supported solely by the fees that you pay and other income we receive from hiring out rooms and providing counselling to other organisations and companies plus kind donations from clients and other private individuals.

The revenue we generate goes toward fulfilling our mission which is to offer an affordable counselling service to people living in Horsham, Crawley and the surrounding villages.  Last year we delivered over 2,000 hours of long and short-term counselling support.