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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.