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28th March 2020 

How to contact Harley Street Counselling & Training

Email contact form.
The contact form will go directly to a counsellor and not to a reception. It is quick and easy to complete. We place you in charge of what you would like to include in your initial message to us. Please use our email contact form below.

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Contact a therapist by phone, text message, or referral letter.

Contact a therapist by phone or text message

Contact Tim Potter: 07899 054668

Contact Louise Harris: 07498 895026

Contact Harley Street Counselling and Training by post.
Contact us by referral letter at the relevant postal address.

Harley Street Counselling and Training
SPA House
18 Upper Grosvenor Road
Tunbridge Wells

Frequently asked questions.

1. How does it work?
2. What happens in the first session?
3. How long is a session?
4. How many will I need?
5. Fees for self-paying clients
6. Fees - private health insurance
7. Confidentiality

How does it work?
Once a therapy session has been agreed, we will send you an agreement by email for you to sign and return prior to the initial session. The agreement outlines practicalities such as confidentiality, fees, when and how to make a payment.

What happens in the first therapy session?
Information gathering is an important part of the initial counselling session. In order to work effectively, an assessment is carried out with you. This explores what brings you to counselling, relevant history, symptoms and the focus of therapy.

The therapeutic relationship between the counsellor and the client determines how effective therapy becomes (as research suggests). The first session explores the nature of the work and how this work might be achieved together.

How long is a therapy session?
Counsellors and psychotherapists work to 50-minute sessions. In some forms of therapy such as the DNMS, it might be necessary to have longer sessions in order to safely set up and perform an intervention.

How many sessions will I need?
We agree when a review of the work takes place (usually after the first 4 sessions of counselling) which is an honest discussion about how the therapy is going, subsequently, we make an agreement for time-limited therapy, open-ended counselling or long term psychotherapy.

Fees for self-paying clients

All counselling related sessions are chargeable and we accept payments by cash or cheque payable on the day. We also accept payments by balance transfer payable prior to the counselling session taking place. Please note that we do not have credit/debit card facilities.

If you need to cancel any session please let us know at least 48 hours prior to your appointment so that spaces can be allocated to other clients. There is a cancellation charge for the session (in full) for missed sessions.

Fees - private health insurance

We accept clients who self-fund or clients who fund through private health insurance policies such as Cigna, Bupa, Aviva, Simply Health, Pruhealth, WPA, Allianz, AXA PPP, Medisure (and other insurers).

Clients with Bupa cover will normally require a GP referral letter in order for cover to be granted. Each counsellor will indicate if they are registered to provide psychotherapy through insurance companies.

Please note that there is a different fee structure for sessions funded by insurers. This is due to the arrangement between the insurance provider and practitioner (which differs with each insurer) and covers additional administration.

Recognition as a psychotherapist with: AXA PPP, Bupa, Aviva, Simply Health, Pru-Health, WPA, Allianz, Medisure

AXA PPP - 85 per session in all locations.
Bupa - 60 per session in all locations.
All other insurers: 100 per session in all locations.

The fee is paid by the client at the time of the session. The client then claims back from the insurers using the receipt issued by the counsellor. This system excludes AXA PPP & Bupa because the counsellor will claim from the insurance company directly.

Confidentiality and counselling

Therapy sessions are confidential, however their are limits to confidentiality which is important for potential clients to be aware of in advance.

1. If someone were to give the therapist information that led them to believe that someone was at serious risk of harm (to self or others).

2. When the giving of information is required in law.

3. In consultation with a professional supervisor with whom a therapist regularly meets to discuss the quality and standard of their clinical work with clients.

We do our best to provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space which is an important factor in fostering acceptance and change in the areas of your life where you feel it is important. We are available at our practice rooms in Harley Street, Liverpool Street, Tunbridge Wells and Rochester and we are happy to discuss any questions that might arise for you when deciding to proceed your enquiry further.

Why choose Harley Street Counselling and Training?

Contact us. Therapy Dogs

Pinscher Movement

Dabbling in animals is not a sentence I would ever imagine writing; however, it has become more apparent to me that something completely obvious is going on. Both personally, and professionally, I have noticed an increase of animal owners around me. Or maybe I am paying more attention. The benefits of having animals in our lives can influence our well-being if we are engaged with the needs of the animal.

In infancy, I recall the family inheriting a dog called foxy. I remember that I would practically live with foxy in his kennel under the stairs. Despite what was clearly a close bond, I was bitten on the head, and foxy was taken away to new owners that would care for him. I developed a fear of dogs which became compounded when I witnessed a group of dogs attacking another dog and its owner in a park. I was with a group of friends at the time, we chased the dogs away eventually, which for me, seemed to last forever. I was pre-occupied with the woman crying, holding a big soppy white dog that seemed to me – vividly covered in blood. My fear has subsided over the years and I only really get twitchy around strays.

Watching other people around animals reminds me of the bonds I have had with animals when growing up. The deeper issue is around how this links in the therapeutic sense which I have had some insight into having been involved in a few CPD workshops around Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and having colleagues who use animals such as dogs therapeutically with children and adults.

I turned to Becci Godfrey, a therapist through Horse Sense UK, and Jessamie Farquarson, co-owner of The Mucky Hound Dog Daycare in Tunbridge Wells, to share their insights into animals and mental health issues.

How are animals a positive influence on our lives?

According to Statista, a 2017 survey showed that 44% of the UK population are pet owners. Furthermore, a 2015 survey showed that 95% of pet owners believe that owning a pet provides invaluable companionship.

Animals provide humans with a range of benefits from non-judgemental acceptance, lower stress responses in taxing situations to enhanced communication and people skills. The connection is known as the Human-Animal Bond, first described officially in the 1970’s.

Animals are simply a great compliment to our lives. Like people, animals benefit from companionship and relationships based on respect and love. Animals can provide valuable life lessons on kindness, compassion, caring for another and responsibility - learning that that is perhaps hard to communicate in other ways.

Beyond simple pet owning, there is a multitude of examples of highly positive human-animal interactions. These include:

  • Service dogs for the deaf, blind, epileptics and sufferers of panic-inducing Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).

  • Projects where children are invited to read to dogs to help them develop their reading skills.

  • Care homes that welcome resident’s pets as they provide a positive benefit to all residents

  • Therapeutic interventions with horses to help war veterans or victims of abuse to process trauma, redevelop trust, emotional regulation and healthy relationships

  • Personal development programmes to develop communication, leadership and team building skills.

    To quote Louise Scanlon, a third-year university student that explored the relationship between homeless people and their dogs, “It became very apparent to me that, aside from being very important companions to vulnerable and sometimes socially isolated individuals, it is very likely that animals are playing a therapeutic role. They give them a reason to live and in some cases aid in their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.”

    This bond was portrayed in the 2016 film A Street Cat Named Bob, which tells the story of a homeless heroin addict James Bowen, who is adopted by a ginger cat he later names Bob. After taking it to a vet to treat an infected leg wound, the seemingly ownerless cat hangs around till James takes him in. James is a busker and Bob would travel with him on the bus through central London, with the pair becoming a favourite with the tourists. Through the bond and the impact Bob has on his life, James is able to stop his methadone treatment and write a book on his experience, a feat he credits to his feline companion.

    There are simply thousands of stories across the world of the power of the Human-Animal Bond to promote physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It is my view, that each animal brings something different. In the case of autism, for one child it was a horse called Betsy that provided a much-needed breakthrough, whilst for another, it was a Maine Coon cat called Thula.

    For those that keep pets at home, it can be a great way for kids to de-stress after a day at school, a non-judgemental listening ear, a confident, an inspiration to do exercise and get outside, a talking point in social situations, a chance to learn about caring for another and the parallels with self-care and an opportunity to develop skills.

    There are hundreds of ways animals are a positive influence on our lives. So, look again at your cat, dog, hamster, horse, or pet lizard – they’re not just nice for you to have – they are doing you a lot of good too.

    What can we learn from dogs?

    Jessamie (The Mucky Hounds):
    I have broken this down into 5 things we can learn from hounds.

    1. Play
    Dogs love to play. If you so much as look at a ball-shaped object they are up, alert, and begging you to throw it, yet as human adults, we can sometimes forget to make the most of the playful moments in life. Dogs don’t care if they are at the start of their lives, or enjoying their golden years. They never forget the importance of play which is good for the mind, body, and soul.

    2. Acceptance
    A French bulldog never wishes for the nose of a greyhound. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. They accept and appreciate that fact, and live happy lives. People also come in all shapes and sizes, but sometimes our uniqueness can be painful to us. How can you learn from your dog? Celebrate your strengths, forgive yourself and shush your inner critic.

    3. Get out.
    Do you need to start hitting your step goal? Owning a dog may be the kick-start you need. A 2001 study found that 60% of dog owners who walked their pets regularly met the recommended criteria for regular exercise. Not only are dogs great for upping your step count, they can also help ease anxiety when meeting new people.

    4. Stress busters.
    Studies have shown that petting an animal can release the oxytocin hormone and decrease levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) that produces a relaxed state. Incidentally, scientists have confirmed that dogs reap the same benefits from being petted. Dogs have been used to relieve stress that people might experience in airports, nursing homes, and schools.

    5. Dogs make us awesome.
    The responsibility, patience, selflessness, and commitment that comes with having a dog makes us stronger, all-around better people. The dog-human relationship is a two-way street. We often hear the phrase ‘who rescued who?’ when it comes to the benefits of such an important relationship. Dogs improve our physical and mental health.

    A quote from the film ‘Marley and me’ pretty much sums up how amazing these creatures are: “A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water-logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever, or dull, smart, or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?"

    The insights contributed by Becci and Jessamie somehow reminded me of a Logotherapy technique called dereflection.

    Dereflection is used when a person describes being overwhelmed by their own thoughts in a way that is completely absorbing at the expense of their awareness of the world around them. In effect, the deeper I go into my own head, the more the outside world appears to fade out of existence. Dr Viktor Frankl calls this ‘hyper-reflection’. A severe form of the sense I experience when hearing ‘powerpoint presentation’ and ‘charismatic speaker’ in the same sentence.

    To simplify the concept, Dereflection is designed to re-attune to the world around us. Looking outside of ourselves and engaging in the needs of others which encourages us to become whole. This might seem counter-intuitive for some; however, we can potentially meet our emotional needs if we focus more on others – this leaves us open and receptive to receiving back. This can be related to dogs if we simply consider the mental and emotional difference between routinely walking your dog because you ‘have to’ whilst being engaged in a trance-like state towards your own stress versus engaging meaningfully your dog.

    Happiness is a by-product of meaning.

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