Why do some Counsellors offer reduced rates?
A recent internet search had my blood boiling. Article after article warned people to say away from Counsellors who offer reduced rates, stating the reasons –
- The counsellor won’t be qualified.
- The counsellor won’t be regulated by a counselling body.
- The counsellor won’t value themselves.
- The counsellor will have poor success rates.
- The counsellor won’t have proper insurance.
- and the list goes on and on……
I am a counsellor. I have undertaken years of training and I continue this with professional development courses. I don’t think I will ever be finished learning!
I am a registered member of one counselling body and an accredited member of another. I follow their ethical framework to ensure I give my best to both clients and myself. I also have public liability and professional indemnity insurance.
The fee I charge does not reflect how I feel about myself. I fully accept myself and my worth and have received great feedback from clients.
So why do I offer concession rates?
Before I trained to be a counsellor, I went through a period of poor mental health. I really struggled to understand what was going on and it wasn’t until I was at my very worst that I visited my doctor. Sitting in her office I couldn’t speak, I just cried. She was very understanding and gave me a prescription for some medication to help me feel better but she also told me she would refer me to their counselling services.
I had no idea what Counselling was, so I went home, got on goggle and checked it out. I knew I would have to wait to see a counsellor through the doctors service because there was no way I would be able to afford a minimum of £35 per session, (some of these private Counsellors where charging £50 -£90 a session!).
Waiting lists can be very long on the NHS, so I waited, and then I waited some more. During this time the medication kicked in, I felt numb but this was good because I wasn’t in pain. It would have been very easy to decide at this point that I didn’t need to speak to a counsellor, the medication was doing the trick.
A few months after I first attended the doctor I got an appointment to speak to a counsellor and it was life changing for me. I started to understand myself, why I was feeling how I was, where all the pain and anxiety was coming from. I was also given tools to help me cope, to help me challenge the thoughts in my head that were controlling my life. Counselling gave me my life back and had a positive effect in my family and friends.
I offer reduced rates, not because I am unqualified or because I don’t think I’m worth more money but simply because not everyone can live as long as I did on an NHS waiting list. I think that counselling should be accessible to everyone and that you shouldn’t add the stress of struggling to pay for help. So when I meet a new client I explain my maximum fee and ask if this is affordable for them, if it is that’s great, if not I will work with them to agree a fee that is manageable.
I didn’t become a counsellor to get rich. I became a counsellor to help those in need, to provide a service that literally saved my life.