Frequently Asked Questions
Who we work with
The counselling process
I am thinking about counselling, what are the next steps?
We believe that finding a counsellor you're comfortable working with is really important to the process and outcome of your counselling.
We offer all potential new clients a FREE 30-minute initial telephone or online consultation, which gives you the opportunity to decide whether your chosen counsellor feels a good fit for you. It is also a chance for you to talk briefly about your reasons for seeking counselling and the difference you want the counselling to make.
During your FREE 30-minute initial telephone or online consultation, there will be absolutely no pressure for you to agree to enter into a counselling relationship. It's important that the decision feels entirely yours, and it is a decision that only you can make. To arrange your free initial consultation, click here to book. You can choose to talk either with Heather Bond or Nicola Keogh. If you'd like to read more about us before booking, then click here.
How much does it cost and how do I pay?
FREE 30-minute Initial Consultation, by phone or encrypted video link.
Our prices range from £45 per session. You can find a full list of our services and prices here.
We ask you to pay in advance of each session by bank transfer or PayPal. One a session has been arranged, we will generate an invoice that has details of how to make payment. Please note, we do not invoice insurance companies or organisations, or accept cheques or cash.
Where are you located?
Our therapy rooms are at the former Springvale Hotel in Strathaven. The address is 18 Lethame Rd, Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, ML10 6AD.
There is some parking directly outside our property but we cannot guarantee a space since we have 5 therapy rooms and usually only 2 car parking spaces. We are a 2-minute walk from the Common Green Car Park in Strathaven town centre.
We are easily accessible to those travelling from Stonehouse (9 mins), East Kilbride (13 mins), Hamilton (16 mins), Glasgow (30 mins) and surrounding areas.
We have one therapy on the ground floor with wheelchair-accessible toilet, and we have a wheelchair-accessible ramp located to the side of the property. It should be noted that the surface area immediately outside the property is gravel. If you are concerned about access to the property then you may be more comfortable having online or telephone counselling so that you can remain in the comfort of your own home. That said, many people prefer face-to-face counselling and if you live fairly locally then you may wish to enquire whether your chosen counsellor would be willing to visit your home if a disability makes it difficult for you to travel.
How long is a session?
Each session lasts 50 minutes.
What happens in a counselling session?
Counselling sessions involve you or your child having a safe, warm, non-judgmental space to explore what's bothering you. Usually that involves talking, but sometimes you might find it hard to find words to express your experience and you might wish to work more creatively with your counsellor to explore your issues. This might involve artwork or listening to music together. Counselling is a safe space where you can be yourself and feel listened to, understood and warmly supported.
What happens when I first meet you?
The first session is an assessment session. This gives you and your counsellor a chance to see how it feels to work alongside each other and how to proceed. It will be an opportunity for you to get clearer on what you want to achieve out of counselling. It will also be an opportunity for your counsellor to gather some information about you and the reasons for seeking counselling. At your initial assessment, you and your counsellor can decide the number of sessions you will work together before reviewing how the work is progressing, but you can change your mind about this at any time.
Occasionally, either during a free initial consultation, or during your first full session, it may become apparent that your chosen counsellor isn't the right counsellor for you; for example, if the issue you need help with lies very outside the counsellor's areas of expertise or you have specific requirements regarding the type of therapy you wish to receive and we are unable to offer what you're looking for. If that is the case, your counsellor will signpost you to an alternative counsellor or service.
How often will I see you?
Counselling sessions are normally on a weekly basis, on the same day and time each week. Sometimes people prefer to meet fortnightly, and we can usually accommodate this. Some clients choose to reduce the frequency of their sessions before ending their counselling. This is something that you and your counsellor can discuss when reviewing the progress of your counselling.
How many sessions will I need?
It is difficult to say how many sessions you or your child will need. Some clients feel they only need 4 or 5 sessions, whilst others may come for much, much longer. Of course, it is entirely up to you and you might decide to see how you get on session by session. There is no maximum number of sessions and also no minimum number.
What happens if I do not attend or cancel a session?
All missed sessions will be charged at the full session fee.
Cancelled sessions, with less than 48 hours' notice, are charged at the full session fee. The cancellation policy applies to holidays, any work commitments or illness. In instances where you need to contact Heather between sessions to cancel or rearrange appointments, you can call or text her on 07472 164574. If you need to contact Nicola between sessions to cancel or rearrange appointments, you can call or text her on 07706 353684. If either of us is unable to take your call, please leave a message. Calls and messages will be responded to as soon as possible within my normal operating hours.
What happens if my counsellor cancels a session?
Your counsellor will give you advance notice of holiday or any other absences, and as much notice as possible of any absence due to illness. Sessions missed due to your counsellor's absence will, of course, not be chargeable.
What happens if I am going to be late for a session?
If you are going to be late for a session, please call or text your counsellor to let them know (you can contact Heather on 07472 164574 or Nicola on 07706 353684) wherever possible. Any session that commences after the appointment time cannot be extended beyond the agreed finish time.
What about confidentiality?
We are registered members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and adhere to its Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. Your sessions are subject to professional confidentiality. Aligned with BACP ethical practice, each counsellor has regular supervision where any aspect of the work may be discussed anonymously. We will not pass on any personal information about you or your attendance to counselling with others, unless you ask us to do so. The only exceptions to this are:
If your counsellor becomes concerned that there is a substantial risk of harm to yourself or to others.
If your counsellor believes a child or protected adult is at risk of harm or abuse.
If your counsellor becomes subpoenaed to appear in court, then they will be required to tell the truth under oath.
If you share information about money laundering, drug trafficking or a proposed act of terrorism.
Should the need to break confidentiality arise, your counsellor would generally try to discuss the situation with you, unless the situation required immediate action to safeguard the physical safety of you or others.
In certain cases, you may request that your counsellor share information concerning you. In these cases, we require written permission from you before we can carry out your request.
After each session, your counsellor records brief, typewritten clinical notes that describe the main theme(s) of the session. You can request to see these at any time by making the request via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will provide a printout of your notes within 30 days of receiving your request. Parents, please note that you may not request to see your child's notes - these are confidential and available only to your child. A child can request to see their notes by e-mailing email@example.com.
Adult notes are kept for a period of 7 years after completing counselling. Notes for those aged under 16 are kept indefinitely, since these can be the subject of a legal request at any time in the future.
When are you available?
We have day, evening and weekend appointments available. You can check our availability here and if you don't see a suitable appointment time then feel free to contact us to let us know your requirement. Our schedules do often have some flexibility.
Will you be available for me in a crisis?
Springvale Wellbeing is not a crisis or emergency service. If you need to speak to someone urgently, please contact:
Your GP surgery, or
The NHS 24 hour helpline, by dialling 111 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week), or
The Samaritans, 116 123 (this number is free to call).
Young Minds Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)
For young people experiencing a mental health crisis: Text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free 24/7 support. Text YM to 85258.
How does counselling usually end?
You will normally know when you are ready to finish counselling and you and your counsellor will work collaboratively towards a final session
Do you work with couples or families?
Yes, Nicola Keogh offers counselling for couples and families.
Do you work with children?
Yes, we work with young people aged 11 and over. From 1st November 2021 we will be able to offer play therapy for younger children.
Do you offer telephone and online counselling?
Yes, all adult clients can choose from in-person, telephone or online sessions (via encrypted video link). For young people we offer in-person or telephone counselling.
What if I have a complaint?
We very much hope that you find our service both warm and professional. If you have a complaint about your counsellor then it is very helpful to discuss this with your counsellor. If you are not satisfied that your complaint has been addressed then you should contact the BACP's 'Get Help with Counselling Concerns Service'
How do I explain counselling to my child?
We have created a short animated video to explain our counselling service to young people.