I offer a free initial phone or video call plus reduced-fee, no obligation first appointment to help you start to get a sense of whether we could work well together. I hope these FAQs and other content on this site answer any questions you have, but if you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to get in touch. Just click or tap any FAQ topic to find out more.
Availability: Currently offering appointments
Tuesday afternoon and evening
Please note that I may be able to offer other days and times - just let me know what works for you.
Fees: Usually £50 an hour but please read this
Face-to-face and online appointments
Initial 15 to 20 minute phone or video call: Free
Up to one hour face-to-face or online...
Initial assessment session: £40
Ongoing support: £50 within a £40 to £70 sliding scale.
Learn as a focussed course over seven weeks or over at least three months if integrated with counselling. More >
Strengths profile debrief
Up to 90 minutes: £120. Includes cost of Expert Profile.
The full fee or reduced administration fee is usually payable if you do not attend, or cancel within 24 hours of, your appointment. See the working agreement (below) for more details.
This runs from 25 September 2023
Please you read this before your initial assessment appointment.
We agree in good faith to work within these boundaries from this session onwards.
You're invited to complete an online version before or during this session (I provide link).
You may also complete a printed version during this session if we meet face to face.
Updating this agreement: If I make changes that impact our current work, I shall ask to discuss whether the containing spirit of our initial agreement still stands before our next appointment.
Safety, confidentiality and privacy
If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please ask.
If you experience difficult emotions during our work, we can discuss ways to work with them as effectively as possible to minimise unnecessary distress. If at any time what we work on is ‘too much’ please tell me.
I work within the ethical framework of the BACP.
All our conversations are confidential. There are certain situations where I have a legal obligation to break confidentiality linked to areas such as terrorism, drug trafficking, child protection and road traffic offences.
It is normal to experience troubling thoughts and feelings at times during counselling and personal development work. However, if either of us become concerned about your mental health or that you may harm yourself or anyone else, I shall ask you to speak with your GP or another relevant professional. If you choose not to and my concerns about your wellbeing escalate, I may need to inform your GP or another relevant professional, where possible with your consent.
I maintain client anonymity during supervision unless situations like the above require disclosure.
Paper records. In addition to your working agreement, I securely keep anonymised: intake summaries, factual session summaries, self-assessment measures and substantive emails/texts e.g. detailed support suggestions, for one year after we have ended our work. You may ask to see these at any time.
I delete emails and text messages that we exchange. As I do not save your contact details in any electronic medium, please include your name if you text or email me.
Telephone or video support: We both meet in confidential environments and do not record sessions. I work primarily with people who live in the UK. While my insurance covers other countries of the world, if you travel abroad for work or holiday and wish to have counselling, in addition to the provisions in my insurance, this is done on the clear understanding that you work with me as if our work was covered by the laws and ordinances of the UK and you take full responsibility for dealing with any physical/mental health emergencies when abroad. This is particularly important if you are temporarily in the USA or Canada as my insurance does not cover these countries. Wherever possible, I invite you to seek local mental health support if abroad.
Video support: We share phone details in advance in case of technology failure.
Your potential contribution to any research or professional development projects is totally optional.
Learning from COVID: Signing this document means you agree with content at Appointment FAQs > Learning from COVID. Example safeguard: Wash your hands / use antibacterial hand gel before touching any creative resources.
Regular attendance is important and helps our work to be effective. Sessions are usually weekly.
Unavoidable factors: If neither of us can meet due to unavoidable factors such as travel problems, domestic emergencies or ill health, I/you will contact the other on their mobile phone as soon as possible. Ideally, this will be at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment.
My counselling supervisor will hold your contact details in a sealed envelope while we work together so she can contact you if an emergency prevents me from letting you know we cannot meet.
If you miss an appointment, I shall contact you as soon as possible after our scheduled meeting. If you do not reply within five working days, I shall assume that you wish to end our work together for the time being.
These are detailed at Appointment FAQs > Fees.
The full fee is payable if you do not attend, or cancel within 24 hours of, your appointment. If this is due to any unavoidable factors listed above, I may charge a £20 administration fee.
Goals and endings
Progress in personal/career development work is usually positive but I do not make any guarantees. If formal or informal reviews indicate your need for alternative or additional support, I shall discuss this with you.
If our ending involves me referring you to access additional support, I would only share information with relevant person(s) with your explicit consent as part of this referral process.
Endings are especially important in counselling. Hopefully, we will share a sense of ‘our work is almost done, and it is time to end’ but please let me know if you are thinking about ending our work together.
Your first appointment
Therapy can provide a quiet and accepting place where you can be heard and acknowledged as well as a place to actively and creatively explore important issues. Our first session involves gathering key information about what's going on in your life, so it can have a different vibe to how we'd be when we've settled into working together.
It's also a space with no obligations on either side i.e. we have an initial conversation and start to get a sense of whether we could work well together.
Learning from COVID
Making a safe space
Signing the working agreement (above) means we both agree to follow these wellness-promotion steps that help to make face to face work safe and productive.
We both agree to:
Consider advice and follow any legal requirements described on www.gov.uk > covid 19
Meet online if either or us: 1) Has COVID 19. 2) Has a cold or similar respiratory illness. 3) Feels run down and out of sorts but also feels well enough to work together. Explore COVID symptoms from the UK ZOE research.
To take individual responsibility for whether or not we decide to wash our hands / use antibacterial gel before touching any creative resources that are also touched by other people e.g. felt tips, felts and pompoms etc.
Not hold the other liable if we catch COVID-19 or another infection from them. Even if we follow extra safety measures to minimise infection risk, we recognise that we cannot guarantee to 100% eliminate this.
Discuss and take other proportionate steps to make our space a safe and constructive one e.g. at times of heightened risk from COVID 19 or similar respiratory infections, we would need to (as a minimum) either wash hands or use antibacterial hand gel at the start of appointments and I would also ventilate the consulting room between sessions.
I (David Whistance) also agree to:
Open and close the front door for you.
Regularly disinfect surfaces that are touched by clients.
Offer timely use of an air filter that has a 99.95% filtration efficiency at 0.1 microns.
Offer filtered water in glasses washed at high temperature that have not been touched by my uncovered hands during their drying and movement to the consulting room.
You also agree to:
Bring your own PPE, water, tissues, hand sanitiser and creative resources if you need / prefer to do so.
Let me know if you want my cat to be present in the consulting room as I do not know what surfaces or people she may have been in contact with before we meet.
If you're really struggling
Take care of yourself
If you're concerned about your mental health, please speak with your GP as soon as possible even if you're reaching out to counsellors, psychotherapists or other helping professionals.
Do you keep falling into a big, dark hole and fear there's no way out?
Don't suffer in silence.
You're not alone.
If we met face to face, we'd work in a spacious, calm room.