Frequently Asked Questions

How long do counselling sessions last?

Each session will last for 50 minutes. The frequency of these appointments can be agreed between yourself and your counsellor based upon what you feel you need, and afford. Weekly or fortnightly appointments are typical.


Is the therapy long or short-term?

It can be either depending on your needs. Some people will come once a week for 6 weeks and be done, whereas some individuals might seek monthly sessions which can last several years. The important thing is that between the yourself and the counsellor, you come to a mutual agreement which best suits you and your needs.


How much are counselling sessions?

Sessions usually cost £45 per hour for individuals, or £50 for couples counselling. Alma House can offer a small number of reduced fee appointments for those on government benefits or for trainee counsellors. Each case is assessed individually, and proof of benefits or study will be required. For further information, please contact


Can I bring somebody with me?

Unless this is due to language, physical or learning disabilities, it is strongly advised that the counselling is on a one-to-one basis. We find that individuals feel able to speak more freely when a third party is not present. If you wish to request bringing a third-party, please send an email to and please state your reasons for the request.


Is what we discuss in counselling kept confidential?

In order to adhere with BACP guidelines and ethics, all your personal information and what you wish to discuss is strictly confident and kept securely at all times. As part of your first session, both yourself and the counsellor are required to sign a Counselling Service Contract which details confidentiality, frequency of sessions, fees, cancellation policy and complaints.


As part of the BACP regulation process, your counsellor is required to attend regular supervisions with a mentor, and they may wish to discuss aspects of your sessions with them. However, all client details remain anonymous and it is simply to ensure that we are giving you the very best service we can.


Further information will be offered upon the initial consultation, and if you have any queries, please contact us at

Contraindications and Massage Therapies

Massage treatment is non-invasive, relaxing and natural. It is therefore generally considered a safe treatment for most people. However, there are instances when it would be unsafe to provide a massage treatment.

There are three types of contraindication:

Total: This is when a massage cannot be given at all for health and safety reasons. These include if you have a fever or contagious disease (including a cold or flu), if you have recently had major surgery, if you have neuritis or a major skin disease or if you are intoxicated.

Local: This is when you can receive a massage, but specified areas must be avoided. These can including avoiding areas affected by cuts, bruising, sunburn, varicose veins, inflammation (such as arthritis) and any undiagnosed lumps or bumps. This also applies to women during any stage or pregnancy. Although ante-natal massages are available, these can only be carried out by a therapist who has been specially trained and qualified in ante-natal massage. 

Medical: This is when you have been diagnosed with a medical condition which may be worsened by a massage, and therefore medical consent from your GP will be required. This can include cardio-vascular conditions, diabetes, epilepsy, osteoporosis and cancer diagnoses. 


Useful Websites

British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy


British Psychological Society

Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT)