Westminster Therapy Associates Logo

Westminster Therapy Associates


Frequently asked questions and their answers

What we have in common is as important as our differences

No two minds are the same and most of the questions we get asked require an individual answer depending entirely on yourself. However, these are some responses to some of the questions that we often get asked on more pragmatic matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take?

The duration of a course of therapy varies, depending on a person’s needs. Some issues may be addressed in a number of weeks; in other cases months or years may be most helpful. We recommend that client and therapist discuss at the start of the therapy whether a fixed term or open ended approach is preferred, and then proceed in the right way for that person. Individual difficulties, objectives, available time and budget are carefully considered.

How much will it cost?

Sessions at Westminster Therapy Associates are priced between X and X per session, depending on the therapist and their experience. Some of us offer concessionary rates, please see the individual profiles in Our Therapists for details.

Can I pay with my insurance?

Confidentiality is our prime concern and we will not work for insurers that cannot give us assurance that what you tell us will remain confidential. BUPA currently requires us to send them notes detailing our work with clients and none of us are registered with BUPA for this reason.

But most of are registered with other major health insurers, including AXA, Vitality and Aviva. Please see their profiles for details and contact information or contact us for help with your choice.

How confidential is it?

Therapy sessions are private conversations between you and your therapist. We don’t disclose your personal details or anything that we might discuss. However, all therapists are supervised, and in supervision sessions we talk about our work with a senior practitioner. In turn, supervisors treat these conversations as private, and maintain confidentiality.

What if I am on medication?

Mental health is often treated in a similar way to physical health – with pharmaceuticals. With the GP as the first port of call for depression, many of our clients have been prescribed anti- depression medication. Although it is not a barrier to therapy, we do need to know if there are changes to your dosage.

What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

There is much overlap between counselling and psychotherapy, and some people use the terms interchangeably. However, counselling tends to be seen as a shorter process focused on specific issues, whereas psychotherapy may be more exploratory and attentive to more deeply held thoughts and feelings.

What is the difference between a psychotherapist, a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

- Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that diagnoses and treats mental illness. People with psychotic conditions where delusions are confused reality with are often under the care of a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have chosen to specialise in mental health. They may prescribe medication, in-patient care, psychotherapy or a combination of these to help their patients manage their conditions to achieve the best quality of life possible.

- Psychology is the study of the mind. Psychologists work to better understand how and why we think and feel, and how these processes influence our behaviour. Some psychologists work in research, others may contribute to business, education, sports or forensic investigations. Clinical psychologists work in healthcare, and support patients or clients in resolving mental health issues.

- Psychotherapy is a talking therapy that helps relieve difficulties related to feeling and thinking. It is used to improve mental health, but you don’t need to have a mental health condition to find it beneficial. Anyone can use psychotherapy to better understand themselves, others and the world around them. Psychotherapists do not prescribe medication; healing and growth come through exploring and expressing thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental space.

What happens if we miss a session?

Successful psychotherapy relies on meeting regularly and our therapists are trained to meet each of their clients on a once or twice weekly basis. In exceptional circumstances, this may need to be reduced to a fortnightly or an ad hoc basis.

Absenteeism from school or work is a common flag that all is not right in someone’s life and missed sessions suggest that the therapy is not working. Either it has a lower priority than other parts of your life or you do not feel able to make use of it. Whatever the reason, it needs to be discussed with the therapist.

However, we feel that our clients should not feel that sessions can be missed to save money and we will always try and find a fee that enables regular attendance if possible. We, therefore, require all sessions to be paid for even if you are unable to attend, regardless of how much notice is given.

Circumstances may change over time; your earnings might change and we might find it necessary to increase our fees. But we try and make financial concerns secondary to your therapy needs and we will always make sure there is time to talk about them so we can find an arrangement for both client and therapist.

What happens when it is time to finish therapy?

Clients can end therapy at any time, though different practitioners may have different terms around paying for cancellations. However, when you feel ready to end it is always advisable to discuss this with your therapist. It may be valuable to reflect on the decision to end, and a therapist may recommend a summing up of the progress made.

Choosing your therapist

No. 6, Lower Grosvenor Place



Phone: 0207 233 7852

© Westminster Therapy Associates

powered by WebHealer