Maria Lonergan FdA, MBACP Counselling in Walton-on-Thames

Questions and fees. Library Image: Reaching Hands (Sml)

How will Counselling help me?
A Counsellor aims to help you to gain a perspective about whatever is troubling you. Counselling is there to help you to understand and accept yourself, to change your behaviour to that which is more productive for you, and to help you move towards becoming the kind of person you want to be.

Is it confidential?
The trust between client and Counsellor is crucial. I treat all infomation disclosed as confidential, following the guidelines laid down by the BACP.

How many appointments will I need?
It can be quite difficult when beginning Counselling to project exactly how many, or how few, sessions you may require. It is usually recommended we start with 6 weekly, or fortnightly, 50 minute sessions. At the end of Session 5 we can jointly assess progress and decide what further action, if any, may be needed.

What are your fees?

Monday-Friday between 9am-5.00pm £55 for 50 minutes

Evening appointments 5.00pm-7pm £65 for 50 minutes

There are a limited number of low-cost sessions available during the day (Monday-Friday 9-4), whereby I offer up to 12 sessions at a lower rate. Please discuss this with me when contacting.

How do I begin?
You have already taken the first step by recognising that there are aspects of your life you wish to address. When contacting me, we can arrange an initial consultation to discuss your issues and to see whether you would benefit from counselling. It is important to me that you feel comfortable before embarking on further sessions. This initial session will last between 30-60 minutes.

To arrange an appointment, please either email me using the link to the right of this page or telephone me on 07716 243847, and we can arrange a time that is most convenient for you. If I am unable to take your call immediately, please leave a message on my confidential voicemail and I will return your call as soon as possible. Please confirm whether I am able to leave you a message should you be unable to answer.

Appointment times

Appointments are available most weekdays, evenings and Saturday mornings


Your Personal Details
During our initial meeting I will collect some personal information such as name address, contact details, family circumstances, occupation, any psychological diagnosis, medication

How information is stored
Very brief, handwritten session notes to track the therapeutic process. Your identifiable signed contract is kept separately in a locked cabinet.

I keep information on my smartphone and computer which are both password protected. Contact details are stored with your first name only. I will generally contact you either through my smartphone via text messaging or email. I cannot absolutely guarantee the security of information communicated via email or mobile phone (voicemail, text messages or wattsapp).

Details held, how it is processed and retention period
Information will be kept for a period of 7 years after the close of therapy. On the destruction date, your notes and any additional information will be securely destroyed.

How I may share your personal information
Only myself and potentially my supervisor will have access to client details.

In line with my professional guidelines I have regular supervision with a practioner who is also bound by the same confidentiality regulations as I am. During supervision only the clients first name will be used.

Confidentiality is of utmost importance and will be adhered to at all times, however there are circumstances where confidentiality will be waived and disclosure made to members of the relevant professional bodies:

If the client potentiality poses a risk of serious harm to themselves or others
If the client discloses details of child abuse, physical abuse, drug trafficking or acts of terrorism or money laundering

Right to access
You have the right to ask for a copy of your personal information, free of charge. You also have the right to ask me to amend or change any out of date information about you.

Should your notes be requested by a third party (i.e. solicitor or courts) I will require a signed declaration form from yourself. Before any notes are sent I would recommend that we have the opportunity to sit down together and go through the information due to be sent.

Right to be forgotten

When our therapeutic relationship has come to an end I will hold your information securely until the date of destruction. Once our therapeutic relationship has come to a form end, you will not receive any emails or information from me.

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