Quick answers to frequently asked questions

Let me address some common questions. If you have other doubts and queries that need clarification, do not hesitate to call Ben Selby Counselling today!

About the counselling

Different people will tell you different things about counselling. To understand what counselling is or isn’t, I would like to tell you more about myself. I’m primarily trained as a Person Centred Counsellor, although I often use techniques from other disciplines to enhance and develop our therapeutic relationship. My role is to enable you to find a greater understanding of yourself and to make better choices in your life.

This will also help you understand why you may have made less positive choices in the past. I do not give advice or try to direct you in any way. I am unable to supply you with answers to life’s questions, but will endeavour to help you find answers that will work for you. If you are unsure whether this would help, please don’t hesitate to telephone me and ask any questions you might have about the counselling process.
Contact me for the right therapy


It is my intention to work with you in a professional manner, with integrity and compassion. In order to do so, there are certain conditions we need to fulfil together. The contract will contain some of the contents in this page to give you an idea about the requirements of my counselling practice. I will also remind you of the confidentiality policy during the initial assessment and if necessary, during subsequent sessions. If you would like to add any other conditions to our contract, please feel free to discuss these at any point during your sessions.


Everything we talk about will remain confidential, except where:
  • I have concerns that you may cause significant harm to yourself or harm to someone else. This may be with intent or through neglect of another. If I am at all concerned, I will always endeavour to talk with you prior to any disclosure and will discuss during our initial assessment how that disclosure may take place.
  • Where you tell me something that I am required to divulge under oath in a Court of Law.

Note keeping

I keep brief notes of our sessions. These notes are kept electronically using software approved by my professional organisation, the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). They do not contain any intimate detail of what you might have discussed with me and are restricted to an overview of our sessions. 

 You may see these notes on request.


To ensure the best practice, I receive regular supervision (talking with another professional about my practice). However, during this process, I will not discuss any of your personal details or give any information that might identify you in any way. Supervision is a means of ensuring ‘quality control’ and is solely for the development of my professional knowledge and development.

Professional Membership

As a registered member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Reg. MBACP) I am bound by the ethical principles of my governing body. These ethical principles and other requirements of membership are available on request. 
It is also available at: http://www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework/ethics.php

CORE IMS and other Psychological Scales

I believe that it’s important to try to objectively quantify therapeutic change in order to demonstrate the efficacy of talking therapies. In this pursuit, I ask all clients to complete a CORE IMS form at the start and end of treatment. This process produces a numerical score of change: the producers of CORE IMS suggest that a score difference of five indicates that significant change has taken place. Further scales may be used periodically to help identify some of the common mental health complaints.

Payment, Cancellation and Non Payment

The agreed payment needs to be made at the end of each session. I accept cash or cheques and for the convenience of my clients, I now also accept major credit and debit cards. The session rates will be reviewed at the start of every financial year and will generally rise in line with inflation, to the nearest pound. Any cancellation of our sessions must be made with at least twenty-four hours’ notice. Failure to do so will result in full payment for the session being incurred. Any non-payment of fees may result in court action.

Drugs and Alcohol

Counselling can involve being in touch with feelings and emotions, which are virtually impossible to access accurately especially, if under the influence of non-prescribed drugs or alcohol. 

Please note that clients who turn up under the influence of non-prescribed drugs or having consumed alcohol may be asked to leave. 

 A charge will be made for the cancelled session.


If you feel that you have been treated unjustly or that I have acted in a way that you feel is unethical or inappropriate, I would like you to tell me.

However, you also have the right to make a formal complaint to my professional body, the BACP. 

 Details of how to make a formal complaint can be found on their website: www.bacp.co.uk

Continued Personal Development

As the field of counselling and psychology evolves, it is important for me as a therapist to keep abreast of recent developments and ideas. This will occasionally involve my attendance at various training events and seminars. 
Though I endeavour to maintain regularity in our sessions, I may need to attend events that are scheduled by providers like the BACP and others. 
The timing of these events is often out of my control. 
You will get adequate notice of any planned absence or cancellation of appointments from my end.

Chance Meetings

We live in a small community where it is not uncommon to bump into one another outside of the therapeutic environment. Your confidentiality is important to me and so unless you speak to me, I will pretend I don’t know you. This will keep a distance from any members of my family or friends that I may be with. 
This will also enable you to not introduce me and keep a part of your healing journey a secret.


It is important for all of us to ensure we have adequate rest, in order to maintain resilience and to be able to sustain and advance good practice. Annually I take regular holidays, generally every three months, which will include a two week break during the summer and at Christmas. I also follow it up with a week's break during the spring and autumn. 
 I regret that I will not be able to see clients during these times, which may cause some interruption and delays to our sessions. Every effort will be made to ensure you remain ‘safe’ during these breaks.

How Long Will It Take?

This is one of the most common questions I’m asked, and the one that I am least able to answer. We are all different, with different problems or issues. We have different levels of trust in others and different coping mechanisms that enable us to live our lives in the best way we know how. Not knowing you or the issues you bring, I do not set a maximum number of sessions in the start. Therapy can last a long time or you could find resolution to your issues in a few short weeks. The responsibility is yours and only yours.


There is a belief that if you have to swear, you don’t have the vocabulary to express yourself fully. Personally, whether that is true or not, it is important that in our sessions you express yourself as you see fit, in any way you can. 
Therefore, I have no objection to swearing during the session.


On completion of the sessions, I like to provide each of my clients with the opportunity to feedback on the sessions they have undergone and send out a form for you to record such feedback. I also seek your permission to include your feedback on my website. You have the right not to take part in either supplying feedback or giving permission for its use.

Gifts and Presents

I understand the desire to feel some generosity towards your therapist, particularly if you feel your therapist has helped you; you want to give something back, its human nature! However, I regret that within the ethical framework by which I operate, I am unable to accept gifts and presents. I also believe that you have paid me for providing a service and genuinely feel that the growth you achieve during out time together, and the changes you make or goals you accomplish, are by far, reward enough.
I don't display my qualifications - I believe that the space we occupy when you are coming to see me is your space, and although I am very proud of my achievements, putting them in frames and hanging them on the wall would feel to me as though I was intruding into this space. I can assure you however, that I have the required qualifications, and similarly, have all the required insurances to practice. I am able to show you on request.

Understand more about Person Centred Counselling, call Ben Selby Counselling on 
01752 216 989.
You can send in your queries by filling out the contact form.

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