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Oxfordshire Therapy & Self-Development Centres
1-to-1 Counselling & Psychotherapy - Group Therapy & Workshops in Oxford and Witney

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.What are interviews for?
Interviews give you an opportunity to explore with us if either individual counselling/psychotherapy or a therapy group is right for you. By meeting with you, we can get a much better sense of what formats and options would be most effective for you. There is no substitute for face-to-face interviews which maximise the chances that we recommend a counsellor or therapist or group that would work well for you. Interviews run for 50mins to1 hour, and can address any concerns or questions you may have.


2.Should I have group therapy or individual therapy?
This is something we can explore in the assessment interview. If we should find that individual therapy or counselling would be more appropriate, then we can refer you to a suitable practitioner. You can find more information dedicated to this type of question here.


3.Can I be in group therapy and individual therapy at the same time?
The short answer is yes. It can be very supportive to be a member of a group at the same time as having individual counselling/therapy. It can sometimes be useful for you to do a period of individual therapy before joining an ongoing therapy group. An interview to explore the options is a useful way to consider this with you.


4.How long does it take to join a group?
It maybe that the group you want to join does not yet have enough people to start. In this case, if you wish, we can delay the initial interview, and your payment for it, until there are sufficient numbers; we will keep you informed of progress.

It may take some time to join an established on-going group, as in order to not keep disturbing the process of the group with people leaving and joining, there are usually only a few dates spread through each year where new members can join. As more groups are being set up, waiting times will be reduced, if you are able to be flexible (re: day, place & time) about which group you might join.


5.What is my commitment?
For individual therapy or counselling: There is generally no specific commitment, though some therapists work in time limited or solution focussed ways, and often have a number of sessions for the work they will do with you, which can vary. Whilst with most counselling and psychotherapy there is no fixed time period, it can be useful for you to commit to a number of sessions yourself, to give yourself a chance to see if it is working for you.

For groups: Some groups are for a fixed period of time, e.g. 10 weeks, or monthly for a year, and you are asked if possible to commit to the group for that period of time.

For an on-going group: Commitment varies according to the group. Some groups may have very little commitment, whilst others have clear commitments that you are asked to make. Having a commitment to being a member of the group for a period of time is helpful in that it gives you and the other group members an agreement that you can all rely upon. An example of a very common arrangement is as follows. - You are usually asked to make a commitment to coming for the first 12 weeks, as this is needed for you to both settle into the group, and get a real sense of how it can work for you, and also for group members to get a sense of you. After 9 weeks, you are asked if you want to continue with the group beyond the initial 12-week point, which allows for a short period of ending if for some reason you decided not to continue. In ongoing groups, members are asked to give about 12 weeks notice if they intend to leave a group – again, this is to allow everybody sufficient time for completing the ending well.


6.Do I need to attend every session?
Different groups and different group leaders work in different ways. Some groups may come with clear rules, and other groups work out their group rules together, maybe at the beginning, and maybe as they go along. There is no one right way! Once you have made a decision to join a group, however, and have been offered a place in a group, you should generally expect to be able to attend all sessions each term. We recognize that this is not always possible in an emergency, but where you are called away unavoidably, we ask you to let the group leader know in good time.


7.I am a GP / Psychotherapist / Counsellor (etc) – how do I refer one of my patients / clients?
If you would like to refer a patient/client to us, you can:

  • Contact us directly via either phone or email.
  • Ask the patient or client to phone or email us, or complete the application form under the ‘How To Apply’ menu tab.


8. How does the Low Cost Service Work?

There are many people who can’t realistically afford the typical cost of individual therapy sessions with experienced practitioners, which range from £45 to £80, depending on the practitioner. If group therapy is not appropriate, we can offer low-cost therapy from £20 - £45 per session with:

  • advanced trainees who are in regular supervision with us;
  • newly qualified practitioners developing their practice; and,
  • experienced practitioners who offer some low cost places

    How Much Will I Be Paying ?

    We can discuss how much you might pay at your interview. The more flexibility you have with regards to:
  • how much availability you have;
  • how far you are able to travel; and,
  • how much you are able to afford,
    the greater the range of options we will have to be able to match you with the right counsellor or therapist.

    In order to fund the low cost service, we ask clients to pay what they can afford within the fee range, such that they can reasonably rely on being able to continue to pay whilst seeing their therapist/counsellor, whilst at the same time contributing what they can toward the full cost of their therapy. 

    What is the difference between low cost & full-fee sessions?

    If you require a practitioner offering low cost sessions, you may need to:
  • be more flexible with times you are available;
  • potentially be willing to travel a little further; or,
  • wait for availability.

    This is due to placement with counsellors/therapists on low-cost basis being in demand. 

    If you feel you require or would like to consider a low cost place, then you will be able to register this on the application form linked at the bottom of the home page.


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