All your questions answered

Who are the therapists and counsellors?

All our clinicians have at minimum a postgraduate diploma and all have graduated from educational institutions that are accredited by the professional governing bodies of the psychotherapy industry here in the UK.

The clinicians are also all registered and accredited (or eligible for accreditation) with at least one of the following:

BACP – British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
BABCP – British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
BPS – British Psychological Society
UKCP – United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
UKRC – United Kingdom Register of Counsellors.


How do I know if I need counselling / psychotherapy?

Counselling or Psychotherapy sessions can help you to gain clarity on an issue, change old patterns, untangle complex personal issues, or embark on a journey of self-development. You may seek this as a result of a crisis, or you may be encouraged to seek it by family members, friends, colleagues or your GP.

There is no barrier to whom counselling or psychotherapy can assist. We welcome you, regardless of your culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or employment group. It’s also not just for adult individuals, but is beneficial for couples, families, teenagers and children.

Does my GP need to refer me for an appointment?

No. You are free to refer yourself to any of the therapists at Harley Therapy. The only exception is if your insurers require you to have a GP referral in order to use your policy for treatment.

If you are a private practice, why do I have to provide my GP details?

Therapists request GP details for the unlikely event you had a medical emergency while attending therapy. In the case of a psychological or emotional emergency, your therapist would seek your permission to contact your GP in the interests of your safety and/or wellbeing.

Who will be helping me?

Initially our clients will be supported by one of our trained practitioners or clinicians who will conduct an initial telephone consultation to determine what the psychological or emotional needs are. Clients will then be suitably matched with the most appropriate clinician who will support them through their journey.

If you prefer a specific counselling or psychotherapy approach, we will match you up with a suitable psychotherapist or counsellor. In the event that your consultation practitioner or clinician feels you would benefit from a different counselling or psychotherapy approach, they will normally recommend another specialist for you to consider.

If you would like to start the process, please go to our  website to purchase your initial consultation session. We are unable to reserve therapy slots until we receive confirmation of purchase for an initial session. If, at any point, within 6 months (sessions are normally available withing 2 weeks) of your purchase, you realise we cannot offer you a suitable assessment date, we will of course refund you for the full amount of the initial session.

What happens in a session?

There is no formula for a typical session. Your clinician will be highly trained in listening and reflecting, and provide you with a safe environment in which to explore your issues. With most types of therapy you are free to discuss what you wish, from everyday events, dilemmas, feelings, and thoughts, to regrets, aspirations, memories and dreams.

Other, shorter-term forms of therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) will allow you to do that but in a more structured manner and provide practical exercises to help you understand your thoughts and actions.

Where do therapy sessions take place?

We have clinicians based all over the UK, so we will endeavour to find one near you. Alternatively we also offer remote access sessions (Video calls, Telephone) so you are guaranteed to be assigned someone within a 14 day period.

I live abroad and there is a great time difference between us. Would I be able to have therapy with a UK based therapist?

You can definitely have therapy with one of our therapists as long as you can schedule a 50-minute meeting between Monday to Saturday 8am and 9pm (start of the session), London time.

What issues can counselling or therapy help with?

People come to us with wide-ranging problems, including some of these and others:

  • anxiety (generalised anxiety problems, panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety, claustrophobia)
  • workplace issues (stress, work-life imbalances)
  • relationship issues (breakups, divorce, affairs, choosing inappropriate partners, loneliness, life adjustments, marital problems, arguments, jealousy, wedding and premarital issues)
  • depression (including suicidal thoughts, low mood, social withdrawal)
  • low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • sexual problems (impotence, internet/pornography/sex addiction, loss of desire, infertility)
  • trauma (including post-traumatic stress disorder from accidents, rape and other attacks/incidents)
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • eating problems (including bulimia, binge eating, negative body image)
  • phobias and fears
  • addiction and substance misuse
  • abuse (including physical, verbal, and sexual abuse)
  • bereavement/grief/loss.

For couples sessions, do we have to attend all sessions together?

Ideally you will attend all sessions together as a couple. In instances where one of you is unable to attend, most clinicians will see the person who can attend. The issues that arise in this individual session will then be shared at the next session when both partners are present.

Some couples clinicians also work via video conference using Skype, FaceTime, or WhatsApp, and can see you both via one of these platforms if required.

Is ASK Identity right for me?

A short answer is, we don’t know. That’s why we offer all our clients an initial consultation to determine if we’re suitable for you or vice versa before you commit to anything long-term. It might help to know though that our network of clinicians are carefully selected for their dedication, their skills, their belief in the work they do, and their compassion. They all adhere to strong and clearly outlined ethics and principals set by our clinical director in founding the organisation.

Your well being and safety is our utmost concern, and is at the heart of all we do. No matter your background or presenting issue, we welcome you and are committed to your progress.

How do I know which approach is most suited to me?

There are many kinds of established therapeutic approaches nowadays, including humanistic counselling (also called ‘person-centred’), psycho-dynamic psychotherapy, existential therapy, cognitive analytic therapy (CAT), and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Don’t worry if you are simply not sure what particular approach would be suited to you. Your initial consultation  will be where you can discuss your issues and the different types of approaches that might help. Many of the therapists are also what is known as ‘integrative’, meaning they are trained in several types of therapy they can blend to best match your issues.

What happens if I don't think the clinician is a good match for me?

If you do not feel the clinician is a good match, we will do our best to find you someone else, as ultimately you need to be able to feel comfortable with the person you are sharing your thoughts and feelings with.

I only want one session, will the therapist be able to help?

Generally your first session will be used as a consultation session rather than for treatment. This allows you to identify your issues as you see them, so that your assigned clinician can start to gain an idea of what your needs are. So unfortunately, having just one session is unlikely to have any lasting benefit for you.

Can I change my appointment slot after my initial consultation or at any other time?

Regular, consistent work with your clinician is essential to see the benefits of your sessions. Your clinician will therefore reserve a mutually convenient weekly slot for you that you agree on, and it will remain the same until such time that you decide to end therapy by giving him or her one week’s notice, or you come to the end of your treatment.

Of course if the time you require appointments is not available, and you take another time slot while making it clear from the start this only works for you in the short-term, we will do our best to change you to a more appropriate slot when one becomes available.

We’re also aware that sometimes unforeseen circumstances can occur leading to you needing to change your slot, we will do our best to work with your clinician and see if this change can be accommodated. If you inform us of this change with more than 48 hours notice then we can simply book another slot for you if available. Unfortunately we will not be able to do this if we receive less than 48 hours notice, so the session and the pre-paid fee will be lost.

How much will it cost?

Our costs vary if you are paying privately or being supported through an insurance Company.

Privately the initial consultation session (30 mins via telephone) is £50. The fee for each follow-up session is: (Face-to-face) £80 and (Remote access) £60. All fees are paid via BACS or Paypal at least 5 days before the session is due.

Insurance Companies: the initial consultation and last session for 60 mins is £120 (face to face)  or £100 (Remote access), both including a report if required. The fee for each follow-up session is: £100 (Face-to-face) and £80 (Remote access).

Currently, we do not offer discounts for any of our therapy services as you are paying for the quality time of our clinicians; however, group sessions (if minimum number of participants reached) are notably less expensive than other forms of therapy; equivalent of £50 per session (Face-to-face) or £40 per session (Remote access).

Can I use my health insurance to pay for counselling sessions?

This depends on the nature of your policy. Check with your provider to see if counselling or therapy sessions are covered, how many sessions can be included if so, and if there are any other restrictions. Then please do ask us before booking to see which clinicians are registered with  the major health insurance providers that include Cigna and Aviva, BUPA International, Vitality, AXA PPP etc. You will be responsible for any charges otherwise, so do follow these steps carefully.

Why are the fees so high?

Our fees are not the most expensive  across the UK nor are they they cheapest. We strongly believe in offering our clients the best quality service for what they pay for. As well as having access to your therapist through our dedicated administrative team, you will also be able to have access to our clinical leads who oversee and support your therapist in supporting you. We also offer additional support via emails and texts to ensure that you are suitably supported in your journey of recovery and self-discovery.

Why do I have to pay for missed/cancelled therapy sessions?

In order to reserve a certain time slot just for you each week there will be a cancellation policy that applies. Your consultation practitioner or clinician will share this cancellation policy with you prior to your first treatment appointment. Any and all missed sessions outside of the agreed 48 hours terms will be charged at the full fee.

After I sign up, how long until I'm matched with the right clinician?

We aim to match our clients to the right clinician within 14 day period. If for some reason it looks likely as if this will not happen, you will be informed in advance.

How will I communicate with my clinician?

You will be able to communicate with your clinician via our admin team using admin@askidentity.org.uk. or (+44)7778 038 818. Some clinician’s might share their direct mobile number with you, however we ask you to respect this discretionary allowance by not expecting a response to a text or a call outside of their working hours.

Will my clinician or the service be available for me in a crisis?

Your clinician is only obligated to be available to you at your scheduled appointment time only. As a service we will be open and available outside of standard working hours 9 – 5pm, so may be able to respond to your queries; from 8am – 9pm; however we are not a crisis service.

In the case of an emergency you will need to seek other resources. Contact your GP, the Samaritans (call 116 123, www.samaritans.org), or, if necessary, emergency services 999.

Can ASK Identity substitute for traditional face-to-face therapy?

Once you start your sessions with us face to face and then decide remote access might be better suited to your needs, our clinicians will try to accommodate this and offer you telephone or video conferencing sessions.

How long can I use ASK Identity?

Irrespective of the services you are using, we strongly discourage a sense of dependency on any of our services or clinicians. Your sessions will have a clear beginning, with regular reviews conducted between you and your clinician to plan a clear end point. Once you are discharged, we ask all our clients to self-manage independently for at least a 12 week period before accessing our services again. As an organisation we do not advocate ‘holding’ onto our clients indefinitely; our aim is to empower you and help strengthen your resilience.

How can I be sure that this is an effective form of psychological intervention?

All our clinicians will use approved National Institute for health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) as well as Department of Health approved psychological interventions measures to gauge your progress through your sessions. These measures as well as identifying clear goals of therapy will help you and your clinician determine if the techniques and measure you are putting in place are effective.

Why do I need to attend weekly sessions?

The standard format of weekly sessions helps you make gradual and steady progress that means you see real results. The weekly gaps will also give you the space needed to put into practice some of the techniques and skills you are theoretically exploring in your sessions. In some cases, a clinician will agree to two or more sessions per week, or one session every two weeks if you both deem it beneficial and they have the availability.

Will any of my information be shared?

Our clinicians and our organisation are committed to your privacy, so sharing your personal information is a rare occurrence.

There are two exceptions. The first is if your clinician were to become aware that you are an imminent danger to yourself or others, or that someone else is a danger to you. You would first be encouraged to seek necessary support, and if you were unable or unwilling to do so your clinician will therefore have a duty of care to seek this support on your behalf.

The second exception is if your clinician were to become aware that you intended to commit a major crime of any sort. In such a case they have a legal obligation to disclose such information to the relevant authorities.

*Note that for the purposes of psychological interventions, personal drug use or addictions are not considered to be criminal activities (unless they involve anyone underage). They are seen only as areas to be addressed in therapy.