(frequently asked questions)
what is the difference
between counselling and psychotherapy?
This is an age old question and
there are different answers depending whom you speak to. At avenue
practice, we tend not to make a distinction & use the terms interchangeably and
often opt for the term "therapy" as a catch-all. For a fuller answer:
There are no hard and fast rules.
Sometimes practical constraints inform this decision. Some people seek short
term work, others prefer longer term; some like to keep it open and decide
after an initial few meetings; sometimes a single meeting can clarify an issue
one is seeking to gain a perspective on. This important question is discussed at the
initial, introductory meeting when we consider your circumstances and
expectations of therapy and is often part of an ongoing dialogue in our work
how do you
set your discounted/concessionary rates?
Consistent with the inclusive ethos at avenue practice, I do offer some
discounted fees. I do not have a fixed rate of lower fees because any agreed
discounts are based on many criteria, important ones being what you can actually
afford to pay and why you seek therapy with me at this time. Obviously, it is you
who really knows what you can afford and are willing to pay for our meetings.
Setting a fee is part of a wider discussion about our possibilities of working
together and what it is you seek from our meetings. I prefer this discussion to
take place face to face in an initial session, although, I am, of course,
willing to talk briefly with you about this, before we fix our first
If it turns out that we cannot
work together, I am always happy to make referrals to individuals or
organisations that may suit your needs better.
There have been times when
financial circumstances have changed for the people I am already working with,
making it difficult for them to pay the fees. We then review our work and our
working agreement and see how we can best accommodate these changes in an
ethical and appropriate way that works for us both.
your standard terms and conditions?
I outline these in a template on the
following link, but these are always discussed at the initial meeting when we
customise them as necessary.
Take this link: what is
your standard practice?
do meetings take place?
This can vary. Individual
therapy often takes place once a week at the same time on the same day. It can
however be more frequent, depending on circumstances. It is important to develop
a cadence in the work, so less than once a week for individual therapy tends to be too infrequent.
Couple work is sometimes weekly, sometimes fortnightly depending on how we agree
Supervision and other work is often determined according to need.
We discuss frequency of meeting at our initial meeting so we can take all things
give me advice?
While there are certain branches of
counselling where the purpose is to give advice eg genetic counselling, as a
rule, the enterprise of psychotherapy and counselling is enable you to find the
answers that work for you. So I would not, for example, tell you to
get a job, leave your partner or recommend a decision for you, but I would fully
engage with you and encourage you to think about what your questions really mean
and invite you to look at the total situation surrounding your predicament.
Of course, I would not be
obstructive. For example, if I knew you were setting off to the station, as a
point of courtesy and decency, I would certainly let you know if I happened to
know that the trains weren't running.
will you sit in silence
during the sessions?
My style is generally interactive
and dialogical, but it will vary depending on how we are together. There is
certainly a time and place for silence in sessions for silence can be rich and
revealing, but I do not maintain silence as part of a "therapeutic technique".
I always encourage discussion about any discomfort you experience in our work
together including being with long pauses.
do you have
wheelchair access or good access for those with limited mobility?
Unfortunately, at neither place I work is
there wheelchair access. At my home practice I see people on the first floor. By
special arrangement I could meet you on the ground floor, but there are 3 steep
external steps to climb to access the property.
Some colleagues on my referral network do have better access.
offer services in languages other than English?
Simone Lee works exclusively in English.
Colleagues on the referral network do advertise therapy and other services in
languages other than English. Please do enquire. Some of the languages that are
offered are French, Modern Hebrew, Polish, Croatian, Portuguese, Romanian,
Magyar (Hungarian), Italian, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Arabic, Greek, German,