A common contribution per year is half your standard session fee.
If you persistently fail to contribute, haven't requested a fee waiver, we may send you reminders.
In accordance with the site's ethos, no-one is ever excluded for non-payment or for failing to request a fee-waiver, but if you register we expect you to be able to justify non-payment to your own satisfaction under your chosen ethical code or framework for practice (under our trust-based model, we'll never ask).
What does it mean that this is a 'social enterprise'?
The UK government defines a social enterprise as:
"a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses
are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than
being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners".
Our primary social objective is to help support fairness and accessibility to advertising for counselling services
regardless of their ability to pay. In this way we aim to give the public a fairer picture of the
counselling services available to them, especially in relation to the low-cost and free counselling
sector which is typically under-represented in mainstream online directories.
This service was set up in 2008, with the aim of providing an online directory
for counselling and psychotherapy that more fully and more fairly represents the availability
of services in the UK & Ireland.
It does this by applying an ethical/social model that reverses the usual power balance, so that
each practitioner who registers on this site commits to contributing what they themselves feel is fair in their circumstances
(including choosing to pay nothing).
No-one is excluded for inability or failure to pay.
In this way the directory aims to
fairly represent the low-cost and free counselling sector, and to be accessible to
practitioners who often find themselves priced-out of, and therefore under-represented,
in other online directories.
To the best of our knowledge, there's no other online directory in the world
that works on a similar ethical/social model (let us know if you find one),
although the pay-what-you want model has been used in other contexts, eg. cafes.
What makes the model feasible in this case is the fact that the community of people
registering have all
committed to working to the ethical code or framework of a regulating organisation, so that
deliberate abuse of the system is rare. (Sometimes, though, people simply forget to contribute (or to request a waiver), and
in that case we may send
you a gentle reminder at times where it looks like there might be a shortfall in running costs
for the website).
Each practitioner decides what, when and whether to pay, but registering practitioners must take
personal responsibility for making sure that they can justify to themselves their decision
in relation to (non) payment
with reference to their chosen code of ethics
We take seriously the notion of reversing the power-balance in
practitioners' favour, and in operating a trust-based system,
so we'll never ask you to justify your decision to us.
What do I need to tell you to support my fee waiver request?
The directory works on a trust-based basis: all registering practitioners are checked to ensure they
belong to an organisation with a recognised code of ethics, so we accept all such requests without question.
If you don't ask for a fee waiver, and fail to contribute, we may send you polite reminders (typically at
times where it looks like there might be a shortfall in covering our running costs).
Where does my money go?
All contributions are used to cover IT/web-hosting and related expenses.
Your profile manager, and any others who support the running of the directory,
work for free (please keep that mind when communicating with them, and extend
to them the same courtesy and kindness you would show your own clients).
In most years, the directory
runs at a small loss,
which is generously covered by those who work voluntarily to run this directory for you.
Any surplus after covering the directory's costs
donated to charities related to homelessness or counselling.
Since its founding in 2008, the directory has run at a (small) net loss most years.
In 2017 and 2018 the surplus was donated to the charities
Tara Counselling Centre,
Refuge and Shelter.
and in 2022, to Brain Tumour Research.
If you've not contributed, and haven't requested a fee-waiver, then we may send you a gentle reminder if it looks like practitioner contributions will fail to cover the site's running costs.
Why do you let me decide my own level of contribution?