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How does it work?

This is a social enterprise site: there is no fixed payment for being listed here, but if you register:

  • you must agree to contribute something (or request a fee waiver), at least once a year.
  • you must be recognised as qualified by one of these organisations.

A common contribution per year is half your standard session fee.

If you persistently fail to contribute, and don't request a fee waiver, we may send you reminders.

In accordance with the site's ethos, no-one is ever excluded for non-payment, but if you register we expect you to be able to justify non-payment 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.


Our ethos

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 recognised 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?

Nothing.

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 is donated to charities related to homelessness or counselling.

Since its founding in 2008, the directory has run at a (small) net loss most years, but in 2017 a surplus of 150 pounds was donated to the charity Tara Counselling Centre, and in 2018 a surplus of 105 pounds was donated to the charities Refuge and Shelter.

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?

Free and low-cost services are usually under-represented in advertising: we aim to set that right.

As as ethics-based system, we don't question your decision on what's fair, but we do trust that you will promptly and regularly contributing an amount appropriate to your circumstances, or request a fee waiver (You can't register without making that promise).


Can you resend my verification email?

Yes, click here to re-request it.


Why is my profile reviewed before it can be seen?

After your email address has been confirmed via your response to the verification email (or by your emailing us directly), your profile will be reviewed by a Registered & BACP Accredited counsellor.

He or she is responsible for checking your details prior to making your profile public. This entails:

For the security of practitioners and the safety of their clients, your profile will remain hidden until the checks are completed. This usually takes 1-3 days to complete (if you're prompt in responding).

The security-checks are part of the service, so they're covered in your payment - there's no extra cost to you - but your profile will not be displayed until they succeed.


Can you remind me of my login details?

If you remember the email address you registered with, click here.

If that doesn't help, contact us and explain who you are and what you want.


How do I manage my profile details?

You need to log in first using the email address and the password you registered with.

If you need a password reminder you can get that emailed to you via the login page.

Once logged in, you will see a number of options to let you create or update your profile's content.

For security reasons, you can only change your login email by emailing us.

Please remember to keep your details up-to-date.


How do I remove my profile from the listings?

Log in and click where it says "hide your profile" on the settings page.

To make it visible again, click on "make it visible".

If you want us to delete your account with us, email info@counsellor.directory.


Why are my emails from you not arriving?

The most likely cause is that your junkmail filter or your internet provider's junkmail filter is blocking messages from this site.

Check your junkmail filters and those of your provider to make sure that counsellor.directory is recognised as an allowed site to receive emails from.

To test whether you're getting message submitted by clients, submit yourself a message.


Do I need to show my personal details?

You need to let clients know how to contact you, and your practice location if face-to-face.

The rest is up to you.


Why is my name not coming up in search results?

Several possible reasons:

  • You may be registered as an organisation. Search on your postcode and check whether your organisation's name comes up. If so, and you want your own name instead, log in, click on "contact details" and change your registration type to "as an individual".

  • If your entry fails to come up at all, you may have set its status to "hidden" - log in and then click to change it on your settings page.

  • If you can't find your profile in the directory, or any emails from or to us in your mail folder, it might be that you have not registered with this site. (We do get people confusing this directory with others they already appear on).


How do you choose who is at the top of search results?

For fairness, the order in which counsellors are listed changes every day. The directory operates under an ethics-based model; practitioners who persistently fail to engage or who don't abide by the site's T&C may be dispreferred in or removed from the listings.