Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be referred for counselling by my GP?
No.  I do take referrals from GPs, charities and organisations, but most of my clients are self-referrals.

When are you available?
I have sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am – 4pm.

Do you offer face-to-face sessions?                                                                                                      Yes, I do.

Do you offer telephone or online sessions?                                                                                          Yes, I do.  I also offer a blended approach of face-to-face and remote sessions to make accessing counselling easier for those who prefer to come in person when they can.

How long does counselling take?
Each session lasts 60 minutes.
During your first session, we will discuss your goals for counselling, which we will review at regular intervals.  You are welcome to continue with counselling for as long as you feel it benefits you, which may be a matter of weeks, or longer term.

How often are the sessions?
Sessions are generally once a week, although there may be occasions where more or less frequent appointments are appropriate.

How much do you charge for counselling?
60 minute sessions are charged at £50.
The initial consultation is £35 and provides an opportunity for us to meet and get to know each other a little for it is important that you feel you can work with your counsellor.  During this session we will complete the necessary paperwork, so please bring your GP contact details and allow an hour.

How can I pay?
Payment can be made by cash, card, or bank transfer, and generally occurs at the end of the session.  I will issue a receipt for your records.  Please let me know if your sessions are being funded by a third party who requires an invoice.

How do I make an appointment?
You can text me, email me, or message me via Messenger on my Facebook page.  Visit the Contact page for details.  I will endeavour to respond as soon as possible to arrange a convenient time for us to meet.

What if I can’t make a session?
Please provide 48 hours notice if you wish to cancel or rearrange a session.  Normally cancellation on the day of your session will incur a charge of £15.  However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no charge for late cancellations due to illness, quarantine restrictions, or the need to self-isolate or shield.

Where is KLIC?
Click here for directions on Google Maps (opens in a new tab).

What about parking?
There is free parking at KLIC, with disabled bays by the main entrance.  There is also a bicycle store located in the car park if you require it.

Are there public transport links?
Although the EXCEL (Norwich – Peterborough) bus passes the entrance to the KLIC, it does not stop directly outside (yet!).  Bus route numbers 46 (Wisbech – King’s Lynn) and 47 (Downham Market – King’s Lynn) stop in South Lynn.  Wide footpaths connect the KLIC to South Lynn and the South Gate roundabout.

Is there a waiting area?
Yes.  When you arrive, I shall meet you in the reception area.  If you are early, you are free to get a complimentary tea, coffee or water from the drinks machine and take a seat.  The receptionist will let me know you have arrived.  Carers and drivers are welcome to wait in reception whilst you attend your session, and you may also wait in reception if you are being collected by a taxi, for example.

Is there disabled/wheelchair access?
Yes.  The KLIC is a modern building with easy access and I am located on the ground floor.  My room is laid out to accommodate wheelchair access.

Are there toilet facilities?
Yes.  They are located on the ground floor, just off the reception area, and include an accessible toilet.

What kind of people do you see?
I work with individuals who are aged 18+.  Although I worked as a Nursery Nurse for  20 years, my counselling training has focused on adults.  I have worked with a wide range of people: those experiencing depression, anxiety, panic disorders, anger issues, and grief;  those suffering from abuse, trauma, low self-esteem, and self-harm; those struggling with chronic illness or conditions such as ME/CFS, cancer, and back problems; those contending with life-limiting issues such as addiction, agoraphobia, stress, PTSD, and OCD; those coping with life changes such as rehabilitation, relationship breakdown, redundancy, infertility or miscarriage, bereavement, and relocation.  Often clients can feel that their problem will seem trivial to others.  I would encourage you to seek support for anything which is affecting your ability to sleep, concentrate, cope with everyday tasks, maintain relationships, eat as you normally would, or enjoy the things that would usually make you smile.  You may find that it only takes a few sessions to feel more like your old self, but you will have created an opportunity to address other issues if they are impacting your sense of well being.  However, do contact your GP directly if you have serious concerns about your mental health.

Childcare arrangements
Generally, it’s not appropriate for children to be present during a therapy session for ethical and confidential reasons.  Therefore, if you have children, or care for the children of others, please make adequate childcare arrangements to allow you to attend your session.

What is your privacy policy?
Sarah Hobday Counselling is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.  This section describes how personal information about you is collected and used in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the relevant professional bodies.  (Please be aware that this website contains links which are not covered by this policy).

Information about you
In order for me to be able to fulfil my responsibilities as a counsellor I will need to record personal information about you. This information includes your name, address and contact details, and GP practice. Under an identifying code I will also take notes of ‘assessment information’, that is relevant medical information and aspects of your personal, social and family history that you choose to share with me.
This information will be retained in separate locations (keeping your name and contact details apart from the assessment notes) in password protected files, on a password protected PC which has virus protection software installed.
Your contact details will be used to contact you. Other personal data such as your name, address and/or date of birth will be used to verify your identify if there is a need to contact your G.P., or a request for access to personal data from yourself or your representative, or legitimate legal instrument such as a court order.
This personal information will be held for a period of three years after the cessation of our counselling relationship, except where there is a mutually agreed decision to retain it for longer or where I believe that it is in my best professional interests to do so.
Your contact details alone will be shared in exceptional circumstances with my supervisor or other named agent in the event that I am incapacitated so that they can contact you to explain the situation. The details of this arrangement are set out in my professional will.

Information about counselling sessions and our work together
I will record notes of each therapy session under an identifying code. These notes will be a brief factual record of the session. This set of notes will include any agreements made with regard to, for example, cancelled sessions or changes to the way the therapy is conducted. The notes are held in a locked filing cabinet within a locked room.
These notes may be shared under the identifying code with my supervisor, counselling professional body or similar for purposes of maintaining professional standards and aiding my professional development.
These notes will be held for a period of three years after the cessation of counselling except where I agree with you to retain them for longer, or where I believe that it is in my best professional interests to do so.

I may make information from these notes available to legitimate third parties under the following conditions:
Receipt of a request from you or your representative, and where the release of the notes is not judged by me as likely to cause you significant harm or harm to another person.
Where there is a specific legal requirement for me to do so.
Where there is an ethical duty for me to do, for example to avoid serious harm to yourself or another person, including the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults.

Records of contact between us
I will hold your name and telephone number on my mobile phone until our counselling relationship ends and then I will delete it from my contact list. However, the phone will retain summary records of calls made to or from your number (date and duration) and any recorded messages for three years.
If we agree to communicate by text or by email, these records may be kept for the same duration as your counselling notes. My mobile phone is a smart phone and could therefore also have your texts, and email and email address available on it.
The phone is password protected and details are stored in ‘the cloud’ so they can be restored if my phone is lost or stolen.

Your Rights
You have the right to ask to see any information held by me about you. To do this please either ask me, or submit a request by writing. You also have the right to ask for information that you believe to be incorrect to be rectified. I will endeavour to provide you with the information requested within four weeks.
If I become aware of a situation where your personal information may have accidentally or maliciously been obtained by a third party I will notify you within three days.
If you are concerned about the way that your information is being held please discuss this with me. If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.

Without your agreement to my holding your personal information it will not be possible to proceed with counselling.