Frequently Asked Questions

You may have lots of questions when thinking of booking a counselling session with me. Here you will find a list of the most popular questions and answers. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Session and booking FAQs

How much is each session?

Each weekly or fortnightly session is bespoke to you and your counselling and psychotherapy needs. For this, you will enjoy a professional space for £49 per 50 minute session. Contact me to find out more here.

How regularly do I need to attend the sessions?

When attending a counselling session it is vital to make space that suits your calendar while looking at how much support you need from private therapy. I work with clients every week and occasionally on a fortnightly basis. For more information contact me here.

Can I see you face to face?

Yes, I offer face to face sessions at:
Therapy @ Gandy Street, 25-26 Gandy Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS.

Set in a quiet and safe place, we will speak confidentially in the room about how counselling can help you. For more information contact me here.

When can I get an appointment?

You can book an introductory call here. Introductory calls are held on a Monday afternoon. Once you decide if I am the right counsellor for you we will contract to work with one another currently each Wednesday.

How do I find out about your qualifications?

I have professional profiles with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and Counselling Directory which show my experience and qualifications. You can also learn more about me here.

Do you have a Disclosed Barring Service (DBS) check?

Yes, I have a valid enhanced level check. I am a professional member of the BACP and abide by their comprehensive ethical framework which can be talked about in an introductory consultancy session. You can book your free introductory session here.

Can you guarantee confidentiality?

Yes, unless you are suggesting harm to yourself, to others or there is a reason to use my statuary rights under British Law. The first two will involve a discussion in our sessions. I abide by the ethical framework of the BACP to keep us safe.

How do I set up a contract with you for your counselling services?

Once you arrange an introductory call using the Calendly booking system, we will agree to a regular weekly time for you to attend a session. Before we begin our work you will be invited to complete comprehensive paperwork and a contract with me. In this, you will see that I take your safety and ethical consideration very seriously.

How do I pay you?

I accept payments via bank transfer and this must arrive 24 hours before your session takes place. You are welcome to pay in monthly instalments.

What if I need to cancel my session?

Please give me at least 24 hours notice if you wish to cancel your session. Please email: matthew@sweetmentalhealth.org or call me on 0772486486. If you do not give me 24 hours notice then I have the right to charge a ‘did not attend fee’ – which is £49.

How do I advise you of late notice cancellation, or avoidance to attend sessions?

The contract states that there is a 24 hour notice period needed to avoid a ‘did not attend fee’ of £49. If you feel you do not want to attend a session then I would very much like to hear about it. This is not to find any fault but to learn why attending counselling is difficult for you. Please email: matthew@sweetmentalhealth.org or call me on 0772486486

Will you remind me of our sessions?

I do not remind you of your booked session unless it seems healthy to be more accountable for your care and mental health needs. More often than not, it is good for you to manage this responsibility.   

Which online platform do you use?

I work on Zoom. It provides you with the flexibility to call me from anywhere in the United Kingdom as I provide online counselling and psychotherapy within the UK. This service gives you a suitable space at home, or at work which should be private and confidential. Book an appointment here.

What is the minimum number of sessions we can do?

This depends on your consultation and assessment, and what you aim to achieve from counselling. I do not believe in single session success if you present with many difficulties. The average is 6-8 sessions. That said, the longer you remain in therapy there is a greater likelihood that if you are experiencing addiction, anxiety, depression and relationship difficulties you may witness better results.

Do you use a supervisor?

Yes, it is a vital part of my practice to ensure my levels of professionalism and self-care. It is also a requirement for my professional membership to the BACP. It is important to keep you safe and use the most up-to-date support to do this with continuous professional development (CDP).

What happens in a referral to another professional?

There may be occasions when we do not meet each other’s needs. An example would be if we were to speak about adoption or foster care, as I am not Ofsted registered to offer this service. If this was to happen I would assist you to find an alternative counsellor.

Is there a female counsellor?

At this current moment, there is only me, a male counsellor available. However, I can refer to female practitioners in Exeter and Teignbridge. I would recommend that you book a free introductory consultation to allow me to explain how to find a good counsellor to meet your needs.

How much notice will you give me for your annual leave?

I aim to advise you with at least 6 weeks notice. However, given the need for emergency leave, there might be occasions when the notice is minimal.

General questions

How do I contact you in case of an emergencies?

I do not have an emergency service and would recommend anyone who is in crisis to reach out to the NHS on 111, or 999 if your life is in danger. I also recommend the Samaritans who offer a 24 hour support service on 116 123.

If you would like more than one counselling session each week please contact me here.

Is counselling difficult to do?

In short, yes it is. The need to be in a space where we question what is causing you difficulties and mental health problems is hard to do. And I will attest that over regular and open contributions to your counselling it will get easier as you get to know yourself better. Book an appointment here.

What type of counsellor are you?

I am an integrative counsellor who uses Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Humanistic types of therapy to support you. As a private therapist, I can use these modalities to provide the best possible service to aid addiction, anxiety, depression and relationship difficulties.

What is the difference between counselling and therapy?

There is some confusion over this topic. A counsellor is an English term for the professional. A therapist is a shortened version of a psychotherapist which is more common for American clients, and alternative branding. However, as I am trained to undergraduate level and a First Class Honours student it is my belief your difficulties will have the best possible support whichever term you prefer.

What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

This for me is to do with competency and the length of contract people use the service for. Currently, I am trained at level 6 counselling competency by the governing bodies here in Britain. I would class my services around addiction, anxiety and depression being able to offer psychotherapy as they are more often than not long-term open contracts. I am trained to undergraduate level and a First Class Honours student and it is my belief your difficulties will have the best possible support.

How many counsellors should I meet before starting work with someone?

For me, the need to meet more than one person is vital to make sure you are happy to share these personal facts and truths you hold. Do your homework, and ask questions of the professional. Why not book in for a free introductory consultation to hear more about my services and how I could help you?

Why are you a mature postgraduate student?

I am a lifelong learner who is working towards a doctorate. While I try to separate what I do in private practice and at university, there might be some crossover. An example would be my leave to attend lectures, seminars and exams. Why not visit my about page to learn more about me?

I do not see my diagnosis on your website, can you help?

If you are unsure if I can help you, please book a free introductory consultation here, where I can access if I can help you. If I cannot help, then I can usually refer you to a place which can. I pride myself on the skills needed to listen and assess your needs whereupon we can understand what it is you do actually need to feel better in your mental, physical and emotional health.

Isn’t counselling all about blaming my parents, or the care which was given?

I do not believe this to be the whole truth as the behaviour, environment and sense of self you witnessed is of greater importance. There are many factors for people to know why they are experiencing addiction, anxiety, depression and relationship difficulties. Book a free introductory call here to see how I can help you.

What self-care advice do you have when working with you?

In my about me section, you will hear how I cope with difficult days. And, this is used when each one presents because I truly believe that we need to add to the self-care balance. I have a mantra, “breath work is the doctor within us all, and sleep is our hospital.” I believe that over time small regular cycles of deep breathing helps. Likewise, so does a regular sleep and awake cycle. When feeling mentally stronger these will support better self-care.

What recommendations do you have after a counselling session?

There could be emotional and physical fatigue after each session. Based on this, I would recommend self-care and telling your support structure that you would appreciate either extra care or space. If you do not have this in place, then a coffee and sweet treat works for me.

If you’ve still got questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch…

“Through the mindfulness practice with Matt, complemented with Yoga the transformation I feel in me is just outstanding. Having readjusted my approach to me and my life as a whole, I can honestly confess to loving the ‘new’ me. Being calmer, patient, receptive and therefore realising that I achieve so much more from my day to day living is possibly the most valuable tool we can give ourself”

Kerry Godley-McAvoy, Event & Account Management, Team Army Sports Foundation

“You will not find a more professional individual than this man. Incredible listener and responder. Thoroughly trained with an immense calmness and inviting warm personality. You will meet humanity personified head on! You will feel elated when you receive help and a listening ear. Recommend thoroughly.”

Rasvinder Virdee, Torquay Photo Centre

“Matthew is kind, non judgemental and holds a level of wisdom and observance not often seen in the field of therapy. He will give you the tools you need to change your life, you just need to take the leap of faith.”

Jack Howard, Weston Super Mare