Claremont’s low cost psychotherapy service is part of an overall aim at Claremont to create a multi-disciplinary centre interested in creativity, well being and personal and social development.

We also operate an art therapy service and details of this can be found by clicking on this link: Art Psychotherapy.

A formal referral isn’t necessary for either service, although many of our clients come via a recommendation from their GP.

If you would like to know more about the psychotherapy service, please contact Rebecca Kirkpatrick, Manager for Psychotherapy Services at Claremont on 020 7689 8091 (or you can email her at Rebecca at claremont-project.org). Please be aware that Rebecca works two days a week; usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

You can also find more information about the service below.

Who is the Psychotherapy Service for?

The service is for residents of Islington in need of low cost psychotherapy. It is available to adults of all ages. (There are some additional subsidised places for those in surrounding boroughs.)

The service is suitable for a range of problems, including issues with relationships, depression and meaning, dying and bereavement, eating/body image, low self-esteem, stress, drug and alcohol related problems, self-harm, panic attacks and sexuality.

The service is particularly keen to work with people unable to access other psychotherapy services due to cost, physical access or other limiting factors.

The service is not for those at high risk of imminent and significant self-harm (suicide, for example) or harm towards others. We do however have a range of emergency contacts if someone is in such a crisis and we can help them to get in touch with the right people. There are other reasons why our service might not be appropriate for you and these can be discussed with Claire on the phone or during an assessment (more details can be found below).

We have two leaflets available. The first is about the service in general and the second is about the philosophy behind the service:

Claremont’s Psychotherapy Service (Adobe Acrobat pdf)

What to Expect (Adobe Acrobat pdf)

(If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, much of the information contained in the above leaflets is also contained below.)

How will I know if the service is right for me?

When you contact us you will probably speak to and/or meet with Claire, who runs the service. You and Claire will have an initial meeting to discuss your needs and you will be offered this document as well as a brief guide about what to expect from the service. The initial meeting will not be a therapy session but will be treated in the same way in terms of confidentiality. After the initial meeting, Claire may arrange a first session for you with a therapist. There is sometimes a waiting list.

Generally we have found that some people benefit far more than others from this type of service. These tend to be people who are prepared to explore personal responsibility for their lives and who are ready to question themselves and be questioned.

The service is specifically not suitable for someone who is likely to be violent towards the therapist or to other people within the Claremont building, someone who would bring alcohol or drugs onto the premises or who would damage Claremont property, or someone who needs immediate referral to a crisis team (suicide risk, for example) or to psychiatric or medical services. There are other reasons why our service might not be appropriate for you and these can be discussed with Claire on the phone or during an assessment.

What type of psychotherapy is it?

Claremont’s service is broadly existential-phenomenological in approach. We have a short document describing our approach and what you should expect from working with an existentially orientated therapist. Prospective clients are asked to read the document carefully and to consider if the approach might be right for them.

When are therapy sessions?

Generally clients will meet with their therapist once a week for 50 minutes and agree a suitable regular time and day for these meetings. Sessions can take place at any agreed time from 7am to 9pm (ending by 9.50pm) Monday to Friday.

Where are therapy sessions?

Sessions will typically take place in a meeting room on the first floor of the Claremont building (24-27 White Lion Street, London N1 9PD). However, if you might have difficulty ascending the stairs (there is no lift), we will take all reasonable steps to find an alternative space and will discuss options with you. (The Claremont building is unfortunately not very accessible for disabled people and although there are detailed plans in place for building redevelopment, Claremont is still in the process of raising the funds necessary for this.)

How much does it cost?

The service is designed to offer low cost psychotherapy and so the fee is between £10-25 per session. We will discuss fees and agree a figure with you at the first meeting. Payment by cash or cheque is due at the end of each session or can be paid for in advance if you wish. Sessions missed by you, for any reason, will be charged to you unless you have given at least 24 hours’ notice that you will not make a session.

How long will I stay in therapy?

You will be offered modules of sessions. At the end of the first module of 6 sessions, you and the therapist will discuss if an additional module is desired or required or if “open ended” therapy is preferred. The maximum length of time in continuous therapy at the service is one year.

The service asks you to participate in a periodic survey. This is intended to assist us in gauging whether you have found the therapy useful or not and also helps us report anonymous information to funders.

Who are the therapists?

Therapists are carefully vetted by a team at Claremont for their suitability and come from the post graduate (typically the doctorate) training programmes at both the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC) and Regent’s College. These are Europe’s foremost existentially-orientated training institutions. Every therapist makes a minimum commitment of staying with the service for at least one year and enters into a formal volunteer contract with the service.

Will the sessions be confidential?

Confidentiality will be discussed with you at the first session. Sessions are confidential and we will not usually communicate with anyone outside the service unless this is requested by you. Occasionally we may feel that it would be useful for some information to be shared and this will always be discussed with you first. It is only in the event of serious concern for the immediate safety of the client or someone else that we might override this rule, although wherever possible we would discuss this with you first. All records are kept confidential to the service within the terms of UK law and are stored securely and under data protection legislation.

What happens if I am unhappy with the service?

We hope that any concerns you have can be discussed and any problems resolved promptly and appropriately with your therapist. If you are not satisfied with this discussion, you are encouraged to raise the matter as soon as possible with Rebecca Kirkpatrick, Manager for Psychotherapy Services at Claremont. You can also complain to Claremont’s CEO, Lucien Paul Stanfield, if for some reason you feel it is inappropriate to raise the matter with Rebecca first. If you are still unhappy you may wish to use independent dispute resolution, as such seeking a second professional opinion, mediation, or conciliation where this is both appropriate and practical.

If you would like more information on the service please contact Rebecca on 020 7689 8091.