Claremont’s Low-cost Relationship Counselling Service
Our relationship service is designed as a low-cost service for couples experiencing relationship difficulty.
We particularly want to provide this service to people who would not otherwise be able to afford private couples counselling and who live in Islington or whose primary place of work is in Islington.
The service is run by our charity, Claremont Project. It is not publicly funded and there are limited places available.
What is the Approach?
Claremont’s Relationship Counselling is set up to serve couples and those in relationships. We focus on understanding how life is experienced and understood by clients and we help people to raise awareness of their experiences and to explore and reflect on them. From reflection and awareness come new perspectives, understandings, feelings, and choices.
The aim of our relationship counselling service is to create a better understanding of how problems arise and cycle within one’s relationships, with the overall goal of helping couples to increase feelings of security, connection, and closeness within the relationship. The therapists in our relationship counselling service have been trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and have additional psychology or counselling qualifications. The EFT approach is designed to address distress in relationships by helping people to become more aware of, and to better understand, their emotional needs, as well as those of their partners. We all want to feel safe, secure, and loved but sometimes our needs for these can take us in the opposite direction from them.
Who are the Therapists?
Therapists working within Claremont’s relationship counselling service have had, as a minimum, the Externship training within the EFT training programme. A pre-requisite to taking that course is a prior training or postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline/mental health field such as social work, psychology/psychotherapy, education, counselling, or marital and family therapy. All of our therapists work under the clinical supervision of an experienced EFT therapist and supervisor and are continuing their training to become fully qualified EFT therapists. Therapists are carefully vetted by a team at Claremont for their suitability and all therapists at Claremont are volunteers.
Is Couples Counselling Right for Us?
There has been lots of research over the years on when doing couples therapy is most likely, and unlikely, to be helpful. Here is a summary of when it is more likely to be helpful:
- The partners want to prevent a downward spiral of difficulties/arguments and to strengthen their bonds.
- The partners are both trying to improve the relationship, even when there has been a serious issue/problem.
- A partner with negative past experiences or previous failed relationships wants to avoid repeating mistakes in their current relationship.
- The partners want mutual support or help with solving or exploring some specific problems.
- The partners want an amicable discussion before making a final decision about separation or divorce.
Our service is specifically not suitable for couples where:
- There is active physical violence/sexual abuse or a high risk of these.
- There is a serious, active, and unmanaged psychological issue for one or both of the partners.
- A partner is engaged in an intimate relationship with a third party which has not been sanctioned by the primary partner and which they will not end for the sake of the primary relationship.
- One, or both, of the partners has decided to separate or divorce.
- One or both of the partners is in need of a crisis team (suicide risk, for example) or psychiatric or medical services.
There are other reasons why our service might not be appropriate for you, and these can be discussed with Rebecca, our Clinical Services Manager, on the telephone.
There is plenty of good information about EFT on the web and we encourage you to read about the approach. A good, brief introduction can be found here:
There are also two helpful workbooks. One is called An Emotionally Focused Workbook For Couples by Veronica Kallos-Lilly. The other is Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy for Dummies by Dr Brent Bradley and Dr James Furrow. You may wish to go through some exercises together at home in-between sessions.
When are therapy sessions?
Generally, couples will meet with their therapist once a week for 75 minutes and agree a suitable regular time and day for these meetings. Sessions can take place at any agreed time from 9am – 9pm, Monday to Sunday, subject to availability.
Where are therapy sessions?
Sessions will typically take place in a meeting room on the first or second floor of the Claremont building 24-27 White Lion Street, London N1 9PD.
How much does it cost?
The service is designed to offer low-cost couples counselling to people who cannot afford regular rates of relationship therapy. We offer a sliding scale, depending on what you feel you can afford, of between £30-£60 per session.
If you are in full-time work and can afford it, please refer to the British Emotionally Focussed Therapy website for a listing of therapists in private practice.
Fees are agreed at the initial consultation and payment by card is due at the end of each session. 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?
The first session is with both of you, and it is an opportunity to explore what might be going on in the relationship. You will then each meet individually with your therapist, to get more depth from each of you about what you would like from counselling. You then return together to couple sessions thereafter. Couples are offered 6 sessions to start with, and this can be extended to a total of 12 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. Most couples find that 6-12 sessions help them significantly with their relationship.
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 helps us report anonymous information to funders.
Will the sessions be confidential?
Confidentiality will be discussed with you at the first session. Sessions are confidential. As part of the training requirement, therapists are required to record sessions for their own educational/clinical supervision purposes. Once the sessions have been transcribed and reviewed in supervision, these recordings are permanently destroyed. All records are kept confidential to the service within the terms of UK law and are stored securely and under data protection legislation.
What are the Next Steps?
When you contact us, you will speak with the Clinical Service Manager, Rebecca, for a brief initial consultation. Rebecca will then set up an initial session with a therapist within the service. There will likely be a small waiting list in operation as we are a small service.
Rebecca: 020 7689 8091