free psychotherapy for people on low incomes and benefits
Ongoing talking therapy – counselling and psychotherapy – will usually feel like a luxury and out of reach for people on low incomes. The Free Psychotherapy Network is a response to the dire shortage of decent ongoing psychological therapies through the NHS. There are, however, a number of other ways you might be able to find affordable therapy if you are prepared to hunt around and perhaps be on a waiting list for a while.
Free therapy through the NHS
It may be possible to get counselling and psychotherapy through your GP. Your GP may have counsellors working within your GP practice, though this is now not too common. They can refer you on to a variety of psychological therapies services, including Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). You can also self-refer to your local IAPT service – see here to find it. IAPT can work well for some people. For others, a first therapy through the NHS can feel too short or lacking the depth required. There will usually be a waiting list and the therapy will usually be short-term and mainly Cognitive Behavioural.
Free therapy through your school/college/university
Most higher education colleges have a counselling service, as do many schools. If you are a student, found out about your in-house counselling service and see if they can help.
Organisations with low-fee clinics
It is possible to get low cost counselling and psychotherapy from £5 per session from organisations who train or accredit practitioners and run a low-fee clinic. These clinics will usually combine a commitment to offering therapy to people on low incomes or benefits with offering their students experience as part of their training. Though this often means seeing a student counsellor or psychotherapist, their work with you will be supervised by qualified and experienced practitioners.
If you are interested in long-term, intensive psychotherapy, you might consider applying to become a training client working with a trainee practitioner. This will usually involve a commitment to a minimum period of work, and possibly to more than one session a week. The fee is usually very low. You will usually be committing yourself to a particular school of psychotherapy.
Association of Group and Individual Psychotherapy – Fairbridge Clinic
020 7272 7013
Trainees and graduates offering low cost psychoanalytic psychotherapy (fees £8 – £18). You will normally be expected to attend the Clinic twice weekly for a minimum of two years.
Area: N19, North London
020 8340 7646
Low cost individual and group psychoanalytic psychotherapy for students and those on low income/benefits. From £5 to £15. Usually twice weekly sessions.
Area: North London, and other areas
The Association of Jungian Analysts
020 7794 8711
Network of trainees and graduates offering reduced fee Jungian analysis.
Area: Across the UK (look at their list of practitioners) but mainly London
British Psychotherapy Foundation
020 8452 9823
British Association of Psychotherapists. Trainees and graduates offering low cost and full fee Jungian and Psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Three times a week for reduced fee scheme.
Area: Across UK. Currently looking for training clients in Colchester, Cambridge, Cuffley (Herts) and Brighton
CPPD (UK) Counselling School
020 8341 4843
Humanistic and integrative psychotherapy. Trainees and graduates offering low cost counselling/psychotherapy.
Area: based in Hornsey, N. London
Centre For Freudian Analysis & Research (CFAR)
0845 838 0829
Trainees and qualified members offer low cost Lacanian psychoanalysis (£5-£20). You will meet a qualified shrink for an assessment first, and then will attend analysis from once to five times per week.
Area covered: London
The Gestalt Centre
020 7247 6501
Trainees offering reduced fee Gestalt psychotherapy in central London
The Guild of Psychotherapists
020 7401 3370
Trainees and graduates offering reduced fee analytic psychotherapy (1-2 times/week). Low fee clinic available to residents of Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark at minimum fee of £5
Highbury Counselling Centre
020 7354 4791
Graduates and Trainees offering individual Counselling/Psychotherapy, one year counselling contracts, reduced fee available for clients on low income/benefit. Sliding scale based on income if in employment. Minimum fee £10
Area: across London
Highgate Counselling Centre
020 8883 5427
Low cost individual, group, couple and family counselling, 21 years old +.
Area: Based in Muswell Hill, N. London
Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education
020 7704 2534
Trainees and graduates offering low cost and full fee integrative arts psychotherapy.
Institute of Group Analysis
020 7431 2693
Network offering group psychotherapy. Some therapists offer reduced fee spaces by negotiation.
Area: Across UK.
Institute of Psychosynthesis
020 8202 4525
Network of counselling & psychotherapy trainees and graduates. Low cost available, usually with a student. Negotiated individually.
Area: UK wide
Institute of Psychotherapy and Social Studies
020 8363 2777
Trainees offering low cost short and long term psychotherapy.
Area: N. and S. London
London Clinic of Psychoanalysis
0207 563 5002
Low cost intensive psychoanalysis with a trainee. Four to five times weekly. From £5 per session.
Area: London and vicinity
020 8579 2505
Trainees and graduates offering low cost and full fee counselling/psychotherapy.
Area: Based in W. London
Philadelphia Association – Psychotherapy Referral Service
Pychosynthesis & Education Trust
020 7403 7814
Trainees offering low cost counselling/psychotherapy – £10-£15 per session
Area: Mainly London, but other areas possible
Refugee Therapy Centre
020 7561 1587
Trainees offering very low cost psychoanalytic psychotherapy. 2-3 times weekly committment. Inter-cultural service.
Area: Centre is based in North London
Society of Analytical Psychology
020 7435 7696
Jungian psychotherapy – recommended minimum £15 per session
Area: based in London; analysts and psychotherapists across the UK
Voluntary and Charitable Counselling and Psychotherapy
Fees from £5 per sesion
Area: based in Lancaster
0131 662 6512
Arkordia has been formed to provide a counselling and psychotherapy service in the Edinburgh and Lothian’s area, which is affordable and accessible to individuals, couples or families.
Area: Edinburgh and Lothian
020 7267 4792
Counselling and psychotherapy for young people aged 12 to 21. No fee.
Area: Across UK. The Centre is based in North London.
Brighton & Hove area: directory of low cost therapy agencies
Bristol area: directory of low cost therapy agencies
Centre for Better Health
tel: 0208 9853570
Fees from £5
Area: based in Hackney, London. Takes referrals from outside Hackney
Chipping Norton Counselling Service
Accesible counselling and psychotheraphy for young poeple (16+) and adults.
Fees are paid according to people’s abiity to do so within an agreed range.
Evening and day time appointments.
All therapists accredited by UKCP.
07547 893 700 or 020 8524 9711
A group of committed, professionally qualified counsellors providing a
low-cost high-quality service to anyone who would not otherwise be able to
access counselling. Minimum fee £6 per session.
Area: Based in East Ham (E. London)
Community Counselling Initiative
6 free sessions for anyone based in Southport, Merseyside. £6 a session after that. Same rates for groups.
Area: Southport, Merseyside
The Counselling Centre
Irish service, with a bottom line of “pay what you can afford”
Area: South of Ireland
020 8755 4501
“The specific client group we are responding to is that comprising the considerable number of people who are in mental or psychological distress which is adversely affecting their quality of life and functionality but not severely enough to attract statutory services in terms of high intensity or long term interventions. They will be on low or modest incomes, in temporary financial difficulty or receiving state benefits.”
Area: Low cost counselling in Haringey, Twickenham, Ealing and Walthamstow
020 7336 0022
Counselling and psychotherapy for young people (12-21 years) living, working or studying in South Islington. No charge
Ealing Abbey Counselling Service
020 8862 2164“We have around 100 practitioners: up to 70 counsellors, who are either professionally trained or at an advanced training stage and all of whom give their time for free; up to nineteen supervisors who provide supervision in groups to our counsellors; and a team of up to 7 assessors who carry out a comprehensive assessment of new clients and match clients with counsellors as appropriate.”
Free/sliding scale according to income
Area: London and S.E.
East London Counselling Collective
East Wing Practice
Free and low cost therapy
Area: Based in Westbury, Wiltshire: surrounding area
Low cost Counselling (Integrative and Psychodynamic), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Addiction Therapy, Life Coaching, Anger and Stress Management by fully qualified therapists and those on placement.
Prices are between £5.00 and £20.00 per session depending on ability to pay.
Hypnotherapy also available (please enquire).
Based in Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, however some work can be phone or internet based.
Call, text or email for any further information or to book an assessment.
Face to Face
0161 881 1535
0161 971 3508
The adult service is exclusively for people on low income or without income. The service for children and young people is open to all income groups. The service for young adults is exclusively for people on low income or without income (e.g. students) who would like to see a counsellor with particular experience/expertise in this age group.
Area: based in S. Manchester
The Farringdon Practice
020 7250 0083
The Farringdon Practice is a psychotherapy practice in Clerkenwell with the aim to provide low cost therapy (£5-£25) by experienced and accredited psychotherapists.
Area: London EC
“We are a charity with over 20 years’ experience of delivering professional counselling and psychotherapy, free of charge, to people affected by life-threatening illness. Each year we support more than 200 people from Bristol and the South West, carrying out in the region of 2,000 counselling sessions per year.”
Area: Bristol and the SW
Camberwell: 020 3299 1599; Paddington: 020 3312 1101; Whitechapel: 020 7247 4787
Anyone in London who has been raped or sexually assaulted can come to The Haven. Women, men and children can all attend .Trained, experienced professionals can give you medical help and advice, counselling, practical and emotional support
Areas: Camberwell; Paddington; Whitechapel; South London; Central London; North London
Heart of Freedom
07759 723 939
“I offer spiritual counselling to people of all faiths and none for free/donation in Matlock, Derbyshire. Full details on my website.” Vishwam Jamie Heckert
Inner City Centre
020 7247 1589
Low cost individual, couple and group counselling/psychotherapy. Minimum fee £15 per session.
Leeds Group Therapy
Leeds Counselling is a charity which provides professional counselling and therapy services. Cost should not be a barrier to people getting the help they need and we operate a fair and reasonable policy with regard to payment for therapy.
The weekly fee for group therapy is £20.00, with those on low incomes or benefits paying less, to a minimum of £5.00. This will be payable monthly, at the start of each month.
Payment can be discussed at the initial consultation with the group therapist
Leeds: directory of voluntary counselling services
MEET in Oxford
07531 195 291We provide trauma focused therapy in Oxford to those unable to afford private therapy or access appropriate NHS or insurance funded therapy. We include within our understanding of trauma a wide range of disturbing experiences including trauma arising in armed conflict, road traffic accidents, sexual assaults, childhood abuse (including sexual abuse), bullying and neglect
Area: Oxford area
The Minster Centre
020 7644 6242
20 Lonsdale Road
London NW6 6RD
Fees are charged on a sliding scale according to income.
Fees range from £45 – £10 depending on circumstances.
Assessment is £15.00
020 8519 2122
“Our local Minds support over 280,000 people across England and Wales. Their services include supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending.
Each local Mind is an independent charity run by local people, for local people. Each is responsible for its own funding and the services it provides, but all are affiliated to Mind.”
Many local branches provide free or very low cost counselling. Ring to find counselling provision in your area.
The Personal Growth And Development Centre
020 3326 0434 / 07879 897063
Area: East Croydon Surrey
Phoenix Counselling and Psychotherapy Services
0208 844 8543
“Phoenix is a self-funding service, our core mission is to ensure that any one wishing to have counselling can access affordable and accessible counselling at the time of need and our service to open to members of the community and welcomes all ages.”
Area: Based in Feltham, Middlesex
Polish Psychologists’ Association
“The main aim of the consultation projects run by PPA since 2007, initially in London and then in other cities in the UK, and open to individuals and couples, is to provide regular psychological support to Polish citizens living in the UK.”
Refugee Therapy Centre
020 7561 1587
“Our central purpose is to provide psychotherapeutic help for refugees and asylum seekers, especially children and families of recently arrived refugees who are having problems of adjustment.
The Refugee Therapy Centre offers expertise in the delivery of an integrated and user-friendly mental health service for people who have endured considerable trauma and forced displacement.”
Free and very low fee.
Area: Centre is based in North London. Open to anyone in the UK
Offers low-cost counselling/psychotherapy to adults, children and young people in Essex
Area: Essex, centres in Basildon (01268 822 800) and Chelmsford (01245 359 353).
020 8357 8881
Short and longer term counselling for those who are low-paid, unwaged or receiving benefits, self-referral.
Fees start at £10 depending on circumstances.
Area: based in NW London
0300 123 2028
Works with people who have ben affected by the traumas that sexual abuse, rape and the associated issues revealed.
Other services offered are ISVA (independent sexual violence advisor) support for those wishing to pursue a case through the court, and a helpline.
Area: Warwickshire and surrounding area
Short and longer term counselling and psychotherapy for those on benefits or limited income, self-referral.
Fees start at £10 depending on circumstances.
Area: based in N London
The Stress Project
020 7700 3938
Low cost counselling and complementary therapies for people experiencing mental health problems and living in Islington. Referral is via a Health Professional
Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships
020 7380 1960
Counselling for couples and individuals having difficulties in their relationships. Payment by contribution on an sliding scale, negotiable
Tavistock and Portman (YPCS)
020 8938 2337
Young People’s Consultation Service. Free, confidential counselling within NHS for 16-30 year olds (up to 4 sessions). Self referral only, by appointment.
Area: London and UK
Trent Counselling Servive
Trent Counselling Service can provide you with counselling that is safe, private and confidential. We will provide you with an opportunity for exploration with a counsellor who will work with you to understand you and your experiences. They can help you to identify useful strategies or changes you may wish to make.
We believe that counselling gives an opportunity to think, to talk in confidence, about difficulties, experiences, feelings, fears, thoughts, anxieties and problems that may be on your mind now or have been in the past.
Area: East Midlands – Nottingham, Derby, Leicester
Under 25s Counselling and Support Group
Based in Mansfield, E. Midlands, a safe space for young people to explore their, thoughts, feelings and behaviours in a confidential setting. Qualified counsellors and peer to peer groups. Free service
Area: Based in Mansfield, Notts
Wandsworth Association of Psychotherapists
Area: SW London
Waterloo Community Counselling
Fees from £10 per session
Area: Based in Waterloo, S London