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 and universities have an in-house counselling service, as do some schools. If you are the parent of a (primary or secondary) school pupil, you can find out whether their school has an in-house service and see if they can help. If not, please use the FPN Directory to Find a Therapist.
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.
Low cost individual psychotherapy, subject to availability
Area: across London – https://www.arboursassociation.org: Tel: 020 8340 7646
Association of Group and Individual Psychotherapy – Fairbridge Clinic
020 7272 7013
Trainees and graduates offering low cost psychoanalytic psychotherapy (fees £8 – £25). You will normally be expected to attend the Clinic twice weekly for a minimum of two years.
Area: N19, North London
The Association of Jungian Analysts
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
0208 438 2415
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)
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
Trainees offering reduced fee Gestalt psychotherapy in central London
The Guild of Psychotherapists
020 7401 3260
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
0845 260 1780 or 020 7431 4431
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
Trainees offering low cost short and long term psychotherapy.
Area: N. and S. London
020 8579 2505
Trainees and graduates offering low cost and full fee counselling/psychotherapy. Minimum fee of £5 per session.
Area: Based in W. London
“The Mindspace Foundation is a small not-for-profit Community Interest Company in Basingstoke offering affordable counselling to people living in the Basingstoke area and beyond. We are also a counselling training college and funds generated from our training courses are targeted towards providing affordable community counselling sessions for all, regardless of their financial situation.”
Philadelphia Association – Psychotherapy Referral Service
To discuss therapy please fill in the confidential form (this is the preferred mode of contact) which you can find on the therapies page on the PA website www.philadelphia-association.com/therapy or call the PA office between 1pm and 4pm on 0207 794 8058.
We will do our best to respond to you promptly.
Pychosynthesis & Education Trust
020 7403 7814
Trainees offering low cost counselling/psychotherapy – £10-£30 per session
Area: Mainly London, but other areas possible
The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis
The Site Clinic for Contemporary Psychoanalysis brings together a network of psychoanalytically-oriented therapists offering psychotherapy for a wide range of issues, from depression and anxiety to relationship and work problems.
Our therapists aim to make psychoanalytic treatment as inclusive as possible, offering rates which are accessible for a range of incomes, including students and the unemployed. The cost would range from £5-25 per session and with twice weekly sessions also being available for clients
Area: Therapists are currently available in London, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire
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
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
The Awareness Centre
020 8673 4545
“We offer low-cost counselling
services in both Tooting and Clapham.
- If you are on benefits the fee for a weekly counselling session is £15 in Tooting and £20 in Clapham.
- If you’re on low income the weekly fee is £30 – £35 in Tooting and £35 in Clapham.
Area: Based in S. London
“We offer low-cost counselling to help you make sense of difficult experiences, deal with negative thoughts and feelings and make positive changes in your life.
Our counsellors come from a range of therapeutic approaches, but broadly speaking offer therapy under the umbrella of humanistic counselling. This approach focuses on the individual as a whole, encourages people to think about their feelings, and promotes self-development.”
Sessions from £5
BME free and low-cost counselling services
There are services available throughout the UK which offer free counselling specifically set up to serve the BME community. Many of them are listed here:
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.
Claremont Psychotherapy Service is a low-cost therapy service for Islington Residents, aged 18+. We offer clients up to a year of long-term counselling with trainee therapists undertaking their clinical placement with us. They adopt an Existential Phenomenological Approach.
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)
The Counselling Centre
Irish service, with a bottom line of “pay what you can afford”
Area: South of Ireland
The Counselling Foundation
We provide short or long term counselling with fees starting from £5 per session. We have centres across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire and can offer in person or remote counselling.
Email email@example.com for a registration pack.
Area: Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire
07963 738 813 firstname.lastname@example.org
“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.”
For more information, please go to the Counselling Directory Website
Area: Low cost counselling in Haringey and Twickenham
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 8998 3361
General counselling and psychotherapy for adults 1:1
EACS has around 60 counsellors, mostly in advanced training on
accredited counselling, psychotherapy or doctoral programmes. Some
continue beyond qualification. All give their time for free. Please
call to enquire about booking an initial assessment appointment.
On a sliding scale according to
income: £5 – £40
Area: Residents of London Borough of Ealing. On
occasion where space allows, we may be able to accommodate those living
in the neighbouring boroughs bordering LB Ealing – please enquire.
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.
020 8509 3898
“A holistic lesbian and gay centre that offers a range of social, emotional and support services to LGBT communities, and our core services include counselling and young people’s services. We can also offer training and consultancy for fellow professionals and those seeking to enhance their understanding of issues facing LGBTcommunities”.
The Empowerment Group is a registered BME led charity in England & Wales and an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Beneficiaries can access heavily subsidised sessions with one of their qualified BME accredited counsellors, psychotherapists or psychologists for culturally appropriate support.
For more information visit: www.theempowermentgroup.co.uk
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 008
“The express aim of the Practice is to reach as much of the local community as possible, irrespective of income. We offer once weekly
psychotherapy by an experienced, registered psychotherapist for two
years maximum. Fee is between £5-£30.”
Area: Based in London EC1
Feelings Matter Counselling Service
Low cost sessions are offered to clients who earn £30k or less by trainees and newly qualified therapists from a range of disciplines and modalities. Clients have the opportunity to have long term open ended therapy online or in person on a weekly basis. The therapy rooms are currently located in Central Hackney but is easily accessible for clients who live in Haringey, Waltham Forest, Islington and Stratford. The sessions are charged at £25 per week, those clients who earn above £30k but have low disposable income can still apply. Clients are asked to commit themselves to at least 4 sessions. This is an ethical service, all trainees are provided with free supervision and a sessional fee equal to the London Living Wage.
Area: NE London
“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
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
Inner City Centre
020 7247 1589
Low cost individual, couple and group counselling/psychotherapy. Minimum fee £15 per session.
“COVID-19 has created an immense burden on people who find themselves as Frontline or Key Workers during this difficult time.
This can mean increased risk of exposure to the virus, long hours, high stress levels, few breaks, and meeting distressed people, be they patients in hospitals, residents in care homes, customers in shops, parents in schools, family members in need of personal care, and indeed, dealing with any challenging situation in this pandemic.
We recognise their sacrifice and feel we would like to express our thanks by offering free counselling help to anyone working directly within this crisis.”
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
Dr Sarah Pitt, Director
07941 218 072 email@example.com
Area: Bristol area
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
Go to the Meetup website and search “mental health”
“We provide health, community and youth services across London and the South East”
Area: London and SE
07767 458 137
“We believe that therapy should be affordable for everyone who needs it, particularly in these challenging times. We offer a free initial consultation for everyone. If you are unemployed then there is no charge for this counselling service; however if you have the means then we ask for a donation of £2 to £10 per session, to be discussed and agreed with you.”
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 8263 2386 or 0787 9897063
At the PGDC we offer affordable ways of accessing counselling and psychotherapy within the community through our low-cost service if you are on benefits or a low income.
We are integrative counsellors and use various counselling approaches including Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Gestalt approaches. We will use the appropriate counselling approach/es to meet your individual needs. We provide support for both short and long-term counselling.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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).
0208 357 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
020 7607 4403
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.
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
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
“We also run a Multi-Ethnic Counselling Service which is a free, mother-tongue counselling service for refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants.”
Area: Based in Waterloo, S London
WPF Therapy Kyle Low Cost Therapy Clinic
“The Clinic offers subsidised places for long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy at £25, £15 and £5, for people earning less than £20k, £15k or £10k respectively.”
Women and Health
The Counselling and Psychotherapy Service provides long and short-term low-cost individual counselling and psychotherapy and a range of groups for women who are registered with a GP service in the London Borough of Camden.
Area: Camden, London