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Find support FAQs


Neither ACC nor ACC members offer mental health crisis services. If you are in need of urgent help for mental health, you might want to contact the following services:

If you are unsure whether you are suffering from a mental health issue, please contact your GP and arrange an appointment.

If you have been diagnosed with a mental health issue, you might find helpful information on NHS’ website or Mind’s website


Currently counsellors and psychotherapists are not regulated by law in the UK, which means anyone can call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist.

We strongly recommend that you find a counsellor or psychotherapist who belongs to a professional body that is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. ACC is one of those bodies.

Being on an accredited register means that the counsellor/psychotherapist will have completed the required training to be properly qualified, works under a code of ethics and standards of practice, is insured and as with other professions, continues to undertake training and development. You can check whether your therapist is on a register by searching here.

If you would like to find out more about the minimum skills and competencies required for counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK please see the SCoPEd Framework.

All ACC counsellors/psychotherapists are ‘registered’ because they have met the standards required for being on ACC’s register. Some ACC counsellors/psychotherapists will have undertaken additional training and gained experience, and choose to have this recognised by applying to become an ‘accredited’ counsellor. Other professional bodies have similar ways of assessing and awarding accreditation which is a mark of achievement.

Accreditation is often important for counsellors/psychotherapists who are employed by organisations like the NHS. However, many others, especially those in private practice, will have undertaken significant further training and experience, but have chosen not to apply for accreditation.

It is a good idea to discuss with your therapist what training and experience they have had.

Counsellors and psychotherapists who work in private practice usually charge a fee. Some counselling agencies also charge a fee or ask for a donation. Some services are free. There are no pricing rules to govern fees so it is advisable to check on charges before or during the initial assessment.

Counselling and psychotherapy provide the space and offer the opportunity to discuss issues with someone who is professionally trained and skilled in listening and supporting you to explore these issues. The service is confidential within certain limits that the counsellor or psychotherapist will outline to you in their contract and during the initial appointment or ongoing work.

Initially you may need to see the counsellor or psychotherapist on a weekly basis and then less frequently. The practitioner will have some idea of what works best and you can discuss this with them as part of your therapy.

The counsellor or psychotherapist will be able to give you information about how to contact them in an emergency or if you are unable to attend your appointment. There may be a period of notification for cancellation and a charge for non-attendance.

Within counselling or psychotherapy practices or agencies there is often a mixture of both male and female therapists. You can request an appointment with a therapist of the gender you prefer. It may delay your appointment a little if there is no immediate availability, however, the agency will usually try to accommodate your needs or may be able to refer you to another service.

While you may have agreed to a contract with your counsellor or psychotherapist and to attend a certain number of sessions or for a particular timescale, you may also decide that you wish to end counselling before that time is completed. If this is the case, you may wish to discuss this with your counsellor in order to ensure a beneficial ending. Progress in therapy can often be slow or static at times. Sometimes you may feel you are moving backwards before moving forwards. This can be part of a normal process as you negotiate difficult issues. If you are thinking of ending counselling it is often helpful to talk this through with your counsellor. However, you are under no obligation to continue with counselling if you are unhappy with the progress, relationship or results.

If you are unhappy about something, your first option is to talk to your counsellor or psychotherapist about the issue with a view to resolving the problem. If you are unable to resolve the situation, they should be able to advise you on how to complain, either to the counselling agency with whom they work or to their professional body (if they are in private practice). Normally, you will have been offered a contract at the beginning of counselling and there may be information about how and to whom to make a complaint in that document.

If you want to make a complaint about an ACC member or affiliate, please visit our how to make a complaint page.

Absolutely not! Our counsellors are professionally trained and adhere to ACC’s Ethics and Practice. They will work with you on the issues you bring, including religious/spiritual issues, and will not impose their faith on you.