Peter Finlay PhD. MSc. PGDPP MIPI
Registered Member of the BACP NHS registered.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and Counsellor
Stebbing Green, Dunmow, Essex CM6 3TE
Harley Street, London W1G 9QD
Phone: 01371 856 870 Mobile: 077 11 008765
Information About My Psychotherapy & Counselling Practice
Welcome to my practice.
This document contains important information about my
professional services and business policies.
Although the contents may appear a little formal,
I have an obligation to make you aware of the standard terms that apply
in general accordance with BACP, ICO & GDPR ethical practice.
If you have any questions please jot them down
and I will happy to discuss them with you at our next session.
When you book an appointment, this document will represent an agreement between us.
Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the
personalities of the therapist and patient, and the particular problems you bring forward.
There are many different methods I may use to deal with the problems that you hope to
address. Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit: Instead, it calls for a very active
effort on your part in order for the therapy to be most successful and you will have to work
on things we talk about both during our sessions and at home.
Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves discussing
unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness,
guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. Nevertheless, psychotherapy has been
shown to have real benefits for people who go through it and often leads to better
relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress.
Our first few sessions will involve an evaluation of your needs. By the end of the evaluation,
I will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work will include and a
treatment plan to follow, if you decide to continue with the therapy. You should evaluate this
information along with your own opinions of whether you feel comfortable working with me.
Therapy involves a large commitment of time, money, and energy, so you should be very
careful about the therapist you select. If you have questions about my procedures, we should
discuss them whenever they arise. If your doubts persist, I will be happy to help you set up a
meeting with another professional for a second opinion.
The difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy
Counselling and psychotherapy are closely related and differ mainly in the nature of the
underlying causes of the anxiety. The terms "Psychotherapy" and "Counselling" are often
used interchangeably and although very similar, there are some subtle differences as well.
Technically speaking, "counsellor" means "advisor". It involves two people working together
to solve a problem and is a term that is used in conjunction with many types of giving advice.
In this context, counselling is generally used to denote a relatively brief treatment that is
focused mainly upon a particular symptom or problematic situation, and offers suggestions
and advice for dealing with it.
Psychotherapy on the other hand is generally a longer term treatment which concentrates
more on gaining insight into chronic physical and emotional problems. It's focus is on the
patient's thought processes and way of being in the world, rather than specific problems.
A counsellor will offer a more specialised service of communication that concentrates on
providing a structure to the counselling experience. So treatment for addiction, for instance,
will be offered in progressive stages over a period of time. A psychotherapist however, will
focus on a deeper awareness of emotional issues, and looks at the foundation of the problem.
In actual practice of course, there may be quite a bit of overlap between the two. A therapist
may provide counselling with specific situations and a counsellor may function in a
psychotherapeutic manner. Generally speaking, however, psychotherapy requires more skill
and experience than simple counselling and is conducted by professionals trained to practice
psychotherapy and registered with a professional body, such as a psychotherapist,
psychiatrist or psychologist.
Method of Practice
My psychotherapeutic approach is primarily psychodynamic but I also incorporate humanistic
and mindfulness ways of working as well as drawing from other approaches such as cognitive
behavioural therapy; depending upon your needs. I am able to vary my style from fairly
structured to fairly loose, according to your preference. By working collaboratively we can
arrive at the most appropriate working style for you.
I am often not immediately available by telephone. While I am usually in my room between
9am and 5pm, I probably will not answer the phone when I am with a patient. When I am
unavailable, my telephone is answered by an answering service that I monitor frequently and
I will make every effort to return your call as soon as possible. I will always endeavour to
respond to emails or texts as promptly as I can. If I will be unavailable for an extended time,
I may be able to provide you with the name of a colleague to contact, if necessary.
I normally conduct an initial evaluation that will last from 1 to 4 sessions. During this time,
we can both decide if I am the best person to provide the services you need in order to
meet your treatment goals. If psychotherapy commences, our therapy sessions will typically
be for 50-minutes (one appointment hour of 50 minutes duration) scheduled once a week
or once a fortnight. It is generally advisable to keep sessions to one regular time and
location, where possible, to give a stable base for our work together although if appropriate,
some sessions may be longer or more frequent.
Our agreement may be to arrange sessions one by one, or have an open-ended contract
where sessions are automatically scheduled every week or every fortnight on a regular day
and time unless specifically cancelled by either of us. Sessions are usually not held at
weekends or on a Bank Holiday.
Please note that at my consulting room in Stebbing there is no waiting room facility.
If you arrive early I would respectfully ask you to wait until our scheduled time before
ringing the bell as I will not be able to let you in if I am already in a session.
The Harley Street consulting room does have a receptionist and full waiting room facilities.
Fees, Cancelled or Missed Sessions and Late Arrivals
If you arrive late, we can still make use of the remaining period but it is standard practice
to terminate the session at the scheduled time.
Once an appointment hour is scheduled I will keep that time available for you and you will
be expected to pay for it; unless you provide 48 hours advance notice of cancellation or
unless we both agree that you were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your
control. If it is possible, I will try to find another time to reschedule the appointment.
Current fees are shown on the website and are reviewed annually.
My normal fees for a standard individual session are:
Stebbing Consulting Room: Individual session: £60 Couples: £85
Central London Consulting Room: Individual session: £120 Couples: £195
You can pay by a variety of means, including through the online payment portal. Sessions
should be paid for in advance or during the session. Missed sessions should be paid for as
soon as reasonably practical.
My hourly fee for other professional services you may need is normally £120.
Other services include report writing, telephone conversations lasting longer than
5 minutes, attendance at meetings with other professionals you have authorised,
preparation of records or treatment summaries, and the time spent performing any other
service you may request of me.
As I am sure you are aware, I am required to keep records of our work together or the
professional services I provide. Because these records contain information that can be
misunderstood by someone who is not a health professional, it is my general policy that
patients may not review them; however, I will provide at your request a treatment
summary unless I believe that to do so would be emotionally damaging. If that is the case,
I will be happy to send the summary to another health professional who is working with
you. You should be aware that this will be treated in the same manner as any other
professional (clinical) service and you will be billed accordingly.
In the normal course of events you will probably know when you are ready to finish. It is
usually important to allow one or more sessions to bring things to a proper conclusion, and
we can agree upon how many feel appropriate. There may be times during our work togeth-
er when you find yourself reluctant to attend your session. If this happens, it is likely that
we are at an important part of the work, or we need to talk about how we are working to-
gether, so it is important that you still come to your session to allow us to look at this to-
So if you are finding our work together is feeling difficult at any point, I would ask you to
talk to me about this rather than suddenly ending, as this could well deprive us of the
chance of resolving important issues.
Anything we discuss and anything you disclose to me will be treated as strictly confidential.
No details be disclosed to anyone without your permission; regardless of their relationship
to you even if I am seeing them separately in a professional capacity. In general,
the privacy of all communications between a patient and a psychotherapist is protected by
law, and I can only release information about our work to others with your written
There are some situations in which I am legally obligated to take action to protect others
from harm, even if I have to reveal some information about a patient’s treatment. For
example, if I believe that a child, an elderly or disabled person is being abused, I may be
required to file a report with the appropriate agency. If I believe that a patient is
threatening serious bodily harm to another, I may be required to take protective actions.
These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, or seeking
hospitalisation for the patient. If the patient threatens to harm himself or herself, I may be
obligated to seek hospitalisation for him or her or to contact family members or others who
can help provide protection. These situations rarely occur in practice but if such a situation
does occur I will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action. In
some legal proceedings, you have the right to prevent me from providing any information
about your treatment. In some proceedings involving child custody and those in which your
emotional condition is an important issue, a judge may order my testimony if he/she
determines that the issues demand it.
I may occasionally find it helpful to consult other professionals. During a
consultation, I make every effort to avoid revealing the identity of my patient. The
consultant is also legally bound to keep the information confidential. Unless you have any
objection, I will not tell you about these consultations unless I feel that it is important to our
Unless your condition is such that a full medical intervention is appropriate I will not
normally contact your doctor about our sessions together and they will not appear on your
I am registered with the ICO and bound by the conditions of the Data Protection Act (1998)
and GDPR 2018. In accordance with the Data Protection Act I am obliged to state that my
premises may be equipped with CCTV facilities and that some phone calls may be recorded.
Please be assured that any information so collected remains unmonitored, is archived
securely and is not accessible by the Internet.
If you are under eighteen years of age, please be aware that the law may provide your
parents or guardians the right to examine your treatment records. It is my policy to request
an agreement from parents that they agree to give up access to your records. If they agree,
I will provide them only with general information about our work together, unless I feel
there is a high risk that you will seriously harm yourself or someone else. In this case, I will
notify them of my concern. I may also provide them with a summary of your treatment
when it is complete. Before giving them any information, I will discuss the matter with you
if possible, and do my best to handle any objections you may have with what I am prepared
My Data Protection Policy is in accordance with DPA 1998 & EU GDPR 2018
Although you do not sign this document, when you book an appointment,
this document will represent an agreement between us.