Matt Valentine-ChaseCounselling in Sandbach, Cheshire

FAQ's. NewHeadShotJuly21

Your Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer free sessions?

Matt does not offer free sessions.

Matt does now offer a sliding scale from £65.00 to £75.00 per session.

Please only request the lower fee if you genuinely can't afford the £75.00. It might be helpful to note that due to the way he works, weekly sessions are often not necessary. Also something to note is that Matt's way of working actually saves you money in the long term as it is usually swifter than traditional therapy. Some clients need just one session.

How long do sessions last?

Your first session is ninety minutes at no extra charge. Thereafter they last a full hour. You can also book 'booster sessions' at ninety minutes or more. He does not believe in ‘the therapeutic hour’ which traditionally lasts fifty minutes. This was actually done to purely give the therapist, who often worked in clinical environments, time to write notes between sessions. Matt does not think this is client-focussed and therefore gives the full hour or more when requested.

How many sessions will I need?

Some clients prefer a course of therapy, this usually consists of three, six, nine or twelve sessions. For those clients, they feel better about having committed to a course (although weekly sessions are rare, many choose monthly or every two weeks), knowing that they have a session coming up. For the overwhelming majority - just one session is enough, with periodic check-ins. See below for more info.

What is open-ended therapy?

Matt does not 'close off' sessions and unless you purchase a session package, you are under no obligation to continue. One session, when combined with energy work, mindfulness and therapy, can bring you back to centre very quickly. For some this is enough, for others, after they have had a few sessions, they then prefer to 'check-in' monthly or on an ad hoc basis. This gives the client confidence that the door is still open, rather than feeling like they've 'failed' because they later need a session or more. Development, and life, can be unpredictable.

The rare exceptions to open-ended therapy are if the client is becoming dependent on the therapy or therapist, please see Matt's Ts and Cs for details.

Do I have to sign-up for therapy and commit to sessions?

See above. Also, Matt is quite concerned that he receives a lot of enquiries from prospective clients who have seen, or attempted to see, therapists who wanted them to sign a contract agreeing to long term therapy and/or a set number of session every week, before the therapist would accept them. This is unethical and Matt does not expect you to commit to long term therapy. Your only commitment is to attend the sessions you have paid for and booked. See Ts and Cs for cancellation policy etc. Please note - Matt always sends contact forms and a basic assessment prior to you booking your first appointment. Some clients assume that these are a contract to tie them in to seeing Matt - not at all. The contact forms and assessment are necessary for health, safety and confidentiality, as well as for GDPR regulations.

Does Matt do online therapy?

Yes. This has been the case for many years, but of course with the pandemic, he does all sessions online. This includes email support, which is different from face-to-face online or phone therapy.

I went to book online, there were lots of sessions available, then went on again and they were gone, can I book?

Matt sees a specific number of clients per week, after this number has been reached, the online booking system closes off appointments. It is always best to book when you know you would like an appointment. If the online system (via the 'make a booking' link) has no available slots, please text, email or call.

What is the difference between this and traditional therapy?

It's quicker, is the short answer! Matt is fully trained in therapy and also an empath, often called a healer. This means that he is deeply empathic and can sense the energy that is connected to your emotions, psychological processes and more. In practice this feels like another human being really connects with you, resonates with you, and he can mirror your process very quickly. He does give advice, he doesn't robotically 'head nod' as many traditional therapists do, and he has a great sense of humour. When you feel like pants - someone shining a light back at you, with a cheeky giggle, can often be a gift in itself.

Does Matt have a clinic?

Matt currently does not have a clinic in Cheshire. He occasionally does a clinic in London. For clients who prefer in-person therapy, Matt has a mobile therapy service. Please enquire.

I’m in therapy already, can I still see Matt?

It is unlikely but it will depend on the therapy you are having. Feel free to enquire.

I’m already in therapy, so don’t want to book sessions, but can you answer some questions I have that my current therapist can’t answer?

Please see the previous answer as this is likely to apply. Matt charges £35 per email response, should this be appropriate, that covers usually 1000 words or more.

I’m a student therapist, can I pick your brains?

Matt is happy to support emerging therapists. He charges per response. Please enquire.

I’m a researcher and would like to interview you for my research project

It will depend on the project but Matt does take part in research and has taken part in different social inclusion projects. You will need to be at PhD level or above and have a professional/academic profile that he can view, preferably online.

Do you work with LGBT people?

It is sad that clients sometimes need to ask this question, but the reality is that many therapists are simply not LGBTQAI+ friendly. Matt works with all sexual orientations and gender identities, and has vast experience in this area. He believes that (and research shows) LGBTQAI+ people are more likely to experience mental health challenges than heterosexual people. Prejudice, bullying and oppression forms part of this, as does familial attitudes to your sexual orientation or gender identity. Feel free to enquire for further information.

Do you work with sex workers?

Sex workers, as LGBTQAI+ people, are more likely to experience mental health challenges. Sex work is a stigmatised profession. Often sex workers find it very hard to find a therapist who doesn't 'pathologise' their job. This means that the therapist, or any practitioner, assumes that the sex work is harmful and that the sex work itself is the sole reason to seek therapy. Matt is pro decrim and has seen many sex working clients. He understands that to most it is just a job, that some enjoy it and some don't, that some feel financially trapped in it (as with many jobs) and that some enjoy it more than any job they've done. It's all about you - and you won't be judged here.

Do I have to pay in advance?

Yes. Matt struggled with this decision but in therapy there is often a very high 'DNA' rate, clients who didn't attend their appointments. Charging in advance not only reduces this to often zero, but it enables Matt to free up his hours to see clients who need his help and who attend.

What other issues can Matt help with?

Some of Matt's work, apart from the more obvious therapy and healing, is around supporting helping professionals with self-care needs and stress management. He works in social care in addition to his 'day job' and as such understands the needs of social care professionals. He is also a former nurse, so has worked in medical environments. Self-care often gets lost in the busyness of caring. Let's put that right. Please see 1-1 Training for details or email Matt.

I think I'm addicted to social media, can Matt help me with that?

Yes. Matt has a specific service that supports anyone to reduce and manage their social media and online activity, if it is causing them overwhelm and stress. Please see 1-1 Training for details or email Matt.

What does Psychology Today Verified mean?

Matt has a profile on Psychology Today, therefore his credentials, contact details, location and insurance have all been seen by Psychology Today.

Is Matt a member of a professional body?

No. This was a long and difficult decision, but Matt left the BACP in 2018. Many therapists went before him, and many continue to leave the organisation. Feel free to enquire as to his reasons.

Thank you!

Do you have a question? Please contact Matt and he will do his best to support you. You may also want to check out the About Matt page.

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