I've Made an Enquiry, What Happens Next?
Whether you contacted us via email, the website or by phone, we will get back to you as soon as possible. We will answer any questions you might have about the referral service we offer and provide any information you would like to help you decide if we are the right service for you. If you would like to go ahead with a referral to one of the experienced therapists affiliated with the service, we will send you a referral form to complete and return to us by email. Or, if you would prefer, we will arrange a convenient time to ring you to complete the form over the phone. We can call you in the evening, if this is easier for you.
What Information do You Need from Me?
The one-page referral form requires the following information about you or your child: name; date of birth; address; contact details; GP; an outline of the concern for which you would like to seek therapeutic support or psychological assessment.
We also ask you regarding your availability for appointments (e.g. if you can make day or evening appointments), if you have any preferences for the location of the clinic and if you require a therapist of a specific gender. The information you give us will help us to: i) ascertain if there is a therapist with the required skills to support you, and ii) if so, who might be best placed to work with you.
Once the Referral Form is Completed, what Happens Next?
The Referral Coordinator for the service, alongside the Service Lead - who is a Clinical Psychologist - will carefully review your referral form and based on your experiences, needs and preferences, will match you / your child with a suitably experienced and skilled therapist. The referral form will then be sent confidentially to this therapist who will get in touch with you directly to arrange a convenient time for an assessment. All the therapists manage their own diaries so we are unable to book any appointments directly.
Once you have arranged the first appointment, your therapist will let us know and Bristol Psychology Services will issue you with an invoice for this first session with them. The payment for the first session is due in advance of the scheduled appointment. You will need to pay your therapist directly for all subsequent sessions.
How Much will it Cost?
The psychologists and therapists affiliated with the service work independently so they set their own fees. This means the fees they charge vary. The average fee charged is approximately £90 and the range of fees is between £60 and £120.
If you are funding with insurance, the therapist will liaise with your insurance provider. Please note, not all therapists are registered with any / all providers so when you first contact us, please make sure you let us know if you are hoping to fund via insurance.
Which Therapist will I See and Where do they Work?
A wide range of clinical psychologists, counselling psychologists and psychotherapists are affiliated (registered) with the service. These affiliated therapists work independently (they are not employed by us) but they are selected based on their extensive training and the range of therapeutic services they can offer clients. Some of the therapists work with adult clients only, some with children / adolescents only; some of the clinical psychologists affiliated with the service work with both children and adults.
Most of the affiliated therapists work in Bristol in the following areas: Central Bristol (Clifton, Cotham, The Harbour, Redcliffe); in South Bristol (Southville); and North / West Bristol (Redland, St Andrews, Bishopston). We also have affiliated therapists working with children or adults in Bath, Chippenham, Chepstow, Bradley Stoke, Thornbury and South Gloucestershire. Most therapists work from clinic rooms or therapy centres, some therapists practice from their own homes.
We have extensive knowledge of the therapists' training, skills and experience so we find we are very well placed to allocate the referral appropriately. However, some clients contact us having identified a specific therapist they would like to see. We will do our best to ensure you are allocated to a preferred therapist, however sometimes this may not be possible e.g. they may have no capacity for new clients or they may not have the required expertise.
How Long will I Wait?
We appreciate this is often an important question for clients when they contact us. From the point we have a completed referral form, to the date of the first appointment arranged with you and the allocated therapist, it often takes approximately 2-3 weeks. However, sometimes this can be quicker. Please note, we can very rarely offer immediate i.e. same week appointments because most therapists will have pre-booked appointments in advance with their existing clients.
At times of high demand, and particularly for referrals for children, for whom we have the highest demand, the wait can be longer than 2-3 weeks. Sometimes demand is so high that all suitable therapists may be at capacity (have no new appointment slots available) - we will let you know if this occurs and we will place your referral on a waiting list. When a suitable therapist has appointment slots free, we will then pass the referral on to them. This has at times taken up to 6 weeks, but this is unusual.
We appreciate it can be frustrating to have to wait for an appointment with a private practitioner and clients can be suprised by this especially when appointments can often be made promptly to see private medical doctors. A key difference with psychological input is that multiple appointments are generally needed, sometimes over several months. This means that the 'turnover' of a therapist's caseload can be quite slow. The nature of psychological work also means that the length of invidual therapy with a client is difficult to predict. This means that, unfortunately, we are unable to provide exact waiting times when a waiting list is in place. We will however always do our best to try to give you an estimate of likely waiting time.
I Want to go Ahead with a Referral: How do I do this?
Please get in touch either by our website form or by calling us so we can get the referral form completed with you as soon as possible.