ISPC International Society of Psychotherapy and Counselling

Towards Therapeutic Sustainability

Costs vs Counselling


The cost of living keeps rising and negotiable counselling fees.

Energy bills, food bills, rent, petrol. Everything is going up, yet wages are staying the same, which I feel put’s counsellors in a little bit of a dilemma.

We of course want to try and support all people and deserve to be paid a good amount for what we do. Training to be a counsellor takes years of hard work and dedication, it opens up your own soul more than you would expect, extra costs like supervision and personal therapy is also crucial. However, with everything else going up, the decision to raise our own prices to cover costs, is a hard one.

On one hand, we have bills to pay, mouths to feed and we deserve to make a living, but on the other hand, counselling is becoming less affordable for those who may really need it and would benefit from the support it provides.

If we do raise our prices, many desperately needing support may not be able to afford it, let’s face it, a lot of people simply could not afford it previously, let alone now with the cost-of-living crisis. But if we do not raise fees, we struggle, we suffer and again, we deserve to be paid for what we do. Our spaces we rent may be increasing and CPD courses have also increased to cover costs.

Cost of Living Crisis

The cost-of-living crisis will cause more mental health difficulties, Naomi Barrow who works at the blurt foundation stated “The more we struggle with money, the more likely we are to feel shame, which can then make it hard to speak to others and leave us feeling incredible isolated.”

Politicians often throw out ‘simple solutions’ such as; buying cheaper brands and budget better. These ‘quick fix’ ideas just are not sustainable if you already buy the cheaper brands and are already budgeting. Truth is, there just is not enough money to go around.

If we are struggling with money, this could lead to poor mental health, which may then lead to difficulties at work and may even reduce our ability to work, therefore creating more financial pressures, creating a vicious loop. Emily Gosling, Board member for the ISPC had this to say “with the current cost of living already putting a strain on household finances and only set to worsen over the coming months, we are also in the midst of a mental health crisis. There just isn’t enough support at the moment to help people navigate the vicious cycle of money problems leading to poor mental health issues. This can then branch into other areas effecting relationships and jobs’

81% of People Have Cut Back on Energy Use

In a recent survey conducted by the money and mental health institute, it stated that 81% of people have cut back on energy use since the cost-of-living crisis. This itself suggests that basic needs such as warmth are not being met.

With all of this evidence, now more then ever people will be requiring more mental health support and talking therapies, which again, stretches our NHS and leaves private counsellors picking up the pieces.

We want to help people, of course we do, it is why most of us got into this job. However, we also need to ensure our needs are being met, we need to ensure we can afford to pay our own bills and if that means raising our prices to match the cost of living, then sadly it just has to be done.

The cost of training itself has also sadly increased, meaning many who wish to train, may not be able to afford to “At the ISPC we are striving to make it easier for people to find the help they need but also train new counsellors that may not have previously had the means to train in this field. Our profits go back to counsellors to help fund those who are struggling with CPD costs and who wish to train but are unable to” – Emily Gosling ISPC board member.

These are hard times. Now more then ever we need to support each other as counsellors. Coming together and discussing our concerns and the best ways we can continue to support those in the community and keep ourselves mentally well. It may feel unethical to raise prices, but sadly rent and costs to even do this job has increased and we have no choice.

More support and funding is desperately needed to help those struggling with the rise of cost of living.

Zoe Burnett

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