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Frequently asked questions

Are inquiry emails free?
Yes, all inquiry emails are free and very much welcomed. You will receive a response as soon as possible. Please ensure that you also check your spam/trash folder for a response.

What are your hours of Service?
This service is a 24 hour service - meaning that payments and bookings can be made at any time. Sessions can be booked for any time in the 24 hour day, as long as that slot has not already been filled. All session slots do need the time/date to booked, apart from the email counselling service. Out of business hours inquiry support is also available.

What type of services are available?
The Online Counselling Service provides 24 hour, Counselling, Psychotherapy and Personal Development Coaching. These services are available to individuals via Instant Messenger counselling, VoIP counselling - (Voice chat over the internet), Email counselling and Telephone counselling services.

What do I need to have to access Online Counselling, Psychotherapy and Coaching?
In order to use the service you'll need an email address and access to the internet or telephone/mobile. You will also need to read then agree to the terms and conditions as well as the privacy policy.

Which kind of email account, instant messenger or voip may work best for OCS Counselling?
You may have read in the media that the older Hotmail and Yahoo accounts do at times have issues receiving/sending email. You may wish to use or sign up for the more stable and secure Gmail. Google talk/messenger/hangouts as well as Skype are very good for instant messenger. Skype is also the preferred voip, it is encrypted and reliable.

How old do I have to be to use this service?
You must be 18 and over to use our services.

I am a student, can I use this service?

Yes, students who are 18 and over may use this service.

I am in another country can I receive Counselling, Psychotherapy or Coaching?
The Online Counselling Service provides 24 hour worldwide online and telephone support.

What issues do you provide support for?
Support is provided for a wide range of issues

How many sessions should I book? - According to therapeutic guidelines and good practice, Counselling is most beneficial with a minimum of 6 - 15 sessions. However, some clients may require mid term support which lasts for 4 months - 1 year or long term psychotherapeutic support for up to 2 years. Most new clients follow the suggested counselling guidelines by initially booking 6 sessions, this allows them to treat their problems and also benefit from our huge discounts. To take full advantage of our special offers book 15 sessions and save 25% today.

Are sessions secure?
All of our email addresses are encrypted. Telephone sessions are conducted via secure lines and for VoIP we use the encrypted voice chat system - Skype. When conducting Instant Chat sessions we use additional software that encrypts and authenticates messages.

Will my details remain confidential?
All details and communications will remain confidential and all records will be destroyed at the end of our work together. The only circumstance where confidentiality may be broken is where it has been indicated that there is a risk of harm to the client or someone else. The Online Counselling Service is then required by ethics to seek advice and guidance from other professionals. The Online Counselling Service would of course try to discuss this beforehand with the client to obtain your assent.

How long do Counselling and Coaching Sessions last?
Instant chat, Voice chat and Telephone sessions last for 50 minutes.
Emails counselling and coaching is charged per 1000 words.

How are payments made?
All payments are made via the secure payment method Paypal, you do not have to have a Paypal account to make a payment. Alternatively you may contact The Online Counselling Service to arrange to make a direct deposit, online or telephone banking transfer.

How much does it cost?
The Online Counselling provides competitive rates. Online and Telephone Counselling, Psychotherapy and Coaching support for individuals ranges from £30 - £50. For information and rates for Online Counselling and Telephone support for couples, families and groups please contact us.

Do you offer any discounts?
*The Online Counselling Service is currently offering huge discounts of up to 25% off counselling sessions.

*Student discount offers - We request that all clients using the discounted student services scan and email a current student I.D in their name (current college or university academic year). Failure to do this will result in the student discount being withdrawn and you will receive the regular amount of sessions at the regular fee.

*Company Services - As a member or employee you may be entitled to Telephone Counselling which is paid for by your organisation, company, work place or charity. Visit the Telephone Counselling for Companies page.

I want to book a session, how do I do that?
View the 'How to book an online or telephone counselling session' page for details.

If I purchase an Online or Telephone Support package service will it expire?
Once purchased, package service bundles of 3-9 sessions are valid for 60 days. The 12 session bundle is valid for 90 days and the 15 session bundle is valid for an extended 120 days. You are free to use your sessions at any time within the the validity period. Please be advised that discounted offers are for a limited time only.

How long are single sessions valid for?
Information for new clients:
For single Email sessions – After making a payment for 1 session you should submit your email of your problem/issue within 3 days. If you do not submit your email within that time period the session will become invalid as our systems hold un-registered client's data for up to 72 hours.

For single Instant Chat, Telephone and VoIP sessions – After making your payment for 1 session, you should contact us within 3 days with the necessary information to complete your booking. If you have not made contact within that time period your session will become invalid as our systems hold un-registered client's data for up to 72 hours.

For clients who have made contact within the 3 day period – If you have made contact and have also received a welcome email from us regarding your booking you will have a further 4 days to respond to our welcome email and process your booking. If you have not made contact within that time period your session will become invalid as our systems will no longer have a hold of your data.

Existing clients may book session times and dates directly with their assigned Counsellor.

Do you provide refunds?
All payments are final, we do not provide refunds, however you may switch between online or telephone services.

Can I make a payment after a session?
We respect your privacy and do not request any private financial information or proof of address. We are fully aware that many clients prefer to remain anonymous or use an alias, for these reasons we require that all clients ensure that full payment is made before booking sessions times and/or dates.

What happens if i need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?
It is very important and a matter of mutual respect that you keep your appointments. If for any reason you need to cancel/reschedule an appointment you will need to provide us with at least 8 hours notice. In emergency situations we accept rescheduling of appointments if you provide us with notice prior to your session time.

All clients need to understand from the outset that the time you book is yours and we are unable to fit another client into your appointment slot at short notice. Being unavailable for an appointment will incur the full fee for the session you have booked. Sessions start on time, we ask that you are available at least 5-10 minutes before you session time. If you will be late contact your Counsellor before your session time, if you have not contacted your Counsellor before your session time you will incur the full fee for the session. Please read the terms and conditions for full details of the cancellation policy.