Help accessing therapy through SIP’s Consultation & Referral Service

Please note:
We do not offer an emergency service, if matters are urgent you should contact your local NHS Emergency Mental Health helpline | We cannot accept referral requests submitted by those under the age of 18 |We cannot accept referral requests submitted on behalf of someone else


With so many different kinds of therapy and counselling available in the UK, our Consultation & Referral Service (CRS) serves as a way of helping members of the community find out more about whether psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy, in particular, is right for them.

SIP has fully qualified, rigorously trained, and professionally registered member therapists across much of the South West. Many members are based in Bristol and Bath but we also have members based in Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, and Wales. Our member therapists and trainees are sometimes able to offer reduced fee sessions – this is usually with with a trainee on one of SIP’s clinical trainings in psychoanalytic psychotherapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy. All psychotherapists in training are mature individuals often with several years of prior training and experience. They are rigorously selected, continuously assessed, and regularly supervised by approved training supervisors to ensure the highest standards. Those interested in working with a trainee at a reduced fee should visit the Training Patient Scheme page for more information.

If you would like to enquire about accessing therapy through SIP’s Consultation and Referral Service, please see How does the referral process work? below.

If you’d prefer to contact a therapist directly, you may prefer to use the ‘Find a therapist’ pages of the British Psychoanalytic Council ( or the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists (, both of which list suitably trained and registered therapists.


What kind of therapy do SIP members offer?

SIP is a professional membership organisation for psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapists.

Psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapies offer an intensely personal and emotional experience which can change lives, often in a profound way. We can help you find out what therapy is like, who it can help, and guide you through the process. For a more comprehensive explanation we recommend visitying the BPC’s ‘What is Psychotherapy?’ page here.

Does it work?

The BPC keeps regular summaries of research evidence of effectiveness for both the general and professional reader, please visit the BPC’s Evidence base page here for more information.

Do I need to have an initial consultation?

If you’re unsure about what psychotherapy is or whether it’s what you’re looking for, we do recommend an initial consultation. Alternatively, you can use the British Psychoanalytic Councils’ (BPC) accredited register (which includes SIP member therapists) to enquire directly with a registered therapist about their availability.

Is there a waiting list?

As we’re a small team, and due to the logistical challenges of maintaining a waiting list for open-ended therapy (where we’re not able to accurately predict when our members and associates might availability open up), SIP’s Consultation & Referral Service doesn’t maintain a waiting list.

We will usually be able to arrange the initial consultation within 2 – 3 weeks of the referral request being submitted. The time frame for a referral for ongoing sessions is harder to estimate as this will depend on factors such as how when you’re available for sessions, and whether you you have any other special requirements.

How does the referral process work?

The first step is to submit an online referral request, available here.

These details will then be passed on to a fully qualified therapist, located as local as possible to you, (also known as an Area Representative) who will contact you to  schedule an initial consultation at a mutually convenient time. This consultation serves as a way of learning more about your enquiry and establishing whether psychotherapy is the best way forward at this point in time.

The initial consultation will cost £65 (or £40 if you are unwaged or in receipt of benefits), and will be payable direct to the therapist.

If psychotherapy is deemed the best way forward, the therapist with whom you have met for the initial consultation will refer you onwards to a psychotherapist who has the appropriate availability and experience.

How much will therapy cost?

As all of our members are self-employed, the practical and payment arrangements are organised directly between yourself and the therapist you are referred to. Typically the therapist you’re referred to will wish to meet with you at least once a week, at a cost of approximately £45 – £75 per session with a fully qualified therapist.

The decision to refer to a therapist in training, if requested, is considered during the initial consultation. If working with a therapist in training is deemed appropriate, you can expect to pay approximately £25 per session.

Can you help with referrals for couples therapy?

SIP can’t help with referrals for couples therapy through our Consultation & Referral Service – we can however recommend you use the British Psychoanalytic Councils’ (BPC) accredited register which can be filtered to show a list of local, qualified couples therapists.

Can you help me find a training therapist or supervisor?

Unfortunately, there is limited availability of approved Training Therapists and Supervisors. If you are already enrolled in SIP’s pre-clinical courses, you can ask your personal tutor for advice. Alternatively, you can speak to SIP’s Admissions Advisor. Please contact the Training Administrator ( for further information.

What if I have feedback or wish to make a complaint?

SIP psychotherapists are bound by the Code of Ethics of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC). If you believe that a SIP psychotherapist has broken this Code of Ethics, we encourage you to first reach out to our office using the feedback form below. Alternatively, you can make a complaint directly through BPC – please visit the ‘Complaints‘ page of the BPC website for further details.

Any and all feedback regarding your experience of SIP’s Consultation & Referral Service is welcomed and appreciated. If you would like to submit informal feedback on SIP’s Consultation & Referral Service and/or the SIP therapist/trainee therapist you have been referred to, you can do so by clicking here.