Frequently Asked Questions ( & Fees )

What are your qualifications?

I have a number of psychotherapy and coaching qualifications:

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Transactional Analysis - Psychotherapy application (4 year course)
  • Transactional Analysis Coaching & Leadership Development Diploma (2 year course)
  • Certified NLP practitioner (Ian McDermott @ ITS)
  • Certified Performance Coach (Association of Coaching)
  • Resilience Doughnut Accredited Trainer & Coach
  • PTTLS - Level 3 Teaching & Training Accreditation
I also have a number of qualifications related to my corporate career.

What skills do you have?

My core skills are those of a therapist and a coach, which I have been doing for the past 16 years. This means that I have good listening and communication skills and and able to work with genuine empathy - this helps me to work in a very supportive way with my clients. I also have strong critical thinking, problem solving and boundary setting skills - these make me effective at focusing and providing a framework for positive change for my clients. Additionally, the skills that help me work with expatriates and adult third culture kids, include cross-cultural understanding, cultural identity, resilience, global mobility and transition.

Counselling, Therapy or Coaching - what's best for me?

Clients normally seek counselling or therapy when something from the past is troubling them or the 'same' negative thing keeps happening. They often feel sad, angry, confused, depressed or anxious.

  • Counselling tends to be a brief treatment that provides relief from current unhelpful behaviour patterns.
  • Therapy tends to be deeper and seeks insight or relief from past experiences that have a negative influence on present behaviour.
  • Coaching is about something you want to achieve, it's directed towards the future and is results focused. You agree a timescale & outcomes and are held accountable.

How do I choose a counsellor, therapist or coach?

I recommend:

  1. Draw up a short list of 2 or 3 people you think you would like to work with.
  2. Ask to speak to them, many will offer a short phone-based session, free of charge.
  3. Clarify how they work, who sets the agenda, professional bodies, insurance and supervision.
  4. Check how you feel about them? Comfortable?
  5. Choose the best candidate and sign up for an initial session.

Where can I work with you?

You can work with me in person at centres in Lisbon, Obidos and Caldas da Rainha, (Portugal) till the end of July 2019. Thereafter the service will be based in Nottingham, UK. Online from anywhere (don't rule out online without trying it). Full addresses, maps and schedule here.

How do I start?

Contact me an arrange a FREE Explore Call so that you can ask me any questions that you have and get a feel on what it might be like to work with me. My testimonials page will give you a sense of the experiences of other clients.

How does it work?

When you're ready to begin, contact me to arrange our first session. During this session we are aiming connect with each other and feel comfortable together, to understand what it is that you want to focus on and agree how we will work together to make this happen. I'll make an assessment of how long the work is likely to take and we'll agree a period of time to work together and a review point.

How long is a session? How often?


  • 50 minutes for a counselling or therapy session for an individual, usually weekly.
  • 75 minutes for couples counselling, also usually weekly.
  • A coaching session lasts 90 minutes and are usually scheduled every 4 to 6 weeks.
Occasionally extended or double sessions might be appropriate

How many sessions will I need?

That depends on what you want to achieve and the issues involved. In the first session we'll agree our initial period of work and a review point. This is often 6 sessions with a review at session 4. This is a verbal agreement of intention, not a binding contract.

  • Short-term counselling: 4-8 sessions are typical where both the issue and the desired outcome are clear.
  • Medium-term counselling/therapy: 8-16 sessions are typical when the issue is unclear or there are a number of issues impacting on each other.
  • Longer term therapy may then be agreed when we have successfully addressed the presenting issues and you want to continue to with self awareness and personal development.
  • Coaching can be as little as a single session but is usually 4-6 sessions.

When will our work together end?

Most clients know when the work is coming to a natural end. Initially we will identify if the changes you wanted have been achieved. We normally allow for the last one or two sessions to end our work in an appropriate way. This is particularly important for adult third culture kids who typically have endured numerous 'goodbyes', many of which were unsatisfactory. We need to ensure we don't reinforce this pattern. In some instances, especially in a coaching agreement, you will have arranged a fixed number of sessions. Towards the end of this period we will have a final review session, followed by a closing session.

What do you expect from me?

I want you to be honest with me, both about what's going on for you and how you experience working with me. Also, I expect you to be willing to turn up and do the work - whatever we agree that to be. I only work with people who want to engage. I don't work with people whose partner, mother, father, friend, etc. thinks it will help them.

How is your work regulated?

Both the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and the Association for Coaching (AC) have stringent requirements for level of qualification and demonstration of proficiency before they will accept a practitioner. After acceptance, a practitioner must demonstrate that they follow the ethical and professional guidelines e.g. practice in a professional manner, undertake supervision, have sufficient insurance, keep appropriate records, invest in professional development. The practitioner's status is reviewed annually.

What are your fees? (costs; prices; payment; charges)

I charge the following fees:-

  • 70€ in person €65 online for an Individual therapy/counselling session of 50 minutes
  • 110€ In person 105€ online for a Couples counselling session of 75 minutes
  • 210€ in person 185€ online for a 90 minute Coaching session - this includes preparation, follow up and tax
Discounts available for block bookings, longterm work and unwaged.

Do you have discounted fees?

I have a limited number of concessionary rates which are dependent on circumstances. I hold a number of free 'drop in' sessions and free workshops throughout the year. I work on a pro bono basis with refugees.

How do I make a payment to you?

I accept payment by cash, Paypal or bank transfer either in € or £. Payment for the first session is requested in advance, for subsequent sessions payment can be made at the start of the appointment or by monthly billing.

What happens if I need to cancel a session?

If you are unable to make a session I ask that you give as much notice as possible. If you cancel up to 48 hours before a session, no charge will be made. Cancellations less than 48 hours before the session time will incur the full session fee. Under exceptional circumstances I may waiver this rule. Payment should be made for missed sessions or late cancellations before the next appointment.

Not answered above?

Feel free to send any additional question through the contact form below. It may get added to the list so thanks for asking.

Privacy Policy? (GDPR; Confidentiality and Trust)

UNDER DEVELOPMENT. Approach to privacy policy follows the BACP guidelines for professional counsellors and therapists (link BACPg). Your work with Alison is treated confidentially. Trust is an essential part of the therapeutic relationship, it is built over time by repeatedly demonstrating honesty and openness. There is a straightforward description here that covers the related topics of data protection, confidentiality and trust (link dpcat). [N.B. - links are under construction]

Why is native English language important ?

Beyond listening skills essential for therapists, the ability to understand English nuance and culture can be important in understanding the subtleties that clients are describing. Having worked in the UK for a variety of corporate cultures with colleagues and partner organisations in the US and many other countries my ability to discern and understand is particularly valuable. Even if English is not the first language of clients, or even just the common language for couples.

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© 2019 by Alison Collis, TransCultural Coaching

Nottingham UK, London & Online

Contact Alison Collis:

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