Letter: Private counsel

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The Independent Online
Private counsel

ANNABELLE THORPE's article on counselling ("Mourners in a queue to be comforted", 18 February) rather missed the point: it's free or cheap counselling that's not easy to come by, and why should it be? The public, quite rightly, expects counsellors to have had extensive training, their own therapy and to continue their professional development and supervision throughout their working life. All this has to be paid for, and, as a counsellor myself, I want to make a living too.

The NHS pays me just under pounds 20 per session to work in GP surgeries. Patients may wait some time for an appointment, as they may do to see any other specialist, but, like any other specialist, they can see me privately much sooner if they pay my (very reasonable) pounds 25 fee. Counsellors offer a professional service, and we expect a professional fee in return for it.

RUTH HARRISON

Aylsham, Norfolk

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