Counselling in Balham - Steve Smith
Cost and useful info


I charge £20 for an initial session. After that, each session costs £50, payable in cash or by bank transfer after the session. I offer a limited number of reduced fee sessions for people who are students or on a reduced income - please feel free to ask if concessions are available at the moment.

Counselling sessions are 50 minutes. The earliest sessions available begin at 9.15 am, the latest begin at 8pm.


Daytime and evening sessions are offered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Balham, a couple of minutes walk from Tooting Bec Tube.

Balham Map

Initial session

The first session is an opportunity to see what it feels like to work together.  At the end of that session you can decide whether to commit to more sessions, leave it there, or go away and think about it.

How many sessions?

If we decide to work together we can agree on a fixed number of sessions or decide to continue on an open-ended basis.  You can have as many sessions as you want and you can stop at any time.


I realise it is sometimes hard to fit sessions in, but counselling works better if you can prioritise it for a while and so I ask you to give a minimum of 24 hours notice to cancel, otherwise the full payment will be due unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as severe illness or an emergency situation.

If you need help right now:-

Samaritans are contactable 24 hours a day 365 days a year to listen and offer non-judgemental empathetic support: 08457 90 90 90.

Wandsworth Mental Health 24 hour Crisis Line: 0800 028 8000

And if you feel you are seriously in danger of harming yourself you can go to you nearest hospital A&E department, tell them this is case and they will assess you.

Useful/interesting links:-


Useful books:-

Introducing Mindfulness a practical guide: Tessa Watt
A complete programme of simple Mindfulness exercises explained very clearly, simply and briefly. 

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle.
Don't be put off by the word 'spiritual' - this a powerful account of how we make ourselves suffer and how we can learn to do that less.

Overcoming Depression: Paul Gilbert. Robinson
A self-help guide using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques - one of the generally very good 'Overcoming'... series that includes titles on anxiety, obessive compulsive behaviour, anger and low self esteem and how to tackle them using simple CBT techniques.

The Chimp Paradox: Prof Steve Peters
Useful guide to how you can recognise and disable your mind's most self-defeating habits. Steve Peters is most well know as sports psychologist but he has worked in mental health for many years and his advice is based on sound science and huge experience. It's a bit simplistic and tries too hard to make everything fit into the central concept, but it's also the kind of book you can dip into and take from it anything you find helpful.

How to be an Existentialist (or How to Get Real, Get a Grip and stop making excuses): Gary Cox. Continuum.
Highly readable introduction to the philosophy behind existential counselling.

The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression One Small Change at a Time: Alex Korb.
Highly accessible guide to what the latest neuroscience research tells us about the way our brains work and how we can use that knowledge in simple, practical ways, to make ourselves feel better.

The Happiness Trap: Russ Harris
Very useful introduction to Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT).  The central idea is that we waste time and energy trying to avoid difficult feelings at all costs and that this stops us from getting with what really matters to us in life. Using Mindfulness and other similar techniques Russ Harris shows how we can free ourselves from negative cycles that keep us stuck.

This site offers an extensive list of 'Books on Prescription': self-help books for a wide range of problem, endorsed by health professionals. You can usually find these titles in your local library. There is also a list of 'Mood-Boosting Books' - fiction titles that readers around the country have recommended.