LACAP reveals intentions to add clinical space to their existing offices and plans to venture into internet-based counselling sessions.
In September 2000 twelve psychotherapists shared a vision to establish a group practice which could provide easily accessible and affordable psychotherapy and counselling for everyone, regardless of the individual's financial circumstances. Together they founded The London Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (LACAP) with the aim of giving an option to the unemployed and those on a low income to gain access to an equal quality of counselling as people earning a higher wage, without having to endure the long waiting lists found elsewhere in the public sector. In a climate where therapy prices were, and still are, high and therefore exclusive, this venture seemed not only innovative but essential.
LACAP is a not-for-profit organisation which calculates its fees according to individual income. Counselling provided to clients on a wage of less than £20,000 per year are funded with a percentage of fees from higher paying clients. This formula has allowed LACAP to assure a fair structure of payment as well as equal standards of therapy for all, therefore achieving their original goal.
The association's growth, in the ten year period since LACAP was founded, has reached the point where it now provides clinical space for more than thirty-five senior associates and twenty student therapists at its premises in central London. A combined total of more than 680 clinical hours are currently accorded to a client base of over 400 individuals and couples. For people seeking private, professional and confidential counselling at a fair price, LACAP is a welcoming, comfortable environment containing a spacious reception and waiting area and twelve consultation rooms.
Increasing demand for their unique services has prompted LACAP to proceed with plans to expand their current premises, enabling the conversion of an additional seven consulting rooms which are expected to be completed by early 2011. This expansion is also projected to provide space specifically for internet-based sessions from therapists via web-cam and instant-messaging, designed for clients who find it impractical or impossible to attend the practice in person.
Donald Kirkpatrick, psychotherapist and co-founder of LACAP, said “The idea of internet therapy fits perfectly with our established belief that counselling should be available to everyone. Psychotherapy can now be accessed in a completely new way thanks to advances in communications and we are looking forward to embarking on this new venture. This is a very exciting time for LACAP because we will be able to offer our services in a virtual capacity which will increase accessibility to treatment for residents outside of London and the UK as well as the disabled community.”