About Waiting Lists for Online Therapy

Why I sometimes need a waiting list — and what it means for you if a waiting list is in place.

Introduction, and Why I Sometimes Need a Waiting List

Whenever possible, I try to avoid implementing a waiting list: I appreciate that if you would like to begin online counselling or online therapy right now, having to wait before you can get started is never welcome.

However, it is important to me — and to my clients — to provide a consistently high level of service. From time to time, this means that I am unable to meet the level of demand for services from new clients without compromising the level of service I already provide to existing clients. Although I do my best to accommodate everyone who gets in touch for online therapy or online counselling, sometimes I just don’t have enough capacity to work with new clients. When that happens, I implement a waiting list.

How Does a Waiting List Work?

The waiting list is designed to ensure that you can begin counselling work as soon as possible, subject to the constraint that I maintain my commitments to existing clients.

When a waiting list is in effect, I temporarily cease accepting new clients until more capacity becomes available. I keep a list of potential new clients who have completed a Welcome Questionnaire and made an initial payment, and I begin working with these new clients on a strictly first-come, first-served basis. At the top of this page — and on the Welcome Questionnaire page — I provide an estimate, as a number of weeks, of the time I would expect to pass before being able to begin working with a new client joining the waiting list.

What Should I Do if a Waiting List is in Effect?

If a waiting list is in effect, and you would like to secure a place on the waiting list, please complete the Welcome Questionnaire just as you would if you were beginning counselling work immediately. If you could please note somewhere on the form (for example, for the question marked "Is there anything else you’d like me to know…") whether you would like to use the WordBank system or the unlimited/subscription option, that will help me to manage waiting list time estimates. Please note that your choice of WordBank or unlimited/subscription options will have no bearing on your position on the waiting list: the list is strictly first-come, first served.

After submitting the Welcome Questionnaire, you will be taken to the payment page where you may complete the process by making an initial WordBank purchase. Choosing any amount as an initial WordBank deposit will secure your place on the waiting list. Completing the Welcome Questionnaire without making an initial payment will not secure your place on the waiting list.

Please do not at this stage purchase the unlimited/subscription option, because this will be billed automatically every two weeks. If it is actually the unlimited/subscription option that you would prefer to use, then please select an initial WordBank purchase just for the purpose of securing your place on the waiting list; this initial purchase will be refunded before we begin, and you will have the opportunity to arrange the subscription once you have received the WordBank refund.

What Happens Once I’m on the Waiting List?

You will receive confirmation as soon as I have processed your welcome questionnaire and initial payment, and I will contact you again as soon as I have a place available.

At any time, you can choose to leave the waiting list, and your initial payment will be refunded.

How Long Will it Be Before I Can Begin Work?

I provide an estimate of waiting time at the top of this page and on the Welcome Questionnaire, and I hope to keep close to that time. However, it may happen that I’ll be able to begin working with you sooner, and it may happen that the delay is a little longer than anticipated. (The latter occurs primarily as a result of several new clients signing up in rapid succession, before I’ve had the opportunity to revise the estimated waiting time; when that happens, I inform clients at the time.)

This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser on .

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