Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from counselling at Simpson House?

We offer a space to explore your thoughts and feelings about the way your life is affected by your own or another's drug use and any other concerns you may have e.g. relationships, anger, loss, bereavement, self-esteem, past or present emotional, sexual or physical abuse. It is a time to concentrate on your needs and we will work at a pace that you feel comfortable with.

How long is my appointment?

Your counselling session will last for one hour and will be on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

How many appointments do I get?

Counselling can continue for as long as you and your counsellor agree that it would be helpful to continue meeting together.

Will there be any paperwork to complete?

At your first appointment there will be some paperwork for your counsellor to complete.

Is the service confidential?

Any information that you share with Simpson House staff will remain confidential and will not be shared with others unless you agree that would be helpful. The only exceptions to this are: when not sharing the information would put the health and safety of you or others at serious risk or it would be a legal requirement to share it.

We do our best to keep the waiting area private and confidential and to help us do this we ask that you do not come more than 10 minutes before your appointment time.

How much does counselling cost?

Simpson House is a free counselling service. However we welcome any financial contribution that you would wish to make. Simpson House is partly funded by NHS Lothian, City of Edinburgh Council and other Trusts but this does not cover the full cost of running our service.

Where is Simpson House?

Simpson House is located at Number 52 Queen Street, Edinburgh. Queen Street is in the city centre and is parallel to George Street. We are at the west end of Queen Street, round the corner from North Castle Street. Find us >>

How do I refer myself?

We are open for enquiries and self referrals by telephone or in person from 9.15am to 5pm Monday to Friday. An answering machine will be in operation when we are unable to take your call and we will phone you back as soon as possible.

In addition, you can also get in touch via our Contact us page. Please give your name, address and telephone number so that we can respond to your enquiry. If you feel comfortable doing so, please say a little about your reasons for referring for counselling.

Can a worker refer me or do I have to refer myself?

We operate a self referral policy so you would need to refer yourself for counselling at Simpson House but your worker can phone up and get some information for you or assist you in making the referral.

Can someone come with me to my first appointment?

You are welcome to ask a friend or relative to accompany you to your first appointment. However, we ask that they do not wait in Simpson House during your appointment due to confidentiality reasons.

What happens if can't come to my appointment?

Please contact us if you are ill or unable to attend your appointment for any reason as we are unable to keep your place open without your regular attendance. If your counsellor is ill or unable to keep your appointment we will contact you as soon as possible.

Will I be meeting with a trained counsellor?

Counsellors at Simpson House are trained in a variety of approaches and all have, or are working towards a recognised qualification in counselling at diploma level or equivalent. All counsellors receive independent counselling supervision on a regular basis.

When can I have an appointment at Simpson House?

Simpson House is open during the daytime Monday-Friday. Evening appointments are also available on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Will there be childcare when I have my appointment?

Currently there is no childcare provision available at Simpson House. 

"That’s the power of counselling. Before you do it you can lie to yourself. Afterwards you have faced the truth because that’s why you’ve come here. I found that the truth gave me incredible strength and this place helped me know that I did have this strength within me."