Welcome to our new website. We hope that this makes your experience simpler and more informative.

About us

Broadly speaking, what is The Owl Centre?
The Owl Centre consists of teams of therapists who provide therapy services for children and adults. The services it provides are private, which means that users must pay for them.
Where does The Owl Centre provide its services?
Our teams of therapists cover many parts of the UK, where most offer outreach visits (which means visits to clients’ homes or to schools etc.). In certain areas, The Owl Centre is able to offer therapy in clinic rooms, where the service user comes to us.

Eligibility for using our services

Is a GP referral required to undertake private therapy at The Owl Centre?
No. You do not need a GP referral in order to take up private therapy. Contacting the Owl Centre directly is fine. This is the case even if you or your child are known to the NHS. In such a situation, The Owl Centre recommends that its therapists liaise with the NHS in order to ensure a seamless, coherent service, but that is not obligatory.
In what instances is private therapy suitable for children?

There are no hard and fast rules, and The Owl Centre will see any child that a parent or carer is concerned about. We have a wide range of specialists who can advise on practically every issue.

To provide some examples, private therapy can be valuable when:

  1. parents or carers want advice about a concern they have, but wish to bypass the NHS or the waiting list they happen to be on;
  2. a child is being seen by the NHS but needs top-up therapy to make faster progress,
  3. a second opinion is desired, or
  4. parents or carers desire more ideas on how to achieve a particular goal or implement a strategy. Note that if the child is known by the NHS and there are a current set of targets available, The Owl Centre does not need to carry out a new assessment in most cases (unless the parents want a new assessment).
In what instances is private therapy suitable for adults?
Again, there are no hard and fast rules, but private therapy might benefit adults who wish to avoid NHS waiting lists, and who desire a dedicated, premium service which can be delivered at their home.
Does having private therapy affect the service I will receive in the NHS?
No. However, the benefits of private therapy include one-to-one therapy and short or no waiting lists. However, if you are receiving NHS treatment, we will ensure that, in so far as you consent, we will work closely with the NHS therapists to provide you or your child with a coherent therapy programme.
I’m a grandparent. Can I book therapy for my grandchild?
Yes, and we’re receiving more and more enquiries from grandparents. The only requirement is that, if you decide to proceed with therapy, the child’s parent (or legal guardian) has to provide consent to this on our registration form.

Enquiries and bookings process

I’ve made a booking with you. What happens now?
As soon as we receive your booking or enquiry, we contact our relevant therapists to find out their availability. We ask therapists to reply to us within 24 hours (excluding weekends) so that we can reply to you swiftly, but this timeframe is not always possible. As soon as we have a response, however, we contact you either with an appointment suggestion and full information on how to proceed, or to let you know that our therapists don’t currently have availability.

Treatment process

How does the treatment process work?
The first step is usually an initial assessment to pinpoint the precise issues that need to be addressed. An assessment can vary in length, depending on the discipline and the complexity of the case, but, typically, it lasts about one hour and can be carried out in one session. However, different disciplines might well deviate from this general format. If you have previously been assessed, and if you can provide us with a recent report or a set of current targets, an initial assessment might not be necessary, and you can proceed directly with therapy.
Do I receive a report with my assessment? If so, when?

For most disciplines, an assessment comes with a written report. For some, they are an optional extra, where reports are generally requested if the findings need to be shared with other professionals.

In so far as your assessment comes with a report, you should receive your copy within 1 week (for certain disciplines) and up to 3 weeks (for other disciplines) after your assessment appointment.

Please note that assessment reports for EHCP tribunals are not standard and require one of our medico-legally trained therapists to write them. They are, accordingly, more expensive than standard assessments.

After an assessment, am I obligated to take up therapy?
The purpose of the therapy sessions is to realise the targets established during the assessment. Occasional reviews might see those targets updated, and the focus of therapy change accordingly. However, whereas your therapist might recommend a block of therapy, you are under no obligation to proceed with it.
How many sessions of therapy would you recommend each month, and for how many months?
Our service is dependent on the patient’s needs, and this will of course vary from case to case. However, the maximum number of sessions in most cases is 8 per month (i.e. 2 per week), and the average is probably 1 hour per week (although the session length and frequency can be tailored in accordance with need or preference). We will always inform clients when we believe that therapy is no longer necessary or that its results are / would be negligible.

Availability

Can you provide therapy on weekends?
Many of our therapists also work for the NHS, and evening and weekend work suits them best. As such, our ‘opening times’ are not, in principle, limited to Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm. However, the availability of our therapists varies from place to place and is likely to change over time.
As private therapists, do you liaise with or attend meetings at my child’s school?
Yes. We have extensive knowledge of the school systems, and we are happy to liaise with our colleagues in Education. We are able to provide therapy for your child at the school, in theory, although this is dependent on our therapists’ availability and the school being happy with this (which most seem to be).
If a therapist visits me to deliver a service, is there a travel charge?
Yes. In most cases, the charge is 40p / mile for the return journey. If a therapist travels to you using public transport (e.g. using the London Underground), the charge would be the fixed fare rather than being based on mileage. Finally, if a therapist visits you and another client nearby in the same journey, the roundtrip travel charge would be shared fairly.

Payment and cancellations

I need to cancel an appointment. Am I free to do so at any time?
Please try to contact us at least 24 hours before the scheduled appointment. You will be charged 50% of the session price if you do not attend without cancelling in advance. This is to cover our therapists’ loss of earnings and perhaps also any room booking fees that we incur. Also, if you are late for an appointment, you will be charged in full but the appointment will end at the scheduled time.
How do I pay for therapy? What methods do you (not) accept?

Currently, we send out invoices by email at the end of each month for that month’s sessions. The invoice provides clients with an option to make an internet bank transfer or to send a cheque through the post.

We are unable to accept childcare vouchers as payment, nor can we currently take card payments over the ‘phone. We can, however, take payments from most medical insurers. Please liaise with your insurer to find out if they meet the full costs of our treatment, and whether you would pay us and claim back from them, or whether we should email our invoice to them.

After invoices are sent out, we ask families to pay within 15 days, and schools and other organisations to pay within 30 days.

What if I can’t pay within the required timeframe?
Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation.
What if I don’t pay within the required timeframe?
We send out automated reminders providing clients with an additional 7 days to pay. If payment is not received at the end of that time period, a £20 late payment fee is added to their account.