Man speaking to an Ascenti mental health clinician over videocall
11.14.22|Posted by Ascenti Team

Online mental health therapy - your questions answered

If you've been booked into our online mental health services and would like to find out more, read the answers to our frequently asked questions below.

How does the Ascenti Mental Health service work?

Ascenti’s online appointments are delivered through Microsoft Team (MS Teams), using video call technology in the same way that you would Facetime or Skype a friend. 

You can use your mobile, iPad, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, as long as it has a camera and microphone and is connected to the internet.

If you are using a mobile device, you will need to download the Microsoft Teams App on your app store and create an account linked to the email address you provided us.

If you're on a computer you can either download the software or open the virtual meeting within your browser.

Your appointment confirmation email will provide you with more detailed set-up information and you can contact our mental health administration team if you have any further questions. 

What are the benefits of virtual mental health services?

Virtual mental health services are an alternative to a face-to-face in-clinic appointment that can save you time and offer great results.

Unfortunately, people often put off seeing a psychotherapist because it can be hard to take time out to visit a clinic in the day or challenging to travel if you are suffering with travel anxiety issues. 

Online mental health appointments are an amazing solution to this. It can connect you with a trained psychotherapist at the touch of a button and from the comfort of your home. 

What can I expect from my first mental health appointment?

When you are referred to Ascenti, the first step is an Initial Assessment (IA). This appointment helps us to understand the main difficulties you are experiencing, what you want to achieve through therapy, and make sure that we offer the right type of therapy for you.

You will have been asked to complete questionnaires before this appointment – these are important to help us understand your symptoms, and can be used to help track your progress through therapy, so please take the time to fill these in.

The appointment can take up to 60 minutes, so please make sure you have enough time to attend. If you have to leave before the appointment is finished, we may not have enough information to make the best decisions about your care.

Please make sure that you are in a private location without any other people, or distractions.

Certain health conditions may affect what style of treatment can be used – please let your therapist know if you have any limiting or special medical conditions (including pregnancy, heart condition, respiratory conditions, neurological conditions, ocular difficulties, etc).

After the initial assessment we will get in touch with the company that referred you, and we will give them a summary of the appointment and treatment recommendations. They will then make the final decision about whether the treatment can go ahead.

When you start treatment, this may be with the same therapist who conducted your IA, or if that’s not possible it may be with a different therapist. If this is a concern for you, please make sure you discuss this at your first appointment.

Sometimes the IA might help us identify that you need a specialist service, or a different type of therapy not provided by Ascenti, in which case we will discuss this with you and advise you about next steps.

How should I prepare for my virtual mental health appointment?

To get the most from your virtual mental health appointment with us we recommend that you follow five simple steps:

1) Carefully read the guidance that we send you by email confirming your appointment and share any additional information that we need from you beforehand. 

2) Find a location that offers you privacy for your virtual mental health appointment. You may need to share personal information. 

3) Make sure you are in a location where the psychotherapist will be able to see and hear you clearly. It’s important for your therapist to see you during the appointment so that they can check on how you are doing, so please make sure that you have a working camera on your device. If this will be a problem, please let us know at your Initial Assessment appointment.

4) Get your device set up beforehand and make sure you have good signal and battery. We recommend using a computer, but if you do have to use a phone, make sure it’s on a secure rest and doesn’t wobble, and that you are able to pay full attention, and are not driving or doing something else at the time. Make sure you have downloaded Microsoft Teams, ideally the most up-to-date version, and try it out first to ensure you have a good connection. 

5) If you have any problems or need to cancel your appointment please give us as much warning as possible by contacting our mental health admin team.

Will I speak to a real psychotherapist?

Yes. Ascenti psychotherapists deliver our virtual mental health service. 

All our psychotherapists are qualified professionals who are accredited with one or more of various professional organisations, including the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapists (BACP), the British Associate for Behaviour and Cognitive Psychotherapists (BABCP), the EMDR Association, or the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Some have dual or multiple accreditations.

How can I access Ascenti's virtual mental health service?

We currently accept patients who are referred to us through their insurer.

If I'm worried or have follow-up questions, who can I speak to?

For general queries about your treatment please contact our mental health admin team at or call 01329 245 208.

Ascenti does not offer a crisis management service and you won’t be able to contact your therapist outside of appointments. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, please contact:

  • Your GP or out-of-hours GP
  • Call 999 or attend A&E if you need immediate assistance
  • Contact the Samaritans for support by calling 116 123 

How can I cancel my virtual psychotherapy appointment?

You can cancel your appointment by contacting our mental health admin team via email at or by calling 01329 245 208.

We have a 24-hour cancellation policy so if you need to cancel an appointment please let our admin team know at least 24 hours in advance using the above contact details.

If possible please let your therapist know during your appointment if you are not able to make the next one. 

If you do not give at least 24 hours' notice you will be charged for the appointment and your remaining appointments may be placed on hold while we contact your referrer for authorisation to continue. If your treatment is put on hold your remaining appointments may need to be rebooked.

Is my data and personal information safe?

Yes. Your data is safe with us. 

You will never have to worry that your data is being stored inappropriately, managed badly or shared with anyone that it shouldn’t be. 

As the leading independent provider of mental health services in the UK, we take our responsibilities seriously and pride ourselves on upholding the highest standards of patient information and data security. 

You can read more about our credentials here and our Privacy Policy in full here

Are the appointments confidential?

The details of what you and your therapist talk about stay between you both.
However, please be aware that as part of the service we provide, brief treatment reports will be shared with the company that referred you to us. Our reports include information relating to your assessment, care, progress and treatment plans.  

Your appointments may not be able to proceed unless you agree to us forwarding treatment reports to your referring company or representative. If you have any concerns about this, please contact us to discuss before your appointment.

Aside from these reports, information discussed in appointments is confidential, with the following exceptions:

  • Factual notes will be made following each appointment or contact with the service. These notes are then held by Ascenti and may be requested through a Subject Access Request. You can approve or decline access (for example, if your referral is part of an insurance claim process and your solicitor requests the notes as part of the case).
  • There are some occasions where we legally have to share information, such as if you or someone else is at risk, if there is a public safety concern such as child abuse or terrorism, or if our notes are subpoenaed.

Get in touch

Call our mental health admin team on: 01329 245 208