Counselling & Talking Therapies

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Insurance for counsellers 2

Just as you look after your client’s best interest, we’ll look after yours. From counsellors to life coaches, no matter what your world looks like, we are here to stand shoulder to shoulder with you to provide expert advice that makes a difference.

Navigating the digital world

The shift from face-to-face to remote service delivery in the last couple of years has been a testing journey for many of you. As a result, you have had to adapt quickly, in some cases completely pivoting your way of working, in turn unearthing a whole host of new challenges and risks to mitigate whilst still being expected to uphold the same level of client support.

Understanding what you need and why

As a talking professional, it can be difficult to fully understand the level of cover you need, with each client presenting different challenges. It is important that you understand the risks that you face and that you feel confident that you have the right solution in place to protect you and your business.

Obtaining personal and bespoke advice

When you spend each and every day looking after your clients, it is only right that you have someone to turn to who understands your field and the unique challenges you face. A listening ear and advice that makes a difference.

Woman putting hand on her friends shoulder in a group counselling session

Introducing &Breathe – insurance for talking professionals.

Breathe easy knowing everything you need is under one policy and taken care of by a dedicated team who understands what you do and the risks you face.

Led by Steve Johnson, who has 35 years’ experience in the Talking Professionals sector, we’ve designed our exclusive insurance facility which reflects the true challenges faced by your profession.

To obtain a quotation please click here.

The importance of specialist insurance for talking professionals

Working with people, understanding how they think, behave, and the ways in which they need support is always a challenge.

Whether you are a psychologist, mediator or therapist you need to know that your adviser understands what you do, day in and day out, so that they can support you when things go wrong.

That’s why we’ve designed a specialist insurance policy to suit the unique needs of talking professionals: &Breathe.

&Breathe combines all your professional insurance needs under one policy, giving you comprehensive protection while streamlining both cost and administration.

Our clients also benefit from the insight gained from 35 years in the profession. With our dedicated team you’ll enjoy personal service and bespoke advice and have access to an exceptional risk management programme to help prevent problems from escalating. However, should it come to the point where you have a claim or a complaint being made against you, you can breathe easy knowing we’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with you to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

woman at an online counselling session

Who is this cover for?


Psychologists (all disciplines*) including medico-legal and expert witness work

From clinical psychology to sport and exercise psychology, the focus is on understanding people, how they think and interact with themselves, with others and with their environment to help resolve the issues, improve or sustain performance for an individual.


Counselling is usually, but not always, relatively short-term work to address various psychological, behavioural and emotional issues. The counsellor does not give advice or solve problems but rather helps the client to find their own solution by empathetic listening and reflection. Self-care and supervision is important as is specialist training for example in the areas of working online, working with children, couples, adoption and sex offenders

Psychotherapists (all disciplines)

Psychotherapy is usually, but not always, longer-term work looking to address deep-seated issues often using psychoanalytic theories. Some would argue that psychotherapy is synonymous with counselling, some would argue that they are completely different.


Hypnotherapy induces a deep state of relaxation through which the therapist guides concentration to treat conditions or change habits using scripts. Many therapists teach self-hypnosis techniques so that clients can continue the work between sessions or once they have ended.

BWRT practitioners

Brain working recursive therapy is a relatively new therapy that differs from most talking therapies in that it requires no disclosure by the client of their underlying issues. Treatment is often quick and effective.

CBT and REBT practitioners

CB and REB theory is that what we call stress is not usually caused by external events but mainly by irrational or unhealthy beliefs that we hold. These beliefs are often the obstacles to achieving our goals because they become blocks to change fuelled by self-doubt, perfection seeking and procrastination. REB theory can be useful in coaching as well as in therapy.

Life coaches

Life coaching is sometimes seen as ‘counselling lite’ addressing issues of lifestyle and wellbeing as well as being motivational in intent. But it can be much more than that, often focusing on specific life issues such as stress management, self-esteem, redundancy and personal performance.

Business & executive coaches

Business coaching is about helping business leaders to be their best, helping them focus on what they are good at while identifying areas where there is room for improvement and encouraging work on those. A business coach or mentor is not there to tell business leaders what to do. They are there to help them work that out for themselves.


Alternative dispute resolution. Alternative that is to the often adversarial, traditional legal system. The challenge for a mediator is to understand what each party to the dispute actually wants or would be happy with and then to find a way through impartial and un-biased dialogue for them to reach a compromise or settlement.

Therapists (most disciplines)

Here we are talking about complementary or alternative therapies from acupuncture to zen therapy. This includes therapies that are not usually part of conventional medical care, such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture and homeopathy. They are usually used alongside, or as well as, conventional medical techniques. The aim of the therapy is to make the client feel better in themselves.

Training schools, colleges and professional bodies

Training schools and professional bodies for the above have their own unique challenges ranging from trainee expectations through to complaints and disciplinary hearing procedures.

Counselling, coaching and mediation charities

Have all the same issues faced by individual practitioners plus the difficulties in organising and supervising a (usually) volunteer workforce.

NHS Psychologists

As an NHS psychologist you will be aware that it is a condition of your HCPC registration that you have in place a Professional Indemnity Arrangement (PIA). However, there are limitations to this cover, and it is the responsibility of practitioners to take out professional liability cover against excluded eventualities.

Usual types of cover

Utilising our specialist knowledge of the sector, the &Breathe team have created an insurance policy which has been designed to provide the cover that you need for your professional liabilities. It includes all of the following as standard:

Professional indemnity (PI), sometimes called malpractice or errors and omissions insurance, is essential protection for anyone who provides advice or professional services to a client. This section covers complaints and claims that might arise from your work. Cover is provided on a civil liability basis so is not restricted to claims in negligence.

There is a choice of five different levels of cover:
£2 million, £4 million, £6 million, £8 million and £10 million

The level you choose is the amount available to pay an award of damages or compensation for each and every claim and, in addition, the insurers will pay the legal costs.

The policy includes public liability insurance which provides cover for liability that you may have for causing accidental bodily injury to people or damage to their property in connection with your business.

The level of cover under this section is £10 million each and every claim and in addition, the insurers will pay the legal costs. This section also covers your liability for damage or distress arising from the holding, loss, misuse or unauthorised disclosure of, personal data up to £1 million (including costs) in any one insurance year.

Directors, company officers and senior managers can be held personally liable for the actions and decisions they make on behalf of the company. If they do not act within the law, they could find themselves facing fines and needing to pay compensation for damages that could result in risk to their personal assets. Directors’ and officers’ liability insurance – also known as D&O insurance – is now considered a crucial form of protection for all businesses.

This policy covers D&O up to the value of £100,000.

The costs associated with utilising the services of public relations specialist to limit or mitigate the impact of a crisis which might lead to a claim under the policy. Up to the value of £50,000 under this policy.

Covers the costs associated with complaints to your professional body or regulator and disciplinary hearings.

Cover is provided to help with the costs associated with the execution of a therapeutic or professional will so that, in the event of your death or incapacity, your clients’ confidentiality can be effectively managed. Cover provided up to the value of £5,000.

The policy is available to individual residents, and to limited companies and other legal entities situated, in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. It covers you to work with clients based anywhere in the world whether that be remotely or on a temporary visit overseas.

People in a group counselling session

Led by

Steve Johnson

Client Partner

Steve Johnson

Client Partner
Steve has been an insurance broker all his working life. For the last 35 years, he has specialised in professional liability insurance for the psychological professions including counsellors and psychotherapists – and has been involved with online therapy from its very beginnings. Prior to joining Partners&, Steve ran Oxygen Insurance from its launch in 2010 until his departure last year. Ever since his arrival, Steve has been working tirelessly with the wider Partners& team to build a new insurance policy designed specifically with Talking Professionals in mind. We’re combining the best traditions of technical advice and client centricity, with modern thinking and smart use of systems and technology to enhance the client experience.