People come to counselling (and other therapies I speak from as a counsellor but this can be attributed to any other therapy) for many different issues and problems they’re experiencing. Sometimes these issues/problems are known to the individual and sometimes not known but life just seems to be throwing up obstacles that prevent having meaningful relationships, moving forward in life or another or several other reason(s) for causing distress, it may be a long standing issue or possibly a new issue such as bereavement, depression/anxiety and the like, you feel now is the time to seek professional help.
Having acknowledged that perhaps therapy is the answer, either through self realisation or someone has mentioned it might help, the search for a therapist continues.
Then it turns out free therapy may have a long waiting list, or you may not fall all into the criteria (which may be present to the organisation or individual therapist) to receive free therapy. On average it can cost between ￡35 - ￡50 a session, how can you afford it? This is one of the main issues I feel causes the largest obstacle to seeking counselling.
The question is however can you afford not to? The benefit of counselling is to take control back in your life, to explore your issues alleviate, eradicate or learn to live through certain issues putting you back in control of it not it in control of you. Sometimes it is the case that you can not change issues for example in the past, you feel things happened to you without your choice however counselling can enable you to deal with the issue and prevent it still taking over.
Some counsellors offer discounted therapy, some free first sessions maybe they will be happy to see you fortnightly rather than weekly. It is always worth contacting the counsellor to see if they have either of these in place.
I am not a salesman but can state that in my experience personal and professional (as a qualified counsellor) that counselling can make a real often lasting difference.