Cookies Policy

Written by Ellen Lees
Ellen Lees
Counselling Directory Content Team

What are cookies?

Cookies are pieces of information that include a unique reference code that a website transfers to your device to store and sometimes track information about you. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently.

A few of the cookies we use last only for the duration of your web session (these are called session cookies) and expire when you close your browser. Other cookies (called persistent cookies) will last for longer, as they are used to remember you when you return to the site.

Many computers and some mobile web browsers will automatically accept cookies, but if you prefer, you can change your browser settings to prevent them from accepting on your behalf, or to notify you each time a cookie is set. Please note, however, that by blocking or deleting cookies, you may not be able to take full advantage of the site.

How do we use cookies?

We use first-party and third-party cookies for several purposes. First-party cookies are mostly used to ensure the website functions correctly, and they do not collect any of your personally identifiable data.

The third-party cookies we use allow us to provide you with an improved user experience. These cookies improve our understanding of how the website performs, how you interact with our website, keep our services secure, and provide adverts that are relevant to you.

Third-party cookies we use:

Further details about the main suppliers we use and links to their privacy information can be found below:


We use Google’s Advertising Platform cookies to measure the impact of our digital advertising campaigns. 

We use Google Analytics cookies to help us measure how visitors use our websites. This helps us to improve users' experience of using our site and measure the effectiveness of our digital advertising campaigns.

Read Google's privacy policy


We use Microsoft’s Marketing Platform cookies so that we can measure the impact of our digital advertising campaigns on Microsoft products, including 

Read Microsoft’s privacy policy


We use Hotjar to see how users interact with our site, this helps us to identify areas we can improve our user experience. 

Read Hotjar's privacy policy

To find out more about cookies, including details of cookies that have been set and how to manage and delete them, please visit

How do we categorise cookies on our site?

Strictly necessary

Necessary cookies are required to enable the basic features of this site, such as providing secure log-in or adjusting your consent preferences. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable data.

Advertising cookies

Advertising cookies are used to provide visitors with customised advertisements based on the pages you visited previously and to analyse the effectiveness of the ad campaigns.

Analytical cookies 

Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics such as the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.

Personalisation cookies

Personalisation cookies enable a website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in. 

Site Cookies    

Strictly necessary

Cookie Name Placed by Purpose Expiry
_cflb Used to distribute our incoming traffic across our servers to optimise our website’s performance for users. 1 day
CookieAcceptanceGDPR Used to remember that you have accepted the use of cookies on the Site so that we don't show you the cookie banner again. 1 year
adclick Used to determine if you arrived on the site from an advert and to save this information if you perform specific actions on the site. 1 year
PHPSESSID Used to identify user sessions on the site. Session
cf_clearance Clearance Cookie stores the proof of challenge passed. It is required to reach the origin server. 30 minutes
welcome_name Used to display a members name on the sign-in page, Members’ Area and main site. 1 month
auth_guard_user Used to remember members who have logged into Members’ Area. 1 year
auth_guard_user_remember Used to save whether a member clicked “Remember me” when they logged in. 1 year

All other cookies

Cookie Name Placed by Purpose Expiry
_gcl_au Takes information in ad clicks so that conversions can be attributed outside the landing page. 3 months
_ga Used to collect Google Analytics data. 2 years
_gid Used to collect information about how visitors use our website. 1 day
_gat Used by Google Analytics to throttle request rate. 1 day
_gaexp Determines a user's inclusion in an experiment and the expiry of experiments a user has been included in. 3 months
NID Used to show Google ads in Google services for signed-out use. 6 months
HSID Used to identify you, track activity and store preferences. 1 year
SID Used to identify you, track activity and store preferences. 1 year
1P_JAR Remembers your preferences and other information such as website statistics and tracks conversion rates. 30 days
MUID Enables user tracking by synchronising the ID across many Microsoft domains. 1 year
_uetsid Used by Microsoft Bing Ads to store and track visits across websites. 1 day
_uetvid Used to track visitors on multiple websites, to present relevant ads based on your preferences. 1 year
_hjSessionUser_{site_id} Set when a user first lands on a page to store a unique user ID. 1 year
_hjid Ensures data from subsequent visits to the same site are attributed to the same user ID. 1 year
_hjFirstSeen Used to determine if the visitor has visited the website before, or if it is a new visitor on the website. Session
_hjSession_{site_id} Holds current session data. Ensures subsequent requests in the session window are attributed to the same session. 30 minutes
_hjIncludedInPageviewSample Determines if a user is included in the data sampling defined by the site's pageview limit. 30 minutes
_hjIncludedInSessionSample Detects whether the user navigation and interactions are included in the website’s data analytics. 30 minutes
_hjAbsoluteSessionInProgress Used to detect the first pageview session of a user. 30 minutes

How to manage cookies

Most browsers allow you to control how your computer handles cookies, including blocking all or certain types. However, each browser is different, and how you manage your cookie preferences will vary per device and browser.

Details of how to manage cookie preferences for common browsers can be found below.

How to contact us

If you have any questions about our use of cookies, please contact us on:

Changes to our policy

This cookie policy is valid from 21st October 2022. We reserve the right to make changes to and/or update this policy.

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