Please read the following then complete the agreement box at the bottom:
This agreement is to clearly outline the parameters of your counselling interaction with myself, it is applicable to all sessions regardless of method of delivery. We need to complete this before we can do anything else.
Consent & Form of Authority:
I need to ensure that consent to enter a therapy relationship is in place prior to commencing therapy. Additionally, from time to time you may request letters of support or information to be released to a third party. To do this for you I also need to record your form of authority in case you need me to act for you at short notice in the future. When I release information in this way it is only done by request of you. [Unless there is a safeguarding or safety issue; details of these are covered below].
What you can expect from me [this part outlines how I am expected to behave while working with you and the minimum standards I am to meet during your therapy journey with me:
- I will always endeavour to use their skills to the best of their ability to make your time together a positive experience in which therapeutic change can occur.
- I will undertake regular clinical supervision, as outlined by my professional governing body; I am registered with the National Counselling Society.
- If your case is discussed during supervision as above; your details will be anonymised.
- I will continuously seek to further my own personal and professional development and I’m always undergoing continuous training to ensure my skills are as fresh and up to date as possible.
- I will adhere to an Ethical Framework for Good Practice, which outlines my duty of care, code of practice and responsibility towards each client I work with.
- In the hopefully rare event that you wish to make a complaint you can do this by writing to me at address above.
- I will hold professional liability insurance which covers my work as a practitioner.
- I will always maintain complete confidentiality, with the following possible exceptions:
- If I have a reasonable concern that you are at risk of being harmed from another person.
- If I have a reasonable concern that you may be seriously harming yourself.
- If I have a reasonable concern that you are/may be, seriously harming another.
- These exceptions all include safeguarding concerns, a safeguarding concern is where there is a concern that somebody is at risk of abuse from someone else. I also have a duty of care to report any acts of terrorism or other serious criminal activity.
- If any of the above applies I will be obliged to contact the relevant people/authorities, I will, where possible and appropriate, discuss this with you prior to taking any action but reserve the right to take action without consent if there is a serious risk as outlined above.
- I will make notes after each session (and possibly during the session). These notes are to aid my understanding and to record what has happened, these are always be stored securely.
- You can request to see these notes, or have copies sent to you, by making this request in writing to the details above.
- I will be prepared and ready for our session together and it will start on time. (There may be times due to emergencies when I run late however your session will remain at the full session where opening times permit, otherwise it will be re-scheduled).
- If at any time I feel that the session is moving beyond my level of expertise or for any reason is becoming unsafe, ineffective, you become too distressed to carry on, or there is a breach of our agreement; I reserve the right to end the session and will support you in finding more specialist help or in seeking a different practitioner.
- In the case of you being in a situation of serious distress and I have a reasonable concern for your safety or that of another; I will contact the appropriate level of support for you. I will, where possible obtain consent for this; however, I reserve the right to do it without consent to keep you safe.
- I will always respect and accept you for who you are, whilst at the same time believing in your potential to be all you can be and more.
What I expect from you [this part outlines how you are expected to behave during your therapy journey with me:
- As the person sharing your story, you are the expert and as such it is important for you to realise the significance of your contribution in each session.
- I can only work with what you bring into the session; I will support and encourage you to explore what you would like to; but you need to realise the importance of your contribution.
- You should be free from alcohol or recreational drugs during the session.
- Sessions are usually conducted on a one to one basis; sessions will only proceed on this basis unless this agreed prior.
- In each session I expect you to tell the truth as you see it but also to be willing to look at and think of things from a different perspective.
- To be aware that sometimes the process of counselling can be a very emotional experience; if you become upset and want to take a pause; we can do this.
- You will attend on time and you will understand the necessity of a session to finish on time.
- Each session will last a minimum of 50 minutes and a maximum of 60.
- If you take any kind of prescribed medication or have any condition which is likely to influence the counselling session you should inform me of this.
- If you wish to stop engaging in your therapy journey, this is of course your right, but I would appreciate an explanation for this decision where possible.
- I recognise that counselling can be an emotional experience and be upsetting for you, however, please note that I have a zero-tolerance approach to violence, aggression, and any abusive activity.
- In the event of the above happening, your therapy will come to an end with immediate effect and I will, if necessary, make representation to the appropriate authorities.
BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
- Sessions will not proceed until paid for in full prior.
- Your initial assessment will be conducted as part of the first session.
- You can have as many sessions as we agree are necessary and up to a maximum of 2 per week.
- All the details of your session will be communicated to you in advance of the session; this may be by phone, text email or any other format as agreed.
- Attendance at a session is defined as turning up to a face to face session, or answering a pre-arranged phone call, Skype, zoom or other remote session.
- When attending a session [by any means] please note that if you do not arrive within 10 minutes of the start time; then your session can not proceed as we need a minimum of 50 minutes for therapy to count. If this occurs and we have not heard from you the session will be recorded as a “did not attend” (DNA).
- Sessions recorded as DNA are chargeable.
- If the date and time of your appointment is no longer convenient for you, please contact me to rebook it as soon as possible.
- Any changes to your appointment must be made with at least 24 hours’ notice. [exceptions can be made for genuine last-minute emergencies]
- Any appointments that are not cancelled in time, or not cancelled at all, or otherwise unattended will be recorded as a “did not attend” (DNA) and will be chargeable.
- If I needs to cancel a session for any reason, I will communicate this to you and rebook another appointment for you.
- I will also give you as much notice as possible for this to avoid inconvenience to you; however, the same conditions of last minute emergencies may apply.
- If you have already paid for your session this fee will be carried over to the rebooked session and there is no additional cost to you.
- Repeated failure to attend booked sessions without any notification, or repeated cancellations may result in discharge.
- If you have been discharged for any reason you may refer yourself again however when returning to the service, you will need to pay any owed fees before any further therapy is provided.