Terms and Conditions
It is hoped and intended that our therapeutic relationship will have helped to overcome the presenting problems/difficulties sufficiently to enable you to develop a greater purpose and autonomy in your life without the need for further counselling. Of course this is something that whilst remaining an objective of our work cannot be predicted, as each individual client brings into the therapeutic work, present day behaviours, childhood traumas, patterns of relating, coping mechanisms, particular perspectives and expectations from their own diverse and unique life experience. Often the ‘presenting problem’ or the reason for seeking counselling can act as a facilitator of other unknown or hidden emotional material that then emerges into consciousness as a result of the initial sessions. If so, further work can begin to help resolve the difficulties should you choose to do so.
Length of therapy/counselling
We will normally meet once a week at the same time. Therapy tends to work to the extent that there is commitment and regularity in the arrangement on the part of both client and therapist. However, it is sometimes appropriate for the sessions to be more or less frequent than this and this can be discussed in the first session and can be reviewed at any time.
The therapeutic process can be for an initial agreed length of time or sessions or as an ongoing basis as discussed in the first session. This can be reviewed at any time and we will evaluate the situation and decide whether to continue and contract a further set of sessions. Any aspects of our work together can be discussed at any time.
It may also be possible that our work together may have successfully highlighted the need for us to recommend a referral to another counselling/psychotherapist or any other specialist practitioner for some form of specialist therapy beyond the scope of our professional training and experience. Alternatively, it may (for example) include a referral to your GP for possible medication/or GP referral to another NHS consultant etc.
Confidentiality & Ethical Practice
It is agreed that the content of our work together will be conducted in accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. There is a link to this on our website which can be accessed at any time.
Confidentiality is an integral part of counselling and psychotherapy and is seen as essential to building the therapeutic relationship and ensuring the client’s sense of safety. The therapeutic process encourages the client to be as open and honest as possible and inevitably personal experiences and sensitive information is disclosed. It is vital therefore that the client can trust that everything discussed will remain completely confidential. All information will remain confidential unless both the client and therapist.
All sessions will be conducted in the strictest confidence within the service and this confidence will be maintained, and applied to any and all records, in accordance with the Data Protection Act, except in the following instances:
- Where you, the client gives consent for the therapist to discuss something with a third party
- Where the therapist is compelled by a court of law.
- Where information is given by you, the client, which indicates there is serious and imminent danger to others or yourself.
If in the unlikely event that during the course of our work together we do consider that you are very likely to endanger or cause harm to either yourself or another person we retain the right to consult or inform an outside authority such as for example, your GP or the Police. We will endeavour to inform you of our decision and explain any reasons why prior to carrying out this action. However, we retain the right to do so with out prior consultation with you should we consider that the urgency of the situation requires us to act immediately to safeguard the physical safety of yourself or others.
Any brief notes made about our work together and your personal details will be kept completely confidential within the service in a locked cabinet. All notes will be kept securely and confidentially for a maximum of 6 years after which they will be destroyed.
Clinical supervision for our therapists is conducted in accordance with the BACP guidelines for supervised client-work. Please ask if you would like further information about this.
Counselling sessions are 60 minutes. Payment is normally made at the end of each session, or paid in advance if you would like to book a block. Cheque, cash or card payments are accepted and you can also make a BACS payment.
We work with the condition that you will pay the full fee for any session that is missed, or if cancelled with less than 24 hours advanced notice. We hope clients appreciate that it is rarely possible to fill these appointments at such short notice which is why we are obliged to charge for the Therapist’s time.
Any queries about payment can be discussed in the first session.
We will inform you well in advance of any weeks we are away on holiday or for professional reasons and will give a minimum 24 hours notice of any cancelled sessions where possible.
It is expected that the session will begin at the agreed time. Any session that begins after this time due to late arrival for whatever reason cannot be extended beyond the agreed finish time.
Individual Sessions £40
Eco therapy (Walk and Talk) £45
Home visits £45
Concessions available for those on low income/benefits offered by discretion on a sliding scale. If you would like to access therapy but cannot afford the fees please contact us to discuss a concessionary rate. All arrangements offered at the discretion of the therapist and to remain confidential between therapist and client.
The General Data Protection Act came into force on May 25th 2018 and in compliance with this, we need to let you know the personal details we collect from you, if you are, or were to become a client, as well as how we store, hold, process and destroy them.
As a client, when you attend an initial consultation with us, we begin by setting a working agreement that explains my commitment to client confidentiality and data protection, as well as when confidentiality may be breached. You will need to sign this agreement before we commence therapy.
We will collect personal details from you, as listed below:
Name (in the case of under 18’s I will also take a parent or guardians name)
Date of birth
Contact number (for under 18’s I will take a parent or guardians contact number too)
Contact details for an emergency contact for use if something were to happen to you on my premises
Contact details for your GP, for use with your permission
Details of any relevant mental or physical health issues and medication
Storage of Personal Details
The above personal details are stored in a locked filing cabinet, accessed only by us. They are stored separately from any case notes (brief summaries of counselling sessions).
Case notes (brief summaries of counselling sessions) are also stored in a locked filing cabinet, accessed only by myself. For the purpose of these, you are known only as a number so that your anonymity is preserved.
We keep a paper diary to manage my appointments, and you will be referred to within this only by your first name. This diary is stored separately from your personal details and case notes.
We use a mobile phone for the receipt of client phone calls and text messages. I do not hold your number in my contacts under your name, and my phone is password protected.
We use a password protected account for receipt of client emails. This email account is separate from my personal email account.
This website does not hold on to any of your personal information.
Deletion of your Personal Details
We will keep your personal details for one month after counselling has ended in case we have any outstanding administrative issues, or you choose to return. They are then shredded.
Your case notes (summaries of sessions) are kept for 7 years in line with British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) recommendations. They are then shredded.
Any text messages (sent and received) and any emails (sent and received) will also be deleted one month (or earlier) after counselling has ended.
Sharing of Personal Details
Supervision: In line with the requirements of my professional body, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, our work is regularly supervised by a qualified supervisor. His role is to ensure that we work ethically and professionally. You are referred to by your first name only in supervision, and conversations between our supervisor and us are confidential.
Therapeutic Will: We have appointed a Therapeutic Executor to attend to our clients in the event of our demise. This Executor is a qualified therapist who is also a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and therefore committed to client confidentiality. His name is Chris Faulkner and he would contact you to let you know of our demise, and to offer you support where appropriate. Our Executor is also responsible for the shredding of all case notes and personal details in this event.
Exceptions to Confidentiality: If we have reason to believe that you or someone else is at risk of serious harm, we will break confidentiality. We would endeavour to discuss this breach with you first, so that we can come to an agreement about who needs to be informed. However, if an agreement is not reached and we still believe that you or someone else is at risk, we will discuss the situation with our supervisor and decide how to proceed. Where a threat of terrorism or drug trafficking is disclosed, we are obliged by law to inform the authorities.
In accordance with GDPR, you have the following rights:
To be informed of the information that we store about you
To ask to see the information that we hold about you (we are legally obliged to respond to any request from a client to see their personal data within 30 days)
To ask that we rectify any information that you deem inaccurate, unnecessary or incomplete (if we need to keep a record to comply with legal requirements than we may decline this request)