If you decide to have counselling with me then we would agree to the following terms and conditions. This counselling agreement is a contract between you as the Client and myself as the Counsellor. It serves to protect you as my client, enable me as your counsellor to provide you with an ethical and professional service and define the boundaries of our working relationship. If you appoint me as your counsellor and accept my offer of services in exchange for an agreed fee, we would agree to the following:
My role as your counsellor is to explore with you and to collaborate with you so that we can work out what is helpful, and to help you to discover your own inner resources, promote psychological healing, and/or find solutions. As a registered member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) I seek to adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.
Part of my commitment to you is work to professional standards within my competence. There are certain situations where it might be appropriate for me to refer you to other professionals or agencies. These would include the need for non-counselling help with other issues, having a mental health issue that prevents you from engaging with counselling, the need for specialist treatment provided by the NHS, agencies and other professionals or where the type of therapy I offer is no longer appropriate to your need. The process of referral is important to ensure that you get the right help at the right time. I will always discuss this with you first, and should referral be appropriate, obtain your consent.
I will endeavour to inform you well in advance of any approaching endings and be sensitive to your expectations, and concerns when we are approaching the end of our work together. Should you decide to not continue counselling with me, then I ask that you give me at least one week’s notice so we have a chance to discuss your decision but there will be no pressure for you to continue.
Everything you disclose to me during our sessions remains confidential with the following exceptions:
I have a supervisor with whom I regularly discuss my client work. However, I would not disclose any of your details that will enable you to be identified. My supervisor is a registered BACP practitioner and is bound by the same ethical code of practice as myself.
The only time that I am legally required to breach confidentiality is if you disclose to me information regarding acts of terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, violence or if a vulnerable adult or a person under the age of 18 may at risk of harm. If I discover evidence that you are involved in drug-money laundering, then I am required by Section 52 of the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 to pass this information onto the authorities or face prosecution. If I inform you that a report has been made, that could also lead to my prosecution, so I am obliged by statute, first to report, and secondly, not to inform you that this has been done.
If I have reason to believe that you might be of risk of harm to yourself, then I might have an ethical responsibility to breach confidentiality. If I have evidence or reason to believe that you intend to harm yourself or others, then I might need to breach confidentiality by informing your GP, or in serious cases, the police, emergency services, or another appropriate third party. Wherever possible, and if it is considered appropriate, I will inform you of this and obtain your consent.
The only time I am legally required to disclose the contents of our therapy sessions is when requested to do so by order of a Court of Law. If so, I will notify you and you are entitled to have access to your notes. I am under no legal obligation to provide information when directly requested by the police or lawyers except for information relating to a road traffic accident when requested by the police.
Should the police make a request to me for a copy of your counselling records, I will inform you. Should you agree to such a request, you will need to provide me with your written consent. You are under no legal obligation to agree to such a request unless it is by means of a Court Order.
If you disclose to me that you have been a victim of a serious crime, particularly one which has resulted in psychological and emotional difficulties to yourself, then I will encourage you to report the offence to police as soon as possible. If you disclose events of this crime for the first time to me, then all the details need to be fully documented by myself. I as your counsellor would be a “First Disclosure Witness” and I could be asked to make a witness statement if you chose to report an offence to the police, and I could ultimately be required to give evidence in court. It is important for you to be aware that the notes recorded by myself in this scenario have the potential to be an extremely valuable source of evidence for the prosecution case. If you decide to report the offence to the police, you are required to inform them that you are receiving therapy. Once you have provided them with a statement, you need to inform me, and subsequent counselling sessions will need to be conducted with consideration of the Crown Prosecution Service guidance regarding pre-trial therapy. My records specifically need to document that I as your counsellor have not attempted to coach you regarding any giving of evidence by yourself or that any aspect of our counselling sessions could be considered as any potential contamination of any evidence.
All your information and notes relating to counselling sessions are stored in accordance with the requirements of GDPR, the Data Protection Act of 1998 and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) with whom I am registered. By accepting this agreement, you consent to the keeping of records in accordance with data protection requirements.
FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT OUTSIDE OF SESSIONS
Should we happen to meet outside of sessions please be aware that I will not greet you to protect you and maintain confidentiality, particularly if you are with other people. If you acknowledge me openly, I will respond in an appropriate, professional manner. Should you find yourself in a situation where you and I are part of the same group, either social or professional, serious consideration will be given to the potential complications of a dual role relationship. Where appropriate and possible, I will withdraw.
APPOINTMENTS AND FEES
Counselling sessions are one hour in duration. The agreed fee is payable before each session by bank transfer. I am unable to accept cash due to Covid-19 restrictions. Any additional work outside of counselling sessions such as letter and report writing, and court appearances will be subject to the same fee rate.
A minimum of 24 hours’ notice is required to cancel or change an appointment. I reserve the right to charge in full for missed appointments or those cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice.
If you have any concerns about my professional practice which you are unable to resolve with me, then you may address them to the BACP. Information is available on their website.
INSURANCE & LEGAL PROTECTION
I have professional liability insurance with Towergate Insurance and have enhanced DBS clearance. The work being undertaken is in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. You are protected by the Consumer Protection Act of 1987.
I do not offer crisis counselling or an emergency service. If you feel you are in crisis or are in danger of harming yourself or others, then you are advised to phone the emergency services (999), phone Samaritans (116123), text Shout crisis text line (text the word SHOUT to 85258), go to your nearest A&E Department or contact your GP.
Face-to face counselling sessions and the venue are compliant with current government regulations and recommendations. Sessions are conducted in a ventilated room with social distancing. The wearing of masks is not required in the counselling room. It is the responsibility of both of us not to attend an appointment if either of us have any Covid-19 symptoms, are in a clinically vulnerable category or have been in contact with any person who has tested positive in the past 14 days. If further restrictions are put in place by the government, you are still permitted to travel to the venue and attend counselling as it is regarded as an essential mental health service. I reserve the right to carry out a risk assessment at any time, and should it be necessary in the interests of safety, offer you alternate counselling by phone or video.
This agreement can be reviewed at any time at the request of either the client or the counsellor.
Anxiety- Generalised Anxiety Disorder- Depression- Social Anxiety- Feeling Sad- Panic Attacks- Low Self Esteem- Family Issues- Phobias- Low Self Confidence- Stress- Trauma- Penzance Helston Hayle Falmouth Truro Newquay Cornwall Edinburgh Scotland Online