For therapy to be worthwhile and productive it is essential that there is commitment from both the client and the therapist. This agreement outlines the parameters of our therapeutic relationship, ensuring that the whole therapeutic process is assisted in the best possible way.
What you can expect
The initial session or sessions serve as assessment sessions. One is required for an individual and three are required for couples; one together and the latter two separately (charged at the same couple rate). This would provide an opportunity to assess whether I am the right therapist for you and for you to think about whether you may want to work with me.
You may feel ready to commit at the end of your assessment or you may prefer to go away and think about it before returning to start therapy.
We would then discuss how we wished to continue and would initially block 6 weeks at a time and regularly review our progress. If at any point, you would like to terminate the sessions then please talk to me about it as ending therapy is a process that usually requires a least 4 weeks.
It is important for the work to be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure you are getting what you want from therapy and that it is going in the direction you wish. I will review periodically and invite you to instigate a review whenever you feel you would like one
Boundaries and sessions
Sessions will start and finish at the time agreed in advance and generally cannot be extended in the event of your late arrival. A counselling hour is 50 minutes, this enables me is to make notes and book further sessions. Sessions take place, wherever possible, at the same time each week. Please do not arrive early to ensure the previous clients have ended their session and I am available to greet you.
When a session is arranged for both parties to attend, it will take place with both parties present; if one cannot attend, the session will not take place unless previously arranged.
Sessions are arranged with an individual only, and never with a third-party present
Missed sessions and cancellations
Therapy works best if it is regular and weekly and so for the best possible service, it is important to attend your sessions as arranged. All missed psychotherapy sessions will be charged, unless given 48 hours’ notice. If you are planning a holiday, then please let me know at the earliest opportunity.
If you cannot attend your session due to illness or unavoidable circumstances. please inform me by text as soon as possible. If you cannot make your session at the agreed time we can try to rearrange your session that week to a different time. However, if we cannot reschedule then the fee will be due.
If you miss two consecutive appointments without giving notice, or if you regularly miss or cancel sessions, then there is a possibility that therapy may have to be terminated. I will give you as much notice as possible if I am unable to attend any sessions
I ask that you pay after each session either by cash or pay directly into my bank account with the date of the session next to it as a reference. Fees are reviewed from time to time, usually annually or every other year.
Fees and payments
Individuals £60 per session
Couples £75 per session (including the individual appointments)
Webcam counselling – price as above
I ask for your insurance details prior to starting counselling. You are liable for my fees if they are not paid for by the insurance company. Some insurance companies require an excess and if this is not paid then it could affect fee payments which may be directly required from the client. The number of sessions delivered by an insurance company ranges between 6 and 18 sessions.
Please ensure that your mobile phone and/or any other electronic devices are switched off during counselling.
Face-to-face contact outside of sessions
Should I meet you outside of sessions please be aware that I will not greet you. This is to protect your privacy and maintain confidentiality. Responding in this way is especially important if you are with other people. If, however, you were to acknowledge me openly, then I will respond in an appropriate professional manner.
Should you find yourself in a situation where we were both part of the same social or professional group, then important consideration will be given to the complications of this dual role relationship. Where appropriate, and possible, I will withdraw.
Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and social media
Please do not invite me to join you on social media. Professionally, it would be unethical to do so, and refusal might cause offence when none is intended.
Sessions may be discontinued if under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol.
I aim to be fully compliant with current GPDR legislation and to let you know how I use and protect the data you’ve given me. GDPR replaces the previous Data Protection Act. I wish to be transparent with regard to the processes I have in place. Identifiable information, if shared, will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement. I follow guidance from my governing bodies (BACP, UKCP & COSRT) and my insurers (Oxygen).
I offer a private and confidential service to all my clients. I would not normally give your name or any information from or about you except for my private supervisor; which is a professional requirement. Any information that a supervisor receives is also treated as confidential and subject to the same ethical criteria as therapy.
However, there are some exceptions where disclosure may be necessary; for example, if there is a risk to the safety of yourself or another person, or when required by law. Whenever possible and if it is considered appropriate I will endeavour to let you know of my concerns and seek the best way forward with you.
Violence and abuse is an issue for many people who come to couple counselling for help with their relationship and it may not be safe to work with both partners together. If this is so, I will help each partner to explore other options.
Data processor and controller
As a private practitioner, I’m considered the data processor and controller in my practice. As the data controller, I process some of your personal data. During the assessment process information such as next of kin, family members and medication are gathered and held. This is anonymised, coded and securely stored. No one but me can access this information.
Data Processing means obtaining, recording or holding information. The definition is very wide, and most of what I do involves a degree of processing. I process the personal data I have collected as controller. I maintain records of personal data and processing activities and hold responsibility should there be a breach.
This is a primary concern and is separate to other terms and conditions. As my client, you can withdraw consent at any time. I hope to offer you choice and control. As a therapist who occasionally uses creative interventions, I want to ensure you know that any drawings or art done in session is yours. I will store this material safely and dispose of it in a timely manner. I will never use any of your data/artworks for writing, publishing, research or training purposes. .
I do not keep process notes. When I decide to do so I shred and dispose of this confidential material asap, often after supervision. I keep minimal content notes which I hold for seven years. After this time frame, they’re disposed of securely. You have a right to see the information I hold about you should you wish to. You have a right to change any information which you consider to be incorrect. You can also ask me to delete all/any of the information that I hold. There are however some details I need to keep due to legal and professional obligations.
I promise to keep all sensitive data safely. This involves my anonymising, using passwords and encrypted documents. I keep all sensitive data in a secure filing cabinet and separate succinct coded notes onto my secure computer. I dispose of emails on a 7-year basis
While we work together I will store your name and phone number on my smartphone. I only contact you in response to you or concerning appointments. When we discontinue working I will delete your number. I do not engage with clients through any social media.
In the event of a complaint. Please contact me directly.
In the event of a sudden cessation of practice for example, through an accident or death, I have appointed a professional executor who manage things on my behalf. This is arranged for your welfare as my client and every step is taken to ensure GDPR standards are met.