1. Session Times and Frequency
1.1 We will meet once each week at an agreed time and day for a 50-minute session.
1.2 I recommend an initial minimum of 6 sessions to allow our work to evolve. After that it is easier for you to make an informed decision about whether or not you wish to continue your counselling. If you continue beyond the first six sessions the period over which we work becomes open ended until we end by agreement.
1.3 The agreed time slot for your session will always be available to you for the duration of the contract, unless circumstances outside my control or yours make it necessary for us to review it.
1.4 If you are late for a session and I have not heard from you, I will be there for you for the duration of the session. I will not work beyond the end of the agreed session, which will end on time.
1.5 I require you to inform me with as much notice as possible if you are going be late or unable to attend a session.
2.1 We will agree a weekly fee at the start of our contract. This will be subject to periodic review.
2.2 I will give at least one month’s notice of any increase.
2.3 Payment is due at the session in cash, by cheque, mobile app or credit/debit card payment. If you wish to pay via BAC’s, or standing order, fees must be transferred to my account before the start of each session.
3: Contact outside of sessions
3.1 My telephone number and email address are for use in the case of cancellations or alterations. I will not enter into telephone or email counselling except in exceptional circumstances and by prior agreement.
3.2 My telephone number is not staffed continually and messages will only be picked up on an irregular basis throughout the day. My working days are Monday-Thursday I will not response to messages outside of these days.
3.3 I will reply to all messages as soon as possible. However, in my absence, should you experience an emergency please contact either the emergency services or if you are feeling suicidal, ring The Samaritans: 116 123. If you feel that this may be an issue, please discuss it with me.
3.4 I do not initiate or accept Social Networking ‘Friends Requests’ from clients, as this can compromise the confidential and therapeutic nature of the counselling relationship. Please be aware of the privacy settings on your social network platforms. (Please see my digital policy)
3.5 We shall not meet or have contact outside of the Counselling sessions. I will not make it known that I know or recognise you should we meet in a public space.
3.6 Our Counselling relationship will remain strictly professional. The boundaries of our engagement will be clearly and thoroughly discussed during our initial meeting, and are to be respected equally by you (the client) and by me (the counsellor).
At times Counselling can be very demanding, frustrating and emotional – just plain difficult – and you may feel reluctant to attend. This can be part of the therapeutic process. I would ask you to make a firm commitment to attend regularly and keep absences to a minimum, especially when that feels difficult for you.
4.1 My Commitment to my clients
Clients need to be able to participate freely as they work with practitioners of the counselling professions towards their desired goals. This requires clients to be able to trust their practitioner with their wellbeing and sensitive personal information. Therefore, as members or registrants of BACP, we take being trustworthy as a serious ethical commitment. We have agreed that we will:
5: Confidentiality and its limits
5.1 The content of our sessions is confidential to you (the client) and to me (the counsellor),
5.2 I have regular clinical supervision with a qualified professional where I discuss my work in confidence. This is standard practice and helps me to work with you as well as I can.
5.3 As part of my practice I may use case material to illustrate and inform my writings in journals, supervision and on-going studies. I may record sessions. When any material is used details will be changed to protect client identity. The client can choose not to be recorded or to stop the recording at any time.
5.4 On rare occasions it may be necessary to break confidentiality, but only if I or my supervisor believe you are in danger of seriously harming yourself or someone else.
5.5 In the case of a disclosure concerning acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act confidentiality will be broken and such disclosures will be passed onto the relevant authority without delay. I am liable to civil or court procedure if information of this sort is not disclosed.
5.6 Any necessary change to our confidentiality agreement will be made with prior consultation with you. This is in line with the BACP Code of Ethics.
5.6 It is important that you to tell me about any medication you may be taking and any therapeutic treatments you receive during our therapeutic relationship.
6: Holidays and Cancellations
6.1 I will give you as much notice as possible of any intended breaks. I ask you to give as much notice as possible of any intended breaks.
6.2 If I am away or unable to attend you will not have to pay for the scheduled session.
6.3 When you start counselling a regular weekly commitment is established between you (the client) and me (the counsellor). This means that I cannot be available to anyone else if you miss a session without notice. In those circumstances I require you to pay the fee for your session. There are no exceptions to this. I ask you to give 48 hours notice of non-attendance. In those circumstances there will be no charge for the missed session.
7.1 In the normal course of events you will probably know when you are ready to finish Counselling, and we will agree together on the work we need to do to prepare for this. You may at times find Counselling very difficult, become distressed and feel the need to end. I would invite you to talk to me about these difficulties rather than suddenly end, as an opportunity to resolve important issues may be lost.
7.2 I will not suddenly or without warning terminate our contract, except in exceptional circumstances, which would become clear in the course of the work together, which we would fully discuss at that time.
8: Complaints Procedures, Ethics and code of conduct
BACP Membership No: 528186, BACP Register No: 061815
A copy of the ethical framework for the Counselling Professions can be found on the BACP’s website: BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions
8.2 If you are dissatisfied with the service provided please discuss your concerns with me as a first step. I will respond constructively and professionally to your feedback and stated needs and advise you to the best of my ability.
8.3 If we are unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion to your complaint I will advise you to contact the BACP Customer Services.
They will assist with a complaints procedure. See link: http://www.bacp.co.uk/crs/complaints.php
8.4 This contract will be subject to periodic review and you will be notified of any updates.