Counselling Agreement

Agreement on a table - Counselling Agreement

What I offer

I aim to provide a safe place to look at your issues and resolve your difficulties. I cannot give advice, offer an opinion, or tell you what to do. Instead, I will help you work through the things you bring; to find your own resolution.

Working online

I use Zoom for online appointments, and I will send a link to join the meeting before it starts. If we cannot connect via Zoom, I will offer reasonable alternatives. However, even if the technology fails, my fee is still payable, as I have already committed the time to you.

When we will meet

I will see you once a week, for around 50 minutes, unless we agree to something different. If you arrive early or late for an appointment, I will not see you outside the agreed times.

How long we will work together

Unless we agree otherwise, I will see you for as long as it is helpful. From time to time, we will review our work together, just to keep things on track. You may finish counselling at any time. Please let me know before our last meeting that you want to end therapy so we can plan a proper ending.

What you will pay

My fees will be as agreed. I can accept payments by card or bank transfer. Invoice payment is only available to established third-party organisations. Unless otherwise agreed, you must make payment at least 24-hours before our appointment.

Changed/missed appointments

I will let you know as soon as possible if I must change an appointment. If I am incapacitated, someone will contact you on my behalf. The person contacting you will know only your essential contact details. They don’t know anything about the things we discuss.

If you need to cancel or change an appointment, please let me know at least two working days in advance. Otherwise, you will have to pay for the missed/rearranged session, even though you did not attend. Should you be more than 15 minutes late for an appointment, I will consider it cancelled. If you miss three sessions, I will assume that you no longer want therapy and invoice you for the missed sessions.

Contact outside sessions

We would not, typically, have contact outside sessions. If we meet by chance, I will only acknowledge or speak to you with your prior agreement and will not discuss session material. This practice helps to protect your confidentiality, especially if you are with other people.

Social media

We will not accept friend requests or engage with you through social media. You are welcome to follow or like our business pages.

Staying the course

Counselling can be challenging and demanding. Sometimes you might feel you have said too much. If this happens, it’s hard to come back. Do try to attend regularly, keeping absences to a minimum.

Is it confidential?

Confidentiality means I will keep anything you me as private as possible. If I become seriously concerned about your safety or the safety of others, I might have to talk to someone about it. Unless it is an emergency, I won’t talk to anyone about you without discussing it with you first.

If you change, cancel or cannot attend an appointment, I might need to inform someone of the change. For example, I might tell your partner if you were coming as a couple or a third party paying for the sessions. I would let them know you changed, cancelled or missed the session, but nothing else.

Like all UK therapists, I have a clinical supervisor and might discuss the things we talk about with them. They are also bound by an ethical framework and will keep anything we discuss confidentially.

If I see you on your own and with others, anything said one-to-one remains confidential between us. However, if you told me something serious that would affect them, you might have to inform them, too. If you choose not to inform them, I might not continue to work with you.

I keep brief notes about our sessions and might record sessions. These notes and recordings form a record of our work together. I might use them in my supervision and ongoing professional training and development, but I would not identify you. I store your notes securely. They will be destroyed when no longer required, or upon my death.

Except as described above, I will reveal nothing we talk about to anyone else (even if they are paying for your counselling) without your explicit consent, a court order or a coroner’s request.

While CCTV protects our premises, there is no CCTV in the counselling room. We keep the recordings for a few weeks, then overwrite them.

COVID-19

We have conducted a COVID-19 risk assessment and will take all reasonable precautions to protect your health and ours. We are both required to comply with current government advice, including the use of masks and hand sanitiser. Please inform me if you, or anyone you are in close contact with, tests positive for the virus within 14 days of our last appointment. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, please let me know as soon as possible. Do not attend your session if you are unwell or have been told to self-isolate.

Track and Trace

If I develop COVID-19, I might have to give details of those I have been in close contact with to the NHS Track and Trace service. While I might have to pass on your contact details, I would not reveal the nature of our relationship.

Privacy Policy

You have a right to privacy under the General Data Protection Regulations (2018) and other legislation. I have a privacy policy that details the legal basis for underpinning my use of your data and the personal information I hold about you. A copy is available on request.

Professional Standards

I am a registered member of a recognised professional body and abide by their ethical framework. If you are unhappy with any aspect of my service, please discuss it with me as soon as possible. I will do all I can to resolve any difficulties to your satisfaction. If we cannot resolve any issue, I will offer the services of an experienced mediator. If you remain unsatisfied, you can raise a complaint with my professional body.

Please complete the form below to receive a personalised copy of this agreement by email.