"Striving For Fair And Adequate Provision Of Counselling Services."
The Counselling Contract
This is a mutual agreement between the Counsellor or Psychologist and the Client prior to the commencement of counselling. It articulates the responsibilities of the Counsellor or Psychologist and Client in the context of therapeutic relationship they are going to undertake together.
This is a key aspect of the counselling relationship. Everything discussed in the counselling sessions is kept in the strictest confidence. As a member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) our work is bound within its Code of Ethics and Good Practice of Counselling & Psychotherapy, and as psychologists by the BPS (British Psychological Society) code of ethics and conduct, we also have the responsibility and commitment to work under regular supervision. This entails that we may have to share and discuss of some of the information of our sessions with a qualified supervisor, always under a strict confidential and professional framework. The client identity is always kept anonymous.
It is important you inform the counsellor or psychologist at the beginning of the sessions of any medical treatment you might be following due to emotional difficulties, or if you have any medical conditions.
Confidentiality can only be broken when there is evidence than the client may harm him/herself or others. In this case the counsellor or psychologists could contact the appropriate services.
The client will be informed in advance, and only in case of an imminent threat might the counsellor or psychologist make this decision without consulting the client.
Sessions are usually fifty minutes long and held a weekly basics, although this can be negotiated to suit specific requirements. The sessions take place face to face, over the telephone or by Skype.
If the client’s circumstances changes and the session time and day are no longer suitable the counsellor will try to offer alternatives more convenient to the client.
Fees will be agreed at the introductory session, which is always free of charges.
Face to face format: cash or cheque at the end of each session.
Telephone/Skype: Pay-pal, 24 hours before the session otherwise the counsellor is entitled to cancel it.
If you experience any problems please contact the counsellor to try to find and alternative arrangement.
Cancellations and Holidays
Cancellation of sessions with less than 48 hours notice will incur the full fee.
The counsellor will always aim to give the client as much notice as possible of any holidays, training workshops, conferences or illness that might prevent her from being available at the time/day of the scheduled session. The counsellor will try to offer an alternative arrangement.
Sessions will not take place if the client is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Duration of Counselling
The duration of the therapeutic process will depend on the type of the difficulty of problem the client is facing. Some people prefer to work with an open contract, whereas other people prefer to work with a fixed number of sessions followed by a review. In any case the counsellor and client will review the therapeutic process together. This allows to assess whether the client’s needs are being met and, if required, carry out the necessary adjustments and/or feelings arise in order to heal.
End of the Contract
Indications and signs that the therapeutic process is coming to an end: recovered inner balance, greater confidence in oneself, capacity to make decisions and face situations when previously feeling overwhelmed, being in touch with your own resources and strength.
The client may not have met all his/her goals at this point, but he/she feels more confident to achieve them by him/herself, and his/her wellbeing has increased. Sometimes the client may feel that counselling is not helping. In this circumstances it is best to discuss the difficulties rather than abruptly end counselling. This could evoque a sudden-loss experience that would not have the opportunity to be understood and resolved.
The counsellor or psychologist asks that the client gives one’s week notice before ending counselling to have the chance to discuss the decision and to complete the process adequately. The client is always in charge of the decision to continue or stop counselling and will not be under any pressure to continue at any point.
Contact Outside the Sessions
The phone number and email adress provided are to used exclusively for cancellations, changes or in case of emergency. Please note that messages will be monitored regularly but not continuously. Therefore, in case of an emergency you are advised to call the appropriate emergency services, such as you doctor, an ambulance, etc.
The counsellor or psychologist will however reply to all messages as soon as possible.