Counselling Agreement

Counselling Agreement


  • CTA’s counsellor is a member of the BACP  and works within their ethical frameworks.
  • Anything discussed is confidential. The only exception is if I consider you, your child or anyone else to be at significant risk and then I will make emergency arrangements as necessary. I would not do this without informing you unless doing so would put you or someone else at risk.
  • Although I will maintain confidentiality, it is for you (or your child) to decide what you (or they) choose to share with others about our sessions.
  • When working with children, I do in principal encourage better ways of relating with parents and try not to foster an exclusive relationship with your child - in fact, our aim is to make ourselves redundant as soon as possible. However, your child may not choose to discuss what I talk about outside the session and this can be quite challenging for some parents. It may be helpful for you to let me know if any worries arise for you around this issue.
  • Each session will be 50 minutes long at an interval (often weekly or fortnightly) that will be decided after assessment or as per our diaries. Extended sessions (for families or assessment where required) are usually 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Sessions will be charged and invoiced following the session, or monthly for more regular sessions, payable on receipt or if skype sessions are arranged then payable before the session takes place. If you do not attend, the full fee will be chargeable, unless 4 or more days’ notice has been given. Extended sessions are charged pro rata. If phone sessions, long email replies, external meetings, letters or reports are required, then these are charged pro rata including travel time. Reasonable short emails /calls (generally for booking appointments and emergencies) are not usually chargeable. I will not carry out any extra work such as noted above without your permission otherwise you will not be charged.
  • If you are late, it will not be possible to go over time at the end, as this is likely to cut into someone else’s time. Please do not arrive early unless pre-arranged, as you might disturb someone else’s session or I may be involved in phone calls or other work.
  • If you wish to stop therapy at any time, I will require at least 2 sessions’ notice. This is important so that I can discuss the ending rather than stop suddenly, which can be very damaging even though it may not feel like it at the time. If you do not give such notice, those outstanding sessions may become chargeable.

Privacy Policy

  

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is concerned with the personal information about you that I collect, store, and share. This statement details my GDPR policy. 

Personal information I collect

I collect the following information in order to help me provide psychological therapy to you, receive clinical supervision and consultation, and to maintain my accounts for billing and invoicing. 

Personal details

Name, gender, date of birth, address, telephone numbers, email address, GP details, occupation, education, details of family and close relationships, details of past experiences, counselling /therapy history, medical conditions, medication, substance use, emotional & psychological issues. 

How I may process/share your personal information: 

I have regular supervision/consultation with other therapists, (psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors) for my own professional development and the wellbeing of clients. I will discuss some personal details in these consultations. You are never identified by your full name in these sessions. My supervisors are bound by the same confidentiality rules, code of ethics and rules of GDPR. 

If you were referred to me via an organisation, then there may be particular parts of your personal information that will be shared with that organisation. I will make it clear to you at the start of therapy what information may be shared. 

Therapeutic Will

In the case of my serious illness or death, your name and contact details will be shared with my Therapeutic Executors. This is so you can be contacted if you are still in therapy with me. They will also be responsible for safely disposing of the personal information I hold on you. As professional Psychotherapists and Psychologists, they are bound by the same confidentiality rules, code of ethics and rules of GDPR. 

Emergencies:

If I have reason to believe that you intend to harm another person/organisation (eg. terrorism), or yourself, the law may require that I inform an authority without seeking your permission. In such a situation, the law may require that I share your personal information without your knowledge. I would always endeavour to discuss this with you in advance if possible or appropriate. It is also the law that a judge can require the release of clinical notes without your permission, and I would be bound by law to release them. Again I would discuss this with you beforehand should this occur. 

Storage of Information:

Paper: contact details for you, next of kin and GP, personal information, work done in sessions, psychometric tests when completed, assessment/history taking notes, occasional email correspondence, brief therapy process notes and invoices. All paper files/notes are stored in a locked filing cabinet in my locked office when not in use. 

Digital: I keep your name, phone number and email address in my smart phone (whilst you are in therapy with me). I access my email account through my computer and smart phone . All these devices are password protected. 

Website: No personal information is stored on my website. 

Erasing your Information: 

I keep electronic emails and SMS/texts for up to a year after therapy. My professional indemnity insurance company requires me, to retain your written notes for up to 7 years after we have completed our work together. After this time has passed, I will shred the written information. 

You have the following rights: 

To be informed of what information I hold (this document). 

To see the information that I hold about you (free of charge for the initial request). 

To rectify/correct any inaccurate or incomplete personal information. 

To withdraw consent to me using your personal information. 

To request your personal information is erased/deleted/shredded. I can decline if the information is needed for me to practice competently and in line with my insurance, or if there is an adverse reason (such as a complaint or legal reason).