Therapy or counselling is a contract —- an agreement between two parties in which each has appropriate responsibilities and expectations. As a Counselling Psychologist and CBT Therapist, I aim to offer you a safe place to discuss feelings and problems and, using various psychotherapeutic models, we collaboratively explore ways of resolving, treating or perhaps managing your particular circumstances. I attend an Accredited Supervisor on a monthly basis and engage in continuous professional development.
■ The therapy session will last for 50-60 minutes depending on agreement/insurance provider.
■ The first session is used as an opportunity to discuss your reason for coming to therapy and to take some personal history and details.
■ If you are unable to keep an appointment then please give at least 48 hours notice otherwise the full fee will be charged. If you are late for the appointment, the session normally cannot be extended.
Professional Fees & Billing
■ The fee for the initial assessment session and each further session will be payable at £70-75/session (Ealing) £80-85/session (Oxford Circus) on the day of the session, or beforehand
■ The full fee will be charged for missed appointments where there is no notification and for sessions cancelled with less than 48 hours notice.
■ Fees are payable at the session unless previously agreed. If invoiced, payment is expected within a maximum of 21 days from the date of the invoice. Interest charges may be applicable otherwise.
■ If a tendency towards repeated cancellations or non-payment is noticed, this will be discussed in the sessions and the contract reviewed.
■ If the therapist believes you are seriously suicidal s/he will contact your GP. If it may be necessary to contact your GP or to take appropriate action in case of the possibility of harm to yourself or others, this will be discussed with you previously – as far as it is possible to do so.
■ If you give the therapist reason to believe that you are or will cause other people or their property harm then s/he will take the appropriate action.
■ You are expected to be free of the influence of alcohol and drugs, except with the specific knowledge and approval of the therapist.
■ Any physically/verbally aggressive behaviour towards the therapist will be taken seriously and lead to a review of terms of the therapeutic contract.
Psychotherapy can have benefits and side effects. Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, psychotherapy has also been shown to have benefits for people who go through it. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. But there are no guarantees of what you will experience. If you are not happy with the counselling/therapy then please discuss this with myself in the first instance and the HPC/BACP/BABCP if the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction.
Confidentiality & Recordkeeping
■ You are responsible for being as open and honest with the therapist as is possible. At times this may be a great challenge in therapy. It is my pledge to encourage and honour the specific trust involved in your openness.
■ This is a private and confidential form of help. We hold and process information about you and your treatment in confidence. This means that we will not normally give your name or any information about you to anyone outside the organisation. However, there are exceptional cases where we might ethically or legally have to give information to relevant authorities, for example if we had reason to believe that someone, especially a child, is at serious risk of harm or to prevent a miscarriage of justice. We will discuss any proposed disclosure with you unless we believe that to do so could increase the level of risk to you or to someone else.
■ All records are kept and processed securely (stored behind lock and key for manual records and/or encrypted if electronic records) and are only seen by authorised personnel. These records are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation May 2018. The information we may collect is classified as “sensitive personal data” and we only use such data where we have your explicit consent. Your personal and sensitive personal data will only be used in order to provide the service to you and for managing and quality assuring the service. Records are kept for a period of 7 years and are then destroyed.
■ We recognise that on rare occasions you may wish to exercise your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation May 2018 and make a subject access request in respect of your personal information held by ourselves. If at any time you wish to exercise your right under the Act you should put your request in writing.
■ Under the new GDPR you will also have the right to erasure of records – this is not an absolute right to be forgotten and this is to be discussed with the therapist as the therapist may in certain cases need to refuse the request to comply with legal obligations or the public interest.