Terms and conditions
This document contains important information about my professional services, business policies, and applies to both in-person and online therapy sessions.
Psychotherapy aims to provide you with a confidential opportunity for you to explore your thoughts and feelings in safety, to assist your healing, understanding, growth and eventual change. My role is to help you through this process without judgement or advice-giving. I may, on occasion, give information or offer suggestions. If at any time I feel I cannot help you in this way, I will offer to refer you to someone who can.
Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities of the therapist and client(s), and the particular issues you bring forward. There are many different methods I may use to deal with the questions that you hope to address. Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves discussing challenging aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress.
Couples Counselling Confidentiality
If you participate in couples therapy, I will not disclose confidential information about your treatment unless all person(s) who participated in the treatment with you provide their written authorisation to release such information. However, you must know that I utilise a “no secrets” policy when conducting couples therapy. This means that if you participate in couples therapy, I am permitted to use information obtained in an individual session when working with the other member of the couple. Please feel free to ask me about the “no secrets” policy and how it may apply to you. This also applies to any email correspondence unless safety is in question.
Our work together remains confidential, and I will not discuss what we talk about outside of the sessions. There is, however, an exception to this: I am required to attend supervision by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists to ensure that you receive the best possible service. Any information my supervisor has about you will be treated in confidence. The other exceptions to this confidentiality are:
- If I am concerned that there is a substantial risk of harm to yourself or others
- If the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2000, s. 38B) or The Children Act (1989) applies
- If the Drug Trafficking Act 1994, Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 or the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 apply
- If a subpoena is issued against me to appear in court and give evidence under oath
If I believe you are likely to cause harm to yourself or another person, I may need to contact someone such as your GP, care coordinator, next of kin, emergency services, etc. I would typically attempt to discuss this with you beforehand.
I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and bound by their Ethical Framework and the Data Protection Act 1998. These standards are available at www.bacp.co.uk
Sessions typically last 50 minutes and will be every week at a day and time suitable to us both. If for any reason I have to cancel a session, I will aim to provide you with 48 hours notice; you will not be charged for the session. Likewise, I will ask you for 48 hours notice if you are unable to attend. Payment is due 48 hours before the session; payment indicates confirmation of attendance.
The assessment process for couples work typically lasts three sessions unless agreed otherwise. The first will be altogether; then I will assess each of you individually (one session each) to gain a better understanding of your individual histories. After that, we will meet together.
I do not authorise clients to record sessions either in person or on any video conferencing platform including zoom.
Cancellations and Missed Appointments
Your designated hour is your financial responsibility; therefore, you agree to pay for your appointment, for the duration of our therapeutic arrangement, regardless of whether you choose to come. You can “make up” for cancelled appointments within the week before, during, or after the date of your absence if our schedules align. I will make every effort to find time for you. You are allotted one “free” cancellations per year. The cancellation fee is waived if facing a medical or family emergency.
I reserve the right to charge for a missed session or where 48 hours notice of cancellation was not given.
Bad Weather Conditions (e.g. severe flooding, high winds or snow/ice),
I will monitor weather conditions via local news and will follow local advice. I will contact you to reschedule your session to ensure your safety. In the event of inclement weather not allowing in-person sessions, sessions will be provided online.
My hourly fee is £70 for an individual and £90 per couple per 50-minute session. When my fees change, I will notify you in advance.
Billing and Payment
Payment is due 48 hours before the session; payment indicates confirmation of attendance. If payment is not received within 48 hours, it will be assumed that the appointment is not needed and offered up to clients on the waitlist. Payment can be made through appointment confirmation emails and can be accessed through the “Change/Cancel Appointment” button on your confirmation.
Telephone and Emergency Procedures
If you need to contact me between sessions, you may text me or leave a message on my voicemail. Please leave your telephone number. I will return your call within 48 hours, Monday- Friday.
If an emergency arises, please indicate this clearly in your message and, if necessary, call 999. I do not offer an emergency or crisis service. You may send me an email. Please be aware; email is not a confidential form of communication. Email may be used primarily for scheduling purposes. We will not conduct psychotherapy via email. If you wish to send anything of a confidential nature by email, please send an email to email@example.com
Number of Sessions/Ending
The duration of Counselling is something that we will negotiate together. We might agree to work together for a few weeks and then review things. When therapy is open-ended, as opposed to time-limited (6 or 12 sessions), it is important that ending therapy is not sudden so we will regularly review progress to help determine the duration of our work together.
You are free to end therapy at any time. If it becomes apparent that a different therapist or method would suit you better, I will try to assist you in finding the most appropriate way forward. Where our work extends beyond eight weeks, I recommend that we allow 2 to 3 weeks notice of ending, so we can work through any issues that may come up and end on a positive and constructive note.
I keep very brief written notes on a secure cloud-based electronic health record system, Acuity Scheduling. These notes are destroyed six years after we finish working together, and no records or personal details are ever passed to other agencies. Your information is only held by me to lawfully, fairly and transparently provide the highest quality of psychological treatment through our relationship as psychotherapist and client.
I hold professional liability insurance.
I will give a minimum of 4 weeks notice of any planned holiday dates when I will be unavailable. I would ask for (where possible) at least two weeks from you of the same.
Should I become suddenly incapacitated through illness or death, a named professional will have access to my records and will contact you to help you think about your options.
I operate following legal obligations regarding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). All client data is held securely. I do not include your name and contact details in my clinical notes; these are kept separate. You have a right to view all the information that I hold about you. In the event of a data breach, I am required to inform you within 72 hours. You have the right to ask me to destroy all the data I hold about you. When you sign this contract, you agree that I have your permission to hold data about you, subject to the requirements of the GDPR. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to discuss with me.