Counsellor-Client Terms and Conditions

Information about therapy


Every effort is made to ensure the services are of the highest quality. We welcome feedback on the services you receive as it helps to maintain the high standards expected of counsellors.  

The Counselling Agreement / Client Agreement


The counselling contract is between you and your counsellor. Please read through this carefully as it provides information about the practical side of coming to counselling. By attending the sessions, the document will constitute a binding agreement between you and your counsellor.  

Confidentiality, supervision and note-keeping


Counselling often involves the disclosure of sensitive and personal information, so confidentiality is paramount. In order to protect your right to privacy the things you disclose to your counsellor will remain confidential between you and them.  

All counsellors are bound by their professional codes of conduct as defined by their accrediting organisation, which includes the responsibility to manage your information confidentially and in line with GDPR.  

There are situations in which your therapist can break confidentiality: 

1) Where you, the client, give consent for confidentiality to be broken and information to be shared.  

2) Where the counsellor is compelled by a court of law.  

3) Where the information is of such gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained. This includes instances in which the counsellor considers the client or others to be in imminent danger.  

Your counsellor will always attempt to speak to you before breaking confidentiality.  

Supervision
The counsellor is required by their profession to have regular supervision sessions where they discuss aspects of their clinical work. The counsellor may need to discuss with their supervisor concerns over specific risk-related issues that arise in your sessions. These include risk of harm or neglect to your health or others (adults, the general public, and/ or children). Sharing information with professionals outside the organization is discussed with you first.

Record Keeping
Counsellors may find it useful to keep some notes on your sessions. These tend to be brief and help to keep track of topics and themes covered in counselling.  Notes are kept in a password-protected document in accordance with the data protection act and GDPR. 

Therapy sessions and cancellations


Therapy sessions typically run for 50 mins and take place on a weekly basis. It is not usually possible to offer sessions on a fortnightly basis.  

A commitment to prioritise and attend sessions is required. This means protecting the time you have identified to commit to counselling, planning ahead and arriving to sessions on time. It will not be possible for your counsellor to extend the length of your session if you arrive late. 

Please give your counsellor 24 hours’ notice if you cannot attend. Sessions cancelled less than 24 hours in advance and missed sessions will still be charged. Your counsellor will also make you aware of any dates when they will be unavailable, in which case you will not have to pay any fee.

Remote Sessions 
All remote will take place on Zoom, as it is the most secure platform that is available for free at the moment. Let your counsellor know if you would prefer telephone counselling instead. 

A few safeguarding issues to be aware of: 

  • Both parties clearly need to take steps to ensure that the conversation cannot be overheard by unauthorized third parties in the same building. To this end, the use of headphones is advised.
  • Please ensure that you are in a quiet place without any distractions so that our sessions can proceed in a safe, secure and confidential environment. 
  • Please also be aware that your counsellor will not be contactable via telephone/FaceTime number used outside of the sessions. Please use email instead.
  • If your counsellor notices that you are in a social place, i.e. street, shop, etc., your counsellor will stop the session and remind you that sessions are confidential. Charges will still apply.

Contracting

1.     Connection: We will both be relying on technology, i.e. wi-fi, mobile provider reception, etc. and that this can become an issue at times. In case of interruption of calls, video call, etc., your counsellor will reach out to you immediately. If communication cannot be resumed after trying for 10 minutes, your counsellor will send you an email immediately

2.     Confidentiality: Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that you are in a safe and confidential environment. If you are not, your counsellor may pause the session until further arrangements are made. Charges will still apply.
a. Therapy cannot be interrupted by others, i.e. children, partners, spouses, etc.

3.     Out of Hours Contact: Please be aware that your counsellor will not be contactable via Phone/FaceTime outside of the session. All out of session contact must be via email.

4. Trainee counselling: The counsellor offers low-cost counselling because they are still in training. You will receive the highest standard of service possible, but by continuing you understand that the counsellor is not yet fully qualified and accredited. This is the case in most low-cost counselling services. You also understand that the fee of the session may increase once the counsellor is qualified. You will be given ample notice if that is the case. The counsellor is covered by professional insurance and receives supervision fortnightly. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to address them in your introductory session or by sending the counsellor an email at irene@irenestoppoloni.com

I am a registered trainee member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy and a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Distress
In the event of any possible distress arising that might require urgent support outside the scope of the service being offered, please do contact further assistance such as your local A&E (999), GPs, The Samaritans (free numer: 116 123), friends or family.

Remote therapy will take place during at the same time and day every week.

If you agree to the above for remote therapy sessions, please email your counsellor acknowledging your agreement and informed consent and we will proceed at our next agreed session.

Payment: Payments should be sent via bank transfer either before or after the session. If there are more than 2 consecutive missed payments, the counsellor retains the right to pause or end the sessions. If you can no longer afford the fee, please speak to the counsellor.

Acknowledgement and Consent

  
By attending your sessions you are acknowledging that: You understand and agree to abide by the policies detailed in the client contract; We have discussed and clarified any questions you may have about this document.  

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