This serves as my contract. Your coming to see me for therapy is taken as your informed consent to therapy and as your agreement to the following. I’m not able to provide crisis support – if you are in crisis and need immediate support, please call 999 or another service listed in the Resources page.
Your sessions are weekly at the same time, on the same day. Exceptions may be made if agreed in advance and for extenuating circumstances; however, normally the time and day do not vary.
It’s important that you’re not impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs during your sessions. If you are unable to engage in the session due to being in a chemically altered state of mind, I may invite you to talk with me about rescheduling.
I offer sessions online via Zoom. I will email you a link to the session that will provide a password for entering the session. These sessions are not recorded.
As with in-person sessions, video sessions are confidential; but since I’m not providing a private room for us, video sessions require that you ensure you are in a private space where you feel comfortable and that you have a good internet connection and virus protection. I recommend using headphones, having tissues, something to drink, and anything else you feel would provide you with comfort and security during your sessions. Technology can fail and we’ll both be relying on it but if we lose connection, I’ll endeavour to reconnect with you. If I cannot re-establish a connection online, I’ll either phone or email you to rearrange.
I’ll wait no more than 30 minutes for you to arrive for your session after which I’ll assume you’re not coming and we’ll need to be in touch with each other to re-arrange. If you know you’re going to be late, it’s best to send me an email to let me know.
Although things do come up unexpectedly, we each agree to do our best to give at least 24-hours’ notice when cancelling a session. You can cancel a session by phone, text, or email.
We don’t have social contact outside of our sessions. And I don’t offer support over the phone or via text between sessions. But if you need to reach me to cancel or rearrange a session, you are welcome to call, text, or email and I will respond to you. To communicate with you, I’ll email you using the email you used to initially contact me. If you ever wish for me to use a different way of contacting you, please let me know.
My email is email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. My mobile number is 07306320890.
My fees are between £40 and £60, depending on what you feel is most affordable for you. Whatever we agree to, payment is expected at the beginning or end of each session. You agree to pay for sessions cancelled with fewer than 24-hours’ notice and for any missed session for which you don’t provide any notice at all.
You are not expected to pay for sessions you cancel with notice and you are not expected to pay for sessions you’ve arranged to have off. You are also not expected to pay for sessions for which I have had to cancel or arrange off.
You’re welcome to pay by card or cash. With video sessions, your payments are accepted only by BACS. I email my BACS details to you separately.
Payment by BACS is expected within 24 hours after your session. For face-to-face counselling, you’ll pay at the session.
How I Work
My training is psychodynamic and person-centred. I mostly work from a psychodynamic framework, which means I explore your experiences, feelings, and unconscious processes. I help you think about how these impact on your ways of relating to others and to yourself; I don’t take a position of authority on your life or on what’s right or wrong, so while I may challenge you at times I take your lead and believe in you as the ultimate expert on yourself.
How Long It Takes
How long we work together will depend on your needs. It’s my aim to help you and not keep you in therapy longer than you need; it’s also my aim to give you the time you need and not rush you along. Although I don’t have a definitive answer for ‘how long’, I can say definitively that I don’t have a minimum or maximum and that we’ll work together by reflecting on how you’re feeling along the way which will guide us in knowing when you’re ready to finish.
I encourage you to let me know when you’re thinking about ending if we haven’t already discussed it. Even just a few sessions’ notice helps us have time to reflect on your therapeutic journey and gives us time to feel the ending, which can bring up other endings you may have experienced in the past. This kind of planned ending can have a different feel to abruptly ending or leaving without saying goodbye – and it can be challenging to do. I’d invite you to try it, especially if it feels uncomfortable just thinking about it!
Our sessions are confidential. I have a clinical supervisor with whom I discuss my work; however, that space is also confidential and in that supervision space I don’t use identifiable information such as your name.
There are limits to confidentiality such as when I am bound by law to disclose to the police if you are engaged in illegal activities such as terrorism or drug trafficking. I may be compelled by a court of law to disclose my notes. I am also obliged to disclose if you or someone you know is at risk of harm. If I am ever concerned about you or someone else, I will attempt to discuss this with you first and in any case, it would be my preference that you speak with a third party rather than my doing that about you.
I keep brief, factual notes about our sessions for my use only. These are kept in a locked cabinet to which only I have the key. I keep these notes for five years after the end of our work together, after which I shred them.
Similar to a Last Will and Testament, I have a professional will in the event that I am ever seriously ill or I unexpectedly die. This means that I have identified a colleague I trust to make contact with you to let you know if something has happened to me; she will support you in finding a new therapist or with keeping you informed about my health and return to work. She will also, if needed and in accordance with the law, manage the disposition of whatever files or data I have. She does not have your name now; she only gains access to this information if something happens to me.
Sometimes therapists and clients get annoyed with each other. It’s natural. It’s my hope that you can let me know if you’re ever angry with or feeling disappointed by me so we can talk – such feelings can be opportunities to work through something and come out the other end feeling better understood. However, you always have the right to complain about unethical behaviour and that applies to me and any therapist you may work with.
I belong to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapists (BACP), which means I adhere to their ethical framework. The BACP hears complaints. You can find out more about what complaints they handle and how to make a complaint at https://www.bacp.co.uk/about-us/protecting-the-public/professional-conduct/how-to-complain-about-a-bacp-member/.