Counselling Therapy Contract

Tracy Simpson of Counselling Services Ltd, t/a Barnsley Counselling Services & Online Counselling Today.

  1. The date of the first consultation is agreed upon via the booking system of the websites operated by Counselling Services Ltd, or Online Counselling Today.
  2. The number of initial counselling sessions is agreed upon at the first consultation if your counsellor believes counselling therapy can help you. You are not contracted to any specific number of sessions and may terminate counselling therapy at any time without further cost.
  3. Your counsellor is bound by the Codes of Ethics and Practice of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
  4. A copy of the code of practice and ethics is available on the BACP website,
  5. Each counselling session is fifty minutes for individual counselling and sixty minutes for relationship counselling, although this can be amended by your counsellor for therapeutic reasons. If you are late for a counselling session, you will be seen for the time remaining.
  6. If you cancel your appointment at short notice or fail to attend, then it is at your counsellor’s discretion if a fee is charged. Generally, if less than 48 hours’ notice to cancel is given, you will be charged in full.
  7. If you have self-referred the cost for each session is displayed on the website, or Online Counselling Today.
  8. Payment is made using online payment facilities on either of the websites above. If you are paying by Cash, then this can be made at the beginning of each counselling session.
  9. The cost of therapy includes written materials supplied but excludes the cost of suggested reading.
  10. If a private health care plan is used to fund your treatment, counselling will not start until it is approved in writing.
  11. As part of the code of practice, your counsellor is required to carry out continuing professional development and to engage in regular ongoing clinical supervision to ensure an ethical and professional service to clients. Your case may be discussed in supervision but without any identifying details.
  12. Confidentiality is maintained within the codes of ethics and legal requirements but does not apply where it would mean that your counsellor, might break the law or where withholding information means they would breach the codes of ethics. Confidentiality may be breached if your counsellor considers there is a risk you may harm yourself or others. In such exceptional circumstances, where there is a concern for your wellbeing or that of others, it may be necessary to seek help outside the therapeutic relationship. In such an event where your counsellor is considering breaching confidentiality, you will normally be consulted first.
  13. In the case of a disclosure concerning acts of terrorism, vulnerable adult or child protection issues or drug trafficking, confidentiality will be breached and such disclosures will be passed on to the relevant authority without delay. Due consideration should be exercised before disclosing anything of a previously unreported criminal nature, as your counsellor is obligated to contact relevant authorities.
  14. Notes may be taken during and after each session, which will be kept in accordance with GDPR 2018. These notes will be securely stored. Your counsellor will discuss the disposal, retention or otherwise of any such notes at the end of the counselling relationship. Notes are only disclosed to the clinical supervisor unless required under a court of law subpoena. You have the right to inspect your records should you so wish, and this request will be fulfilled during a counselling session.
  15. If payments for therapy are not made, then your counsellor reserves the right to terminate counselling therapy.
  16. Endings – Counselling can at times be demanding, frustrating, and emotional. You may at times find this process very difficult, and feel the need to end therapy. Feedback on the process will be asked for at the end of each session and if you feel unhappy with any aspects of the treatment being offered please communicate this verbally. This gives you and your counsellor the opportunity to address and resolve engagement issues. In the normal course of events, you will probably know when you are ready to finish counselling, and you can agree with your counsellor on the work needed to prepare for this.
  17. Your counsellor will not suddenly or without warning terminate the counselling therapy, except in exceptional circumstances, which would become clear in the course of the/ counselling sessions. This would be fully discussed at that time. Any threats or acts of violence will invalidate this agreement and counselling will cease immediately. Counselling sessions will not take place if you arrive under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed medication.
  18. You will be notified of any holidays to be taken by your counsellor, in advance. However, there may also be occasions when sessions may be cancelled because of illness or because of attending training sessions or meetings. Your counsellor will try to give you as much notice as possible of any cancellation and will offer an alternative time. Therefore, please notify any change in contact details.
  19. If you have been referred by an outside agency, for example, a solicitor or insurance company and there is a pending civil court case,  for example, if you have been injured as a result of a road accident, your attention is drawn to the fact that under GDPR 2018 your counsellor may be obliged to supply copies of therapy records to an appropriate party providing you consent.
  20. In the event you are unhappy with the service you receive, please discuss this with your counsellor. If you feel unable to do so or do not receive a satisfactory resolution, then you have the right to complain to the counsellor’s professional body, (BACP).