What Is Counselling?
Counselling is a talking therapy which allows people to discuss their problems and explore their feelings. This takes place in a safe and confidential space. In general people tend to use this space when they are seeking change in their lives or want to explore their feelings and thoughts in a deeper way.
Your counsellor will help you to talk about what’s on your mind, what’s troubling you to get to the root problem and to help identify how you think.
During the counselling process we will engage in a talking therapy that will offer you a chance to change how you feel, live better and address any problems you are experiencing. Together we undertake to work with each other for six sessions but sessions can continue for as long as you need them and therefore are open ended. We ask that when you feel you are ready to end your sessions that you let your therapist know.
The duration of the therapeutic process will depend on the type of difficulty or problem the client is facing. Some people prefer to work with an open contract, whereas other people prefer to work with a fixed number of sessions followed by a review. In all cases, every six sessions the counsellor and client will review the therapeutic process together. This helps to assess whether the client’s needs are being met and this will also help (if required) to carry out the necessary adjustments and/or establish new goals for the process.
Counselling can be experienced in different ways. Below is the different ways we deliver our counselling services:
This is when you see your counsellor in person.
Telephone Counselling:- This can be good for people who are busy or can’t travel.
This is good for people who would rather see their counsellor face-to-face but for whatever reason cannot attend a face to face session at a consulting room.
This is good for people who find it easier to write their thoughts down.
We operate across the UK but please be aware your counsellor may not always be able to be physically in the same location as you. We do make every effort to meet client’s wishes on where and how you are seen but due to demand it is not always possible. When this situation occurs we will arrange to keep consistency with your sessions by continuing through online mediums such as FaceTime or over the phone.
We are aware that for some the internet or telephone is not a viable option. In these circumstances we suggest either skipping a session or having a double session.
We can offer 1 hour 1 and a half hour and 2 hour sessions. These can be weekly or fortnightly. Sessions can be (short term) 6 weeks or long term (open ended). All sessions are by appointment only.
Working Within Confidentiality & Limitations
As a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) your counsellor agrees to abide by the BACP code of ethics and practice for counsellors. This also includes the complaint procedure. Confidentiality and its limits are an important part of this code. The content of your session will be kept confidential within the Practice except where anonymous disclosure is necessary for supervision purposes, a requirement by law or there is a risk of serious harm to yourself or others.
Where possible there will be a be full discussion with you. In all other circumstances any disclosure would require a court order, even in circumstances in which you, the client, request such disclosure (e.g. court case, insurance claim etc.).
As a member of the BACP, counsellors are required to have regular supervision and will need to discuss their work with a supervisor on a regular basis. However, your counsellor will not disclose your name or anything that would enable you to be identified.
2. Harm to yourself or others
If there is convincing evidence that you intend to harm yourself or others, then confidentiality might need to broken by informing your doctor, or in serious cases the police, again this would ideally only take place with your prior knowledge.
3. Data Protection Act
Your counsellor might keep brief notes after a session, which will be anonymised and securely stored, and there is no way you would be able to be identified from the notes. Occasionally a counsellor might want to make an audio recording of your session for the
purpose of monitoring their work, but this would only occur with your prior knowledge and
permission. Again this data would be securely stored and destroyed after use.
Where there is a legal requirement to disclose information, it can come under the following acts and can be disclosed without consent:
- Child Protection Act
- Money Laundering Act
- Terrorism Act
- Drug Trafficking Act
4. Sessions via Skype or other online medium.
Whilst every effort is made to keep sessions confidential, please be aware that no online medium is ever totally secure.
Notes and Record Keeping Policy
Notes and records are kept to a minimum. The information stored includes:
- Personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address etc.
- Background information that might be relevant to the counselling process;
- Your signed contract with your counsellor;
- Confidential case notes (describing the main focus of the session with any important information);
- Information for service evaluation and statistical purposes.
You can request in writing to see the information held on you. If you have any concerns about our policy on confidentiality and note-keeping, you’re welcome to discuss it fully with your counsellor.
Payment & Fees
You can pay for your sessions as you go or in blocks of 6 and payment for your session can be made via our online booking system If you need a different payment option please let us know. Payment is required before counselling commences to take advantage of any discounts on named services. Please see the terms of your contract.
The whole session time belongs to you, whether you choose to attend or not, and your counsellor will be present for the entire time of the session. No reduction will be offered. If you arrive part way through your allotted time, you will be seen for the remainder of the time.
Cancellation of sessions with less than 48 hours’ notice will incur the full fee. A missed session without this notice will have to be paid for at the agreed rate. Your counsellor undertakes to give the same notice of cancellation. If two concurrent sessions are missed without prior notice being given to your counsellor it will be assumed that you no longer wish to continue and the session time will be reallocated. In the event of a counsellor’s permanent incapacity to continue, your arrangements will be honoured and a professional independent counsellor will administer the practice.