The Counselling Contract
This is strictly maintained by the therapist in order to provide a safe and supportive space for the client to work through their issues and concerns. There are specific legal exceptions. If the client poses a realistic and immediate threat to another person‚€™s physical safety or their own, or tells the therapist that they have already seriously hurt or killed someone, or sexually or physically abused a child, confidentiality can no longer be maintained. The therapist must inform the appropriate authorities and tell the client before they do so. This is to protect the counsellor and client, and is a legal requirement.
Notes may be made by the therapist during or after the session. These are to help the therapist follow the process and identify emerging patterns. The notes will not identify the client by name and will be held securely when not in use.
Supervision is something every practising therapist must have to maintain client and therapist safety. The supervisor will not be told anything which identifies the client ‚€“ it is the counselling issues that are discussed. The supervisor is bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the therapist.
Once the therapist and client have agreed to work together, it is expected that each will commit to the time-limited contract, working through any difficulties that arise in the course of therapy. Contracts are re-negotiated at the end of each period.
Breaks in the work because of holidays should be agreed by us both at least two weeks ahead.
I ask that clients commit to the process as whole-heartedly as I do. I will only cancel a scheduled session because of insurmountable external conditions (severely adverse weather or telephone lines being down) or extreme personal difficulty (illness). I will endeavour to give as much notice as possible.
I do not charge for an unavoidable cancellation (extreme weather conditions or serious illness) if given more than 48 hours notice. If a client chooses to cancel an agreed appointment for any other reason the full session fee is payable.
I am happy to discuss anything above if further clarification is needed.