How long will the sessions last?
Sessions will usually last 50 minutes. We will agree on the day and time of your sessions, and how often you come, according to what suits you, and my availability. We will review your needs on a regular basis and jointly decide how many sessions you need. Usually I recommend a minimum of 6 sessions and a maximum of 20, though this is flexible, according to your needs.
What if I can't make a session?
If you need to cancel a session for any reason, I ask that you give at least 24 hours notice, otherwise I reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee.
How much does it cost, and how will I pay?
My fee is £50 per session, and I offer a 20% discount for students, pensioners, or in other cases of financial hardship. You can pay by direct transfer to my business account, or you can pay at the start or end of each session by cheque or by cash. I do not accept credit or debit cards.
Confidentiality & exceptions
I will treat what you bring to your counselling sessions as confidential, so that you can feel free to talk about whatever you need to, safe in the knowledge that it won't go any further. This includes protecting your identity by using a code number on your invoices and any notes I write about our sessions, and not acknowledging you if we should unexpectedly meet in public, unless you choose to greet me.
However, there are exceptions to confidentiality. One exception is that I may, from time to time, talk about aspects of my work with my supervisor, who is a more experienced counsellor, to enable me to offer the best possible service to you; but I will not disclose any of your personal or identifying details.
The other exceptions are if I believe there is a serious, immediate risk of harm to yourself or another person, including a child; or if I believe that you are going to commit, or have committed, a terrorist act or criminal offence. I would always try to discuss this with you before breaking confidence; however, in some circumstances I may have a legal or professional duty to break confidence whether or not I have been able to speak to you first.
Will you take notes?
After each session I will make brief notes to help me to work with you effectively; I will store these in a locked filing cabinet and I will not show them to anyone else unless legally required to do so. You can ask to see these notes if you wish.
BACP & ethical framework
As a registered member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), I am bound by the BACP Ethical Framework for Counselling Professions (2016) and subject to its complaints procedure. Both the Ethical Framework and the complaints procedure can be found on the official website at www.bacp.co.uk. The telephone number of the BACP is 01455 883300.
What will happen in the sessions?
I work mainly in a person-centred way, striving most of all to create a safe space for you where you can explore what is troubling you and start to find your own way out of your distress. I do this by listening carefully to you, and offering acceptance and empathic understanding. When it seems appropriate I can also offer some specific techniques and processes for working through challenging issues. You can find out more about different kinds of therapy at the BACP 'Find a therapist' website, www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk, and see also the 'Useful Links' section on this website.
Can I contact you between sessions?
You can contact me between sessions if you need to cancel or change an appointment time; I prefer you to do this by text (07443 652095) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do not offer a crisis service, so if you are in distress and need help urgently, I ask you to contact:
- Your GP surgery
- The NHS 111 service
- You can also go to your local Accident & Emergency department; call an ambulance if you do not feel safe to drive
- The Samaritans 24-hour listening service on 08457 909090
- The Samaritans e-mail email@example.com.