Welcome to my practice. This document contains important information about my professional services and policies. These are the standard terms and conditions for the services that I provide.
I have done my best to use friendly terms while ticking all the necessary legal boxes and not taking away any unnecessary rights of service users. The following terms apply as the standard terms for all of my services.
The following is intended to form the terms and conditions of the agreement relating to the professional relationship between you and myself. If at any point either party believes that the other party might be in breach of this agreement, it is important that concerns are raised as soon as possible so that we can work together towards a resolution. I recommend that you raise any complaint in the first instance directly with me.
I use a psychodynamic approach, drawing on Relational Transactional Analysis and Relational Psychoanalysis. ‘Relational’ therapy means that in my work, I pay particular attention to the dynamics emerging in our sessions, as many of your emotional dilemmas with others will emerge thematically in therapy sessions. I find working in this way beneficial so that together, we can address these relational dynamics in person. The services that will be provided under this agreement include individual therapy or relationship counselling including in-person and video therapy (“the Services”).
I shall carry out my obligations towards you under this agreement in keeping with the ethical standards for therapeutic practice of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapists (UKCP) The relevant standards for therapeutic practice are available on the BACP and UKCP websites.
The confidentiality of information relating to you is very important to me. I fully comply with data protection legislation and therapeutic confidentiality guidelines. I share information on a need to know basis and strict guidelines are in place to ensure the information remains secure. Your therapy and personal information are kept securely. Information but not names will be shared with my supervisor who is also registered with a regulatory professional body and who regularly reviews my practice. Confidentiality will be broken if I have concerns that you or anyone else is at risk. If this occurs it will be discussed in the session whenever possible and recommendations will be discussed and documented in any notes.
DATA PROTECTION ACT 2018
I am committed to meeting the provision of the Data Protection Act 2018. I have a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. In summary, this means that I will ask for information about you so that You can receive proper care and treatment. Contact information, registration details, emergency contacts, and very brief notes on individual, couples’ and group sessions relating to ou will be kept. Upon starting therapy, basic personal information will be collected for contact and identification reasons. During our therapy meetings, an assessment of your psychological health will be completed and notes may be written after your sessions. These will include personal and sensitive details about your life. The assessment and notes are used solely for the delivery of a therapy service to you.
ACCESS TO THERAPEUTIC INFORMATION
I will normally only provide information about your therapy to your GP if you provide consent. There may be situations in which I am required by our legal, regulatory or professional obligations to inform your GP and/or other public bodies about certain matters, for example where there is a risk to life or physical harm to you or to a third party.
You may be receiving care from other people as well as myself. So that we can all work together for your benefit, I may need to share some information about you with those people.
You have a right of access to your therapy records under the Access to Health Records Act as Ill as under the Data Protection Act 2018. If you would like a copy of some or all of your personal information, please email or write to me via the contact details stated in this agreement. Information will be provided to you within 30 days. For more information, you may like to consult the Information Commissioner’s website: www.ico.gov.uk
RECORDINGS AND SUPERVISION
Supervision is conducted in accordance with the BACP and UKCP guidelines for supervised client-work. This means that I may need to discuss your case with my supervising psychotherapist in the interest of your treatment. Your identifying details will remain anonymous.
As part of supervision, on-going professional training requirements, service evaluation or research, you may at the outset of the work be asked to consent to sessions being audio-recorded. You have the right to decline this request. Any recordings will be erased as soon as reasonably practicable after the purpose of the recording has been discharged in line with the requirements under the Data Protection Act 1998.
RETENTION, STORAGE AND DESTRUCTION OF INFORMATION
Information about you is stored in a confidential and secure manner whether it is in manual or computerised form. Your information will be kept for the specific retention periods outlined by the relevant professional bodies. Your information is kept for the time necessary to provide the therapy service requested, however outside of this I will hold your details and session notes for a specified period following the end of treatment to comply with obligations that are placed upon me by my insurers. Currently, this period is seven years after your treatment has ended. After this retention date, all data will be securely deleted. Destruction of data, either manual or digital is undertaken using documented procedures with an audit trail of activity and destruction.
INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR SUBSTANCES
If it is reasonably suspected that you are under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substances, You will be asked to leave and forfeit your session that day without a refund of the fee. If this behaviour continues, it may lead to therapy being terminated.
CONTACT BETWEEN SESSIONS
In instances where you need to contact me between sessions, You can call or text 07894 900188 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org If I can’t take your call, you may leave a voicemail message. All calls and messages will be responded to as soon as reasonably practicable as time permits between sessions within normal opening hours. I do not operate a crisis or emergency service. If you need to speak to someone immediately please contact your GP, the NHS Non-Emergency Number by dialling 111 or in the event of an emergency you may also call an ambulance on 999.
USE OF MY WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA ONLINE CONTENT (e.g. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
The materials contained on my website and on my other online content are for general information only and should not be relied upon as legal, medical, therapeutic or other professional advice. I make no warranty as to whether the information is accurate or up to date. I do not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from accessing information that I put either on my website or on any other online forum. I hereby exclude all liability for losses or damages that are direct or indirect arising from use of any online material relating to me including but not limited to my website.
Changes may be made to my online content, the content may be deleted and my online content may be removed at any time without notice.
I aim to make my website and online material and communication (e.g. e-mail, social media, and video calls such as Skype) as accessible to all service users. However, I cannot guarantee that the website or online services will always operate correctly, will necessarily be compatible with all clients’ hardware and software, or will be secure over your internet connection. I will not be held responsible for any loss of data, damage to data, unlawful interception of data, viruses or interruption of access.
The therapeutic relationship is professional in nature and cannot extend into other spheres. In order to protect professional boundaries and ethics, it is not appropriate to engage in any other capacity outside of the therapeutic relationship. This helps ensure objectivity, clinical judgment and therapeutic effectiveness. For example, I will not accept any invitations via social networking sites. I will also not act as a witness by providing reports or letters on our work together for any purpose other than for your psychological treatment.
Due to the matter of dual relationships, the nature of the therapeutic process and the fact that therapy often involves making a full disclosure with regard to many matters which may be of a confidential nature, it is agreed that should there be legal proceedings (such as, but not limited to divorce and custody disputes, personal injury, etc.), neither you nor your lawyer, nor anyone else acting on your behalf will call on me to provide a report, letter or to testify in court or at any other proceedings.
If you at any stage become aware that there is a possibility that you will be involved in litigation or legal proceedings, You agree to let me know at the earliest possibility so that the risks of any dual relationships or conflict of interests can be discussed and resolved.
FEES AND PAYMENT
Payment is required at the end of each session by cash or card; or before each session if you prefer to pay online. Arrangements with Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) and Health Insurance providers will be discussed on a case-by-case basis. You are also bound by any terms of business between you and your insurance or EAP provider. I may be asked to agree separate terms of business and fees with your insurance company or EAP provider if your therapy is being funded by an insurance or EAP company. If for any reason, your insurance company or EAP provider does not pay the fees for your treatment, I reserve the right to invoice you in respect of our fees which will be payable within 14 days from the date of our invoice. Fees for self-funding clients are revised annually and you will be provided with written notice of any changes in the fees charged.
SESSIONS AND CANCELLATIONS
The same day and time will be reserved for you each week, unless we agree otherwise. Since on-going therapy involves the reservation of a time specifically for each client, a minimum of 1 weeks notice is required for re-scheduling or cancelling an appointment. Unless a different agreement is reached and confirmed, the full fee will be charged for sessions that you do not attend or arrive at later than the start time without providing notification of cancellation or rescheduling.
It is expected that the session will begin at the agreed time. Any session that begins after this time due to your late arrival for whatever reason cannot be extended beyond the agreed finish time. If you do not arrive or contact me within 15 minutes of the agreed appointment, this will be considered a cancellation without the required notice being provided and I may not be available for the remainder of the session. For a couples’ therapy session, both individuals need to be present in order for the session to start.
If for any reason I have to cancel a session, I will aim to reschedule in the first instance or provide you with 48 hours’ notice where this is not possible and you will not be charged for the session. I will also give 4 weeks’ notice of any planned holiday dates when I will be unavailable.
Working towards the goals of therapy requires effort, active involvement and honesty. During the first session and throughout the work, I will discuss with You Your understanding of the problem, treatment plan, therapeutic objectives and your view of the possible outcomes of treatment. Therapy requires you to recall and talk about events, feelings or thoughts which could give rise to unpleasant feelings and in extreme cases, physical symptoms such as insomnia. I will regularly ask for your feedback and views on your therapy and its progress. It is important that you are as honest as you can be so that I can monitor and respond to any concerns you may have.
We will conduct periodic reviews to help ensure you are getting what you want out of your sessions. Part of the review process is to determine if more sessions are necessary in order to reach your goals. If we collaboratively agree that more sessions are necessary, we will commit to more sessions before reviewing the process again. I understand that your life circumstances may suddenly change.
Therapy may need to be terminated if less than half of the weekly (or mutually agreed frequency) sessions are attended in any two-month period. Therapy requires an on-going commitment to be effective and for ethical reasons, I cannot provide psychological services when I do not deem that they will be beneficial to you.
I reserve the right to terminate this agreement at any time in the event that in my opinion you are not likely to benefit from on-going therapy sessions with myself. I may also terminate this Agreement by giving you one week’s notice of termination.
You have the right to terminate therapy at any time and whatever the reason, I will always respect your decision Whatever the reason, I ask that you give at least one week’s notice for every month that we have worked together before finishing so that we have the chance to discuss your decision and come to a clean en in order to allow time in the final session to discuss your work, progress made and possible referrals for on-going support.