Counselling Agreement

Agreement for the Provision of Counselling by Madeleine Morris.

The service offered to clients:

In counselling both the counsellor and client have rights and responsibilities. It is essential that both client and counsellor reach a working agreement before therapy begins.  There will be the opportunity during assessment for both client and counsellor to discuss their hopes and expectations for counselling, ask questions, clarify any concerns and consider whether they would wish to work together.

Counsellor rights and responsibilities:

As a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) I adhere to a professional code of ethics.

COVID-19

Counsellor and client have a shared responsibility to minimise the risk of infection by NOT attending the Centre if they feel unwell, have a fever or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (see NHS Direct guidelines).

The provision of face to face counselling will be regularly reviewed and follow guidance from Government, Health Authorities, Professional Organisations, Voluntary Action Rutland and an appropriate risk assessment. Should face to face counselling not be possible or prudent, there will be an opportunity to remotely discuss how to proceed. The possibility of working remotely will be discussed with you before and during your therapy.

Voluntary Action Rutland have COVID-19 infection control measures in place. These will be forwarded to clients prior to the resumption or commencement of face to face counselling, along with updates from the site as they are issued. Clients are expected to comply with these protocols and supply their contact details to the centre when signing in for Test and Trace. Depending on the risk level this may also require the use of face coverings. Voluntary Action Rutland – Infection Control Measures

Confidentiality and Supervision

As your counsellor and, as a member of BACP, I will adhere to a strict code of confidentiality, taking appropriate measures to protect personal and sensitive information from disclosure to others unless authorised by yourself or by law.

Exceptions to confidentiality are allegations of child abuse, when a serious crime has been committed or threatened or if there is significant risk of harm to yourself or others.

If I consider that you are at immanent risk of harming yourself or others, I may seek additional assistance on your behalf or on behalf of vulnerable others.

This will usually be done with your knowledge and consent unless the circumstances prevent this, in which case I will endeavour to inform you about what has been communicated and to whom.

You are recommended to advise me of anyone from whom you are receiving additional support and with whom I can communicate with on a confidential basis between sessions if appropriate. (e.g. other professional, doctor, nurse or social worker)

As part of my professional development as a counsellor and in order to maintain safe, ethical and effective practise I may discuss my work with my counselling supervisor.

Should I discuss your case, in order to protect your anonymity and safeguard confidentiality, I will not disclose your full name or any possible identifiable details.

Before any breach of confidentiality, except in the event of an emergency or other crisis situation where I consider you or any other person to be at immediate risk of serious harm, I will consult with my counselling supervisor.

Records

I will keep brief confidential records of our sessions. Paper records will be locked in a secure cabinet at my premises, to which only I have the key. Electronic records will be held securely and encrypted both at rest and in transit. In accordance with the recommendations of BACP  your notes and records will be retained for seven years. After this period of time these records will be securely destroyed. Any non essential records and documents that no longer serve a therapeutic purpose will be securely destroyed during the course of therapy.

You are entitled to access information held about you in line with the Data Protection Act (2018).

I am registered with the ICO.

Assessment

Before therapy begins I will ask you to complete a questionnaire with some biographical and contact details, and to provide me with some brief information about your past family, medical and personal history (this document will be securely destroyed if, for whatever reason, we decide that it would be in your best interests not to proceed with therapy at this stage.)

This will provide me with the information I require to establish your suitability for the therapy I provide and will also help the therapy to proceed smoothly and at a pace comfortable to yourself without my having to ask further unnecessary questions during the sessions.

Your responsibilities as client.

To be as open and honest as possible and to be willing to share your concerns with me.

  • To ask questions or seek clarification as necessary.
  • To keep appointments or to give at least 24 hours advance notice of cancellations.
  • To pay the agreed fees by the due date on the invoice, this may be in advance or arrears, please note that I reserve the right to charge for sessions in the event of cancellation or non attendance.
  • Should you arrive late for a session, or decide to end a session before the scheduled time the agreed fee remains applicable. If you arrive late for a session, I will not be able to extend the session beyond the allocated time.
  • To inform me of any changes in your circumstances that might impact upon the counselling.

If you need to contact me between sessions please be aware that I do not offer a crisis service and may not be available outside office hours in an emergency. You will find details of crisis services and helplines on another part of this website, and I would advise you to contact your GP and/ or consult with NHS out of hours services  if you feel in urgent need of psychiatric care and support.

If you have any concerns or complaints regarding my treatment of you, please bring these issues to my attention in the first instance. If, following discussion, these concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction you do have a right to inform my professional body, by contacting the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.