The Counselling Agreement
This is a mutual agreement negotiated between the Counsellor and the Client prior to the commencement of counselling. It sets out the responsibilities of our Counsellor towards his/her clients, and also the client’s responsibilities in the counselling relationship.
This is a very important aspect of the counselling relationship. Everything that is discussed in the counselling session is kept in the strictest confidence. As a Member of the BACP, the counsellor is required to have regular supervision and will need to discuss their work with a supervisor on a regular basis. However, they will not disclose your name or anything that would enable you to be identified.
If there is convincing evidence that you intend to harm yourself or others, the counsellor might need to break confidentiality by informing your doctor, or in serious cases the police, again this would ideally only take place with your prior knowledge. 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.).
The 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 the 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 express permission. Again this data would be securely stored and destroyed after use.
Sessions last 50-60 minutes, and usually occur weekly at the same time and day but may be negotiated. The whole session time belongs to you, whether you choose to attend or not, and the counsellor will be present for the entire time of the session. If you arrive part way through your allotted time, he will see you for the remainder of the time. He will not offer your time to anyone else, even if you are away on holiday.
Due to waiting list pressures, there may only scope to re-arrange two sessions in any series of sessions and this is conditional upon notice being given at least a week in advance. Any missed sessions will need to paid for at the agreed rate.. Finally, if you miss 2 consecutive sessions without contact, the counsellor will assume that you are no longer able to attend and withdraw your space on the therapeutic schedule.
The normal fee is 45 pounds per full session and 25 pounds for half an hour. This is a guideline and is negotiable, however it should be adhered to whenever possible. Only a change in circumstances might facilitate renegotiation after a figure is initially agreed.
Cancellation and Holidays:
Cancellation of an appointment must be within 48 hours of an appointment. Failure to show for an appointment, will incur the full-agreed fee. Appointments missed because you are on a holiday pre-notified at assessment or contract stage are not charged for.
The counsellor will notify you at contract stage of any possible need on their part to break the continuity of the relationship.
Duration of Counselling:
You will be offered a counselling contract up to 8 weeks in duration in the first instance. Any extensions will be mutually agreed.
If you feel that you want to end the relationship before the contracted number of sessions, it is important that you are able to talk to your counsellor about the situation first.
If you have a complaint about your counsellor or the service, this should be directed to the BACP and complaints procedures are available upon request.
Agreed day and time: