Terms of Service

Personal Therapy

 

  1. Fees and payment

 

Fees are payable in advance of each session, via bank transfer, I will provide account details; alternatively, they can be paid at the start of each session via cash.  I reserve the right to suspend my services should payment fall into arrears.

 

  1. Ending

 

I offer both short and long-term therapy with no minimum or maximum number of sessions.  Clients may end the therapeutic work whenever they choose to.  Whilst no notice is required, it is encouraged so that together we can experience a positive ending to the therapeutic relationship.

 

  1. Short notice cancellations and “no shows”

 

Sessions cancelled without giving at least 24 hours’ notice will be chargeable at full cost.  Missed sessions are also charged at full cost.

If I need to cancel a session for any reason, I will always give you as much notice as possible and offer an alternative appointment.

 

  1. Confidentiality

 

My work is conducted from my private counselling office, this is a secure, confidential space free from interruptions, except in exceptional circumstances, such as a fire or medical emergency.

 

All counselling sessions are confidential.  However, confidentiality does have limitations:

 

  • I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and as such adhere to their professional ethical code.  If I believe that you are likely to harm yourself or another seriously, I may have to break confidentiality.  I will always make an effort to discuss this with you prior to taking any action, but it may not always be possible to do so.

  • I receive regular supervision to monitor my practice.  This is a formal arrangement where I discuss my work anonymously with another professional who is experienced in counselling and supervision.  This is a confidential space and no identifying information is shared.

  • If you tell me that you intend to commit a serious criminal act, such as terrorism drug trafficking, or money laundering, I am legally bound to inform the appropriate authorities.

  • If summoned by a court of law to answer questions about you as a client or provide sessional notes.

  • Should anything happen to me, I have appointed a colleague as an Executor.  They would have access to your contact details and would be under instruction to appropriately dispose of any confidential information and inform you of my condition.

 

I can tell you more about confidentiality at any point.  Please just ask.

 

I keep paper records in line with the Data Protection Act (2018; the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR).  I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

 

I keep brief, factual notes to document the therapeutic process.  Again, these are anonymised using a code and are stored securely and retained for a maximum of seven years after we finish our work together.

 

  1. Complaints and feedback

 

If you wish to make a complaint about any aspect of the service, please speak to me in the first instance.  If for any reason you don’t feel able to do this you can contact the BACP professional complaints department.  

 

I welcome feedback and testimonials from both current and former clients.


 

Social Media Policy

 

Like many professional people, I have profiles on social media.  Some are public and some are private.  Please read this section to understand how I conduct myself on these platforms.

 

Personal profiles

 

My personal profiles on social media are restricted view.  I do not accept friend requests to my personal profiles on social media from either current or former clients.  I feel this would compromise our respective privacy.  It can also have the effect of burring the professional boundaries we have worked to create.

 

If you wish to privately message me, please do so through this website or via my phone or email address.  Please do not message me through social networks as I cannot guarantee security and I may not respond in a timely fashion.  

 

Professional profiles

 

I promote my business online and share mental health related content.  You are welcome to view these pages and follow me if you wish.  This is not an expectation and is something we can discuss further within the therapeutic work in terms of potential impact.

 

I never discuss my client work on social media and your privacy will always remain my priority.  I would never identify individuals who follow me on my profiles or solicit client testimonials through this medium.  Any interactions you choose to make with my profiles are of your own free will.

 

Please note that if you do follow me, I will not follow you back.  I do not follow clients on any social media platform.  My belief is that casual viewing of clients’ content outside of the therapeutic space can create confusion or blur boundaries.

 

Search engines

 

I do not search for current or former clients on any search engine or social media platform.  I always ask for emergency contact information when we initially meet, so I have no reason to search for a client using a search engine or social media.

 

Business review sites

 

You may find my business listed on sites such as Google.  These sites often invite people to leave a service review for business.  Please note, this is not a personal request from me for a testimonial, rating or endorsement.

 

You are within your rights to express yourself on any site as you wish, and if you would like to review my practice, you are welcome to do so.  These reviews are unlikely to be anonymous so please consider your privacy.  I would gently urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as I do.  In the interest of confidentiality, if you do choose to leave a review, whether positive or negative, I cannot respond.  This is not a way of communicating your feelings with me of our work together, the chances are I will not see it.

 

If you are unhappy with any aspect of our work together, I hope that you feel able to discuss this with me as part of the therapeutic relationship.  I welcome the opportunity to discuss this as an important part of the therapy.  I would also refer you to the BACP should you feel that I have done something unethical or harmful.

 

If you have any questions about any aspect of my terms of service, I encourage you to contact me and welcome the opportunity to further explain or clarify anything you may be unsure about.