I want to let you know about a few procedures that are important for therapy and our therapeutic relationship. If you have any questions about any of this or feel uncomfortable in some way, please do discuss this with me.
Scheduling Sessions & Cancellation
It is important that you are able to access therapy consistently, this means when we decide to work together I will keep a weekly space for you. Each session will last for 50 minutes and are usually arranged for the same time and day each week. If for any reason I have to cancel a session I will aim to give you at least 48 hours notice and no charge will be made. In the event of my being unwell I will give you as much notice as possible and again no charge will be made. If you are unable to attend an arranged session, it may be possible to re-arrange the appointment, if reasonable (i.e. at least one week’s) notice is given. However, please note that you will be charged for a cancelled session where less than 24 hours notice is given.
Contact outside of our agreed therapy time
The Henfield district can often seem a pretty small place and there may be a time when we ‘bump’ into one another. As your confidentiality is extremely important to me I will not start or engage in a conversation with you, but will take your lead if you choose to acknowledge me (say hello/nod/eye contact), but will not be offended in any way if you choose not to. I understand the need for privacy. If either of us is with another I will not engage in more than an acknowledgment (if you choose to) as issues can arise if our companions inquire how we know one another and this may jeopardize your privacy. This does not mean I do not care about you, and we can discuss in session if/how this experience affected you.
If you need to contact me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone, direct email or texting – for quick, administrative issues such as changing appointment times. Please be aware, if you choose to e-mail me anything relating to you and your therapy sessions, that email (in general) is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of your and my Internet service providers. While it is unlikely that someone will be looking at these logs, they are, in theory, available to be read by the system administrator(s) of the Internet service provider.
I do not accept friend requests from current or former clients on any social networking site. I believe that adding clients as friends on these sites can compromise confidentiality and respective privacy. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.
It is important to me that you receive competent care in the event I am unable to continue to provide it for whatever the reason. Just like you, unplanned things can happen to me including sickness, accidents and even death. In the event I am ever unable to continue to provide my services to you, I have identified a trusted colleague who will manage my practice, provide information and, if necessary, suggest other therapists who may offer continuing care if I am unable to do so.
All sessions will be conducted in the strictest confidence and this confidence will be maintained and applied to any and all records. All notes on our work are held in line with GDPR, which means they will be stored securely, and destroyed six years after we finish working together.
However, I am required to attend supervision in order to ensure that you receive the best possible service. Anything discussed with my supervisor remains confidential and your anonymity will be protected. Further incidences where confidentiality may be breached are:
- Where a client gives consent for confidence to be broken.
- Where a counsellor is compelled to by a court of law.
- Where the information ”is of such gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained” i.e. where I believe that harm may happen to you or someone else. In this event every effort will be made to gain your agreement before action is taken. However, if this is not possible I may still need to take the decision to inform someone.
- Where there is a duty to disclose under the Terrorism Act.
- Material from their records may be incorporated for case studies, while undertaking additional training; however, the identity of the client is protected and remains entirely anonymous.
If you have any questions about anything within this document, I encourage you to bring them up when we meet. As new technology develops and situations change there may be times when I need to update this policy. If I do so and if we are still engaged in therapy I will notify you in writing of any policy changes and make sure you have a copy of the updated policy.