what can I expect from my first session?
I will spend a few minutes introducing myself and explaining how I work. You can ask me any questions such as about my qualifications and experience, your therapy or anything you’re not sure about. I aim to make sure you feel at ease by sorting out basic things like where you would like to sit, and whether you use first names or are more formal. I will then do an initial assessment by asking a series of questions including about the history of the problems you’re experiencing. But if you feel more comfortable going ahead telling me your story we can do that too. We can then agree contractual terms together about the service I provide, administration details and financial costs. It is really important that you feel comfortable in this first session and with my way of working. Please be assured that if you do not feel I am the right fit, you will not have to continue with me.
The time you have therapy with me can vary - I can offer short and long term and we can discuss this together.
what will be the fee?
During the current crisis I am offering a discount for all front line workers including military, NHS staff and prison workers. I am also happy to talk about costs if you are going through difficult circumstances so please call me to discuss.
The fee for each session is £50 and they are usually weekly. This will include the initial session. At the moment I can offer face to face, online, Walk & Talk or via telephone - whatever you feel more comfortable with. The fee for clients under 16 will be £60. If I see a young person under 16 I will need to see a parent or carer within the initial session but after that the sessions will be confidential subject to the terms below. Young people aged 16-18 do not need parental permission but I do encourage their involvement if possible unless it is not in the interest of the young person.
The fee can be paid by cash at the beginning or end of the session or BACS transfer that I kindly ask to be transferred before the session begins.
what happens with cancellations?
If for any reason you need to cancel a session, as we all know life can be hectic, could you please let me know as soon as possible. Please try to make all the sessions. You will experience the most from your counselling when you attend on a regular basis. For cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice, there will be a 100% fee. Cancellations outside of the 24 hours will incur a 50% fee.
Your counselling sessions are confidential. This confidence will be maintained and applied to all records, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. However if during the course of our work together I consider that you are likely to pose an immediate risk of danger or serious harm to either yourself or others, or commit a serious crime, I reserve the right to consult or inform an outside authority, for example, my supervisor, your GP or the Police.
Additionally, there are exceptions where statutory law requires me to inform the relevant authorities, such as:
If I believe a child or protected adult is at risk of harm or abuse
If you share information about a proposed act of terrorism
If you share information about other illegal act, eg drug trafficking, money laundering
If the courts instruct me to give information
In such cases I will aim to discuss any action with you first and seek to gain your co-operation. However, I retain the right to break confidentiality without prior consultation with you should I consider that the urgency of the situation requires me to act immediately to safeguard the physical safety of yourself or others.
I make notes after our sessions and these are kept in a locked cabinet. In accordance with the UKCP ethical framework for good practice all counsellors are required to receive supervision. During these sessions I will refer to my notes, always taking care to ensure clients’ anonymity is preserved.