Entering into counselling is different to almost all other relationships. Both parties are working for your benefit in a safe and non judgemental environment. To get the most out of therapy, it’s important that we have a working agreement in place so both parties know what is required of them.
If you are happy to enter into online or telephone counselling, we will discuss this contract in our first session but it is important that you have taken the time to read the below. I am happy to answer any questions you have about this contract or the counselling process at our initial consultation or during any sessions we have together.
Session times & Frequency
- Counselling sessions offered are one hour in length. After fifty minutes, the session will be paused to allow time for any admin required such as booking future sessions as well as a safe checkout.
- In most cases the sessions will be weekly but can be fortnightly or at other intervals as agreed between client and counsellor.
- Please give as much notice as possible of any cancellations. A cancellation fee of your normal session payment will be charged for sessions missed, cancelled or rearranged with less than 24 hours notice. Should you need to cancel, please contact me via email: MKCounsellingServices@outlook.com or telephone either via text or call: 07468496156
- Cancellations or rearrangement of sessions with more than 24 hours notice will not attract a cancellation fee
- Your counsellor will be available for the duration of the pre-agreed sessions but will be unable to work past the pre-agreed session time
- If you are going to be late or are unable to attend a session, please give as much notice as possible
- If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your session will not be able to continue and will be rescheduled. This will be treated in the same way as a missed session with no notice given.
Location of Sessions
- Sessions will be hosted on an agreed platform – Telephone, MS Teams, Skype or FaceTime.
My Commitment to Clients
- I understand that attending counselling can be daunting and at times challenging. I will commit to providing you with an environment where you (the client) are able to work towards your goals. In order for this to work you must be able to trust me (the counsellor) with your wellbeing and sensitive personal information. I commit to working within the BACP code of ethics which can be viewed on their website – https://www.bacp.co.uk/events-and-resources/ethics-and-standards/ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions/
- I hold a certificate as well as a wealth of experience hosting counselling via video link. All sessions will be hosted via MS Teams, Skype or FaceTime. Should the connection fail, I will call you after a short time. If you are unable to rejoin the counselling sessions video link, you have the option to continue the session over the telephone to avoid losing session time due to IT issues.
- Fees will be agreed at the commencement of the counselling contract. This will be subject to periodic review
- I will give at least one months notice of any increases
- Payment is due prior to the session commencing.
- Payment can be made via card payment through the provided link or via bank transfer
- Should you (the client) fail to make a payment prior to a session taking place, you will receive a reminder text message from MK Counselling Services. Your next session may be cancelled if you fail to make payment for your previous session.
- Counselling can be an emotional, demanding and at times frustrating process. This is often a natural part of the counselling journey. I ask that you make a firm commitment to attend regularly and keep absences to a minimum, especially at times when counselling feels difficult for you.
- When counselling via video link, it is ideal if you can find a space for yourself where you can’t be overheard and you won’t be interrupted by people or pets.
- There may be times that counselling can become difficult and distressing and you feel that the work is too much or that you need to end. I ask that you discuss this with me rather than suddenly end the work we are doing together as an opportunity to resolve important issues may be lost
- You will likely know when you feel ready to end your counselling journey. As endings can often be difficult I would ask that you bring this to your session and we will agree a pathway of working towards and ending as well as an agreed timeframe for this
- I will not suddenly or without warning terminate our contract, except in exceptional circumstances, which would become clear in the course of the work together, which we would fully discuss at that time.
Contract Outside of Session
- My telephone number and email address are for use in the case of cancellations or alterations. I will not enter into telephone or email counselling except by prior agreement.
- My telephone number is not staffed continually and messages will only be picked up on an irregular basis throughout working days. My working days are Monday-Saturday I will not respond to messages outside of these days.
- I will respond to messages over social media platforms as soon as I am able to during my working days. Please note MK Counselling Services social media platforms are not continuously monitored and I am unable to provide counselling over social media platforms
- I will reply to messages as soon as possible. However, in my absence, should you experience an emergency please contact either the emergency services or if you are feeling suicidal, ring The Samaritans: 116 123. If you feel unable to talk you can text “SHOUT” to 85258. If you feel that this may be an issue, please discuss it with me.
- In the unlikely event that we should meet outside of our sessions, please be understanding that I will not make it known that I know or recognise you in a public place.
- I will not accept social media ‘friend requests’ as this can compromise the confidential nature of the counselling relationship.
- Our Counselling relationship will remain strictly professional. The boundaries of our engagement will be clearly and thoroughly discussed during our initial meeting, and are to be respected equally by you (the client) and me (the counsellor).
- The content of your sessions will remain confidential between you (the client) and me (the counsellor)
- All counsellors within the UK will have regular clinical supervision. The purpose of this is to allow me to discuss my work with a qualified professional in confidence. This is standard practice and helps me to work with you as well as I can.
- In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to break confidentiality. This would be in situations where I or my supervisor believe you or someone else are in serious danger of causing serious harm to themselves or another.
- In the case of a disclosure concerning acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act confidentiality will be broken and such disclosures will be passed onto the relevant authority without delay. I am liable to civil or court procedure if information of this sort is not disclosed.
- Any necessary change to our confidentiality agreement will be made with prior consultation with you. This is in line with the BACP Code of Ethics.
- As part of my practice I may refer to case material as part of my works such as blogging or teaching. In this case, I will ensure that details are changed to protect the identity of the client.
Holidays & Cancellations
- I will give as much notice as possible of any intended breaks. I ask that you to also give as much notice as possible of any intended breaks.
- In the unlikely event that I am unable to attend, there will be no charge for the session
- I am an accredited registered member of the BACP and work within their ethical framework
- MEMBERSHIP NUMBER: 00987663
- A copy of the ethical framework can be found here: https://www.bacp.co.uk/media/3103/bacp-ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions-2018.pdf
- If you are dissatisfied with the service provided please discuss your concerns with me as a first step. I will respond constructively and professionally to your feedback and stated needs and advise you to the best of my ability.
- If we are unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion to your complaint I will advise you to contact the BACP Customer Services.
- This contract will be subject to a periodic review. You will be notified of any updates. If there are any changes that you would like to make to our working contract, please discuss this with me during our sessions.
Last updated October 2022.