Terms and Conditions for Therapy and Counselling
Please read the information below, as this sets out the boundaries to our work together. This contract is an informed consent document, and you must read and accept it before we can begin working together.
Sessions are at an agreed time. Counselling and therapy take place in a session. Call or email with information regarding dates and times. Lines open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Therapy and counselling sessions
Face to face sessions – West Cornwall only – are 50 minutes long. If we have agreed to more than one session, then the therapist will arrange the next meeting will be made at the end of the conducted session.
Sessions can be face to face (West Cornwall only) or via video or telephone calls. However, I prefer to use Sessions from Psychology Today as it is encrypted end to end for greater security.
However, if you prefer, we could use Skype, Messenger, Facetime or Zoom but please be aware they may not be secure. The choice is yours.
You will need to be ready to connect at the agreed time for sessions. We will contact you at the start of each session. Sessions are 50 minutes long.
Payment of Sessions
Payments are to be made at least 24hrs before the session starts, or I will consider it cancelled. Payments can be made weekly but must be paid 24 hours in advance. For ease of admin, Monday sessions need to be paid by 7 p.m. UK time on the Friday of the week before.
- Therapy and counselling: £50; Relationship Therapy £80:
- Group Therapy: £20 per person ( to a maximum of 5 clients).
- Late or Missed sessions: total rate unless cancelled with at least 24 hr notice.
Counselling/therapy sessions are arranged in advance for an agreed date and time. If you are late attending the session, I will wait for 10 minutes -15 minutes online – to allow for any eventualities. If you have not contacted us during this time, the session will be missed and cancelled. You will be charged. If you are late attending your session, we will still end at the original end time for the session.
If you wish to cancel a session, you must give a minimum of 24 hours notice by email or SMS. If you miss your agreed session and have not given sufficient notice, I will not refund your payment.
I work with all clients professionally. Therefore, I ask that you do not attend therapy sessions under the influence of alcohol or drugs and ask you to dress appropriately for sessions.
Session Times and Personal Space
Your session times are essential, and this is your “space”. Being prepared is an integral part of therapy. Ensuring that you are comfortable, having a safe and private space to work from is vital and having a pen and paper for you to make notes etc., can be helpful.
All session times are 50 minutes long and are at an agreed time between you and your therapist/counsellor.
It is also crucial to give yourself time and space after each session. Sessions can bring up a host of emotions. Ensuring you have some time after a session is healthy self-care. Try to make sure you do not have to rush off for an appointment or pick up the children, for example, straight away. Having a cup of tea or a glass of water and doing something pleasurable for 5 – 10 minutes can help. I will talk with you about this during the initial assessment.
Reviews and Ending sessions
Part of the therapy/counselling process involves regular reviews between ourselves. Reviews ensure that work progresses and that you are still getting what you need from the sessions. All therapy/counselling comes to an end at some point. Regular reviews help with appropriately planned endings, which is essential for the therapy process.
If there are technical difficulties, for example, computer or internet breakdown, we will contact each other via text (SMS) message to enable an alternative arrangement to be made.
Confidentiality, anonymity and breeching
The work we do together is confidential. However, there are particular circumstances in which therapists/counsellors can break confidentiality, which comes under the code of ethical guidelines for counsellors and psychotherapists as set by the BACP. A need for breaking confidentiality focuses on keeping you as the client and others safe from harm. If a genuine risk for your safety or the safety of others comes to light through our work together, we have a duty of care to raise that concern with appropriate professionals to support you further. We will always explore this with you first.
I have regular individual supervision as part of my professional practice and adhere to the BACP guidelines. Supervision is a process of reviewing the work we do with another therapist. Supervision helps ensure that I work safely and in clients’ best interests. Client anonymity is maintained; you will not be identified.
Discussing your Therapy/Counselling
Our work together is confidential. We ensure that all information is kept safe and protected. We ask that you do the same. For example, it would not be appropriate to post/share onto social networks/forums any written correspondence between us from our work together. Likewise, reviews will also indicate that you have had therapy/counselling.
As therapists and counsellors, we aim to develop a trusting and friendly working relationship. However, as your therapist, I am not a friend. Therefore, it is not appropriate to engage socially or on any social network or social or professional forums to maintain our work’s confidentiality and boundaries. Contact outside sessions should be limited to communication regarding appointments.
Computer Privacy, Safety and Data Protection
Maintaining security through reasonable measures is essential to ensure confidentiality and safe working procedures when working online.
Firewall and Antivirus – these should be installed to protect your software and hardware from third parties or viruses.
Password Protection – Many of us have personal computers. Ensuring you have a password gives you extra security so that others do not access your stored documents and information. If you have access to a shared computer, you must have a password to which others do not have access. Saving data to your own password-protected key/ dongle gives you added security.
Own personal security – please ensure that you have a private and safe space to have your sessions and that you will not be disturbed whilst in session.
People in a session (including the therapist): One to one – 2; Couples – 3; Groups – Maximum of 6. If these numbers are not, or the therapist suspects they are not being adhered to, the therapist reserves the right to end the session immediately with no refund.
Data Protection – When we have completed our work, all material such as email exchanges etc., are removed from the computer and safely stored on a password protected memory stick. The therapist will delete any electronic records of our work at the end of our contracted period.
The therapist owns all transcripts and notes made as part of our work. Therefore, please do not post extracts or whole copies of our communication on social forums or third parties.
Contact Number for emergency: ___________________
If you are experiencing acute distress, feel you are in crisis or are in danger of harming yourself or others, you must contact the emergency services for help or go to your nearest A&E department.
Alternatively, you could contact The Samaritans on 116 123
I look forward to hearing back from you.
I have read the contract for working with Billy Smith Counselling and agree to its terms.