counselling terms

This page is intended to explain the Counselling Agreement between the Counsellor and Client. This may vary slightly according to the Client’s needs and will be explained to you by your Counsellor. Please feel free to ask your Counsellor any questions.

THE LOW COST COUNSELLING SCHEME FINANCIAL DETAILS

The Low-Cost Counselling scheme is a service offered to people at reduced rates if they are experiencing hardship and on a low income. To be eligible for the low-cost scheme clients’ household income must be below £50k. If clients’ annual household income is in excess of £50k, they are generally not eligible for the low cost scheme, but of course are welcome to access full cost therapy.

Annual household income is the combined gross income of all the members of a person’s household. Gross income means that it is the pre-tax income that is used for determining income level. Household income includes any money earned by a spouse, parent, child or any other person permanently residing in the home. The sum is the annual household income.

The minimum fee for a low-cost counselling session is £15 for individuals and £20 for couples. Beyond that, in line with our policy for providing a subsidised service, it is appropriate that this fee is negotiated and agreed with the clients based on their affordability.

Using the formula of £1 per £1,000 annual household income to calculate the fee:

If you earn £19,500 a year and live with a spouse who makes £13,000 for the year, the annual household income is £32,500. This would make the appropriate fee of £32.50

The maximum fee for the low-cost service for individuals is £35 and for couples is £45. This reflects the fact that counsellors who are completing their training service the low-cost provision.

CANCELLATION POLICY

Clients must be aware at assessment that low-cost counselling is provided on the basis that clients will be required to attend on a once weekly basis. The room reservation will be held for them each week and the fee will be payable to keep their session whether they attend or not. Only in exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the counsellor will the fee be waived. Fees are payable one week in advance. Holiday periods are negotiated with the counsellor.

CODE OF ETHICS

All our Counsellors and Trainees adhere to the BACP (British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists) code of ethics for Professional Counsellors. Psychosexual and Relationship Therapists adhere to COSRT (College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists) code of ethics. Some therapists may also be members of, and regulated by, BPS (British Psychological Society), UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) or HCPC (Health Care Professionals Council). All the codes of ethics can be found in more detail on the website of each organisation:

  • www.bacp.co.uk
  • www.cosrt.org.uk
  • www.bps.org.uk
  • www.psychotherapy.org.uk
  • www.hpc-uk.org

INSURANCE

All Counsellors carry professional liability insurance and have been CRB checked.

CONFIDENTIALITY
The client’s personal details, content of sessions and case notes will be kept confidential.

Exceptionally, where there is a risk of harm or when required by law, the Counsellor may need to make limited disclosure to a third party. Wherever possible, and if it is considered appropriate and safe, the client will be informed of this. There are some circumstances where there is legal obligation to break client confidentiality.

To ensure good practice, the Counsellor’s work is regularly monitored in clinical supervision where the same rules of confidentiality apply. This is a professional requirement. You will never be identified by full name. Any information that a supervisor receives is also treated as confidential and subject to the same ethical criteria as counselling.

From time to time the Counsellor is required to demonstrate professional competence by writing case studies and informed consent will be sought. This is a very important aspect of their training and development. Client identity and specific circumstances are sufficiently disguised to ensure anonymity.

TAPING

Some of our trainees tape sessions. This is only ever done with your full permission and you will be asked to sign a consent form for this. The counsellor will give detailed information at this time.

CORE

This agency uses a standard evaluations system, which has been developed to help providers of counselling and other psychological therapies to deliver and develop the best possible services to clients seeking help for their difficulties and concerns. As part of the system, all clients are asked to complete a brief questionnaire before and after their contact with the service. These questionnaires assist us in understanding your problems, and ultimately, the degree to which we help you with those problems. Completion of CORE is essential to enter the service.

CONTACT WITH CENTRE, MOBILE AND EMAIL USE

The centre can be contacted on 01462 674671 and the practice administrator, Kathy Freeman, will be able to answer enquiries during office hours. Messages can also be left on this number. Email contact is: hello@localcounsellingcentre.co.uk

Your Counsellor will invite you to use their mobile phone or email as a way of contact for arranging and re-scheduling appointments, etc. Please use this if needed rather than contacting the office. This should only be used for this purpose, and this privilege must not be abused. Contact is in office hours only. Please note that some of the counsellors numbers may show on your phone as withheld.

Please be specific which telephone number you wish your counsellor to use for contact, and indicate whether it is acceptable to leave a message.

FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT OUTSIDE SESSIONS

Should you meet your Counsellor outside your session please be aware that your Counsellor will not greet you. This is to protect your privacy and maintain confidentiality. This is especially important if you are with other people. If you acknowledge your Counsellor openly, then they will respond in an appropriate professional manner. Should you find yourself in a situation where you and your Counsellor are part of the same group, either social of professional, serious consideration will be given to the complications of this dual role relationship. Where appropriate, and possible, your Counsellor will withdraw.

FACEBOOK, TWITTER, LINKED IN AND ALL SOCIAL MEDIA

Please do not invite your counsellor to join you on any social media. They are not permitted to do so under their strict Codes of Ethics, and refusal could cause offence where none is intended.

EXCLUSIONS

It is expected that the client does not drink alcohol or take non-prescription drugs before a therapy session.

Counselling is for individuals only; no other person will be permitted in the counselling room at any time or for any reason. The only exceptions to this are family therapy, mediation and relationship/couples work.

The counsellor reserves the right to terminate therapy where the client is not abiding by the agreement, or is perceived to be a threat to the counsellor’s well being. Abusive behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

SESSIONS LENGTH & FEES

Sessions are on weekly basis at a time mutually agreed at the start of the counselling relationship. A counselling session will be fifty minutes long. The fee per session will be agreed at assessment.