Aim of Counselling
The aim of counselling is to provide you, the client, with a confidential opportunity to explore personal and relational issues in safety. During counselling, we set goals agreed upon between the client and the therapist. The client agrees to work towards the agreed goals. The role of our sessions is to help you through this process without judgement or telling you what to do. We may on occasions give information, home play, or offer suggestions. If at any time we feel we can no longer help you, we will offer to refer you to someone who can.
A therapist cannot fix your problems for you, and with personal or relationship issues the work will ultimately have to be done by you. You are paying us for our expertise and we will be providing you with information and making suggestions. The more you can take what was discussed during your session with us and practice it, apply it, work at it or think about it in between sessions, the more you will get out of coming to see us.
Involvement with Other Therapies
It is important to let me know of any involvement you have with any other health professionals, any other types of therapy, individual or group counselling or personal growth work. It is especially important to inform me about any forms of medication you are taking. This is to ensure we are not working at cross purposes with any other help you are receiving.
Frequency of Sessions & Length of Therapy
I find that there are benefits to making sessions weekly. Particularly in the early stages of therapy, many people find it hard to maintain the “momentum” of change outside of sessions and hence more frequent sessions help keep things on track. However, how often you see me is affected by practical matters such as your ability to make time to, cost etc. Sessions run for 50 – 60 minutes. Your first session will run for 75 min
Differences Between Therapist (me) and Client (you)
When a therapist is of a different gender, age, class, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity from you there will probably be aspects of your experience that s/he will not know about or understand. We may want to talk to you about these differences to ensure understanding.
To secure your session, payment is made at the time of booking. Clients can pay online by card or internet banking. Non-paid invoices may be subject to debt collection and incur associated costs.
Missed Appointments and Late Cancellations etc.
If for any reason, I have to cancel a session, I will aim to give you 48 hours notice and you will not be charged for the session. Should you need to cancel an appointment, please also give at least 48 hours. That way, I have the opportunity to schedule another client in that time slot. If I have to cancel in less than 24hours, your next session will be free of charge. Please note that if you are late for a session, we still need to finish on time to be fair to the next client. Repeated last-minute cancellations may incur a charge.
Confidentiality & Limits to Confidentiality
In most cases the fact that you are seeing me, and anything you might say to me, is private and I will not tell anyone else about this without your permission. There are exceptions to this privacy:
1. With your permission I will liaise with other health professionals involved in your care to assist you in receiving the best possible care. If you have been referred to me, I will normally ask your permission to liaise with the referrer, usually just to acknowledge the referral. If you have other professionals involved in your ongoing care it is in your interest that I liaise with them in order to coordinate the help you are receiving. This still requires your permission.
2. If there is a situation where you or someone else are at risk of serious harm, which I could prevent by breaking confidentiality, then I will act to prevent that harm. Unless there is an emergency or it would increase the risk of harm I would still try to discuss this with you first.
3. If your therapy is being paid for by someone else they will need to know whether or not you are attending. Where it is being paid for by an agency such as ACC, insurance company, your employer, CYFS etc, there is likely to be an obligation to report to them about the therapy. Your therapist will normally consult you about what is going to be reported.
4. I do not release therapy files to clients for use in court proceedings unless ordered. This is not their intended use and they are too open to misinterpretation.
5. I receive professional supervision from senior colleagues and peers on a regular basis. This is where we discuss aspects of our work that are challenging, successful or just seem to need reflecting on. Regular supervision provides a check on the quality and safety of my work, a means to develop my knowledge and skills, and a place where I can talk about ways that my work is affecting me personally. Though the focus is primarily on me and my work I, of course, have to talk about my clients during supervision. I do my best to avoid saying anything that might identify a client.
Notes & Files
I keep a record of each session on file while we are working with you. I do keep notes securely in a locked cabinet after therapy in case you choose to return at any stage.
Contact Outside of Therapy
Normally if I meet you accidentally in public I will wait for you to make the first approach, it is OK to ignore me if you want. I have a public Facebook and Instagram account which you are welcome to follow.
Availability between sessions
In instances where you need to contact me between sessions, please give a text to 021-037 7666 or email [email protected]. I will endeavour to get back to you within 48 working hours. If you need urgent crisis care, please contact Crisis Team Emergency Team 0800 800 717.